Microsoft updates its BizTalk integration server and services

Microsoft updates its BizTalk integration server and services

Summary: Microsoft has rolled out BizTalk Server 2013 R2 enterprise-integration server, along with a preview of its new BizTalk Services Hybrid Connections service.


Microsoft has updated its BizTalk Server and Services offerings.


BizTalk is Microsoft's integration server with an installed base of 12,000 customers, according to the company. The server includes more than 25 adapters for connecting systems inside and outside a customer's organization.

Earlier this month, Microsoft made available to customers BizTalk Server 2013 R2. The R2 release -- which follows on the heels of the BizTalk Server 2013 version which Microsoft rolled out in March 2013 -- adds support for Windows Server 2012 R2 (as well as Windows Server 2012), Windows 8.1 (along with Windows 7 SP1), SQL Server 2014 (and SQL Server 2012 SP1), and SharePoint 2013 SP1.

The R2 update includes other new features in the SB Messaging adapter, the HL7 Accelerator and more, which are listed on this MSDN page.

BizTalk Server 2013 R2 can run in the cloud in a virtual machine on Windows Server and/or connect to the cloud in a variety of ways, including via Azure BizTalk Services. Azure BizTalk Services allows users to build enterprise application integration (EAI), EDI (electronic data interchange) and B2B (business-to-business) apps and services on Azure.

At the TechEd 2014 conference last week, Microsoft officials unveiled a preview of a new feature of Azure BizTalk services known as Hybrid Connections. Hybrid Connections allows users to connect their Azure Web sites or mobile services to on-premises data, applications and services. It does so without requiring users to reconfigure their VPN gateways or opening firewall ports, according to the company.

The goal of Hybrid Connections is to make it appear that Azure users can access on-premises resources as if they were located on the same private network, and vice versa.

"Application admins thus have the flexibility to simply lift-and-shift specific most front-end tiers to Azure with minimal configuration changes, extending their enterprise apps for hybrid scenarios," according to the company's explanation.

As part of the Hybrid Connections preview, Microsoft also added a free tier of Azure BizTalk Services to allow customers to use Hybrid Connections for free. Microsoft moved to a per-core model with BizTalk Server 2013. Pricing is here for the four edititions of the 2012 R2 server.

Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Software, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • BizTalk still alive - needs better promotion

    We have heard very little on BizTalk, that I thought Microsoft had dropped this server. 12 000 users does not seem much for all the effort gone into this Business Integration Server over the years.

    Yet another great product that Microsoft loses interest in, and fails to market on its true potential.
  • 12,000 Corporate Accounts

    I suspect this number is corporate accounts and not indivudual "users" since this is an integration server. The number might be decent compared to others in this space. However, I agree, I thought this product was no longer offered because I haven't heard anything about it in some time.

    Mary, is this offered as an Azure service? Seems like it would be a natural fit as a cloud offering, possibly integrating on-site data with 3rd-party data in the cloud for analytics.