Microsoft today announced the general availability of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2.
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.
There are still developers protesting Microsoft’s renaming of WinFX as .NET 3.0, but it is proceeding in step with Windows Vista and Release Candidate 1 was released last week and can be downloaded here:
The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly known as WinFX), is the new managed code programming model for Windows. It combines the power of the .NET Framework 2.0 with new technologies for building applications that have visually compelling user experiences, seamless communication across technology boundaries, and the ability to support a wide range of business processes. These new technologies are Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, and Windows CardSpace (formerly code named “Infocard”). Microsoft plans to ship .NET Framework 3.0 as part of the Windows Vista operating system. In addition, Microsoft is making these technologies available on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The following Community Technology Preview of .NET Framework 3.0 enables you to continue experimenting with early builds of these technologies, get acquainted with the development experience, and provide feedback to Microsoft.
Please note that the License Agreement in this pre-release version of the .NET Framework v3.0 does not allow usage in a live operating environment. Information about Go-Live possibilities can be found here.
This release supports Visual Studio 2005 RTM and is compatible with 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 Technical Refresh.
I suppose I should update my categories – I’m still calling them Avalon, Indigo, and Infocard. Also to get up to speed, there’s David Chappell’s new MSDN paper, Introducing the .NET Framework 3.0.
Paul Krill at InfoWorld:
Microsoft has re-branded its WinFX technologies as .Net Framework 3.0 to clarify the naming convention for its developer framework, company representatives said on Friday.
.Net Framework 3.0 is planned for inclusion in Windows Vista, due out in early 2007. The framework features the Windows Communication Foundation Web services platform; the Windows Presentation Foundation presentation layer technology; Windows Workflow, for workflow; and the newly renamed Windows CardSpace, for identity management. CardSpace had been code-named InfoCard. Current .Net Framework 2.0 technologies, such as the CLR (Common Language Runtime), also are part of .Net Framework 3.0
“The .Net Framework has always been at the core of WinFX, but the WinFX brand didn’t convey this,” said S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division, in his blog.
The Somasegar post is here and makes it clear that it is a name change only for all the .NET Framework 2.0 pieces. There are more details by following both the links, but there’s nothing that gets techies crankier than nomenclature so I expect there will be some complaints, particularly as this is a just a mash-up under a new name of technologies that previously had a separate life of their own. In any case, as expected (per Somasegar):
The .NET Framework 3.0 will still ship with Windows Vista, and will be available down-level for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as planned. This change doesn’t affect in any way the ship schedules of either Windows Vista or the .NET Framework 3.0 itself.
Update 6/21: Roy Osherove provides more information and a table that’s very helpful in puzzling out the .NET Framework versioning and future plans.