If you are interested in using BizTalk Server with the launch wave of 2008 products like the latest .NET Framework, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, you will need to wait just a little longer. BizTalk Server 2006 R3 will be following just after the 2008 wave of releases. This updated version of BizTalk Server will be designed for the latest versions of Windows Server, the .NET Framework, Visual Studio, and SQL Server.

Along with support for the 2008 wave of products, the product team is looking to give more updates on specific features in the coming months. They are planning some new investments in the release that includes:

  • New web service registry capabilities with support for UDDI (Universal Description Discovery and Integration) version 3.0
  • Enhanced service enablement of applications (through new and enhanced adapters for LOB applications, databases, and legacy/host systems)
  • Enhanced service enablement of “edge” devices through BizTalk RFID Mobile
  • Enhanced interoperability and connectivity support for B2B protocols (like SWIFT, EDI, etc)
  • SOA patterns and best practices guidance to assist our customer’s implementations

The news features are very exciting. The product team is currently working to ensure existing BizTalk Server (BTS) applications continue to work without changes. They are taking an incremental approach and limiting the changes to the items listed above. This release build will be on existing bits, so the name of this will be BizTalk Server 2006 R3. Refreshing the bits (instead of applying a large Service Pack) provides for the best update experience.

The product team tells us that we should expect to see a CTP of BizTalk Server 2006 R3 later this year (with an RTM planned in H1 CY09).

If you would like to read more, check out Steve Martin's blog at Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Simple Middleware - Steven Martin, CSD Product Management