Microsoft Announces First Draft BizTalk Framework Specifications, Launches BizTalk.Org

DALLAS, May 24, 1999 — At Microsoft® Tech · Ed 99, Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of the first draft specifications of the BizTalk TM Framework, a new BizTalk.Org Web site and charter members of the BizTalk steering committee. These BizTalk Framework initiatives aim to accelerate the widespread adoption of Extensible Markup Language (XML) for electronic commerce and application integration.

Draft specifications for BizTalk Framework Tags and BizTalk Framework Documents have been published on the BizTalk.Org Web site at http://www.biztalk.org/ . The draft BizTalk Framework specifications outline XML design guidelines for developing and implementing BizTalk Framework schemas and provide organizations with an initial blueprint for building BizTalk-enabled software.

The BizTalk steering committee, composed of industry-leading vendors, standards bodies and corporate customers, will independently manage the BizTalk.Org Web site and provide guidance on the future direction of the BizTalk Framework. Charter members include American Petroleum Insitute, Ariba Inc., The Baan Co., The Boeing Co., Commerce One Inc., Concur Technologies Inc., Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA), J.D. Edwards, Merrill Lynch & Company Inc., Microsoft, Open Applications Group (OAG), PeopleSoft Inc., Pivotal Software Inc. and SAP AG.

“Many industries are developing XML schemas for their specific purposes, creating the need for an interoperability framework to facilitate the exchange of these schemas,”
said Judy Kilpatrick, president and CEO of DISA.
“BizTalk fills this need, and DISA applauds the open and inclusive manner in which Microsoft is approaching this initiative.”

The BizTalk.Org Web site serves as an open repository for the submission and publication of BizTalk Framework schemas that will allow organizations to easily integrate applications and exchange documents such as product catalogs, purchase orders, and product and promotional information. This Web site will serve as the online reference for BizTalk Framework specifications, schemas, reference materials, tools, sample applications and a community newsgroup.

Any individual or organization can download the BizTalk Framework specifications and use these guidelines to implement and submit BizTalk Framework schemas at BizTalk.Org. The BizTalk.Org Web site will provide an automated submission and validation process for the review and publication of BizTalk Framework schemas. Once published, BizTalk Framework schemas will be freely available at BizTalk.Org , provided the schema is submitted for public use. The BizTalk steering committee encourages the open publication of all schemas, but organizations will have the option of publishing schemas in a secure area of BizTalk.Org for private use between trading partners.

“One of the biggest challenges organizations face today is application integration and the seamless exchange of business information over the Internet,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Group.
“We believe that the widespread use of XML is the key to breaking down these barriers. BizTalk will accelerate the adoption of XML standards by encouraging organizations to use XML in a consistent way.”

The BizTalk Framework enables software to speak the language of business by using XML to work around the obstacles of integrating different operating systems, different languages and different software applications both within an organization and between trading partners. By developing, publishing and implementing BizTalk Framework schemas, organizations will encourage the adoption of XML as part of a long-term business strategy, which includes the following benefits:

  • Easier integration of software applications. BizTalk schemas, with XML as the underlying technology base, simplify the process of integrating applications by providing a common language for the exchange of business information.

  • Greater process integration with trading partners. With BizTalk-enabled e-commerce software, supply chains can be automated and extended to all trading partners, allowing for better integration of business planning processes and improved response to unplanned activity. Businesses can extend their existing infrastructure with BizTalk Framework schemas and begin to share design information, respond to sales leads and build deeper trading relationships with partners.

  • Linkage to online marketplaces. In online marketplaces, consumers want richer information to help them make purchasing decisions. By incorporating standards for describing business, product and promotions information, BizTalk Framework schemas make it easy for organizations to publish their products and offers to online marketplaces and reach consumers with the appropriate information when they’re ready to buy.

This week, Microsoft is sponsoring BizTalk sessions at its annual Microsoft Tech · Ed conference focused on business operations, electronic commerce, health care, manufacturing and knowledge management. Microsoft will also hold a BizTalk Framework and XML workshop for industry standards bodies in July 1999. A formal BizTalk Framework design review is planned for July 1999.

Microsoft will support the BizTalk Framework in the next generation of the Microsoft commerce platform, the MSN TM network of Internet, services and future versions of Office, the BackOffice® family and the Windows® operating system. However, the BizTalk Framework is not dependent on the release of these products; organizations can begin implementing BizTalk Framework schemas as they are published on BizTalk.Org into any software application that supports XML.

About the BizTalk Framework

Introduced in March, the BizTalk Framework makes it easy for businesses to exchange information between software applications and conduct business over the Internet with trading partners and customers. The BizTalk Framework includes a design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications. Microsoft, other software companies and industry standards bodies will use the BizTalk Framework to produce XML schemas in a consistent manner to enable integration across industries and between business systems, regardless of platform, operating system or underlying technology. More information about the BizTalk Framework is available at http://www.biztalk.org/ . More information about Microsoft’s BizTalk Framework initiatives is available at http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/ .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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Microsoft, BizTalk, MSN, BackOffice and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Jason Gedeik, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 226-8234, jasong@wagged.com

Sarah Gonzales, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 226-5637, sarahg@wagged.com

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