Microsoft today announced the general availability of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2.
Last week, Microsoft held its Microsoft Management Summit 2007 in San Diego and Mary Jo Foley, Omar van der Hoeven, and Maarten Goet have details and summaries of the high points. Key items related to Microsoft product plans:
Also related, Microsoft with a group of other tech companies have submitted their Service Modeling Language specification to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for review as an industrywide standard.
At the Gartner Business Process Management Summit, Microsoft Corp. today announced the formation of the Microsoft Business Process Alliance (BPA), which extends the benefits of business process management (BPM) to an array of companies and offers enhanced functionality to existing Microsoft customers. The Business Process Alliance is a group of 10 industry-leading software vendors focused on making BPM solutions more broadly accessible and helping companies take advantage of BPM tools based on the Microsoft® platform. Through this alliance, a broad range of customers will benefit from a powerful set of end-to-end tools for automating and optimizing business processes. The initial members of the BPA are AmberPoint, Ascentn, IDS Scheer, Fair Isaac, Global360, InRule, Metastorm, PNMsoft, RuleBurst and SourceCode Technology Holdings Inc. Microsoft also announced enhancements to its Windows® Workflow Foundation technology in the .NET Framework 3.0, adding support for the upcoming BPEL 2.0 standard and further providing capabilities and tools for developers and independent software vendors building BPEL-enabled workflow applications.
Microsoft also announced a road map for the adoption of the BPEL 2.0 standard in Windows Workflow Foundation to help drive industry interoperability and drive greater mainstream adoption of BPEL-enabled workflow applications. Microsoft will enable further integration between Windows Workflow Foundation and its BizTalk® Server product as part of the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 release, which will be generally available in the third quarter of 2007.
The roadmap for BPEL incoporation in Workflow comes from Microsoft’s Paul Andrew:
In March 2007 Microsoft plans to release a CTP of a set of BPEL activities for Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). This will be called BPEL for Windows Workflow Foundation March CTP and the CTP release will implement the BPEL 1.1 specification. The final release of BPEL for Windows Workflow Foundation will implement the OASIS BPEL 2.0 standard and is planned for release in Q4 of calendar year 2007.
The download will be separate from the .NET Framework and it will be required for developing BPEL based workflows in Visual Studio. The same download will provide runtime operations for executing BPEL based workflows.
The next major version of BizTalk Server will be built on Windows Workflow Foundation. This was announced back when Windows Workflow Foundation was first disclosed in September 2005. BizTalk Server will be able to take advantage of these BPEL activities at that time to also allow for BPEL 2.0 support. At that time both Windows Workflow Foundation and BizTalk Server will support BPEL 2.0.
Since this isn’t completely obvious, here’s the net:
What I haven’t mentioned is the role of Windows SharePoint Services and Office SharePoint Server 2007 which are both based on Workflow. For information on that I recommend David Chappell’s document,”Microsoft and BPM: A Technology Overview,” which is available on the Microsoft BPM web site.
A variety of Microsoft news items that didn’t find a post of their own this week:
Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reports that newly appointed Microsoft SVP Jon DeVaan is wasting no time reorganizing the Windows Core Operating System Division for building the successor to Vista (codenamed “Fiji”). The changes don’t take effect until Vista gets out the door though.
In other personnel news, Rick Devenuti, senior vice president of Microsoft Services and IT, is retiring. Devenuti oversaw Microsoft’s managed services effort. Also WSO2 hires mash-up master from Microsoft. The master is Jonathan Marsh and WSO2 is a startup founded by ex-IBMer Sanjiva Weerawarana that sells support and products for the Apache Axis Web services tools.
Steve Ballmer’s Business Week interview also produced the revelation that Microsoft is not losing money on each Zune sold although he would have liked it better if Apple had kept the price of the comparable iPod at $299. This is directly contrary to previous Microsoft statements.
Microsoft’s Internet Protocol television (IPTV) efforts received a big boost from hardware vendors Tuesday, after Cisco, Motorola, Philips and Tatung all announced new set-top boxes that support Microsoft IPTV Edition software.
Some Belgian newspapers not only don’t want to be indexed by Google, they’re complaining to MSN too. I’m being facetious, of course. What they really want is a cut off the top. In other legal news, Microsoft is trying to get the lead opposition lawyer in the Iowa antitrust cased removed.
The Microsoft OpenDocument Format plugin for Microsoft Word will be released October 23. You’ll recall that this saves Microsoft’s bacon with some customers demanding open document formatting standards.
Microsoft continues to offer more assistance for businesses willing to build infrastructure with Microsoft Office as a front end:
With the release of Office Business Applications (OBA) Reference Application Pack (RAP) this week, Microsoft in essence is acknowledging that they are on to something big in the enterprise market.
Microsoft is calling this the second generation of OBA and is in response to wide acceptance of the first generation.
Like Duet, a product partnership with SAP that offers up the Office suite of products as a standard interface for SAP backend applications, OBA RAP will do the same, but this time not tied to any vendor’s backend system.
Josh Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting, said that OBA is significant because Office is certainly one of the better interfaces around for knowledge workers.
The release of the OBA reference for building the front end to a supply chain management system will demonstrate that a company can build a procurement process with a combination of Outlook, Word, and Excel and do everything they want, said Greenbaum.
Windows CE is wide open to attack compared to desktop Windows according to a security researcher at Kaspersky Labs. Bound to happen.