Microsoft maps out 2016 BizTalk Server, Azure Stack and cloud integration plans

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AzureMicrosoft has unveiled its plans to integrate its cast of cloud services and servers in the coming year. Cloud users can now download a roadmap for the direction of its integration products such as the BizTalk application-integration server, Azure Stack and the Logic Apps included in the Azure App Service offering.

The initiative is the idea of new Azure CTO Mark Russinovich in a bid to keep customers aware of the changes that are being made now that many integration processes are out of their domain.

Traditionally, integration has been conducted on the customer’s premises or through a business to business arrangement, but in the cloud era the systems they want integrated are typically outside of their control, Microsoft said in the roadmap post. “Everything from sales leads to invoicing, email and social media, is going to be well beyond the corporate firewall,” it said.

As modern integration goes from corporate computer systems to an increasingly mobile world, there needs to be a change of approach on both ends. On a technical level, this change is unpinned by application programming interfaces (APIs) within lightweight, modern, HTTP/REST-based protocols using JSON, Microsoft said. On a cultural level, Microsoft is to open more channels of communication with its cloud users through updates such as this.

Before the tenth release of BizTalk Server, in Q4 2016, it will release a Community Technology Preview and a beta of the product in Q3. BizTalk Server 2016 is to align with Windows Server 2016, SQL 2016, Office 2016 and the latest Visual Studio. The latest BizTalk release will straddle both the on-premise and cloud worlds, supporting SQL 2016’s AlwaysOn Availability Groups whether they are hosted on Azure or in house.

BizTalk Server will also have better interfaces with and Office 365, as Microsoft bids to improve the hybrid experience. New, improved BizTalk adapters for Informix, MQ and DB2 have also been promised, along with better PowerShell integration.

Halfway through 2016 Microsoft will host another integration summit, Integrate 2016, as the vendor signals its intent to take its Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) responsibilities seriously too.

According to the roadmap Microsoft should imminently release a preview of a planned Logic Apps Update with Logic Apps becoming generally available in Q2. Azure Stack will be available in Q4.