This morning Microsoft announced the availability of the sixth edition of BizTalk Server, BizTalk Server 2009.  This release includes support in four major areas; 1) support for mobile RFID devices, 2) support of the most current Windows technology (including WinSrvr2008, SQL2008, VS2008, VSTS2008 & .NET Frwk 3.5 SP1), 3) improved application lifecycle management (ALM) support of VSTS 2008 & TFS 2008, and 4) improved application connectivity with new WCF-based adapters for SAP, Oracle & Siebel.

Two other areas that might not get as much visibility, but are important to a large number of our customers (RFID and host connectivity) also saw some significant enhancements.  RFID is getting a new SKU (RFID Enterprise) to specifically support high availability and failover solutions.  In the host connectivity area (formerly know as Host Integration Server or HIS) this latest release includes support for DB2 v9 & Websphere MQ v7, a new WCF Channel for Websphere MQ, as well as full support for Hyper V in Windows Server 2008.

As can be seen from the notes above, this release is focused on improving business processes by increasing the number of systems it connects to "out of the box", by fully supporting the latest releases of Microsoft's Windows platform and by reducing total cost of operations with support of technologies such as WCF and Hyper-V.  More information on this announcement can be found here.