Microsoft continued its battle against integration goliath IBM yesterday, launching BizTalk Server 2004, and promising improved developer productivity.
BizTalk Server 2004 connects into Visual Studio.NET giving .NET developers access to the business server’s accelerator designer, pipeline editor and orchestration designer.
Business process managers, meanwhile, are able to model business flows inside Visual Studio.NET, without importing and exporting using Power Point presentations.
Other features include business process management and business rules engines, and XML standards such as SOAP, WSDL and the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) specification.
Microsoft claims a 40% improvement in developer productivity over the previous BizTalk Server 2002 and cost saving against integration rivals, with a price per CPU of $25,000 for the enterprise edition – the same price as the older server.
IBM is increasingly Microsoft’s target. Microsoft recently released a sponsored white paper claiming Windows and Microsoft offers a lower total cost of ownership in integration than IBM.
Yesterday, Microsoft corporate vice president for the e-business servers group, Ted Kummert, claimed BizTalk Server 2004’s integration with Microsoft’s IDE and other underlying Microsoft applications stands in contrast to IBM’s own approach.
IBM’s WebSphere has a level of integration, Kummert said. However: We feel good about the price. We are delivering a lot of extra features for the same price. It’s important to talk about the TCO – licensing is one element. There are also features for developers.
However, it seems, Microsoft may have taken IBM more seriously than it is letting on. BizTalk Server 2004 was to have been part of an integrated product suite codenamed Jupiter, also featuring Commerce Server and Content Management Server. Last month, though, Microsoft informed partners and customers Jupiter would not be delivered as a single product, as planned.
One partner close to Microsoft’s decision to eventually retain separate products, called Jupiter, unveiled in late 2002, a knee-jerk reaction to consolidation in the market from IBM around WebSphere.
When Microsoft announced Jupiter, IBM had made three acquisitions in 2001 and 2002, furthering its integration line with Holosofx, for business process modeling and monitoring tools, Metamerge for directory integration, and CrossWorlds Software for software integration. Rather than become a single product, though, WebSphere is more a branded family of products with differing levels of integration.
Krummert told ComputerWire yesterday, Microsoft had, Articulated what we wanted to build, but it was really only afterwards that we talked to customers and partners on how we would build it. Based on that feedback we took a decision on the packaging.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire