As Steve Martin announced last week, the beta of BizTalk Server 2009 is now available (download here). BizTalk continues to be one of those great unknowns in the developer space it seems – even with an installed base of over 10,000 customers globally – and releases like this often slip under the radar. However, my reason for posting here isn’t to alert you to BizTalk the product (read their blog for that), but rather to highlight the release process.
As Steve notes, the Connected Systems team are moving to a regular, predictable 2 year release cycle. This helps customers (and developers) plan better. And they are focusing on quality, since the beta release is feature complete, and the release date from here (currently slated for first half next year) is dependant on achieving quality goals. This is a good move, and consistent with moves we’ve seen in both Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010 announcements – the feature set is done, now we’re working on quality.