Microsoft customers and partners are asking what our cloud-hybrid integration roadmap is for BizTalk Server and beyond. BizTalk Server 2016 is our tenth release of a product that first shipped in December, 2000. Much has changed in the past 18 years, the rise of the Internet, the move to the cloud and the advent of Integration Platforms as a Service (iPaaS) being just a few. One thing has prevailed over these many years, existing enterprise customers running business critical workloads using BizTalk Server on-premises - and Microsoft’s continued commitment and support to these customers.
We want to confirm our commitment to BizTalk Server by providing clarity on our cloud-hybrid integration roadmap, of which BizTalk Server is a key part. Shortly after we released BizTalk Server 2016, we introduced the concept of Feature Packs – incremental product improvements and additions that facilitated a much faster ship cycle than was before possible. We believe, and have also heard from customers, that this approach is advantageous for a number of reasons: quicker time to get requested features or improvements; fewer costly upgrade cycles; continuous product investments. Yet, we understand that this model does not suit every customer, especially those that require more notice, planning and preparation for consuming both new platforms and new functionality.
Therefore, we are pleased to announce that we have begun work on BizTalk Server “vNext”, the next major release of BizTalk Server. BizTalk Server “vNext” will contain all previously released feature packs, platform support for the latest versions of Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio, as well as a supported upgrade path from BizTalk Server 2013 R2 and 2016. The new release of BizTalk Server will be accompanied by a vNext of the Adapter Pack and Host Integration Server as well. We are in the early stages of planning this next release and more details will follow in due course, but we expect to make it generally available within roughly 9 months of the general availability of Windows Server 2019.
Alongside BizTalk Server, we will also continue to expand the capabilities of our iPaaS offering providing additional hosting options for Azure Integration Services, which includes Logic Apps, starting with the ability to run on-premises. We expect to deliver these capabilities during calendar year 2019.
With two offerings, BizTalk Server and Logic Apps, both capable of running on-premises and in Azure, many customers will be evaluating migration from BizTalk Server to Logic Apps. We understand this and are planning guidance on migration to assist customers’ decision-making and investments to enable this move. We know there are functional gaps between BizTalk Server and Logic Apps, and we are hard at work closing them. Our Azure Integration Services vision is to enable all customers to move to a modern, holistic and rich iPaaS platform that can meet the challenges of all their integration workloads, both today and in the future wherever they reside.
Jon Fancey, Azure Integration Services PM Lead