Yesterday I did a quick evaluation of the Beta 1 release of BizTalk Server 2006 R2, and thought I'd walk through the installation process and highlight some new things I noticed.
The Beta 1 release looks to be for early adopters only, so there is no "public" release at the moment. Hopefully there will be one in the Spring. Also please note that anything shown here is subject to change by Beta 2 or final release.
First, I walked through the standard installation.
Next I chose the components to install. You can see from my image below that there are additional EDI/AS2 components, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) bits, and additional BAM Eventing (new interceptors for both Windows Workflow and WCF).
After installing, I jumped right to configuration. As you can see here, not a whole lot of changes.
You will see additional configuration, however, for the new EDI/AS2 functionality.
Next I went through and installed the new BizTalk .NET adapters. These adapters allow you to ping various Line of Business (LOB) systems directly through .NET code without going through BizTalk.
Once everything was installed, I went to see if anything new showed up in the BizTalk Administration Console. First thing I saw was a new "Application" called BizTalk EDI Application. Inside, there were a couple of orchestrations, lots of schemas, ad a few pipelines.
Next I checked out the "Adapters" section and saw all the new WCF adapters available. Nice.
I read in one of the documents that the BAM Management tool had been upgraded, so I looked at the bm.exe command line tool to see what new options were available. You'll see below that there are now options to deal directly with interceptors. This will allow you to instrument your WF and WCF process to feed data directly into the common BAM infrastructure. I like it.
I wanted to see all the options available for the WCF adapters, so I went ahead and build a couple new receive locations. The first receive location uses the WCF - WSHttp adapter.
Then I built a WCF - Custom location. Check out all the various options below:
Finally, I jumped into Visual Studio.NET 2005 and kicked off the WCF Service Publishing Wizard. If you've ever used the standard Web Services Publishing Wizard, then you'd be fairly familiar with this one.
In future posts I'll dig more into how to actually use all these great new functions. Some folks are already digging into the functionality, like my buddy Jesus Rodriguez who has a post on Invoking TCP-Hosted WCF Services using BizTalk Server R2.
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