Microsoft is today expected to release what promises to be the first, and possibly only, beta for its next BizTalk Server ahead of final release next year.
The company will release a BizTalk Server 2009 "feature complete" beta, with support for Microsoft's HyperV virtualization hypervisor and fail-over clustering.
For developers, the beta will integrate with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2008, so artifacts like process maps can be treated as models and code, with code control and tracking.
Adaptors to SAP and Oracle eBusiness suite, meanwhile, have been exposed as web services in Microsoft's Windows Communications Foundation (WCF), so there's less need for special knowledge of how to work with, or integrate, the adapters in to your systems. The eBusiness Suite adapter is a completely new addition to BizTalk Server.
Burley Kawasaki, director of product management with Microsoft's developer platform, told The Reg Microsoft is "very bullish and excited" about the beta.
Any changes will be made - as ever - as a result of feedback. The server is scheduled for release in the first half of 2009, though, and given Microsoft is on a clip to get this out the door, the chances of another beta are slight unless there's a significant problem.
Kawasaki stressed the beta means Microsoft is delivering its first customer preview in a "multirelease" road map that was announced in September this year.
Among the features already baked in are support for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 SP1, SQL Server 2008, and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. There's also updated support for the latest editions of IBM's Customer Information Control System (CICS), Information Management System (IMS), DB2, DB2/400, DB2 Universal Database, and WebSphere MQ.
Microsoft is also today expected to announce the BizTalk RFID Mobile and the BizTalk RFID Standards Pack. The mobile pack brings RFID data scanning, collection and upload capabilities to mobile devices running Microsoft's Windows CE and Windows Mobile. The standards pack supports Tag Data Translation (TDT) and Low Level Reader Protocol (LLRP). ®