So PDC is over and boy did we get a lot of announcements with regards to our Connected System’s Technologies. We learned that the upcoming “Dublin” application server for WCF and WF components will formally be named Windows AppFabric. We also learned that Azure.NET Server has been renamed to Azure AppFabric. We also learned about the roadmap for BizTalk. You can expect BizTalk 2009-R2 will be arriving sometime at the end of next year. It will deliver enhancements in the follow areas:

  • Platform Alignment – We will be supporting the latest servers and tools
    • VS 2010
    • Windows Server 2008-R2
    • SQL Server 2008-R2
  • Productivity Improvements
    • A new dashboard to apply and manage performance parameters (today, tuning a BizTalk server is tricky to do as you have to be aware of a number of registry keys, database based parameters etc)
    • PowerShell based capabilities for management tasks
    • Updated SCOM object model to better reflect BizTalk artifacts
  • B2B
    • New Mapper enhancements to make it easier to work with and understand complex maps
    • An FTPS adapter will be provided right out of the box.
  • RFID
    • Support for event filtering right out of the box

During the session, the team demo’d the new Mapper enhancements and got a great reaction from the crowd. For any of you who have ever struggled to keep your sanity when working with a large map, you’ll likely love these simple enhancements.

Now, at the PDC session (which you can view online ) they did more than just speak about 2009-R2. They also demoed some very-very early bits from v.NEXT+1 (i.e. the one after 2009-R2).  There are a number of key features that will be shipping in that version, the first and foremost being Windows Workflow (WF) integration into BizTalk.  With this integration, you will be able to choose whether or not to use classic BizTalk orchestrations or WF based workflows.  By integrating these two technologies, you can now do things like use the BizTalk mapper from within WF.  I encourage you to check out the recording of the session to see the full roadmap and product demos.

Cheers and keep on BizTalking