Microsoft Corporation on Tuesday announced the immediate availability of its BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview, a beta release of the upcoming server product that will facilitate XML-based Internet application integration. BizTalk Server 2000 serves as a framework for the secure delivery, routing, and transformation of business documents using the XML industry standard. And with this technology preview, Microsoft is making available a set of developer tools designed to aid in XML-enabling existing documents.

"Internet application integration natively rides the Internet as the world's lowest-cost, most ubiquitous communications fabric, expresses interactions between systems and companies as business processes, and describes those processes in industry-standard XML," Tod Nielsen, the VP of marketing for the Platform Group at Microsoft was quoted as saying, though it's doubtful that anyone could have actually produced that mouthful on the fly. "BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview shows a comprehensive and accessible solution for doing Internet application integration inside the organization and with trading partners anywhere in the world across the Internet."

BizTalk Server 2000 includes a wide range of functionality, capabilities, and tools for simplifying the delivery of Internet application integration. These include a document interchange infrastructure that supports the delivery and rules-based routing of multiple document types, support for multiple network transports, robust security, graphical modeling and development tools, out of the box support for existing application integration systems such as SAP R/3 and EDI, tracking and analysis tools, and more.

Microsoft announced the BizTalk initiative in March 1999, in an effort designed to let "software speak the language of business." The company has previously supported the BizTalk initiative with a BizTalk JumpStart Kit and the BizTalk Dot Org Web site, providing businesses with the single largest XML business schema repository in the world. For more information about BizTalk Server 2000 and the free download, please visit the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 Web site