Tuesday 11/17/09 was a very exciting day for the BizTalk Server product team as well as for BizTalk developers attending the PDC 2009 conference in LA.

We have announced the release of BizTalk Server 2009 R2 in 2010 and we have laid out the roadmap for BizTalk Server future. (You can watch the PDC session here.)

The roadmap includes details around the following future releases:

  • BizTalk Server 2006 R2 SP1 – scheduled for 2010 with immediate availability of the Beta release
  • BizTalk Server 2009 R2
  • BizTalk Server vNext

Here are the highlights of each version:

BizTalk Server 2009 R2:

Latest Application Platform Support for:

  • Visual Studio 2010
  • SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

BizTalk Server 2009 R2 will also provide new tools to increase the productivity of developers and IT professionals in particularly but not exclusively for B2B scenarios here are some examples:

Business to Business Scenarios

  • Enhanced designer tool: the BizTalk map design tool will be dramatically enhanced to include make the creation and maintenance of maps easier and faster, especially of complex document transformation maps which are common in B2B scenarios.
  • FPTS adapter: a secure and standards-based adapter that allows exchanging documents between trading partners using the FTP protocol.

Productivity Enhancements

  • Performance tuning dashboard: a single dashboard allowing a BizTalk administrator to apply and manage a set of performance settings. This dashboard would enable easy tuning for performance of a BizTalk Server infrastructure.
  • Improved support for event processing: the BizTalk RFID platform will include more built-in components to handle event filtering and delivery from event sources such as RFID and sensor devices. The easier assembly of pre-built components will reduce the time it takes to implement event handling solutions.
  • Management automation options with PowerShell: new PowerShell scripts to programmatically control BizTalk management tasks would allow administrators to manage BizTalk Server more efficiently.
  • New System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Pack: a new object model in this pack that better reflects BizTalk artifacts would provide administrators with an enhanced visibility and monitoring capabilities of the BizTalk infrastructure availability and health.

At PDC we have demonstrated an early prototype of the new BizTalk Mapper hosted in Visual Studio 2010 (beta) .

BizTalk Server vNext (beyond 2009 R2)

This release will focus on the following main themes:

  • Deep Microsoft Application Platform Alignment
    Leveraging innovations in the platform including in .NET and in the Windows Server AppFabric to further enhance BizTalk Server’s enterprise-readiness by simplifying development, scalability, deployment and management capabilities.
  • Enterprise Connectivity for AppFabric
    Making it easier for .NET application built on the AppFabric to integrate seamlessly with existing enterprise applications such as LOB systems and with existing Business-to-Business connectivity infrastructure
  • On-Premises Server and Cloud Service Symmetry
    Facilitating the connection from on-promises applications to cloud services on Windows Azure platform and from cloud services to on-premises applications. Providing the option to deploy some integration services as cloud services on the Windows Azure platform.

At PDC we presented a demo that highlighted the first themes: Platform Alignment & Enterprise Connectivity.

This demo using a preview of an early prototype for WF (.NET 4.0) integration within BizTalk included the following scenarios:

  • The hosting of WF instances inside a BizTalk Server host to implement system workflows.
  • Flexible deployment options for WF inside BizTalk allowing WF instances to use the BizTalk messaging subsystems for persistence and reliability or bypass it to enable lower latency scenarios
  • The new BizTalk Mapper designing transformation between WF data contracts (not just XML documents)
  • Instrumentation of WF workflows to BizTalk Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), providing business process metrics and operational insight into WF based processes.

Expect more details, screenshots and videos of the demos to be available soon

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