BizTalk Server is here to stay.

Recently I saw a question on forum where some asked the question if Microsoft stops the production of BizTalk. If you look at BizTalk roadmap it ends at the version after the one that is coming up in Q3 or perhaps 4 this year. That roadmap can make you think that it ends after vNext, but my thinking is that with current evolution in Technology (which is at a fast pace) it is hard to assess how BizTalk will look like (feature wise) in 2014. In a current and future IT landscapes with Windows products in a dominant position there will always be a need for integration. Within the integration ecosystem there are various Microsoft and other products (i.e. ERP systems like SAP, which I see a lot in the Netherlands), and BizTalk still fulfills integration of that, which are not handled by any other product. For example, EDI, enterprise integration (be it application integration or inter enterprise integration), and ESB capabilities are still not handled by some other product well in a dominant Windows landscape. So BizTalk is here to stay for a long while and is not at the end of its lifecycle. It is being improved every two years and keeps pace with other technologies like .NET, Operating Systems and SQL Server. In the past there have been rumors, when Workflow came into play and project Dublin (now AppFabric) about BizTalk being retired. My thinking with current evolution of BizTalk is that it will become a first class citizen with Microsoft offerings. AppFabric and BizTalk will work together nicely as describe in the WhitePaper BizTalk + AppFabric, Better Together, which I am going to try out next in my BizTalk 2010 Beta VM.