Keeping up with Redmond's middleware roadmaps

A couple of Microsoft's "middleware" product teams -- Commerce Server and BizTalk Server -- have shared their roadmaps, as of late.

A couple of Microsoft's "middleware" product teams have shared their roadmaps, as of late.

On August 8, Microsoft officially christened the next standalone version of the Microsoft Commerce Server "Commerce Server 7." The team shared, at a high level, some of the features of the upcoming release, including: a managed commerce foundation (meaning the platform will become truly .Net-enabled, I guess); a multi-channel feature taking "the e-commerce experience beyond the Web medium" (whatever that means); and enhanced personalization, marketing and customer-interaction capabilities.

The delivery date target for Commerce Server 7 is 2010, the same year that Windows 7 is due to ship.

"The release of major Commerce Server product revisions will be aligned with major platform evolution waves encompassing Windows Server, SQL Server, .NET Framework, BizTalk Server, and other such dependencies; this philosophy is designed to prevent constant "big-bang" upgrade churn on a too frequent basis," the Softies explained.

In May, the Commerce Server team did that it planned to "add new features and functionally incrementally on an interim a la carte basis outside of major product revisions to deliver new value and enhance capabilities in a non-invasive manner to existing CS2007 deployments."

It sounds like like accelerators are the vehicle Microsoft will use to deliver these incremental updates. According to a statement from a Microsoft spokeswoman: "These accelerators will begin to be available in the second half of calendar year 2008 and will provide more integration options for Commerce Server 2007 (Dynamics/SharePoint, etc.) and vertical focused solutions."

Microsoft also announced partner Cactus Commerce will be working with Microsoft on enhancements, as well as future versions, of Commerce Server.

Meanwhile, the BizTalk Server team also updated its roadmap. BizTalk Server 2006 R2 is the next major update and is slated to ship in September 2007, according to the team.

New features include: "Rich integration with Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation through the WCF Adapter SDK and new Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) interceptors for WCF and WF which will enable you to leverage BAM functionality in non-BizTalk applications, updated support for the 2007 Office System (which includes an update adapter for SharePoint Server), and comprehensive RFID support," the team said.


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