Microsoft has added RFID support to BizTalk Server 2006 R2, which was released this week.
The update is Microsoft first software to come with RFID support. BizTalk is the foundation of the company's SOA, supply chain and business process-management platforms.
The company said BizTalk Server 2006 R2 includes APIs and hardware frameworks so third-party vendors can tie their RFID wares into the platform. The platform will also include a set of business rules and event-management capabilities so RFID events can be connected to back-end business processes.
Microsoft said the server will tie real-time supply chain events to business processes such as connecting what is happening on the shop floor to partner networks and corporate systems, such as SAP.
In addition, Microsoft has added native support for electronic data interchange (EDI) and Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) and has added integration with Vista and Office. It also has included integrated support for vertical such industry standards as SWIFT, HL7, HIPAA and RosettaNet. Those connectors previously were add-ons but now are included with BizTalk Server 2006 R2.
Microsoft also released Enterprise Service Bus Guidance, which provides customers with architectural guidance, patterns and practices.
All the upgrades to BizTalk are designed to extend Microsoft's business process-management platform to the edge of the network and beyond. They also are intended to deepen the integration of BizTalk with Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005.