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BizTalk Accelerates RosettaNet

Microsoft's latest accelerator aims to let businesses improve the way they talk to each other.

The launch of the Microsoft BizTalk Server Accelerator for RosettaNet is the latest in the company's range of specialized add-ons for its business integration server software.

The accelerator adds support for the trading partner integration standard developed by RosettaNet, a consortium of IT, electronic and manufacturing companies that is working to define standards for electronic supply-chain transactions among trading partners.

Microsoft Accelerators are designed to facilitate the implementation of specific integration standards. "The RosettaNet Accelerator provides specific technology and prescriptive guidance on how to connect to a Rosetta network to do B2B exchanges," said Eric Swift, Microsoft director of product management for the business process and integration division. It includes tools and documentation to build RosettaNet-based business process management software, including out-of-the-box implementation of all Partner Interface Processes. It also supports the Chemical Industry Data Exchange standard, or CIDX.

"BizTalk has seen wide adoption, and is strong in financial services, health care, the public sector and manufacturing," Swift said. "RosettaNet has been adopted most widely by electronics manufacturers for connecting up to many of their suppliers and customers." Therefore, he said, the RosettaNet Accelerator is targeted specifically toward electronics and chemical manufacturers.

Because RosettaNet began before the era of Web services , Swift said, it has its own technology stack. But it is XML-based, and he said Microsoft is working with the group to move it toward Web services standards over time.

In the meantime, he said, "RosettaNet is fully supported by the accelerator, so its components can be exposed as Web services in the organization [using BizTalk Server]."

The RosettaNet Accelerator is built on BizTalk Server 2004, a product that lets businesses automate and manage cross-application business processes both internally and with partners. It's part of the Windows Server System, Microsoft's vision of ultra-integrated business applications.

BizTalk Server is configured to manage business processes, while integrating them into a company's existing software, services and processes, as well as those of external organizations. It lets a business publish information on business process to Microsoft SQL Server, where it's available for business activity monitoring and analysis.

At the four-year anniversary of the BizTalk Server product launch, Microsoft said it has more than 4,000 customers using the product.