BizTalk Server 2006 R2 - Available today!

I’m thrilled to announce that BizTalk Server 2006 R2 is available today! This marks the 5th major release we’ve had in the last 7 years, which is a great testament to our product team’s ability to deliver value to customers as the market evolves. Just as folks in the US are sitting down to dinner tonight, we will be halfway around the world in Taipei, Taiwan celebrating the availability of BizTalk Sever 2006 R2 with our partners, Intel and HP.

I bet you’re thinking “why Taiwan?” As you may know, it is a primary hub for manufacturing. The motivation for R2 was simple. Businesses need to CONNECT existing systems regardless of vendor, age or protocol and EXTEND business processes outside the organization- all with software that is ENTERPRISE CLASS. For years, customers have wanted a single platform for application integration, process automation and supply chain management in one box – simply put, customers need an easy way to connect across offices, organization and oceans. R2 delivers!

Over the next few days, I’ll be doing several updates to my blog, but today, I’ll start by running through the basics. So, let’s talk more about the first two—extending and connecting.

We’ve made some big investments in R2 that will help organizations push process automation out the edge and beyond.

· Full RFID solution to manage device, capture events and invoke workflow.

· Hub & spoke enablement for branch connectivity with the new, very low cost BizTalk Server Branch edition

· New robust EDI capabilities- including commonly used EDI schemas and trading partner management tools

· We are also including four industry accelerators “out of the box”- RosettaNet, HL7, HIPPA, SWIFT

In addition to the GA of R2 – we announced a new set of ESB Guidance and a CTP of the BizTalk Adapter pack.

First- “Microsoft’s ESB Guidance,” which provides architectural guidance, patterns, practices, and a set of BizTalk Server and .NET components to simplify the development of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) using Microsoft technology. We want to help customers with best practices to implement an ESB, with the technology they already have- in a way that is both easy and fiscally responsible. This helps remove the mystery and confusion around developing a ESB- and the best part it is free now on CodePlex!

Secondly- Today we are delivering the first CTP of the BizTalk Adapter Pack. Available in the first half of calendar Year 2008 - it will include adapters for SAP, Siebel, and Oracle DB, as well an ADO.NET Provider. After it becomes available – the Adapter Pack will be included in BizTalk Server 2006 R2. Because these adapters do not specifically require BizTalk Server, many customers will find them to be a very useful alternative to hand coding point to point integration. Think about being able to pull customer information from Siebel into a SharePoint site or load order information from SAP into SQL for BI reporting and analysis. The best part is…. these adapters grow with your business. So when you decide the application needs a middle tier you don’t have to rip and replace, rather just implement BizTalk Server. Go download it, play with it and let us know what you think.

With more than 7,000 customers globally, BizTalk is the most widely deployed business process server. And we think we will continue to impress our customers with R2—that’s what it’s all about!