Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 app-integration server available to testers

Microsoft's first technology previews of its enterprise-integration servers -- BizTalk 2016 and Host Integration Server 2016 -- are available to testers.

Late last year, Microsoft published a roadmap for its cloud and server integration products, featuring BizTalk Server 2016. As promised on that roadmap, the first technology preview of BizTalk Server 2016 is now available to testers.

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March 30 was the day that Microsoft announced availability of BizTalk Server 2016 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1.

There's quite a bit new in the coming BizTalk Server release. In CTP1, testers get support for Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 -- both of which are still in preview themselves. Windows Server 2016, the fifth technology preview of which is due soon, is expected to be generally available in Q3 2016, SQL Server 2016, currently in its fourth and final public release candidate state, is likely to be released to manufacturing very soon.

BizTalk Server 2016 also adds support for Office 2016 and Visual Studio 2015. BizTalk Server Azure virtual machines are fully supported for production environments with this release. SHA-2 has functions are supported, as well.

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Microsoft also simultaneously made available CTP1 of its related Host Integration Server product. Host Integration Server 2016 adds support for BizTalk Server 2016, Windows Server 2016, SQL Server 2016 and Windows 10.

Here's an initial list of some of what's coming in BizTalk Server 2016. And here's the feature list for Host Integration Server 2016.

According to Microsoft's documentation, both BizTalk 2016 and HIS 2016 will be generally available this Fall. At this point, it seems these products are on track, as Microsoft's integration roadmap from last year indicated BizTalk 2016 would be out in the fourth calendar quarter of 2016.

The Microsoft Integrate 2016 event, which will focus heavily on these and other on-premises and cloud-integration products, is happening in mid-May in London.

On the cloud side of its integration server/services house, Microsoft is taking a microservices approach with Azure BizTalk Services.