It looks like the next release of BizTalk Server will be Version 2009 instead of 2006 R3, as previously indicated. It’s on schedule for release in the first half of 2009, and I would expect to see a CTP version sometime before the end of 2008.
Updated Platform Support
New Application Platform Support
BizTalk Server 2009 supports the latest Microsoft platform technologies, including Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 SP1, SQL Server 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. These platform updates enable greater scalability and reliability, and many advances in the latest developer tools.
New Hyper-V Virtualization Support
BizTalk Server 2009 now takes advantage of the latest virtualization improvements included as part of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, which can lead to reduced costs through lower hardware, energy, and management overhead, plus the creation of a more dynamic IT infrastructure.
Improved Failover Clustering
By taking advantage of Windows Server 2008 clustering, BizTalk Server is now able to be deployed in multi-site cluster scenarios, where cluster nodes could reside on separate IP subnets and avoid complicated VLANs.
Service Oriented Architecture and Web Services
New Web Services Registry
BizTalk Server 2009 includes a UDDI 3.0 registry which provides support for registry affiliation, extended discovery services, digital certificates and extensibility for a subscription API.
New Line of Business Adapters
BizTalk Server 2009 provides two new adapters for Oracle E-Business Suites and SQL Server, plus additional improvements have been made to the existing set of adapters.
Enhanced Host Systems Integration
BizTalk Server 2009 adds a new WCF WebSphere MQ channel by providing the transport, data formatter and encoder to integrate directly with WebSphere MQ via WCF and a new WCF Service for Host Applications has been added to expose the traditional Transaction Integrator to .NET Framework developers. Additionally, BizTalk Server 2009 includes updated platform support for the most recent versions of CICS, IMS, CICS HTTP transport, DB2, DB2/400, DB2 Universal Database, and WebSphere MQ.
Enhanced Business Activity Monitoring
By expanding the out of the box BAM functionality with SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services, BizTalk Server 2009 provides support for UDM cubes and scalable real-time aggregations which enhances support for Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007.
Enhanced Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Guidance
ESB Guidance 2.0 delivers updated prescriptive guidance for applying ESB usage patterns, improved itinerary processing, itinerary modeling using a visual Domain Specific Language (DSL) tools approach, a pluggable resolver-adapter pack, and an enhanced ESB management portal.
Business to Business Integration
Enhanced Support for EDI and AS2 Protocols
BizTalk Server 2009 provides support for multiple message attachments, configurable auto message resend, end-to-end filename preservation, improved reporting to address new features, and Drummond re-certification for AS2.
Updated SWIFT Support
By building on a rich SWIFT foundation, BizTalk Server 2009 updates all message schemas and business rules for compliance with SWIFTReady Financial EAI Gold certification, as a result adds support for SWIFT FIN Flat File message types and business rules, BIC Plus IBAN interface, and Extensibility to support SEPA Routing.
New Mobile RFID Platform and device management
BizTalk Server 2009 delivers a new lightweight platform for a variety of mobile devices, which simplifies the development of mobile applications that expose relevant, real-time business information. BizTalk RFID Mobile includes support for enhanced device management, Powershell support for administration of edge infrastructures and the ability to monitor RFID infrastructure using System Center Operations Manager 2007.
New RFID industry standards support
Support for key industry standards (including LLRP, TDT, TDS, WS Discovery and partial EPCIS support).
Developer and Team Productivity
New Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) support
BizTalk Server 2009 provides support for Team Foundation Server (TFS), and allows development teams to be able to leverage the integrated source control, bug tracking, support for team development, Project Server integration and support for automating builds via MSBuild.
Enhanced Developer Productivity
BizTalk Server 2009 introduces a number of improvements have been made to the underlying Visual Studio based BizTalk project system which enhances debugging support for artifacts such as BizTalk Maps (XSLT), pipeline components and XLANG Orchestrations, and enables support for unit testing via Visual Studio Test.
BizTalk Server 2009 improves recoverable interchange processing of validation failures by providing support for recoverable interchange processing for disassembly (DASM) and a validation stage within the pipeline. The WCF Adapter has been enhanced to provide support for configurable transactions and the ability to choose the transaction isolation level in the WCF-Custom Send Adapter.
By continuing to build on the improvements to the BizTalk Management Console made in BizTalk Server 2006 R2, two new query types have been added for tracked message events and tracked service events which consolidates all queries – tracked/archived data, live data and specialized EDI reports, into a single tool.
Full product roadmap at: http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/roadmap.aspx