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Microsoft Ships BizTalk Server 2006

Microsoft this week released a key update to its SOA-based middleware platform—BizTalk.

Microsoft this week released a key update to its SOA-based middleware platform -- BizTalk. The company had officially launched its BizTalk Server 2006 R2 in July, saying it would ship in September. Key advances in the new BizTalk release are tooling and support for radio frequency ID (RDID) technology and support for additional EDI standards such as Availability Statement 2, a method of secure HTTP-based data exchange.

The new BizTalk release also adds support for key vertical industry business to business data exchange business protocols such as SWIFT for global banking, HL7 and HIPPA for health care and RosettaNet, a key supply chain set of specifications.

Microsoft did not change any features in the shipping release since the last beta, says Steve Martin, the company's director of connected systems product management. "We hardened some of the functionality. The last major version of the product was feature complete," Martin said.

With the new BizTalk Server, Microsoft also released Enterprise Service Bus Guidance, which consists of best practices, architectural guidance, patterns and best practices. Microsoft also released beta 2 of its BizTalk Server Adapter Back, which provides access to competitive data platforms. In addition to the new BizTalk release, the adaptors will provide links from SQL Sever 2005, and SharePoint Server.

"For customers that are using point to point connectivity a middle tier or a broker doesn't make sense," Martin says. This will be a great technology for customers who are building those point to point scenarios but don't want to write a bunch of code."

Later this month, Microsoft will reveal more details of its roadmap for BizTalk, Martin says.

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