This week I returned to my home state of Texas to attend the Worldwide Partner Conference.  Returning to my home state didn’t get me back to speaking in my southern-drawl, but it did get me speaking with partners about something we are both excited about.  The news may not be as big as the state of Texas (but what is?); however, the BizTalk Adapter Pack 2.0 is far from a Rhode Island sized announcement. 

So what is it?  The BizTalk Adapter Pack is a separate SKU from the rest of the BizTalk Server family of products.  It continues to simplify the ways that customers and partners can connect to line-of-business systems (LOBs).  Generally speaking, when developers want to build an application that draws information from an LOB, they use a message broker technology with an application adapter or they write directly to the LOB APIs.  Neither is particularly productive especially in simple scenarios.  The BizTalk Adapter pack changes this by giving developers simple technology to connect directly to the LOB system without using a heavy mid-tier server.

What’s new in V2?  Specifically in the V2, we are delivering new adapters for the Oracle E-Business Suite and SQL Server. This builds on existing functionality from first version, which RTM’d a few months ago, and includes adapters for SAP R/3, Siebel and Oracle DBMS.  A key value for partners is the WCF LOB Adapter SDK (available as a free download from MSDN) on which Microsoft has built the Adapter Pack.  The SDK enables a platform that makes Adapter development much easier by providing support for key capabilities (like Metadata browse & search and connection pooling) out of the box.  

Overall, the BizTalk Adapter Pack is another demonstration of Microsoft’s long term commitment to interoperability. Customers choose how they want to connect application platforms and people, and we provide them with the tools.