Today, we announced updated plans for the next major version of BizTalk Server. We launched the first version of BizTalk Server back in 2000.  Eight years later, we’ve seen our installed base grow to 8,200 customers making it the most widely deployed solution for enterprise connectivity in heterogeneous environments. We’re hearing from our customers that BizTalk has become a core part of their infrastructure, running mission critical applications. Our partners (over 1500 of them) tell us that the applications and adapters they build for BizTalk have become a significant part of their business. This positive feedback is our greatest reward.

 

We’re excited to offer more details on the next version of BizTalk Server—now dubbed BizTalk Server 2009 to reflect the full release that it is. Initially, We disclosed this as BizTalk Server 2006 R3, but it has so many exciting new features that it deserves a to be referenced as a full release.  BizTalk Server 2009 will focus on a few key areas; as always, these areas are determined based on what customers have told us are their priorities. They are platform support, SOA and Web Services, B2B integration and developer productivity. In particular, the platform updates enable greater scalability and reliability, new Hyper-V virtualization support, and many advances in the latest developer tools.

 

I should also note that we’re still on track for the final release of BizTalk Server 2009 in 1H of CY2009. For all the features and details, go here or to PressPass.

 

We’ve actually already delivered a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) to select customers and we’re getting great feedback! The next CTP update is coming sometime in Q4 of CY08.  We’ll use this broad feedback from customers and partners to help us validate the features and readiness of the product.

 

Looking into the future, the goal is to continue to provide a BizTalk Server release approximately every two years, plus additional interim releases of service packs as appropriate.  At each milestone, we will take advantage of as much platform technology as is reasonable and consumable by our customers and will take advantage of updates to .NET, Visual Studio, Windows Server and SQL. 

 

We’re also hearing from many of our BizTalk customers that they’re beginning to accelerate the development of more complex composite applications. As you know, one of our missions with “Oslo” is to simplify the development/deployment/management of composite applications through a model-driven approach to the application lifecycle. We see our BizTalk customers benefitting from Oslo’s core technologies, and are committed to providing choice, flexibility and a clear integration path for those who are interested in taking advantage.