[June 28, 2000] BizTalk Framework 2.0 was released as an extension to the SOAP 1.1 Specification; see the URL in the reference list below. "BTF2 is a SOAP 1.1 extension. As such it supports everything SOAP 1.1 does except the RPC usage pattern. In addition, the BTF2 draft adds: (1) Attachments to SOAP 1.1 messages -- binary or otherwise; (2) Simple reliable messaging; (3) Business process context. The relationship of BTF2 to namespaces, schemas and DTD is exactly the same as SOAP 1.1. The status of the protocol is that it will be finalized by the end of July  and will be supported in the BizTalk Server 1.0 beta that will appear at that time. It will also be in limited deployment by that time." [from Satish Thatte]
"The BizTalk Framework ['Enabling software to speak the language of business'] is an XML framework for application integration and electronic commerce. It includes a design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications. Microsoft, other software companies, and industry standards bodies will use the BizTalk Framework to produce XML schemas in a consistent manner. The BizTalk Framework itself is not a standard. XML is the standard. The goal of the BizTalk Framework is to accelerate the rapid adoption of XML. BizTalk Framework schemas - business documents and messages expressed in XML -- will be registered and stored on www.BizTalk.org. Any individual or organization can download the framework and use it to implement and submit XML schemas to the website. As long as the schemas pass a verification test, they are valid BizTalk Framework schemas. The www.BizTalk.org website will provide an automated submission and validation process. Any individual or organization can freely use XML schemas from the BizTalk website within their applications, as long as the schema is published for public use. Businesses will also have the option of publishing their schemas on the BizTalk website in a secure area for private use between trading partners. A steering committee composed of software companies, end-users and industry standards bodies will provide guidance on how the BizTalk website is organized and managed. The BizTalk Framework schema design will be based on W3C standards for XML schema as these standards are adopted." [from the Overview]
"The repository section of the BizTalk Web site when complete will support for direct online automated access and management of Public Schemas, Schema Sets, Schema Maps, Process Descriptions, sample XML messages etc. Industry Groups, Solution Providers and Customers will be able to register/submit their Schemas, Schema Sets, Schema Maps, etc, look for standards in their areas of interest, and access these resources from there applications when acting on an XML document whose schema is registered in this repository. Schemas that follow the BizTalk design guidelines will enable the complete automation of the validation, organization and indexing of the information submitted to this repository."
The BizTalk Discussion feature of the repository "is under construction and when complete will allow industry Groups, Solution Providers and Customers to register/submit their Schemas, Schema Sets, Schema Maps, etc, look for standards in their areas of interest, and access these resources from there applications when acting on an XML document whose schema is registered in this repository."
[June 11, 1999] "Charter members of the BizTalk steering committee include the following organizations: American Petroleum Institute, Data Interchange Standards Association, Open Applications Group, Inc., Ariba Inc., Commerce One Inc., Concur Technologies Inc., SAP AG, Peoplesoft Inc., Baan Co., J.D. Edwards & Company, Pivotal Inc., Microsoft, Boeing Co., Merrill Lynch & Company."
[May 24, 1999] Announcement. Microsoft has announced "the availability of the first draft specifications of the BizTalk Framework, a new BizTalk.Org Web site, and charter members of the BizTalk steering committee. These BizTalk Framework initiatives aim to accelerate the widespread adoption of Extensible Markup Language (XML) for electronic commerce and application integration. Draft specifications for BizTalk Framework Tags and BizTalk Framework Documents have been published on the BizTalk.Org Web site.
[March 04, 1999] In March 1999, Microsoft Announced BizTalk Framework as Part of Its E-Commerce Strategy. Several recent industry announcements (e.g., SAP, PeopleSoft, DataChannel, webMethods, Level 8 Systems, Vitria Technology) highlight the importance of Microsoft's new "comprehensive e-commerce strategy to make it easier for companies and consumers to conduct business over the Internet."
According to the March 04, 1999 press release, Microsoft Corp. has "announced Microsoft BizTalk, a new cross-platform e-commerce framework that makes it easy for businesses to integrate applications and conduct business over the Internet with trading partners and customers. The BizTalk framework is based on new Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas and industry standards that enable integration across industries and between business systems, regardless of platform, operating system or underlying technology. Microsoft also announced plans to incorporate the BizTalk schema into the Microsoft Commerce Platform, initiatives for the MSN network for Internet services, and future versions of Office, the BackOffice family and the Windows family of operating systems."
Microsoft BizTalk Server is new technology that will make it easier for companies to take advantage of BizTalk. By supporting BizTalk and underlying XML technology, it will enable companies to exchange data and integrate applications over the Internet. BizTalk document-handling schema will be based on industry standards such as electronic data interchange (EDI), borrow from object-based industry initiatives such as the Open Application Group (OAG) in manufacturing, and will be defined in concert with ISVs, customers and industry consortia. As new XML standards emerge, contributors to the BizTalk framework will evaluate and support standards that deliver value to customers. The BizTalk services architecture will be supported natively in Microsoft products and tools. The Microsoft Commerce Platform, Office, BackOffice and Windows will use BizTalk XML schemas to store additional information about documents and to integrate BackOffice- and Windows-based applications."
See: "Microsoft Announces BizTalk Framework for E-Commerce, Lets Software Speak the Language of Business. SAP, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Other Leading Industry Vendors Endorse New Cross-Platform E-Commerce and Application Integration Initiatives" and "Microsoft Announces E-Commerce Strategy, with New Software and Services Designed to Transform the Web into a Bustling Marketplace."
BizTalk initiative - Information from PerfectXML
[August 30, 2002] "Microsoft Shutters BizTalk.Org." By Mary Jo Foley. In eWEEK (August 29, 2002). "With little fanfare, Microsoft Corp. has shuttered its BizTalk.Org XML schema warehouse. According to a mid-July posting to the XML-dev list maintained by the OASIS standards organization, Microsoft execs claimed the ubiquity of the XML data format, coupled with the preponderance of other XML schema repositories, eliminated the need for BizTalk.Org. The BizTalk.Org page now refers interested parties to Microsoft's BizTalk Server product home page, with no BizTalk.Org information available. BizTalk.Org was one of a number of XML schema consortia founded in the late 1990s. These consortia, which included OASIS' XML.Org, RosettaNet and the Object Management Group, were designed to house the growing number of business-to-business schema under development by companies across the vertical-market spectrum. When Microsoft founded BizTalk.Org, there was much gnashing of teeth by the company's competitors, many of whom assumed that Microsoft had designs on monopolizing the B2B e-commerce world. Nonetheless, in the ensuing months, Microsoft signed up multiple hundreds of partners who published hundreds of schema to BizTalk.Org..."
[August 19, 2002] "Emery Forwarding Uses Microsoft BizTalk Server And Windows Powered Pocket PCs to Build Comprehensive EAI Solution. Leading Global Transportation Company Uses Winning Combination of XML and Mobility To Send Shipment Information From Drivers to Customers in Real Time." - "Microsoft Corp. today announced that Emery Forwarding, a provider of time-definite global transportation services and a component of Menlo Worldwide, has chosen Microsoft BizTalk Server and its enterprise application integration (EAI) capabilities for the company's delivery alert solution, which enables event notification of real-time activity on customers' shipments. Windows Powered Pocket PCs allow Emery to send shipment information from its drivers to Emery's legacy systems. Then, using BizTalk Server, real-time shipping information, such as expected delivery time and notice of any delays, is sent to Emery's customers via e-mail, telephone or another medium they choose, giving Emery and its customers unprecedented business agility... Historically, Emery has been able to collect information about shipments, but the information was locked up in legacy systems and proprietary messaging formats. Emery needed to move to a more flexible system, one that leveraged new Internet protocols, such as XML, and mobile technologies, in order to quickly build a mobile infrastructure that could collect shipping and delivery information for its customers in real time. Now armed with Pocket PCs, Emery drivers can enter information into their devices whenever they pick up or drop off a shipment, and that information is sent to Emery's legacy systems. Leveraging existing investments in its proprietary IBM MQSeries messaging system, Emery pulls that information together internally, picking it up with the BizTalk Adapter for MQSeries, and sends it to customers using BizTalk Server. The combination provides Emery with the best economic solution because it incorporates existing technologies while moving the company toward a more flexible, standards-based solution using the Microsoft platform... Using XML, SOAP and other core Internet transports and protocols, BizTalk Server unites EAI, B2B and business process management technology in a single product to allow companies to easily orchestrate Web services and rapidly build dynamic business processes that span applications, platforms and businesses..."
[June 17, 2002] "Microsoft Looks to Serve The Little Guys." By Carolyn A. April. In InfoWorld (June 17, 2002). "Looking to lower the cost barriers to connecting to an electronic trading hub, Microsoft on Monday rolled out two entry-level versions of BizTalk Server 2002 -- including one that carries a sub-$1,000 price tag. The new editions, BizTalk Server Standard and BizTalk Partner, are not 'feature-crippled,' according to Microsoft officials, meaning that they will sport all the technology found in their Enterprise Edition brethren. However, the Standard and Partner editions will support a limited number of CPUs, integrated applications, and trading partners... Wolf offered the example of a small supplier in the high-tech industry that sells to a limited number of four manufacturers, each dealing in different electronic exchange formats such as EDI, XML, and flat files. With BizTalk Standard, Wolf said, the small supplier gets the technology necessary to conduct business electronically in those varied formats, but at a deployment price much lower than found in a multipartner, multiapplication trading hub implementation. BizTalk Standard is priced at $6,999. It is limited to one CPU, 10 trading partners, and five applications that users can integrate within the firewall. BizTalk Partner edition, priced at $999, is limited to one CPU, two internal applications, and two trading partners..."
[November 12, 2001] Microsoft Announces More Than 140 Adapters for BizTalk Server 2000. Leading Adapter Vendors Work With Microsoft to Create Adapters Enabling Seamless Connectivity From BizTalk Server to Multiple Applications and Technologies." - "Microsoft Corp. has announced that there are more than 140 adapters available for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 that connect to more than 70 applications and technologies. By January the number of adapters will reach at least 160, the company said. Leading adapter vendors Actional Corp., iWay Software, Pixel USA Inc., RioLabs Inc., and Taviz Technology Inc. created these adapters for BizTalk Server 2000, allowing customers to more easily connect to disparate technologies and applications from companies such as Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft Inc., SAP AG and Siebel Systems Inc. Microsoft also is developing its own adapters for SAP and IBM MQSeries that will be available by the end of the year. These adapter solutions offer out-of-the-box connectivity from BizTalk Server to the most commonly used technologies and applications, allowing customers to more quickly build adapters and therefore speed up the implementation of their integration solution. Based on XML and SOAP, BizTalk Server 2000 unites enterprise application integration (EAI), business-to-business integration and business process automation technology to allow companies to easily orchestrate XML Web services and rapidly build dynamic business processes that span applications, platforms and businesses... Microsoft chose to work with multiple vendors on the development of BizTalk Server adapters in order to allow customers to choose from a number of adapters, ensuring they will find the right ones to meet their specific needs. All the adapter vendors have worked closely with Microsoft to ensure that the adapters seamlessly connect to BizTalk Server 2000. The result is one of the largest libraries of adapters in the industry and one whose growth parallels the rapid adoption of BizTalk Server 2000... A complete list of ready-made adapters can be found online... "
[March 13, 2001] "XML Messaging Framework." By Timothy Dyck. In eWEEK (March 11, 2001). "Realizing the cart can't go before the horse, Microsoft Corp. has developed a comprehensive set of proposed standards about how to use XML to send and receive business-to-business messages online. The BizTalk Framework 2.0 specification, released in December, updates its 1.0 predecessor adding ways to check for reliable message delivery, and it includes information on how to use MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) and Secure MIME to securely send BizTalk-based Extensible Markup Language messages over e-mail. HTTP delivery of messages is also described in detail. Another big change is that BizTalk Framework has been redesigned to conform to Simple Object Access Protocol 1.1 and XML Schema standards proposals. It also includes XML tags described using the older, nonstandard XML-Data Reduced format. It's possible that vendors other than Microsoft will support the BizTalk messaging framework and thus allow interoperability between Microsoft's own BizTalk Server and non-Microsoft products. It's too soon to tell if this will happen, though. BizTalk Server itself has not caught up to the XML standards that BizTalk Framework relies upon, as BizTalk Server uses XML-Data Reduced-formatted messages internally, not XML Schema (though a separate command-line tool is provided with BizTalk Server to convert XML-Data Reduced-formatted messages to an XML Schema format). The specifics of BizTalk Framework are fairly simple because they describe only the BizTalk message envelope and message characteristics. The items described are sender and receiver names, unique message identifier, time stamps indicating when a message was sent and will expire, topic, request for confirmation of message delivery, request for confirmation of message processing commitment, attachment data, and optional business-specific message information..." See the news item "BizTalk.Org Web Site Upgraded."
[June 19, 2001] "BizTalk Automates B-to-B. [Review.]" By P.J. Connolly. In IT World (June 18, 2001). "Today's conventional wisdom holds that XML is the key to helping businesses work together, at least from the standpoint of merging information from disparate systems. But by itself, XML can't do anything to help. Someone has to define the extensions to the XML schema, the structure that the two partners are going to use when exchanging data. . . BizTalk Server 2000 is in some ways Microsoft's most ambitious product yet in terms of its effect on back-end operations. Most businesses that have streamlined their processes over time have done so internally with great success, but things often break down at the front door. Even the most successful EAI (enterprise application integration) or EDI (electronic data interchange) projects will have some sort of disconnect. BizTalk Server 2000 is constructed to remedy that situation by using SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and XML to glue systems together electronically. It is a unique product that any business using EAI/EDI should consider. BizTalk Server is aimed at processing business documents, such as bills of lading, invoices, and purchase orders, as secured e-mail-like messages. These functions require sophisticated features such as document tracking and once-only delivery to provide the reliability needed for business-to-business transactions... The BizTalk Framework, although agnostic regarding message transport protocols, allows BizTags to carry transport-specific information. After it receives application-generated business documents, the BizTalk Server creates BizTalk messages that contain one or more BizTalk documents, which are generated either by the BizTalk Server or by the application used to create the original business document. The BizTalk Message is then sent to the partner's BizTalk Framework-compliant server which unwraps the message and passes it on to the partner's application... Three client-side tools that analysts and developers use to configure the data flow are included: BizTalk Editor, BizTalk Mapper, and BizTalk Orchestration Manager. Editor is used to create and edit XML schemas, whereas Mapper handles the XSLT (Extensible Style sheet Language Transformations) style sheets that convert data between XML schemas. Orchestration Manager, which uses Visio 2000, allows analysts to design a data flow and developers to translate that design into action. We found the BizTalk components easy to set up and use, and we were particularly impressed with BizTalk Orchestration Manager. We've used Visio before and have found it a great design tool, so we had little difficulty using it as the front end for Orchestration Manager. The GUI uses a Visio diagram split down the middle: Analysts create flowcharts on the left side, and developers, working on the right side, link the various functions from the flowchart to COM (Component Object Model) objects and message queues, also using the modified XML schemas as needed. BizTalk, with a little help from Visio's Visual Basic for Applications component, automatically applies the changes..."
[December 12, 2000] BizTalk Framework 2.0 Final Version Published. Microsoft announced the publication of the "final version of its BizTalk Framework 2.0 specification, which is now available for download. Based on industry standards for data exchange and security such as SOAP 1.1 (Simple Object Access Protocol), XML and S/MIME, the BizTalk Framework enables the secure and reliable exchange of business documents over the Internet. Development of the BizTalk Framework is overseen by the BizTalk Steering Committee, which comprises industry partners, consortiums and standards bodies." The published specification offers a general overview of the BizTalk Framework 2.0 conceptual architecture, including the BizTalk Document and BizTalk Message. It provides detailed specifications for the construction of BizTalk Documents and Messages, and their secure transport over a number of Internet-standard transport and transfer protocols. Background: "Extensible Markup Language (XML) and XML-based schema languages provide a strong set of technologies with a low barrier to entry. These languages enable one to describe and exchange structured information between collaborating applications or business partners in a platform- and middleware-neutral manner. As a result, domain-specific standards bodies and industry initiatives have started to adopt XML and XML-based schema languages to specify both their vocabularies and content models. These schemas are becoming widely published and implemented to facilitate communication between both applications and businesses. Wide support of XML has also resulted in independent solution providers developing solutions that enable the exchange of XML-based information with other third-party or custom-developed applications. Several solution- or middleware/platform-specific approaches have been taken to address the lack of middleware-neutral, application-level communication protocols. However, no single proprietary solution or middleware platform meets all the needs of a complex deployment environment. These proprietary initiatives have generally resulted in customers facing broad interoperability issues on their own. The BizTalk Framework addresses these interoperability challenges in a platform- and technology-neutral manner. It provides specifications for the design and development of XML-based messaging solutions for communication between applications and organizations. This specification builds upon standard and emerging Internet technologies such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME), Extensible Markup Language (XML), and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Subsequent versions of the BizTalk Framework will be enhanced to make use of additional XML and Internet-related, messaging-standards work as appropriate. It is important to note that the BizTalk Framework does not attempt to address all aspects of business-to-business electronic commerce. For instance, it does not deal directly with legal issues, agreements regarding arbitration, or recovery from catastrophic failures, nor does it specify specific business processes such as those for purchasing or securities trading. The BizTalk Framework provides a set of basic mechanisms required for most business-to-business electronic exchanges. It is expected that other specifications and standards, consistent with the BizTalk Framework, will be developed for the application- and domain-specific aspects."
[January 25, 2001] "Microsoft Seeks Vertical Markets With BizTalk." By Antone Gonsalves. In TechWeb News (January 24, 2001). "Microsoft, focusing on ease of use as a major strength of its BizTalk integration server, plans to release by early next quarter pre-built kits that help configure the product for a particular vertical market. The BizTalk Server 2000, which started shipping earlier this month, includes an orchestration designer tool that enables a user to create a visual representation of a business process, which could include moving a purchase order to ERP systems and requesting approval by business managers through e-mail. The server executes the business process. To quicken the design process, Microsoft Corp. will offer vertical kits that include pre-built adapters, business processes, and XML-based document frameworks for specific vertical industries, said David Wascha, BizTalk product manager. Wascha said users will be able to easily import the kits' components into BizTalk and access them through the orchestration designer. He said the first kits will target a couple of markets and will be available by early next quarter, though he would not identify the markets... In addition, WebMethods and others who have been in the market longer than Microsoft have had more time to build adapters for their products to various ERP and legacy systems. Wascha said Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., plans to let third-party companies build adapters for BizTalk, which ships with a software development kit for building connectors..."
[December 13, 2000] "Microsoft releases BizTalk e-commerce software." By Mary Jo Foley. In CNET News.com (December 12, 2000). "...On Tuesday, Sun and its partners announced a new milestone in the development of the Electronic Business XML (ebXML) infrastructure championed by the standards group Oasis and the United Nations. Also on Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it had released to manufacturing its long-awaited BizTalk Server 2000, Microsoft's XML server. Both technologies are intended to solve the same problem: linking dissimilar computers so companies can share information for e-commerce exchanges. BizTalk Server is one of Microsoft's growing stable of .Net Enterprise server products. The product allows customers to interconnect online marketplaces, XML-enable applications and integrate their back-end systems, according to Microsoft... The sailing has not been smooth for BizTalk Server and the underlying BizTalk Framework. Microsoft announced BizTalk Server in March, 1999, and the product was slated to go to beta in the latter half of that year. Instead, BizTalk Server didn't make it into beta until August 2000. The company in September said BizTalk Server's release date had been pushed into next year. Microsoft said Tuesday that the product will ship in January. Fifty customers are currently deploying the code, which was released on Monday, according to Microsoft. The BizTalk Framework specifies the way companies should exchange data, in Microsoft's view. On Tuesday, Microsoft published the final 2.0 release of the Framework, which specifies how businesses should implement XML and the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) backed by Microsoft, IBM and others."
[June 27, 2000] BizTalk Framework 2.0 Adopts the SOAP 1.1 Specification. From a company announcement: "Furthering its commitment to the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and open industry standards, Microsoft Corp. today released a draft of the Microsoft BizTalk Framework version 2.0. This newest version of the BizTalk Framework has been redefined to be SOAP 1.1 (Simple Object Access Protocol) compliant, thereby allowing BizTalk Framework XML documents to travel over a network in the form of SOAP messages. In addition, version 2.0 has been extended to include specifications for reliable server-to-server messaging, guaranteeing exactly-once delivery of business documents over the Internet. Multi-Part MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) encoding guidelines also have been added to the framework to support the inclusion of one or more non-XML attachments within a BizTalk message. Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 will support BizTalk Framework 2.0 as the protocol for reliable interoperability over the Internet. 'BizTalk Framework 2.0 enhances one of the industry's most popular frameworks for XML-based integration over the Internet,' said Chris Atkinson, vice president of the WindowsR DNA and Web Services Group at Microsoft. 'Among the enhancements is support for SOAP, an emerging standard for integrating applications and services over the Internet.' The BizTalk Framework takes advantage of standard Internet technologies such as XML and MIME to provide the specifications for XML-based integration within and between organizations. The support for the SOAP 1.1 specification, which was recently submitted to and acknowledged by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), will allow developers to create applications and services that can be more easily integrated, independent of operating system, programming model or programming language. The new reliable messaging capabilities defined in BizTalk Framework 2.0 allow organizations to reliably transmit information via the Internet using standard transport protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). The inclusion of support for Multi-Part MIME, an alternative to inline encoding of binary information, provides guidelines for encoding and decoding of one or more non-XML attachments within a BizTalk XML message. The BizTalk Framework 2.0 specification is available for review at http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/. The BizTalk Initiative represents the collective set of investments that Microsoft is making to facilitate business process integration within and between organizations using Internet-standard protocols and formats. It includes the BizTalk Framework, the BizTalk.org community and business document library, as well as BizTalk Server 2000, a business process orchestration server and tools for developing, executing and managing distributed business processes. These investments are being made in conjunction with industry standards groups, technology and service providers, as well as key global organizations. Introduced in March 1999, the BizTalk Framework is an open specification for XML-based data routing and exchange. The BizTalk Framework makes it easy to exchange information between software applications and conduct business with trading partners and customers over the Internet. Microsoft, other software companies and industry-standards bodies are using the BizTalk Framework today to more quickly and easily enable B2B processes between systems, independent of operating system, programming model or programming language." For details, see the full text of the annuncement, "Microsoft Unveils BizTalk Framework 2.0. New Version Adopts SOAP 1.1 Specification, Supports Non-XML Attachments and Reliable Messaging." See also, from Satish Thatte, the descriptive note with a BTF2 example.
[June 27, 2000] "BizTalk Framework 2.0 Draft: Document and Message Specification." From MSDN Online - Web Workshop. June 27, 2000. "Summary: This draft specification provides a general overview of the BizTalk Framework 2.0 conceptual architecture, including the BizTalk Document and BizTalk Message. It provides detailed specifications for the construction of BizTalk Documents and Messages, and their secure transport over a number of Internet-standard transport and transfer protocols. . . This specification provides a general overview of the BizTalk Framework conceptual architecture, including the fundamental notions of BizTalk Document and BizTalk Message. It then provides detailed specifications for the construction of BizTalk Documents and Messages, and their secure transport over a number of Internet-standard transport and transfer protocols, as described below. BizTalk Documents follow a number of rules for structure and content in order to provide rich functionality and predictable semantics. This specification describes the following aspects of BizTalk Documents and their semantics: (1) Overall structure of BizTalk Documents. (2) BizTalk headers for document routing, properties, catalog, and process management. (3) Structure and handling of BizTalk Documents that require reliable delivery. When implementing solutions using the BizTalk Framework, specific transport, encoding, and security mechanisms must be used to secure and deliver messages. This specification describes the following mechanisms and aspects of BizTalk Message encoding and transport: (1) Transport bindings for Internet protocols (HTTP only; Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to be added). (2) MIME-based transfer encoding and attachment packaging. (3) Signatures and encryption based on S/MIME and Public-Key Cryptography System (PKCS) (to be added). This specification is intended to define messaging interaction between BizTalk Framework 2.0 Compliant servers, referred to as BFC servers in this specification..."
BizTalk v0.81 Tag Specification. "This document describes version 0.81 of the technical specifications for Microsoft BizTalk Framework Extensible Markup Language (XML) tags. These specifications consist of message tags encoded in XML. They define a common way to use XML to accomplish identification and routing, and they enable complex interaction. The purpose of the version 0.81 specification is to define the identification markup tags and elicit comments and feedback regarding the routing blocks. The BizTalk Framework is an XML framework for application integration and electronic commerce. It includes a design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications. Microsoft Corp., other software companies and industry standards bodies will use the BizTalk Framework to produce XML schemas in a consistent manner. . ." [cache]
BizTalk v0.81 Framework Guidelines. Creating Extensible Markup Language (XML) document schemas and instances from data contained within existing systems or that meet a user's application needs is complicated, in part because of the many different ways to express the same thing. Furthermore, inconsistent message construction will make the process of integration more difficult. This document provides a set of design guidelines for Microsoft BizTalk Framework documents that can easily be implemented by application developers." [cache]
[November 24, 2000] "Talking in XLANG." By Eric Binary Anderson. In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] Volume 5, Number 19 (November 22, 2000). "Despite the bevy of features for manipulating messages, the most interesting feature for developers is BizTalk's ability to create long-running business processes. Microsoft created a new language called XLANG -- pronounced slang -- for describing any business process. XLANG is a complete language that uses XML as the written format for the definition. Interestingly, Microsoft claims it chose XML so businesses can share process definitions across multiple platforms, presumably even non-Microsoft platforms. Although you can read and edit XLANG code in any editor, you'll most likely work with it using the BizTalk Application Designer. The designer is a graphical business process flow-charting tool that produces executable XLANG schedules. It is refreshing to finally see analysis, design, and coding converge into a simple process. While most complex desktop applications still defy efforts to use modeling tools in place of manual coding, I found that integrating business processes works naturally in the BizTalk environment. The added bonus of using a visual designer to create a business process is that the resulting design is self-documenting. XLANG schedules execute inside the BizTalk Orchestration engine. The orchestration engine is a finite-state machine that can process the various operations coded in XLANG. These operations include decisions, loops, forks, joins, actions, and transactions. BizTalk has an interesting concept of a transaction. Transactions are typically groups of all-or-nothing events. Many of us have been trained that executing transactions across enterprises requires a two-stage commit, requiring all involved applications to ensure that they can commit individually before the overarching transaction can commit. However, a two-stage commit can cause performance bottlenecks and force applications to stop functioning if any dependent process is unavailable... BizTalk has the potential to rewrite the rules of business process automation. However, as mentioned in our review of BizTalk last issue, it is not a simple product to install or manage. You won't necessarily want to choose BizTalk to simply replace a handful of .BAT files. However, if you have a need to automate both internal and external processes, primarily on Windows and Internet platforms, BizTalk will soon have you talking in XLANG." See "XLANG."
[May 05, 2000] "BizTalk Simplifies Data Exchange." By Tom Yager. In InfoWorld Volume 22, Issue 18 (May 01, 2000), pages 63, 66. "Even though the XML language has been promoted as a panacea for EDI (electronic data interchange), most businesses have yet to fully exploit its power. True, business data produced and consumed within your company yields easily to XML, but business-to-business data interchange presents huge challenges. Although you can apply XML today in custom-written b-to-b applications, a simpler solution would be a package that provides structured, secure, reliable document handling with minimal programming. Microsoft's BizTalk Server 2000, now downloadable at www.microsoft.com/biztalkserver as a free technology preview, is an adaptable, capable, and open suite of EDI services and objects that simplifies the handling of b-to-b data interchange. With BizTalk Server, there's no need to convene in lengthy meetings with suppliers, clients, and other partners to hammer out business document conventions. In fact, your partners don't even need to use XML, because BizTalk Server can turn any document that meets your standards into XML. BizTalk Server marks the evolution of Microsoft's BizTalk XML. That initiative, a public XML schema repository available at www.biztalk.org, was supposed to standardize data document formats within the corporation. But BizTalk XML didn't solve the problem of linking to your partners' non-XML and foreign XML documents. Moreover, BizTalk XML didn't directly address the problems of transferring data between organizations, routing data to applications, or automating data processing. With BizTalk Server, Microsoft offers to take over the entire middle tier of data interchange processing. [...] In early testing, I was struck by the utter absence of raw XML in BizTalk Server's user interfaces and utilities. XML is a BizTalk Server constant; it's even used to represent documents that didn't start out as XML. But if you're expecting to invest a lot of time hacking XML documents, you're mistaken. Using the tools provided, you can create an impressive data interchange system without editing or even understanding XML. BizTalk Server makes no effort to prevent the modification of underlying XML files; you're free to modify them in the text editor of your choice. Given XML's reputation for simplicity, you may wonder why you'd need GUI tools to manage it. True, core XML, the basic hierarchical document, is straightforward. But the dark side of XML emerges when you start working with the technologies that support it. In particular, DTDs (Document Type Definitions), schemas that help a parser judge the validity of an XML document, are infamous for their complexity. And although newer schema standards, such as XML-Data, make document-validity specifications easier to create, there are still plenty of rules to follow. The BizTalk Editor takes care of all those hassles. You simply build a tree diagram representing the elements of your business document. After importing one of my dense DTDs into BizTalk Editor and working with it graphically, I came to appreciate this simple approach. Being insulated from the uglier inner workings of XML frees you to focus on your data... Standards compliance is another common gripe with Microsoft solutions. But the company recognizes the need to stay current with evolving EDI and XML standards; so in this case, Microsoft tracks standards about as well as it can. Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT), the World Wide Web Consortium's extensible style sheet language for XML transformations, powers BizTalk Server's document translator. The document-specification editor imports XML formats from a variety of sources, including well-formed XML and DTD files. Overall, I consider BizTalk Server's architecture to be highly adaptable to changes in technology. It certainly bodes well that, even in this preview, non-Microsoft data sources and destinations were supported."
[May 03, 2000] "ABC's of Schema. Chapter 8: Best Practices." By Dan Rogers. BizTalk Forum Online Book. April 21, 2000. ['Ever wonder what schemas are and why XML is going to be so important to your business? Want to know why schema libraries are an essential part of a new business-to-business global infrastructure? How do you form a schema strategy? What are best practices? BizTalk.org is here to help you learn more.'] "Chapter 7 covered some first steps in applying what we've discussed to XML projects in a business setting. This chapter continues that thrust by exploring an issue that programmers face very early on while learning to use XML in applications. ... The issue involves namespaces and dealing with namespace prefixes in application logic that uses an XML DOM (document object model) to parse or construct XML." [Online book description: 'Chapter by chapter, The ABC's of Schemas covers the issues surrounding XML and the businesses need to understand the implications of the technology, its relevance to electronic commerce, and ways to manage the introduction of this technology into your business. One final note on this book: It's interactive, so you can ask your own questions and help shape future chapters. New chapters will appear periodically and be announced in this news item - which serves as the table of contents.']
[April 11, 2000] "Microsoft Debuts BizTalk Server 2000. Technology Preview Demonstrates Comprehensive Solution For Internet Application Integration." - "Microsoft Corporation today announced public availability of the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview. Building on the BizTalk initiative announced last year, this preview release provides the next step in Microsoft's comprehensive solution for Internet application integration via industry-standard XML. Internet application integration embraces a single integration methodology for both traditional enterprise application integration scenarios inside the organization and business-to-business e-commerce scenarios between trading partners over the Internet. BizTalk Server 2000 will unite in a single product secure and reliable delivery, routing and transformation of business documents, as well as development tools and application adapters to XML-enable existing applications. The BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview is available immediately for download at no cost. BizTalk Server 2000 will offer a broad set of infrastructure capabilities and tools to simplify and speed Internet application integration: (1) Reliable document interchange supports delivery and content-driven rules-based routing of multiple document types, including XML, EDI (EDIFACT and X12), flat files and other custom formats. (2) Multiple network transport support permits delivery across a variety of transports including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, SMB (file transfer), Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ) and Microsoft Exchange. (3) Robust security is provided by encryption, digital signatures and public key infrastructure (PKI) that ensures the secure transmission of sensitive business information over the Internet. (4) Graphical modeling and development tools provided by the BizTalk Editor enable easy creation and editing of XML documents as well as conversion of other formats into XML. The BizTalk Mapper provides a rich graphical design surface for XML transformations, including automatic generation of XSLT. (5) Application adapters in the adapter architecture enable direct XML integration with existing business systems. This release includes out-of-the-box support for SAP R/3 systems and EDI, and an extensible architecture to provide XML integration for other line-of-business applications. (6) Tracking and analysis tools perform analytics and generate custom reports on business processes, including support for Microsoft Office data analysis tools. (7) Management and administration tools configure trading partner agreements and content-driven rules-based routing through the graphical BizDesk interface. (8) Programmability in the extensible architecture allows developers to add custom translators, parsers and security components as well as programmatically manage trading partner relationships... Announced in March 1999 with the goal of letting software speak the language of business, BizTalk makes it easy to integrate applications and conduct business over the Internet across industries and between business systems. Developed with broad industry participation, the BizTalk Framework provides a technical road map for describing business processes in industry-standard XML. BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview represents Microsoft's second-generation software solution supporting the BizTalk Framework and supplants the earlier BizTalk JumpStart Kit with a significantly expanded set of capabilities and an industrial-strength infrastructure."
[January 26, 2000] "As Rivals Lurk, Microsoft Retools BizTalk Server." By Mike Ricciuti and Wylie Wong. In CNet News.com (January 24, 2000). "A key piece of Microsoft's e-commerce software strategy is being retooled as the giant software maker sorts out its plan for tackling that market in the face of growing competition. One vital element is Microsoft's BizTalk Server -- an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based software application for linking business systems such as purchasing and procurement systems across the Internet. That product was slated to debut in mid-1999 in beta form, but the company missed that deadline and rescheduled beta testing until the end of last year. Microsoft, however, has only delivered pieces of the new server to beta testers and is busy building a new component of the server needed to keep the company up to speed with competitors, sources said."
[March 15, 2000] "Sequoia Software Publishes E-Business Integration Schema on BizTalk.Org. Schema Facilitates Exchange of Content Between Sequoia's XML Portal Server and the Disparate Applications Connected to the Portal." - "Sequoia Software Corporation, a leading provider and innovator of XML-powered software for creating Interactive e-business Portals, today announced that it has published its schema, titled 'Information Integration with Portal Servers' on BizTalk.Org. Sequoia created the XML schema to work in conjunction with its EXTRA interface, which uses XML messaging to link Sequoia's XML Portal Server (XPS) with the applications feeding the portal. With EXTRA and BizTalk business documents, Sequoia offers customers and third-party developers an open mechanism based on Internet standards to overcome data exchange challenges faced by companies engaging in e-business. The BizTalk initiative, which utilizes Internet-standard protocols and formats, is designed to help drive the adoption of XML as the lingua franca of business over the Web by creating a technical vocabulary for e-commerce that any application or computer system which recognizes XML will understand. Sequoia's schema establishes a standard format for XML messages sent to and from XPS and incorporates processing instructions that allow the portal server to take action on content. Ideal for businesses in any industry where access to data from multiple sources is critical, EXTRA allows XPS to quickly and easily connect to and exchange information with multiple systems in a way that is transparent to the end user. Sequoia customer Baylor Health Care System in Dallas is planning on employing BizTalk documents for facilitating the delivery of medical information. The Baylor initiative will help physicians retrieve patient information in a form that is most convenient for them (e.g., by fax, hand held device or mail). This will save time and help assure physicians have the most current patient data available, creating more time for productive interactions with patients."
[March 15, 2000] "Newmarket International Creates XML Schema Using BizTalk Framework to Build MeetingBroker.com -- The 'Independent Global Trading Exchange' for Hospitality Sales. Newmarket's use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the Microsoft BizTalk framework enables MeetingBroker.com to route e-RFPs from diverse meeting planner sites directly into Newmarket sales automation systems for immediate follow-up." - "Newmarket International announced today that www.MeetingBroker.com -- its business-to-business e-commerce solution for hospitality sales--is being engineered to utilize Microsoft's BizTalk Framework to facilitate seamless communication worldwide among meeting planners, hotels, convention centers, and all businesses associated with hospitality sales. The BizTalk Initiative represents the collective set of investments that Microsoft is making to fundamentally ease the integration process within and between companies. BizTalk Framework is based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other Internet standards. Newmarket, a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider, engineers all of its sales automation and Web-enabled products on the Windows DNA platform technologies and its tools, including Component Object Model (COM) SQL Server 7.0, Windows 2000,Microsoft Commerce Server 2000, Host Integration Server 2000, Application Center 2000 and Visual Studio 6.0. 'Newmarket is helping to drive the hospitality industry toward automated B2B e-commerce,' said Kevin McCall, product manager, BizTalk Initiative, Microsoft Corp. 'The interconnectivity between Newmarket's SQL Server-powered automation programs with the growing host of Web-based RFP sites will enable thousands of hotels and businesses to instantly reap the benefits of B2B e-commerce.' Newmarket International President Steve Giblin regards the BizTalk Framework as the element that will allow MeetingBroker.com to seamlessly conduct business over the Internet. [...] First introduced in March 1999, the BizTalk Framework makes it fundamentally easier for businesses to exchange information between software applications and conduct business over the Internet with trading partners and customers. The BizTalk Framework includes an open design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications."
[December 08, 1999] "Microsoft Announces Finalized BizTalk Framework Microsoft Teams With Customers, Partners and Industry Standards Bodies To Define BizTalk Framework and Accelerate Adoption of XML-Enabled E-Commerce." - "Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of the BizTalk Framework Document Specification 1.0, an updated component of the framework based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas and industry standards for sharing information. The Microsoft BizTalk Framework provides specifications for the design and development of XML-based solutions for communication between applications and organizations by leveraging standard Internet technologies such as XML, XML schema and MIME. This data-focused approach allows businesses to easily exchange XML documents with online trading partners and internal systems regardless of the platform, operating system or the underlying technology of their existing systems. Microsoft submitted the BizTalk Framework Document Specification 1.0 to the BizTalk Steering Committee -- composed of industry-leading vendors, standards bodies and corporate customers -- for review in September. The committee finalized and published the document specifications on the BizTalk.Org Web site, a public online library of shared XML information, resources and business document schema. Any individual or organization can access the specifications and use them to implement e-commerce and application integration solutions using the BizTalk Framework. With the final version of the specification now available, corporate developers and independent software developers can immediately embark on the development of BizTalk-compatible applications."
[January 12, 2000] "infoShark Joins Microsoft Ranks as XML Schema is Accepted by BizTalk.org. infoShark Automates XML Data Sharing Between Vertical Industries." - "infoShark, inc. announced today that its Commerce Accelerated Relational Data (CARD) Schema has been accepted by Microsoft's BizTalk Framework. The CARD schema's acceptance puts the top XML consortium behind infoShark, a leading provider of XML-based data delivery solutions for eBusiness. infoShark's CARD schema is unique in that it enables the bi-directional exchange of relational data over the Internet. The schema provides all the necessary information to recreate relational databases and populate them with their data via the Internet. Terabytes of health and financial records, pricing information, sports scores and personnel records are stored in databases around the world. Much of this information can be put to use on the Web. In fact, much of this information could generate new revenue for its providers and significantly reduce costs if it could be quickly and easily exchanged from database to database over the Web. The infoShark CARD schema makes this possible... In keeping with this vision, infoShark used the CARD schema as the framework for its most recent solution, XMLShark (BETA). XMLShark automates the sharing of XML data between industries and eliminates the need for a universal standard. To date, certain industries have developed their own set of standards, or glossary of terms, but the data has remained proprietary and unavailable for use outside their vertical market. XMLShark frees XML data from its industry stronghold and delivers it quickly and easily for use as it is needed."
[February 24, 2000] "Sequencia Releases Powerful BizTalk Schemas. Makes Complex Intellectual Property Exchange a Practical Reality for the Process Industries." - "Sequencia Corporation, a leading supplier of intranet and Internet based business-to-business (B2B) responsive process manufacturing solutions, today announced the release of two Extensible Markup Language (XML) BizTalk schemas that enable Internet collaboration between process industry manufacturers to accelerate new product and process introductions. These schemas are an important element enabling the new processPoint portal. processPoint is the only place on the World Wide Web where you can buy and sell process manufacturing capability, build long-term collaborative manufacturing relationships, accelerate new product roll-out, and interact within the process manufacturing community to globally deliver responsive manufacturing. BizTalk XML schemas define the structure and meaning of data so that different programs can share information across the Internet, or within intranets, using different operating systems and technologies. The Microsoft BizTalk Framework is a set of guidelines for publishing schemas in XML. It uses XML messages to easily integrate software programs together to build rich, new solutions. The processPoint design emphasis leverages what you have today - your existing data models, solutions, and application infrastructure - and adapts it for electronic commerce using XML. These processPoint XML schemas define the rules for consistent and understandable exchange of manufacturing recipes, procedures and equipment requirements."
[March 30, 2000] "Kewill, With Microsoft, Works to Deliver Business-to-Business E-Commerce Solutions. Kewill will use Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 in its Next Generation of E-Commerce Solutions." - "Kewill E-Commerce, a leading provider of electronic commerce supply chain management solutions, today announced it will use the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 as an integral component in its next generation of business-to-business e-commerce solutions. BizTalk Server will provide the tools and infrastructure required to automate business-to-business processes. The server interchanges business documents among various platforms and operating systems regardless of the application being used to process the documents. BizTalk Server also provides a standard gateway for sending and receiving documents via the Internet, which allows companies to integrate with their external trading partners. By taking advantage of BizTalk Framework-compatible schemas, which are based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas that follow industry standards, BizTalk Server enables organizations to effectively and efficiently conduct business online. Kewill's solution consists of an e-commerce backbone including enterprise application integration, EDI integration, message agent technology and message transformation, as well as managed host service and enhanced applications. By implementing BizTalk Server, the infrastructure for all of Kewill's next generation of e-commerce solutions becomes based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology. Kewill plans to offer these new innovative e-commerce solutions this Spring. The BizTalk initiative represents the collective set of investments that Microsoft is making to facilitate business process integration within and between organizations using Internet-standard protocols and formats. It includes the BizTalk Framework, various cross-industry investments including the BizTalk.org business document library, as well as products and tools for developing, executing and managing distributed business processes. These investments are being made in conjunction with industry standards groups, technology and service providers, as well as key global organizations. Introduced in March 1999, the BizTalk Framework makes it easy for businesses to exchange information between software applications and conduct business over the Internet with trading partners and customers. The BizTalk Framework includes an open design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications. Microsoft, other software companies and industry-standards bodies will use the BizTalk Framework to produce XML schemas in a consistent manner to enable integration across industries and between business systems, independent of operating system, programming model or programming language."
[January 24, 2000] "BizTalk: All talk? Key pieces of Microsoft's e-commerce strategy are still missing in action." By Jim Kerstetter. In PCWeek (January 24, 2000). "Last spring, top Microsoft Corp. executives stood before a ballroom full of reporters at San Francisco's Argent Hotel and touted a product that didn't exist and that used technology that had yet to be developed. The product was the BizTalk Server, an application that Microsoft said would make it easy for companies to integrate computer systems for business-to-business e-commerce. The technology was the BizTalk Framework, which will use XML (Extensible Markup Language) to define how computer systems at different companies talk to each other. Unfortunately for Microsoft, which has had more than its share of product delays, BizTalk development is lagging. Ten months after Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and industry luminaries such as SAP AG Chairman Hasso Plattner and PeopleSoft Inc. CEO Dave Duffield waxed poetic about the product's imporance, BizTalk is still just talk... To say that Microsoft has a lot riding on its BizTalk server and framework would be an understatement. An XML framework, at least as Microsoft is defining it, is literally the center of everything in business-to-business commerce. Built around a standard set of tags for defining specific types of content, the framework describes how developers should use XML to integrate with electronic data interchange systems and enterprise resource planning systems. The standard also describes how applications should work together to create just about any process companies would need to do business together online..."
[October 19, 1999] "Biztalk Jumpstart Kit Version K Released." - "Today, Microsoft released an update to the BizTalk Jumpstart Kit. The update includes enhanced tools and samples, updates and cross platform support. In September, Microsoft released the BizTalk Jumpstart Kit - a full sample architecture and tool set for building and adding XML support to new and existing applications. Since that time, thousands of copies of the BizTalk Jumpstart Kit have been downloaded and given to developers that want to see how easy it is to write application extensions that use XML to solve the tough interop challenges that face businesses today. Feedback has been streaming in praising the BizTalk Jumpstart Kit for making the tough technical challenge of learning to be effective with XML. Based on that feedback, the first update to the Jumpstart Kit was released on 19 October, 1999. The BizTalk Jumpstart kit update is now released as two separate files... Enhancements include: (1) Enhanced Tools: Tool enhancements include broader support for complex schema constructs in the code generators. (2) Improved selector: The selector has been reworked to provide greater through-put, more flexible message routing, greater stability under application error conditions and improved system log debugging messages. (3) Debugging Assistants: Optional tools let you route XML messages received to a view window. (4) Cross Platform Support: A PERL version of the basic toolkit infrastructure is provided in a compressed archive (.tar) (5) Enhanced sample: Sample program HTML has been upgraded to be more efficient."
[July 21, 1999] Open Applications Group and Microsoft Announce First Pilot Project to Migrate Industry Standard to BizTalk Framework Specifications. An announcement from Microsoft and the Open Applications Group describes an endeavor to migrate the Open Applications Group Integration Specification (OAGIS) XML Definitions to the BizTalk Framework specifications. "The XML working group within the OAGI, which includes Candle Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., HK Systems Inc., IBM Manufacturing Systems, Microsoft, NEC Corp., PeopleSoft Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, plans to update the current OAGI XML documents, which were developed under the W3C XML 1.0 specification, by prototyping them under XML-schema and BizTalk Framework specifications. The goal is to produce a compatible set of XML-schema documents and publish them in the BizTalk.Org library. The OAGI, which has a track record of fast delivery, plans to be in a position to have the prototyping and architecture issues completed as soon as possible after the W3C finalizes the XML-schema recommendation currently in review before that group. Once the XML-schema specification, which the BizTalk Framework will support, is completed and formally recommended by the W3C, the OAGI plans to very quickly publish its work under the XML-schema format and, subsequently, the BizTalk Framework. . . By the fourth quarter of 1999, the OAGI working group plans to migrate its existing OAGIS XML Document Type Definitions (DTDs) to be compatible with XML-schema and the BizTalk Framework specifications recently published in draft form. The BizTalk Framework fits nicely with the current OAGI design guidelines for XML development. This effort seeks to ensure convergence and will accelerate the adoption of the OAGIS standard by providing easy integration with BizTalk Framework-compatible schemas across multiple industries. The OAGI plans to publish its BizTalk Framework-compatible schemas in the BizTalk.Org schema library so they can be downloaded and used by any individual or organization free of charge." See also the recent news "Open Applications Group Issues Revised XML DTDs and Forms Customer Interoperability Council."
[September 23, 1999] "Harbinger Supports Microsoft BizTalk Framework for Adoption of XML in Electronic Commerce." - "Harbinger Corporation, a worldwide supplier of Electronic Commerce software, services and solutions, announced today that it is working with Microsoft Corp. to support the development of its BizTalk Framework, a newly developed tool that promises to advance the adoption of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) in Electronic Commerce. Separately, Harbinger also announced that it is collaborating with Microsoft to establish standards, incorporating XML schema and guidelines, for use with online catalog data management systems. Harbinger is supporting BizTalk in four key areas: First, Harbinger is integrating BizTalk into new products from its Harbinger Labs Division. Second, Harbinger is collaborating with Microsoft to establish standards for online catalog data management. Third, Harbinger is enabling its harbinger.net E-Commerce network portal to exchange BizTalk-compatible XML documents, thus immediately enabling all of its network customers with online access to XML from popular data translation standards. Finally, Harbinger plans to support the BizTalk Framework across its TrustedLink family of mapping and translation software products, which will give Harbinger's 40,000 customers on-site translation capabilities for BizTalk-compatible XML documents. . ." [local archive copy]
[July 28, 1999] "James Utzschneider -- Microsoft's Director of Business Frameworks Extols XML." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld (July 26, 1999). "Microsoft in March announced BizTalk, an architecture for Internet commerce and application integration that relies heavily on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Designed to be a way for inter- and intra-industry passing of information without the need to reformat data, Microsoft is hoping for broad adoption of this set of schema guidelines among customers, third-party software makers, and standards bodies. BizTalk has also served as an example of how serious Microsoft is about XML, which is taking its place as a lingua franca in I-commerce. InfoWorld Senior Writer Matthew Nelson recently spoke with James Utzschneider, director of business frameworks at Microsoft's business solutions group, about BizTalk's goals and how XML is showing up in every major Microsoft product area." [Excerpt:] InfoWorld: In adopting XML and pushing it out there, some people might worry that it is going to be taken over by Microsoft. Is that the case or, if not, why? Utzschneider: For starters, if we tried to take over XML, it would backfire. And secondly, it doesn't serve our purpose. One of the most important things behind BizTalk, and one of the reasons why it's coming out of our sales organization, at least many of the ideas behind the BizTalk framework, is that partnering with other software companies, with customers, and standards bodies is key to the success of BizTalk. That's why we're delighted that the Open Applications Group voted, at their Dublin board meeting a month ago, to do a BizTalk implementation of their schemas. Another group that we're working closely with is RosettaNet. And we're doing the RosettaNet implementation. And the fact that the head of RosettaNet is now going to be on the BizTalk steering committee, is a good indication of how we can get feedback from neutral, impartial, third-party standards bodies and giving us guidance on how to manage it. So if there's one thing to think about BizTalk, it's to think about pilot projects and adoptions by Microsoft customers and partners. It's not a Microsoft thing. It's a group effort to define the best way to implement XML-based applications."
[September 08, 1999] "Technomation Publishes BizTalk Framework Compatible Schema for eProposals. Customers Applaud Effort to Enable Integration of eProposals in the E-Value Chain using the BizTalk Framework in Technomation's BizOffice Portal Offering." - "Technomation Systems Inc. today announced plans to support Microsoft's BizTalk Framework by incorporating it into Technomation's BizOffice Portal for eProposals (electronic proposals). Technomation's eProposal XML schema will initially be offered as a schema for the seamless exchange of eProposals and quotations along the integrated E-value chain of proposal creation, quote generation, order entry, inventory control, invoicing, and post-sales customer support. The eProposal XML schema will provide the means for transferring data and descriptions of products or services, including specifications, capabilities, and costs, which can be communicated quickly and effectively to potential customers, vendors, or trading partners. XML-based schemas representing other business processes contributed by other companies will complement Technomation's eProposal XML schema in the biztalk.org library. Companies that use the eProposal XML schema contributed by Technomation will be able to effect E-commerce interchange of proposal, quote generation, and order-creation information, without dependency on specific data-presentation tools or middleware present in the business processes and systems that comprise the E-value chain. Technomation BizOffice's unique dynamic live-document architecture and Microsoft BizTalk Framework-compatible XML schema provide effective tools for selling direct to the customer, while providing integration with backend data warehouses and LOB applications for effecting the transaction."
[September 08, 1999] "Navision Software Adopts BizTalk Framework for E-commerce Applications. Leading Worldwide Software Provider Continues Microsoft Support and Development." - "Navision Software, a leading worldwide developer of enterprise business solutions, today announced its plans to work alongside Microsoft Corp. to support the BizTalk Framework by developing BizTalk-compatible schemas for seamless electronic exchange of business documents and messages expressed in the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Navision Software's involvement with BizTalk highlights a continued devotion to the further development of Microsoft's future e-commerce platforms, including SQL Server, Windows 2000 Server and Commerce Server. Founded in 1984, Navision Software is a leading developer of innovative enterprise business solutions. Navision Software has more than 31,000 installations worldwide in 75 countries and 22 different country-specific versions. Navision WebShop, the company's e-commerce solution, which recently won the Best Solution Award for Electronic Commerce Integration, is just one result of Navision Software's close relationship with Microsoft."
[August 05, 1999] "BizTalk: Not Synonymous with XML." By Alicia Costanza. In ent Magazine [Online] (July 19, 1999). "Despite the fact that the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C, www.w3.org), the organization that develops Internet standards, has yet to release an XML schema, Microsoft Corp. is plowing ahead with its own framework for XML, called BizTalk. BizTalk.org, the Microsoft-developed Web site that houses the BizTalk XML framework specifications and reference materials, has garnered the support of ERP vendors Baan Co. (www.baan.com), SAP AG (www.sap.com) and PeopleSoft Inc. (www.peoplesoft.com). Touting itself as an XML repository, BizTalk.org is designed to allow vendors to obtain the BizTalk schema and then build these specifications into their own products -- enabling communication between parties using the BizTalk framework. According to Benoit Lheureux, director of application integration and middleware strategies at GartnerGroup (www.gartner.com), one of the reasons Microsoft has pushed forward to develop an XML framework in the business-to-business space is because it could excel in that arena. "Microsoft is good in the space of opportunistic-type products," Lheureux says. He continues that even though the key concepts of the BizTalk framework are proprietary, "I don't think anyone will be able to own it. XML can't be owned per se."
[August 05, 1999] "Framed by BizTalk." By Eric Binary Anderson. In ent Magazine [Online] (July 19, 1999). "It's not my fault. Sure, you might think you remember a recent article of mine -- the one about the importance of XML documents and their verifying templates: Document Type Definitions (DTDs). You might think you remember me saying, 'By having an industry standard for business-to-business communication, we will open up whole new worlds for software development.' And now, due to some recent announcements from Microsoft, you're probably thinking that I was a hired straight man, setting up the pins so Microsoft could knock them down. But I was framed! And the framework in question is Microsoft's BizTalk. You might remember that standard XML uses a DTD to describe the valid tags and structure of a document. Microsoft, however, has ignored DTDs in favor of XML-Data, a specification currently under review by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C). Unlike DTDs, XML-Data schemas are written in standard XML, meaning developers don't have to learn another technology. XML-Data also supports XML namespaces, offers stronger typing than DTDs and is extensible. XML-Data schemas are not as well supported as DTDs, but it seems like a natural step towards unifying under XML for all data interchange on the Web. While Microsoft will undoubtedly provide its own suite of tools to leverage BizTalk schemas, the current proposal seems refreshingly free of Windows platform entanglements. Microsoft specifically grants permission for anyone to leverage any technology in the BizTalk 0.8 specification perpetually, without license. It seems Microsoft feels driving the specification will give them a comfortable advantage in developing BizTalk solutions."
[July 06, 1999] "Microsoft's BizTalk Framework Adds Messaging to XML. Proposed Framework for XML Schemas and Exchange of Data." By Michael A. Goulde. 'This article is a reprint from the June 23, 1999 Patricia Seybold Group's Enabling Technologies Strategic Planning Service. It has been reproduced here as originally published.' "Although many groups are defining XML schemas, Microsoft has stepped up and offered a solution for defining a standard way to create schemas. BizTalk Framework is a specification and a framework for implementing XML schemas. It also provides a set of XML tags to be used within messages sent between applications. In fact, XML message formats may be the most significant and longest lasting legacy of BizTalk Framework. Microsoft hopes to elicit broad industry support for BizTalk Framework. Boeing, Merrill Lynch, and the American Petroleum Institute are early BizTalk Framework supporters, as are most ERP vendors. . . There are many different vertical industry efforts underway to define common vocabularies. Unfortunately, each of these efforts is taking different approach to defining schema. BizTalk Framework can provide an industry-neutral way to define schemas, allowing software developers to provide tools and applications that work across industries, rather than having to adapt to each industry's schema." See "BizTalk Framework."
[July 14, 1999] "EXE Technologies Announces Support of Microsoft's BizTalk Framework. Retail, Manufacturing and Third Party Logistics Distributors to Benefit from XML-Based Business-to-Business Communications." - "EXE Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of supply chain execution (SCE) software, featuring best-of-breed warehouse management systems (WMS), today announced its commitment to support Microsoft's BizTalk Framework by developing industry-specific schemas that will enable the seamless exchange of business information for EXE's customers. The BizTalk framework, launched by Microsoft Corp. in March, is a framework for application integration and electronic commerce based on new Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas and industry standards for sharing information. The BizTalk Framework makes it easy for businesses to exchange information between software applications and conduct business over the Internet or private networks with trading partners. EXE Technologies will support Microsoft's advocacy of XML and industry standards for sharing business information by using BizTalk schemas and developing industry-specific schemas for EXE applications. EXE customers will execute BizTalk schemas as the default business-to-business communication language and EXE-developed schemas for industry-specific functionality. Industry-specific schemas developed by EXE will be submitted to the BizTalk.org schema repository."
[July 12, 1999] "What Microsoft is doing right and wrong with BizTalk." By James Kobielus. In Network World (July 12, 1999). "Microsoft's BizTalk initiative represents both a help and a hindrance to the electronic commerce industry's quest for XML-based interoperability. To Microsoft's credit, BizTalk has underscored the need for broad standards frameworks for business-to-business e-commerce interoperability, over and above traditional electronic data- interchange document formats. E-commerce is a total transaction environment that requires standards on many levels. Like competing frameworks, such as Ariba Technologies' Commerce XML (cXML), BizTalk uses XML to define message-routing envelopes, request-response messaging protocols, transaction workflows and online catalog structures. . . However, Microsoft may be overstepping its bounds in attempting to position itself as an online clearinghouse and repository for XML-based e-commerce schemas developed elsewhere. If the Microsoft-sponsored www.biztalk.org were a pure schema clearinghouse and repository, it would be benign. However, Microsoft requires e-commerce developers to wrap BizTalk XML "tags" around their schemas in order to publish them to the repository. The tags declare that the contents of an XML/EDI message conform to a Microsoft-defined 'namespace' or set of permissible data elements. . ."
[July 07, 1999] "No Money Behind Microsoft's XML Support." By Wylie Wong and Mike Ricciuti. In CNET News.com (July 07, 1999). [news analysis] 'Microsoft recently joined an XML industry consortium supported by some of its competitors, but the software firm has yet to commit the same financial resources as its rivals.' "Microsoft last month eased fears of a Java-like war in the XML market when it joined Oasis, a nonprofit XML consortium backed by Microsoft's rivals, including IBM, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. . . Both Microsoft and Oasis recently launched portal sites for XML developers that host XML data exchange blueprints for specific industries, such as financial services. Microsoft's Biztalk.org Web site and Oasis's XML.org site intend to serve as respositories for the blueprints and resource centers for companies using XML. The two compete in that both seek to establish industry consensus and provide a forum to define XML. But BizTalk will host BizTalk-specific blueprints, while Oasis will host information on all blueprints. Some companies, such as CommerceOne and SAP, support both efforts. The main concern among XML proponents is that major software makers will use their financial clout to influence the consensus-building process, leading to proprietary versions of XML blueprints that favor a company's software and architecture. XML.org is asking members with more than $250 million in yearly revenue to contribute $100,000 and companies with less than $250 million in revenue to give $25,000. DataChannel CEO Dave Pool said he expects more companies in specific vertical markets, such as General Motors, Nasdaq, and AT&T, to help support XML.org." [local archive copy]
"The BizTalk Philosophy." "There are two core issues behind the BizTalk initiative: (1) Application integration today is too hard. The cost and complexity of integrating together ERP systems, inventory management systems, or sales tracking systems within a single organization strains the capabilities of most large and small companies alike. (2) The next wave of electronic commerce is going to require massive amounts of application integration across multiple organizations, as trading partners turn to the Internet to automate supply chains, forecasting systems, and government services, and new types of business interchanges. This is potentially a big problem. If companies have difficulty integrating systems together within a single site, how are we going to do this on a broad scale over the Internet? The way to overcome the first issue, and at the same time enabling the second, is to adopt an XML message-passing architecture to tie systems together. XML is a W3C standard. It defines a platform-neutral way to represent data that is transmitted between computers. Common types of business data -- whether it's a sales receipt, bank transfer, job application, or sales forecast -- can be easily formatted in XML and sent between computers. Even if those computers run different operating systems and use applications written in different programming languages..."
[July 06, 1999] "The BizTalk Philosophy." By Dan Rogers (Microsoft Corporation). June 1999. "Under competitive pressure, best of breed IT strategies have adopted packaged software as a way to reduce the IT budget. Savings are achieved by shifting maintenance and R&D costs to software companies. The corresponding shrinkage of the overall IT expenditure has brought other costs under scrutiny. The costs associated with building and maintaining so-called glue layers is increasing faster than other IT budget items. Many customers report concerns over the rising cost of system integration and are starting to question the approach. Microsoft has advocated a glue approach to integration for several years (admittedly, Microsoft has never actually referred to the approach using the term "glue". This term has risen in the general ranks of programmers and consultants that solve integration problems.) In response to customer concerns, we began working on defining an approach to achieving information flows between applications without the need to select a common platform, object technology or define an enterprise information model. Two guiding principles were used to drive this work: to use standards wherever possible and make the process open. The result of this work is the BizTalk Frameworkset that defines a small number of mandatory and optional XML tags, and the www.biztalk.org web portal. These three elements each combine to form the basis for achieving friction-free integration -- and when coupled with technologies that are designed to move and respond to data encoded as XML, these elements of the BizTalk Framework combine to form the foundation for a glue-less world."
[July 06, 1999] "1st XML Schema Hits BizTalk. MarketSoft Guidelines for Microsoft Server Focus on CRM Applications." By Lee Pender. In PC Week [Online] (July 5, 1999). "Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk framework for XML moved from concept to reality recently as MarketSoft Corp. became the first ISV to contribute an Extensible Markup Language schema to the BizTalk platform. The goal of BizTalk is to promote rapid adoption of XML-based technologies by establishing a consistent framework for XML and publishing schemata for public use. Despite XML's lauded potential for enabling data sharing across platforms, developers of the technology face hurdles in creating standard schemata that can be shared by disparate organizations. Schemata submitted to BizTalk must meet the framework's requirements before being published for public use. MarketSoft has hopped on the BizTalk bandwagon first with a schema it uses for its eLeads application. The Web application qualifies and prioritizes sales leads and distributes them to customer relationship management systems, contact managers and enterprise resource planning applications. Users can feed information into eLeads from sources that include call centers, e-mail, the Web and service bureaus."
[June 29, 1999] "BizTalk Gains Momentum as Microsoft Garners Application Support." By Stephen Swoyer . In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] (June 09, 1999). "When Microsoft Corp. unveiled its BizTalk initiative in early March, a number of industry watchers were skeptical of the company's ability to execute on many of its forward-looking announcements. After all, Microsoft hadn't unveiled anything substantive yet, had it? In recent months the software giant has looked to deliver on its promises by partnering with a number of application vendors and eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) developers. As a result, BizTalk may now be poised for broader industry acceptance, shedding an initial perception of vaporware. . ."
[June 26 1999] "Microsoft's BizTalk Initiative: Do They Really Have the XML Religion? [Editor's Note]." By Jeff Hadfield [Editor in Chief, Visual Basic Programmer's Journal]. From DEV.X XML-Zone. June, 1999. "Microsoft's James Utzschneider, director of Microsoft's recently announced BizTalk initiative, recently preached that Microsoft has 'got the XML religion.' Those on the receiving end of the sermon -- congregations of jaded journalists -- reacted with a mix of hallelujahs and cries of heresy. Microsoft's BizTalk specification, now in version 0.8, is an 'open' spec guided by a standards body and is based entirely on W3C-standard XML formatting. The BizTalk Web site will house schemas (or 'contracts') that developers using XML and BizTalk have proven effective in specific, vertical implementations with specific software packages. To be posted publicly, the schemas must pass an automated standard conformance script (also promised to be freely viewable). These schemas, as Utzschneider explained them, dictate 'what I send you, what you send me back, what you promise, what you respond,' and even what specific documents are sent back and forth. He reassured listeners that Microsoft would not stray from the W3C standard but instead wanted to evangelize XML by providing a framework for showing how people can put XML to use. (For the record, he predicted that in four or five years, none of this would be an issue, since XML would be either supported natively in products or through Extended Schema Language, which maps one vendor's XML implementation to another's.)"
[MS-broken-link] BizTalk Framework XML Tags Specification "This document describes version 0.8 technical specifications for BizTalk Framework XML Tags. These consist of message tags encoded in XML, and define a common way to use XML to accomplish identification, routing and enable complex interaction. The purpose of the version 0.8 specification is to define the identification mark-up tags and elicit comments and feedback regarding the routing blocks." [local archive copy, 1999-05-24]
[MS-broken-link] "BizTalk Framework Document Design Guide." "Creating XML document schemas and instances from data contained within your existing systems, or that meet your application needs is complicated, in part due to the number of different ways of expressing the same things. Furthermore, inconsistency in the way messages are constructed will make the process of integration more difficult. The purpose of this document is to provide a set of design guidelines for BizTalk Framework documents that can be easily implemented by application developers. The BizTalk Framework is an XML framework for application integration and e-commerce. It includes a design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications. Microsoft, other software companies, and industry standards bodies will use the Biztalk Framework to produce XML schemas in a consistent manner." [local archive copy]
[June 28, 1999] "MarketSoft Revolutionizes Exchange of Sales Leads Across Extended Enterprise with XML. MarketSoft First ISV to Submit BizTalk Framework-Compatible Schema to BizTalk.Org ... eLeads Capability Currently in Use at Compaq, Fidelity, and Tech Data." - "MarketSoft today announced that it has the distinction of being the first Independent Software Vendor (ISV) to submit its XML-based eLeads solution, already in use in multiple production environments, as a schema compatible with the BizTalk Framework. MarketSoft's schema has been submitted to BizTalk.org, the central repository and developer resource site for BizTalk Framework compatible schemas. MarketSoft, through its aggressive use of XML, and its early submission of a BizTalk Framework compatible schema, has taken a leadership position in helping to define an extended enterprise sales lead interchange standard."
[May 24, 1999] "Microsoft and Commerce One to Collaborate on Key XML Technologies To Accelerate Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce Commerce One Common Business Library and MarketSite XML Documents To Enhance BizTalk Framework to Increase Interoperability Between Businesses." - "Microsoft Corp. and Commerce One Inc., a leading provider of electronic commerce solutions, today announced a broad collaboration around the BizTalk Framework and XML technologies to accelerate business-to-business electronic commerce by enabling greater interoperability between trading partners. As part of today's news, delivered at Microsoft's Tech Ed 99 conference, the Common Business Library (CBL), a public collection of XML document building blocks developed by Commerce One, and the Commerce One MarketSite-based business documents will be submitted into the BizTalk.Org schema repository."
[May 24, 1999] "Microsoft Announces First Draft BizTalk Framework Specifications, Launches BizTalk.Org. Microsoft, Industry Partners and Customers Form Steering Committee To Oversee Development and Submission of XML-Based BizTalk Schemas ." - "Microsoft has announced "the availability of the first draft specifications of the BizTalk Framework, a new BizTalk.Org Web site, and charter members of the BizTalk steering committee.
[March 22, 1999] "SAP, Peoplesoft To Support Framework -- Going to bat for BizTalk>" By Scott Tiazkun. In Computer Reseller News Issue 834 (March 22, 1999). "Both SAP AG and PeopleSoft Inc. went to bat for Microsoft Corp.'s new electronic-commerce venture, vowing to use the BizTalk framework for their business applications. PeopleSoft, Pleasanton, Calif., plans to work with Microsoft to develop its PeopleSoft Business Network (PSBN), said PeopleSoft executives. PSBN, first discussed in November, will deliver applications over the Internet to end users. Within the next six months, the two companies will develop new XML schemas for document interchange between the SAP Business Framework and Microsoft's BizTalk framework."
[March 22, 1999] "XML Servers Aid Biz-To-Biz Translation." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek Issue 757 (March 22, 1999). "As users awake to the power of XML for integratingenterprise applications or e-commerce, a new server category, the XML server, is emerging. These dedicated platforms, which promise to offload XML document storage, translation, and manipulation, sport an XML-parsing engine plus utilities for processing XML documents, vocabularies, and ways to link all this to legacy systems. Microsoft earlier this month announced its BizTalk Server, which will be accompanied by industry-specific XML 'vocabularies' for e-commerce and the like. BizTalk, due in the second half of the year, also will be a major part of Microsoft Commerce Server, the successor to Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition 3.0."
[March 23, 1999] "Seeking the Common Ground in E-Commerce -- Microsoft to Offer BizTalk Products in a Bid to Standardize Communication." By Aaron Ricadela and Kristen Kenedy. In Computer Retail Week (March 22, 1999). "Microsoft this month introduced a host of strategies designed to standardize communication between electronic retailers and suppliers, thereby doing away with proprietary systems that are seen as slowing the growth of e-commerce. Microsoft's plans revolve around three new products expected to be available in beta form this summer: Microsoft Small Business Commerce Services, a commerce package for small companies; Microsoft Commerce Server 3.0; and Microsoft BizTalk Server, a package that lets companies exchange disparate data and applications. BizTalk Server is built on Microsoft's new BizTalk framework for e-commerce transactions. BizTalk is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), a widely accepted architecture.
[June 01, 1999] "New Web Sites Quench XML Thirst." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 22 (May 31, 1999). "Both Microsoft and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) have founded Web sites to act as information repositories for the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for users and developers. Microsoft announced last week at its TechEd conference, in Dallas, the creation of BizTalk.org, which currently holds the first draft of specifications for the BizTalk Framework. The company intends to provide the site as an open repository for XML schemas using the BizTalk Framework for Internet commerce and application integration, according to the company. Microsoft announced BizTalk Framework in March as a way of using XML to assist in processing information for differing commerce sites. OASIS founded XML.org last week to provide a registry and repository for the access and management of XML schemas, Document Type Definitions, and other XML-related information."