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Microsoft said it is shipping the long-awaited "release candidate" for Windows Server AppFabric this week, with plans to have the code finalized sometime in June.
At the same time, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) also said that the first beta of BizTalk Server 2010 is out and available, and that it is scheduled to be released in the third quarter. BizTalk Server 2010 is the latest version of Microsoft's business process management software.
Windows Server AppFabric is designed to provide services for streamlining the creation of composite applications that use both local servers and services in the cloud. BizTalk Server 2010 is meant to support AppFabric.
"With Windows Server AppFabric and BizTalk Server 2010, customers can use their existing skills to improve the scalability, connectivity, and performance of applications running on their current IT assets," Abhay Parasnis, general manager of Microsoft's Business Platform Division, said in a statement.
After beta testing, software that reaches the release candidate stage is the final stage of testing before a product is certified for "release to manufacturing."
Windows Server AppFabric aims to improve the speed and scale, as well as provide high availability, of Web applications through distributed caching capabilities, according to Microsoft.
Additionally, AppFabric includes tools meant to make developers' jobs easier when it comes to developing and managing Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation-based composite apps using Visual Studio and .NET Framework, including ASP.NET, the company said.
Microsoft released the first beta test copies of Windows Server AppFabric at the company's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles in November.
A second beta was released in early March.
BizTalk Adapters and Transformations
Meanwhile, BizTalk Server 2010, in conjunction with Windows Server AppFabric, enables rapid construction of composite applications that work with different line-of-business apps. This is done via BizTalk Adapters and Transformations.
Among other tools coming in BizTalk Server 2010 are an enhanced BizTalk mapper, a unified dashboard for backup and restore and simplified trading partner management tools.
Licensed customers of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) will be able to receive Windows Server AppFabric without any additional charges.
The beta of BizTalk Server 2010 is also available for download.