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Microsoft Releases Beta of BizTalk Server 2013

The connectivity server will be available via Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud or on-premises as a server.

Microsoft has released the beta version of BizTalk Server 2013, which adds support for Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012.

The company is also promising transaction integration with solutions from Oracle, SAP and its own Dynamics and SharePoint technologies. Developers can leverage BizTalk through SharePoint's Business Connectivity Services capability. Microsoft added a "new OLE DB provider for Informix and new Service for [IBM's] DB2 DRDA [distributed relational database architecture]," according to this Microsoft blog.

Information about Microsoft's integration and connectivity server has been sporadic. Previously, the company released a community technology preview of BizTalk Server 2010 R2, the current flagship product, for its Technology Adoption Program customers.

Microsoft said it plans to release the final BizTalk Server 2013 product six months after Windows 8, or in late April, but the product release date may have slipped. A Microsoft spokesperson told veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley that BizTalk 2013 "will be available in the second half of calendar 2013."

For now, testers can get their hands on the beta at this Microsoft Download Center page.

The release notes for BizTalk 2013 indicate that the solution will be available via Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud or on-premises as a server. The on-premises BizTalk Server 2013 product will have adapters that will enable BizTalk Server applications to connect with Windows Azure.

Microsoft made some adjustments as to how business activity monitoring (BAM) alerts are supported in BizTalk Server 2013 when working with newer server products. BAM alerts previously depended on using SQL Server Notification Services. However, SQL Server Notification Services won't be available in SQL Server 2012, Microsoft's current flagship relational database management system. Consequently, the Microsoft engineering team made sure that BAM works without Notification Services in BizTalk 2013. However, organizations using the older SQL Server 2008 R2 technology with BizTalk 2013 will still need to tap Notification Services.

BizTalk Server 2013 will arrive with an alphabet-soup-like roster of improvements. Users can invoke REST endpoints. Messages can be sent and received via secure FTP servers. The ESB Toolkit is now integrated with the server, among other enhancements.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.

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