Microsoft BizTalk gets virtualization links

Pairing with Windows Server 2008 cited; company also adds RFID to mobile clients

Microsoft will offer on Monday the first public beta release of its BizTalk Server 2009 enterprise connectivity software, which can take advantage of virtualization and enhanced failover clustering featured in Windows Server 2008.

Virtualization is enabled by Windows Server 2008's Hyper-V virtualization. "You can now start running as many instances of BizTalk Server that you want," said Burley Kawasaki, Microsoft director of product management for developer platform marketing.

Clustering capabilities let BizTalk be deployed in multi-site clustering environments without additional software or hardware.

The product offers scalability and reliability through its support of Microsoft's SQL Server 2008 database, Microsoft said.

"Part of the big focus of the release was building on top of the server infrastructure, and that really provides a lot of benefits," in terms of leveraging hardware, Kawasaki said.

Integration with Microsoft Visual Studio's Team System and Team Foundation Server application lifecycle management components enable application of BizTalk models around such processes as source code management and testing.

BizTalk Server also can connect with Oracle's E-Business Suite. Support by BizTalk is being extended to the most recent versions of IBM's CICS, IMS, and members of the IBM DB2 database line. The general release of BizTalk Server 2009 is due in the first half of 2009.

The BizTalk upgrade also features documentation for deploying enterprise service buses. Microsoft views an ESB as "a way for loosely coupling systems that need to talk to each other," Kawasaki said.

Also with BizTalk Server 2009, core components have been updated to support Microsoft's Windows Communication Foundation, which is a programming model for building service-oriented applications.

Microsoft on Monday also is announcing availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile, which extends BizTalk RFID capabilities to Windows Mobile and Windows CE systems. A device with a mobile reader could be used as part of an RFID system.

The company also is releasing BizTalk RFID Standards Pack, which supports the TDT (Tag Data Translator) standard and LLRP (Low Level Reader Protocol). TDT can enable translation of one representation of TDT data to another representation. LLRP can enable host to reader communication in a standard way, according to a Microsoft representative.

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