BizTalk Server 2006 'R2' Feature Set Divulged
Microsoft this week disclosed new features coming in BizTalk Server 2006 Release
2 (R2), including integrated support for radio frequency identification (RFID)
Another significant feature slated for the R2 release is support for electronic
data interchange (EDI) and Applicability Statement 2 (AS2), a protocol specification
for handling EDI transactions.
Additionally, R2 will feature tight integration with Windows Vista and with
Office System 2007, particularly SharePoint services, according to Microsoft
R2 will also add support for two components of Microsoft's coming WinFX
technologies -- the Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) and the Windows Communication
Foundation (WCF). It will also provide a "universal" adapter framework
built on top of WinFX that will let customers write custom adapters to improve
interoperability between their applications.
"[Using the new framework], you can build an adapter once and use it
multiple places," Burley Kawasaki, group product manager for BizTalk Server,
said in an interview. WWF and WCF capabilities coming in Vista and Longhorn
Server enable business processes to be linked into Office 2007.
"[You can] link collaborative processes inside SharePoint with the transactional
processes you manage using BizTalk Server," Kawasaki said. It's
not by accident that R2 is due out in the first half of 2007, the same timeframe
as for the delivery of those products, he added.
The new RFID capabilities are designed to improve supply chain integration
in BizTalk Server 2006, enabling RFID-driven supply chain events to be integrated
with back-end business processes.
Customers and partners who participate in the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 technology
adoption program (TAP) will be able to get early previews of R2, the company
said in a statement.
Interested parties can register for the preview here.
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.