As we have pre-announced during several BizTalk sessions at TechEd North America last month, the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0, formerly known as the ESB Guidance 2.0 - has been released today to the web. It is available on the new ESB page in the BizTalk Developer Center on MSDN.

This toolkit extends BizTalk Server 2009 capabilities to support a loosely coupled and dynamic messaging architecture. It functions as middleware that provides tools for rapid mediation between services and their consumers. Enabling maximum flexibility at run time, the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 simplifies composition of service endpoints without “hard-wiring” them and also provides management of service interactions at enterprise scale.

Why did we change the name ?

The BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 has been renamed from “ESB Guidance2.0” to reflect the fact that it is now provided as a BizTalk Server 2009 value-add with a better support model. This will hopefully help customers develop mature ESB implementations that will be ready for enterprise-wide deployments.

How does this change support and community engagement?

The BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 Connect site has been created to log bugs with the BizTalk ESB Toolkit Team and to provide updates to additional tools over time. Once you log a bug, someone from the BizTalk ESB Toolkit team will respond to you within five days with an acknowledgment and status. Any future updates or tools will be provided through the Microsoft Download Center.

In addition, an ESB Toolkit Forum is provided on MSDN. These forums target online communities—in particular BizTalk MVPs and other BizTalk community lists. Best-effort assistance will be offered through a closely managed forum. That is, any fixes and responses to questions in the forums are best effort. We will continue to leverage the community to provide peer assistance, although with the capability of issuing fixes if necessary.

What’s new with the ESB Toolkit 2.0?

The BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 provides both architectural enhancements and new capabilities over the previous ESB Guidance 1.0. For more information, see SOA and Web Services section in the New Features in BizTalk 2009 Web page (rename will propagate soon …).

What does the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 provide?

The BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 provides key building blocks that are required for implementing a comprehensive service-oriented infrastructure (SOI) including:

  • Endpoint run-time discovery and virtualization.
    The service consumer does not need to be aware of the service provider location and endpoint details; a new or modified service provider can be added to the ESB, without interruptions to the service consumer.
  • Loosely coupled service composition.
    The service provider and service consumer do not need to be aware of service interaction style.
  • Dynamic message transformation and translation.
    The mapping definition between distinct message structure and semantics is resolved at run time.
  • Dynamic routing.
    Run-time content-based, itinerary-based, or context-based message routing.
  • Centralized exception management.
    Exception management framework, services, and infrastructure elements that make it possible to create, repair, resubmit, and compensate fault messages that service consumers or BizTalk components submit.
  • Quality of service.
    An asynchronous publish/subscribe engine resolves different levels of service availability and provides high availability, scalability, and message traceability for ESB implementations.
  • Protocol transformation.
    Providing the ability for service provider and service consumer to interact via different protocols including WS-* standards for Web Services. For example, a service provider can send an HTTP Web Service request, which will result in sending a message via the BizTalk SAP adapter.
  • Extensibility.
    Providing multiple extensibility points to extend functionality for endpoint discovery, message routing, and additional BizTalk Server adapters for run time and design time.

How to get started with the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0?