Microsoft ready to pull trigger on BizTalk beta

Microsoft will release the first beta of BizTalk Server 2006 in the next two weeks

Microsoft will release the first beta of BizTalk Server 2006 in the next two weeks, a Microsoft product manager said Monday.

Microsoft had targeted summer 2005 as the time frame for the beta, and Steven Martin, group product manager for the business process and integration division, confirmed to the IDG News Service Tuesday that the beta would be ready within two weeks.

However, there has been some confusion over the actual release date of BizTalk Server 2006, the next version of Microsoft's business process and Web services integration software. Though some published reports have said BizTalk Server 2006 would ship upon its scheduled launch on Nov. 7, Martin said it actually will not be available until the first quarter of 2006.

Microsoft is launching BizTalk Server 2006 alongside SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005, both of which are expected to be ready for shipment at the Nov. 7 launch in San Francisco.

Though Microsoft never said it would actually ship BizTalk at the same time as the new versions of SQL Server and Visual Studio, launching it along with other products that will be available immediately caused some confusion, said one Microsoft partner and regional director.

"You're tagging BizTalk on to that, and if you look at the press, half of the articles out there said [Microsoft] is shipping it in November," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology for New York-based consulting company Citigate Hudson. "If that's not true, at the very least it's confusing, and perhaps it's also a bit misleading."

To further muddy the issue, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer seems to have missed the memo about BizTalk's expected ship date. During his keynote address Sunday at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Minneapolis, Ballmer listed BizTalk Server 2006 as one of the products Microsoft will ship this year.

Though the full release itself will not ship at the Nov. 7 launch, Microsoft will make available beta 2 of BizTalk Server 2006 at that time, Martin said.

With BizTalk Server 2006, Microsoft plans to provide support for SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and Virtual Server 2005. Additionally, there will be a BizTalk Server 2006 for systems with x86 processors with 64-bit extensions, as well as increased integration with SharePoint Services.

Brust said BizTalk also will include a new workflow engine that Microsoft probably will leverage across other infrastructure software. Microsoft also plans to simplify deployment and installation of the product, he said. "Setting up BizTalk Server is not the easiest thing in the world," Brust said.

Martin confirmed that the BizTalk group is working on a set of workflow technologies called Windows Workflow Services, but he would not say whether those services will be available in BizTalk Server 2006. He also confirmed that Microsoft will make deployment of BizTalk applications "quite a bit easier" with the next release.

Microsoft is notorious for constantly revising the launch and ship dates of its products and for setting unclear time frames for when products will actually be available. For example, the next version of the Windows desktop operating system, code-named Longhorn, originally was expected to be available this year but now is not slated to ship until the fourth quarter of 2006.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?