We are super excited to announce the Beta release of BizTalk Server 2013 (yes, this is a major release). We announced our CTP in August and since then we have added a bunch of really cool capabilities, including SFTP support, ESBT integration, better SharePoint integration, and simplified manageability via dependency tracking in BizTalk Admin console.

We enabled a bunch of integration capabilities in CTP, and with the Beta release it just got better. You can now download the Beta bits here. All these capabilities will be available in Windows Azure Virtual Machine platform gallery soon. This beta release of BizTalk Server 2013 includes the beta version of new HIS capabilities as well.

Following is a quick overview of the capabilities in BizTalk Server 2013 Beta, including the ones that have been added since CTP

  • Integration with Cloud Services – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta includes new out-of-the box adapters to send and receive messages from Windows Azure Service Bus. It also provides capabilities to transfer messages to relay endpoints hosted on Azure.
  • RESTful services – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta provides adapters to invoke REST endpoints as well as expose BizTalk Server artifacts as a RESTful service.
  • Enhanced SharePoint adapter – Integrating with SharePoint using BizTalk Server 2013 Beta is now as simple as integrating with a file share. We have removed the need for dependency on SharePoint farms, while still providing backward compatibility.
  • SFTP adapter – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta enables sending and receiving messages from an SFTP server.
  • ESB Toolkit integration – With BizTalk Server 2013 Beta, ESB Toolkit is now fully integrated with BizTalk Server. Also, the ESB Toolkit configuration experience is vastly simplified to enable a quick setup.
  • Dependency tracking  - The dependencies between artifacts can now be viewed and navigated in Admin console
  • Improvements in dynamic send ports – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta provides the ability to set host handler per adapter, instead of always using the default send handler of the adapters.
  • XslCompiledTransform – BizTalk Server mapping engine makes use of XslTransform API for mapping needs. With BizTalk Server 2013 Beta release, the mapping engine makes use of the enhanced XslCompiledTransform API. This will provide improvements in mapping engine performance.
  • Ordered Send Port improvements – With BizTalk Server 2013 release, we have made changes to the BizTalk runtime engine which increases the performance of ordered send port scenarios.
  • BAM Alerts update – In previous releases of BizTalk Server, BAM Alerts feature had a dependency on SSNS (SQL Server Notification Services). With the current release of SQL Server (SQL Server 2012), SSNS is no longer available. However, we have made sure your existing BAM Alerts scenario work just the same even if your backend is targeting SQL Server 2012. If your backend is SQL Server 2008 R2, you will continue to require the dependency on SSNS.

In HIS 2013 Beta, we have made significant improvements in the following areas:

  • Data Integration – New OLE DB Provider for Informix and new Service for DB2 DRDA.
  • Application Integration – New Transaction Integrator runtime and web configuration-based administration and deployment.
  • Network Integration – New 3270 emulator and improved Session Integrator, both with direct TN3270 connectivity.
  • Platform Support – Support for Window Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, SQL Server 2012, BizTalk 2013 and new IBM Systems.

Over and above these, BizTalk Server 2013 Beta continues to enable integration solutions with heterogeneous Line-of-business systems. It helps you optimize user productivity, gain business efficiency and increase agility. BizTalk Server 2013 Beta allows .Net developers to take advantage of BizTalk capabilities right out of the box to rapidly build solutions that need to integrate transactions and data from applications like SAP, Mainframes, MS Dynamics, and Oracle. Similarly SharePoint developers can seamlessly use BizTalk capabilities directly through the new Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint.

You can use the following resources to get started

  • Download BizTalk Server 2013 Beta – click here
  • BizTalk Server 2013 Beta documentation – click here