In my new role as BizTalk support engineer, I'm just picking up the easier problems to avoid drowning too early. One of the first requests was information about upgrading BizTalk Server 2006 (which I'll call "R1" for convenience) to BizTalk Server 2006 R2. I thought I would share my findings in case others are looking at the same upgrade with apprehension.

 

First you need to see how R2 fits into the scheme of things:

BizTalk Roadmap

From the roadmap we can see that R1 is "where we were" and R2 is "where we are now" so the upgrade will bring your BizTalk systems up to date. Note that BizTalk Server 2009 - once known as "R3" - is "where we are going" so you need to factor in the option to wait until next year and upgrading straight form R1 to R3. As BizTalk Server 2009 is still in beta, I won't discuss that upgrade path further.

 

Upgrading to R2 is similar to applying a service pack and a feature pack - various hotfixes will be applied and extra functionality added. A full list of new features can be found here:

New Features in BizTalk Server 2006 R2

 

To prepare for the upgrade, you can download the documentation in advance from this download page:

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Installation and Upgrade Guides

and specifically the "Upgrading to BizTalk Server 2006 R2 from BizTalk Server 2006" document. From here are the supported upgrade scenarios:

BizTalk Server 2006 Editions

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Evaluation Edition

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Branch Edition

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Developer Edition

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Standard Edition

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Enterprise Edition

Evaluation

No

No

No

No

Yes

Developer

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Standard

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Enterprise

No

No

No

No

Yes

Note - for upgrading from one edition to another, only the path to Enterprise Edition is fully tested and supported by Microsoft.

Note - there is no edition downgrade path (for example, from Enterprise to Standard)

 

The document's Overview lists the upgrade process:

  • Ensures that the software prerequisites are met
  • Upgrades prerequisite components included in the CAB file
  • Ensures that no BizTalk Server services are running
  • Upgrades Enterprise Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Upgrades the BizTalk Server databases
  • Uninstalls BizTalk Server 2006
    • All BizTalk Server 2006 file and registry entries are removed.
    • All configuration information and Base EDI schemas are preserved.
  • Installs BizTalk Server 2006 R2
  • Maps the BizTalk Server 2006 configuration to the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 configuration

It is important to note that ALL the BizTalk services must be stopped. As you can see, the Biztalk server databases are modified which will prevent any pre-R2 servers from accessing them. All the BizTalk servers must be upgraded together before the BizTalk applications can be restarted. It is not possible to have a mixed R1/R2 environment. Needless to say, you cannot move BizTalk Server databases from R1 servers to R2 servers and expect it to work - the databases need to be upgraded by BizTalk Server 2006 R2 setup.

Another note is that the upgrade only affects components that are already installed. New components will not be automatically added - you will instead need to run setup again afterwards to modify the R2 installation.

 

There is also good documentation on MSDN:

Quick Start Guide to Installing and Configuring BizTalk Server 2006

Don't be confused by the title - this is R2 documentation. You can work this out by looking at the contents tree on the left where all versions apart from R1 are listed. Basically all R1 documentation has been replaced with R2 content. I wouldn't call that ideal but at least you have the documentation that comes with the product. Talking of documentation, here are the lastest updates you may wish to download to bring your local content up to date:

 

What about any known problems? The upgrade document mentioned above has a couple:

  • EDI/AS2 Status Reporting Will Not Work After an Upgrade if the BAM Tools Are Not Configured
  • Reinstalling the HIPAA 3.3 Accelerator Requires You to Apply a Package Transform

There are also a few Blog posts that cover people's experiences:

One I've found is to do with renaming the BizTalk group name. If this has been done then the Upgrade will fail. The only workaround is to rename the group back to the default of "BizTalk Group".

Custom applications will need to be thoroughly tested as the .NET Framework may be updated to 3.0 in the upgrade to R2 but only if you choose BizTalk RFID, WCF adapter or WCF administration tools during setup. The Quick Start Guide does shows the contents of the CAB file that is used as a pre-req pack for Windows 2003 Server:

  • Office Web Components
  • Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8 SP1
  • Microsoft XML Core Services (MSXML) 3.0 SP7
  • MSXML 6.0
  • SQLXML 3.0 SP3
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (New to R2)
  • ADOMD.NET 8.0
  • ADOMD.Net-KB893091-v8.00.0991-x86.EXE
  • ADOMD.NET 9.0

 

And finally touching on licensing:

Pricing and Licensing FAQ

Look for "How do customers license an upgrade from BizTalk Server 2006 to BizTalk Server 2006 R2?"

To upgrade from BizTalk Server 2006 to BizTalk Server 2006 R2, you need to acquire Microsoft Software Assurance for BizTalk Server 2006. Acquiring Software Assurance for BizTalk Server 2006 will ensure you receive BizTalk Server 2006 R2 at no additional cost. Otherwise, customers will pay full price for BizTalk Server 2006 R2 if they want to upgrade. Microsoft recommends covering all of your server products with Software Assurance. Customers with coverage enjoy comprehensive technology protection, predictable budgeting, and the ability to upgrade without the need to make additional purchases. In addition, Software Assurance provides additional technical support, training, and tools to help customers deploy and administer their solutions. A detailed overview of Software Assurance benefits can be found at Microsoft Volume Licensing Software Assurance.