Yesterday Microsoft publicly announced the plans for BizTalk Server vNext, which is going to be BizTalk Server 2010 R2. When Microsoft postfix "R2" on top of existing version, most of the times it implies platform alignment and more of evolutionary changes to the product. Things like Windows, SQL, Visual Studio alignment, performance improvements, rollup of all the bug fixes, and some future alignments like cloud etc.
||Ready for the Cloud
New Platforms and Infrastructure
- Windows Server 8*
- SQL Server 2012*
Increased Developer and IT Productivity
- Visual Studio 11* and Windows 8* to develop solutions
- In-place migration from BizTalk Server 2010
Extended Platform Integration
- DB2 client connectivity to SQL Server,
conversion of commands to T-SQL,
migration of packages to stored procedures
- Adapter connectivity to new data sources, including IBM Informix V11 and IBM IMS/DB V11
Agile Alignment to Industry Standards
- Regular updates to schemas, accelerators certifications and adapters. Highlights include:
- Healthcare: HIPPA 5010 extensions: 2777CA, 999, HL7 2.5.1
- Finance: SWIFT SRG 2011 support, SWIFT SRG 2012, SWIFTNet 7.0 (new messaging platform)
Improved Performance and Scalability
- HL7 MLLP adapter performance improvements
- Better performance with ordered send ports
- Enhanced scale out configuration with multiple hosts
- Expanded adapter options for faster batch processing
Extend on-premises solutions to the cloud
- Easily extend your on-premises BizTalk Server solution to the cloud in a secure manner
- Tighter integration of on-premises BizTalk Server applications with Windows Azure Service Bus
- Adjustments to licensing that are geared towards cloud hosting, including:
- Purchase from a hoster on a monthly basis (SPLA)
- Register your existing license with a hoster (License Mobility)
If you notice the above table carefully there is no mention of any improvements on the BizTalk Server Administration/Monitoring/Operation side of things. We can't see any overlap in terms of functionalities we are concentrating here at BizTalk360.
We clearly understand from Microsoft point of view they got so many big things to worry about. Cloud is the one important area where they need to focus at the moment. They wanted to make it as seamless as possible for on-premise-cloud integration story. They also need to worry about mandatory swifts like Windows 8, SQL 2012, Visual Studio 2011. Whether they like it or not, they are forced to implement those changes. Another areas is industry standard alignment like HIPAA, HL7, SWIFT etc, that's a constantly improving area and with the 2 years (roughly) release cycle, they need to use the opportunity to bring them inline.
Licensing changes for me looks like more dramatic, they are heading towards subscription based model. It's advantage both for customers and for Microsoft. From customer point of view they can reduce the huge upfront investment, from Microsoft point of view they got a predictable constant revenue stream.
Why customers should buy BizTalk360:
Microsoft announced, the release date for BizTalk 2010 R2 will be 6 months after the release of Windows Server 8. There is no public official release date for Windows Server 8, we predict it could be Q2 of 2012. So BTS 2010 R2 is likely to hit the shelves by end of 2012 if things goes as planned.
Here at BizTalk360 we are solely focused on one important task "A world class support/monitoring/operations tool for BizTalk Server", we don't have too much pressure like Microsoft to cover up the ground on areas outside this boundary.
We got exciting plans for 2012, as we blogged before, we don't work on a long term road map. We feel that's our strength, we can be more agile and bring more frequent updates (3-4 months cycle) to the product from constant customer feedback. Being small and focused on one specific problem area helps us to keep that goal alive.
Our next big release is on Jan 2012, which includes some of the cool functionalities like graphical message flow viewer, sms/text alerting capabilities etc. We are also working on one big area functionality for the January release, public announcement will be made just after Christmas.
We already know what's going to come for our vNext, i.e April 2012 (version 3.5). We also commit ourselves to support BizTalk Server 2010 R2, 3-4 months after it's release.
BizTalk360 will bring lot of value for existing BizTalk Server customers and any future customers, take a look at the product tour for yourselves and see what we have done.