The cloud is expanding fast in features and capabilities. Offering a plethora of possibilities for existing and new enterprises. It offers infrastructure-, platform- and software as a service for enterprises to utilize. New services and applications are built and deployed every day with a high demand for data that resides in cloud data stores or on premise. These services and applications are hosted in the cloud, computers or other devices like smart phones and tablets. Integration becomes key to provide connectivity between the applications, services and systems. Data needs to flow from for instance an on-premise Line-of Business (LOB) system to an application on a tablet and vice versa.

BizTalk Server 2013 offers through adapters like WCF-BasicHttpRelay, WCF-NetTcpRelay, SB-Messaging and WCF-WebHttp creating more new integration capabilities to implement hybrid solutions. The adapters offer multiple protocols to facilitate communication between on-premise applications, services and systems and the cloud utilizing the Windows Azure Service Bus and Representational State Transfer (REST). These are the main features in my view that BizTalk Server 2013 offers; more connectivity with the cloud. Either direct or indirect via the Windows Azure Service Bus. Direct means through relays and REST. Indirect through queues or topics. Direct communication, one-way or request-reply, is supported through WCF-BasicHttpRelay and WCF-NetTcpRelay, and WCF-WebHttp adapters in BizTalk Server 2013. Indirect communication (or brokered communication) is supported through SB_Messaging adapter.

The new BizTalk version, the 8th releases since 2000, will be released in Q1 2013. It will support the latest platforms and standards, simply the experience of its users, improve performance, provide more connectivity to the cloud and capabilities to run BizTalk in the cloud. This version will bring on-premise system closer to the cloud than any version before.

- Ninja Steef-Jan (Blog, Wiki, Twitter, Profile)