I got some pretty good traffic for my recent post on the changing BizTalk landscape regarding 3rd party BizTalk adapter companies that no longer sell adapters so I thought it would be good to also try to aggregate some recent licensing changes. Due to new products being out now for both of the license changes, the old terms are no longer available and the old products can no longer be purchased (AFAIK). Both of these licensing changes seemed shocking and a little annoying to me because the previous version was a great deal, especially when paired with a BizTalk standard license.
Forms Services (InfoPath on the web)
- In SharePoint 2007 it was possible to run Forms Server under a Standard CAL.
- In SharePoint Server 2010, Forms Services requires Enterprise edition.
From a BizTalk perspective not being able to work with InfoPath on the web without purchasing a full, enterprise edition of SharePoint is a significant barrier to entry. InfoPath has often been used with BizTalk for providing a rich client application for error routing & resubmit scenarios. There are actually many samples of using InfoPath with BizTalk that are included with the BizTalk SDK. BizTalk standard is a very good deal for smaller businesses when compared to Enterprise edition. Fortunately it is still possible to use InfoPath with BizTalk 2010 as long as the InfoPath client has been installed.
A really interesting and likely cost-competitive workaround would be to use SharePoint Online which will eventually support Forms Services. I was unable to determine if this capability is already available but there are several Microsoft people mentioning this is an upcoming reality. Here is one example: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/onlineservicessharepoint/thread/03581d46-64bc-4c8e-953b-211ac55fc70c/.
BizTalk Adapter Pack when used outside of BizTalk
- With BizTalk 2009 it was possible to purchase a separate license for using the BizTalk adapter pack WCF custom bindings without a BizTalk license.
- With BizTalk 2010 a BizTalk license (Standard or Enterprise) must be purchased
At the very bottom of the page at http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/editions.aspx, this change to the BizTalk Adapter Pack is listed. I am not sure if this change might have been a trade-off with the developer edition now being free. It seems like a relatively good trade. In my experience I have not seen many people pay for the BizTalk Adapter Pack separately from BizTalk. I was actually surprised when anyone mentioned even knowing about this separate SKU for just the BizTalk adapter pack.
Since BizTalk is not licensed on a CAL model it seems like just a matter of time before the BizTalk Adapter Pack could be remotely hosted (perhaps even in the cloud) and could be provisioned for costs in this way. This is just a guess – I have no knowledge of this being an upcoming trend or possibility. But considering the requirement of needing to upgrade to a BizTalk server edition for anyone currently using the pack in their .NET applications, there seems to be a compelling reason to have a cost-restricted upgrade model.
So both of these licensing changes can make a big impact on your architectural estimates for projects unless you look at using a cloud or ASP based workaround.
I signed up for a BPOS trial which includes SharePoint Online to determine what is possible and what is not and it is possible to create an InfoPath form marked for non-InfoPath editing (editing in a browser). This is possible and I accomplished it. When publishing to SharePoint Online from my local InfoPath environment, it mentioned that the SharePoint Online server has Forms Services enabled.