Today at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver, we announced that BizTalk Server 2006 R2, is set to launch in September of this year!  We also gave details on pricing, licensing and SKUs— all the details can be found here—but here are the important points I want to highlight today (all available with BizTalk Server 2006 R2):

 

·         The New Branch Edition: Intra-organizational connectivity (hub / spoke)  is an important scenario for a number of customers – especially those in manufacturing and retail industries.  Our new Branch Edition of BizTalk Server will significantly reduce the cost and complexity associated with connecting applications that are distributed across multiple locations that are often geographically diverse.   Branch Edition includes Microsoft’s RFID functionality enabling customers to manage devices and capture RFID events.  This functionality combined with the robust supply-chain functionality in BizTalk Server, Enterprise Edition, empowers customers to quickly build an end to end supply chain solution that covers RFID, EDI and integrates with backend applications. 

·         SOA & Business Process Pack: An offering that includes key technologies and guidance for creating a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): BizTalk Server 2006 R2, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS), SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio Team System as well as OBA guidance. The SOA & Business Process Pack represents the products that customers most frequently purchase together when starting SOA and BPM projects.  The Pack, along with additional guidance from Microsoft will allow new customers and new projects to get started more easily.

·         ISV Embedded Licensing: This will make the build vs. buy decision that ISVs face today easier. The new embedded licensing, enables partners to build upon BizTalk and focus on higher level capabilities.

 

So what does this mean for both existing customers and organizations who want to improve the interaction with their global value chain? Every organization—no matter what the size--needs business processes. Most would tell you they’re always looking to make it easier to connect to their customers, suppliers and systems within their own organization. These three announcements underline our commitment to make this a reality for our customers and opens a new wave of opportunities for partners.