I’m looking forward to the BizTalk 2006 release (hopefully March). Not only because of our simultaneous release of the EDI Accelerator 2006 (see one of the previous entries in my blog), but also because of the nice new features in BizTalk.
My (personal) top 3:
1. Deploying has become so much easier and faster (and much better for your blood pressure!). In 2004, you first had to stop, unenlist, remove maps from Receive ports, Send Ports, etc, etc. before you could deploy a new version of a solution (i.e. re-depoy). Now, just deploy and re-start the host instance. The only thing that’s not done automatically (at least not in the Beta 2 version I’m running right now) is the re-adding of maps to Send Ports and Receive Ports. There’s always room for improvement I guess.
2. The BizTalk Explorer in the BizTalk Admin Console. No need to install Visual Studio anymore to be able to manage Send Ports, Receive Ports, Receive Locations, Parties, etc.
3. The Group Hub Page! All the tools needed for monitoring and management of messages, events, orchestration instances, etc. grouped together.
Happy new year!