Microsoft Issues BizTalk Beta

SAN MATEO (08/14/2000) - BizTalk Server 2000 was released as a public beta on Monday. BizTalk is Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.'s e-commerce software that is built for Internet-based business solutions, such as enterprise application integration, and a member of the .NET Enterprise Server family.

Microsoft said this beta is the first time that the public will get to see the orchestration tool that Microsoft first discussed in June at TechEd, in Orlando, Fla.

Orchestration is a key piece of BizTalk that is designed for creating and managing complex business processes that span multiple applications, platforms, services, and organizations.

The other key component of BizTalk is the integration piece, which consists of administration, mapping, document tracking, and management tools.

"The goal of all these tools is to make [BizTalk] accessible to people other than developers," said David Wascha, Microsoft's product manager for BizTalk Server.

The BizTalk Management Desk, for example, has a wizard that walks users through the building of trading partner relations, without the user having to write any code.

Microsoft is also working on gaining the support of third-party systems integrators, solutions providers, and ASPs (application service providers). The software giant, for instance, is working on an agreement with Andersen Consulting in Chicago.

"Shortly, we'll be announcing a deal with them similar to the KPMG deal," Wascha said.

In July, Microsoft and KPMG Consulting, in McLean, Va., announced a partnership to deliver Dot.Ramp, which helps buyers and sellers connect to business-to-business marketplaces.

Microsoft said the final version of BizTalk Server will be available later this year.

The beta is available for download at

Tom Sullivan is a senior writer at InfoWorld.

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