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Elton Stoneman
This is the *old* blog. The new one is at blog.sixeyed.com

[Source: http://geekswithblogs.net/EltonStoneman]

* This post is pure speculation, not based on any special insider knowledge, so don't get too excited *

BizTalk 2010 has RTM'd, and the Developer Edition is now free. It seems an unusual move to give it away, with the price point of other BizTalk licences. Enterprises who actively use BizTalk will have an IT budget that will probably stretch to MSDN subscriptions for their dev team; conversely, SMBs who aren't prepared to spend £500-odd on a Developer licence are hardly likely to spend 10 times that on a Standard licence. But it would make sense if there's a free edition of BizTalk to come.

In the SQL Server 2008 R2 line-up, the Express edition with Advanced Services gives you a superb database platform with restrictions that SMBs can easily live with. You get the Management tools and SSRS, generous restrictions on database size and hardware usage, and it's a genuinely viable option for running your key business apps.

An Express Edition of BizTalk alongside the same lines would be an excellent move, opening up the power and reliability of the platform to SMBs, to establish an integration architecture which can expand as they do. It would also smooth out the pricing curve. At the last Microsoft meeting I went to with the BizTalk Product Manager, the audience cited price points as barrier to adoption. Standard edition is c. £6,000 which is too big an investment for small companies who need to do some integration with business partners. Companies who can incorporate £6k into an IT budget are likely to have concerns about reliability and scalability which the Standard Edition – with no BizTalk Group functionality – can't meet. To get reliability across two nodes, they need two Enterprise Edition licences, which raises the entry point to £50k.

Introducing a new, free version would allow functionality to be brought down the line from Enterprise. So imagine a product comparison, borrowing from the spread of features in SQL Server 2008 R2, working like this:

 

Express Edition

Standard Edition

Enterprise Edition

Cost per processor

£FREE

~£6K

~£25K

Active CPU limit

1

2

No limit

Active Memory limit

1Gb

No limit

No limit

SQL Server Edition

Express only

Standard or above

Standard or above

BizTalk Group

Not available

Max. 2 servers

Unlimited servers

BizTalk Applications

1

5

No limit

 

A step further would be to remove BAM and the Rules Engine from the free edition, and spread the adapter suite across editions – so Express only has the core adapters (FILE, FTP, SOAP, WCF etc.), and the Enterprise edition has the full LOB adapter suite.

That gives you a BizTalk roadmap for a whole range of enterprises. Small businesses who are passing CSV files a few times a day between providers and clients can use the Express edition to power that integration, knowing that if they suddenly grow their systems can grow indefinitely. Medium-sized enterprises can use Standard edition and get reliability across two nodes without spending their whole IT budget. And the Enterprise edition is there for the high-end users.

Purely speculation, and possibly not likely, but a BizTalk Express Edition would be great for platform adoption, and good news for systems integrators.

Posted on Sunday, October 3, 2010 8:54 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?

# re: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?
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What about a cloud based version. This would remove the hardward costs and large licence cost. I have found this to be a blocker for adoption so many times.
Left by Craig on Oct 03, 2010 10:12 PM

# re: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?
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Definitely, this one will not work on cloud version integration. Unless otherwise its has and exceptional platform supporting the host connection environment.
Left by Estudiar idiomas extranjero on Dec 16, 2010 5:40 PM

# re: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?
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# re: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?
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Before my holiday to France I tried and find out BizTalk Adapter Pack 2.0 with SQL Binding as a said back then I also wanted to try out the Oracle Binding.
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# re: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?
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# re: Is a BizTalk Express Edition in the offing?
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