I generally try not to blog about the same thing as countless others do, but being a BizTalk MVP I feel obliged to make some notes about the release of BizTalk Server 2010 as it really is big news.

BizTalk Server 2010 has actually been RTM for a while and available to Volume License customers for a short period of time already. It will become available for general purchase on October 1st – or so the official announcement on the BizTalk Team Blog says. That post does a good job of covering the news in the release, as does the microsoft.com New Features in BizTalk Server 2010 page. For an even more comprehensive write-up download the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Technical Overview white paper.

There are also numerous other MS web pages that have been updated. I’ll try to highlight a few of the things I haven’t seen mentioned so far and provide links to the more important ones:

  • Editions
    • The Development Edition is now a FREE download and the page clearly states that it’s the one to use for development and testing environments, which is a relief since it’s a discussion I’ve been in more than once regarding the use of MSDN licenses.
    • The BizTalk Adapter Pack is no longer licensed separately. You need at least STD for this.
  • Pricing and Licensing Overview
    • BizTalk Server has gotten slightly more expensive for the production environments ($44k ENT, $10k STD).
    • Current limitations with STD are still there: Single Server, Two procs AND as it seems limited 64-bit support. The technet 64-bit Support pages seems to confirm that STD still has a 64-bit exception when compared to other versions.
    • The AppFabric Connect feature is an installation option. Since I see now real licensing info about it I’m assuming it’s not stand alone. And since the pre-requisite of the Adapter Pack that makes some of that magic happen is packaged with STD (and up) I can only assume at this point that using the mapper in production also requires at least STD. I would still argue that it could be well worth it to enable scenarios like this.
  • Pricing and Licensing FAQ
    • There is a running discussion on how long Microsoft can continue to license per socket instead of heading in a slightly different direction as the number of cores become more and more. Whenever (if ever) that happens. It’s not now. BizTalk continues to be licensed per proc.
    • The ISV Licensing (formerly Runtime Editions) is still there. This is not a really well known possibility but essentially it allows you to package BizTalk as part of you product. The customer can’t use it with any products except your own. It’s hard to get a quote for this as it isn’t publicly listed anywhere, but it’s way cheaper that ordinary licenses. I have a quote, but I don’t want to put it out there. You could probably just call your local MS rep or Licensing partner to get your own.
  • System Requirements
    • You should not be fooled by the fact that it says minimum 2GB of RAM. If you install BizTalk on a 64-bit system you will want at least 4GB or RAM. And I’m saying that even though Windows Server 2008 (R2) says that its minimum system requirements are 512MB. I suppose no one reading would want to try that either.
  • BizTalk Developer Center
    • Has been updated with a lot of new content for BizTalk Server 2010 and October’s theme is the BizTalk Server 2010 Launch.
    • There’s also a BizTalk Server 2010 Training Kit available. It contains 6 labs for the Developer and 3 for the Admin that highlight new features. It’s great to see the Admin getting some much needed love on the training side. There is also 6 videos available weighing in at a 823MB download.
    • Alot of other online content like the tutorial scenarios seems to have been getting an overhaul as well (as you would expect) showing of screenshots of the new mapper and other new features.
  • Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Help
    • Except for the updated online version there are numerous downloadable documents. The Installation and Upgrade guides as well as the CHM – which personally, I couldn’t do without.
  • MSDN Subscriptions
    • So far there is no availability through this channel. I would love to see an .iso for the Developer Edition as I’m not to fond of keeping extracted catalogs around, or self-executable zip files. Keep this feed in your feed reader to be notified when it arrives.
  • Upgrading from Beta
    • Although some people (like Brian Loesgen) seems to have been able to upgrade seamlessly from the beta, I couldn’t. I got an exception saying that the Enterprise version was installed and that I had to uninstall before installing. Fair enough. My Beta version does register as Enterprise in the Add/Remove programs dialog.
  • Errors and issues
  • Misc new features and updated tools

That ended up being quite a lengthy post. But then again I’m a superstar and that’s how I do it! I hope it helps.