Microsoft Hints at BizTalk Server 2010 R2 Plans
- By Kurt Mackie
- December 09, 2011
Microsoft announced on Thursday that it is planning a future R2 product release of BizTalk Server 2010, but did not reveal an exact release date.
A BizTalk Server team blog post indicated that the R2 product would appear "approximately 6 months following the release of Windows Server 8." Microsoft has not officially revealed the release date for Windows Server 8, but many expect it to coincide with the release of Windows 8 because the two products share a common codebase.
Microsoft recently indicated that it will release a beta of Windows 8 in late February. Analyst firm IDC predicts a Windows 8 product release sometime in the second quarter of 2012, but no later than August. If so, BizTalk Server 2010 R2 might be expected to appear as early as October 2012 or as late as February 2013.
Microsoft will improve the product's business-to-business capabilities and cloud integration with the R2 release, according to the blog. When released, BizTalk Server 2010 R2 is expected to be capable of working with Windows Server 8, SQL Server 2012 and Visual Studio 11 -- products not yet released. Those using BizTalk Server 2010 will be able to carry out an "in-place migration" to the R2 product, the blog suggests.
The R2 product will facilitate IBM DB2 client connections with Microsoft SQL Server. In addition, the R2 product will enable adapter connections to "IBM Informix V11 and IBM IMS/DB V11."
Improved integration with the Windows Azure Service Bus is being promised with the R2 release. However, that seems to have been a long-promised goal, going back to the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference of 2009, when Microsoft described using AppFabric for the purpose. In an October 2010 blog post, Microsoft promised to unveil a preview of an "Azure-based integration service" sometime this year. So far, that preview apparently has not been released. The release-to-manufacturing version of BizTalk Server 2010 lacked integration with Windows Azure because of AppFabric communication issues.
Licensing changes are ahead with BizTalk Server 2010 R2 that would let users access BizTalk services from hosting providers. Microsoft plans to issue Services Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) licenses for the R2 product. Possibly, some sort of "licensing mobility" will be allowed. Microsoft introduced the licensing mobility concept in March as a way for its volume licensing customers with Software Assurance to use hosting services but still retain their Software Assurance benefits.
Microsoft describes BizTalk Server as an "integration and connectivity server." It can be used to tie together business processes that depend on disparate software solutions. It's middleware that acts like an enterprise messaging bus in service-oriented architecture scenarios.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.