It's not often you see the Softies simplifying a product name rather than making it more complex. But it seems that's what the BizTalk integration server team is doing, rechristening the product formerly known as BizTalk Server 2009 R2 as "BizTalk Server 2010."
Given that the R2 (now 2010) release of BizTalk is due out in 2010, the new name makes a lot of sense. According to Microsoft Product Support blogger John Breakwell, who noted the new name on his MSDN blog on March 23. Microsoft also is adding a bunch of new capabilities to the BizTalk Server 2010 release, including:
- Enhanced trading partner management that will enable our customers to manage complex B2B relationships with ease
- Enhanced BizTalk Mapper functionality
- Secure data transfer across business partners with FTPS adapter
- Updated adapters for SAP 7, Oracle eBusiness Suite 12.1, SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2
- Improved via an updated System Center management pack
- Simplified management through single dashboard which enables IT Pros to backup and restore BizTalk configuration
- Enhanced performance tuning capabilities at Host and Host Instance level
- Out of box event filtering and delivery of RFID events
Breakwell also noted that with the renaming of the product, the support lifecycle clock gets a reset. He explained: "For BizTalk 2009 R2, the 5 and 10 year support bands would have started with the release of BizTalk Server 2009 "R1" so you would effectively lose a year. For BizTalk 2010, the support bands start from its release ... some time in 2010."
As I've written previously, BizTalk 2010 is a “minor” update that adds support for Visual Studio 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It is due to ship some time this year.
Microsoft also is readying has made available for download BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Service Pack (SP) 1, a beta of which is available now and the final release of which also is slated for some time in 2010. Further out (no release dates available, but I’d estimate 2011 at the very earliest), Microsoft is working on a new “major” version of BizTalk, which it is calling BizTalk Server vNext. This release will be built on top of Microsoft’s Windows AppFabric platform (Dublin app server plus Velocity caching technology).