Now that PDC and summer madness is over, I figured the most appropriate topic to begin blogging about is our most reccent release – the Tech. Preview 2 build of Commerce Server 2006. Released for PDC and also available to customers part of our various TAP programs on BetaPlace, this build provides you with everything you need to develop a solution on Commerce Server 2006 (notice I did not say deploy – that is coming later).
All key runtime functionality is there for all subsystems. All three of our new UIs are present and accounted for – thank goodness no more BizDesk at all, ever! Our Web services infrastructure is complete. Also included are our four new BizTalk 2006 adapters for Orders, Catalog, Inventory, and Profiles. When used in conjunction with BizTalk Server 2006 Beta 1, you can build Connected Commerce applications that will easily tie your Commerce Server deployment into LOB systems, trading partners, or other Commerce Server deployments. Multi-channel retail scenarios become a far easier reality.
At this point a fair question might be – what’s not there? For starters, the release has not been tested to the level of quality to run in production for extended periods, meaning it’s not ready for deployment. And speaking of deployment, the tools you need to deploy are also not present – namely the Direct Mail service and the new Commerce Server Staging Service. Data Warehouse/Analytics for post-deployment is also not yet working. The MOM Pack for health monitoring is also not ready yet, nor is the Volume Shadow Copy service driver for backup and restore with Microsoft’s new Data Protection Manager. the Setup/Configuration experience is also far from final. But, these will all be coming in the forthcoming Beta release, which will be supported in production for TAP Validation custommers.
Several great accessories have also been posted on BetaPlace, including:
- Catalog & Inventory Samples (from the forthcoming SDK)
- Version of the CS2002 Starter Site modified to work with CS2006 (sans Checkout experience – still a work in progress)
- Hands-on-Lab Tutorials – these will help you get up and running and walk you through common scenarios
If you don’t have it yet, go into BetaPlace and download it today. Don’t have BetaPlace access for CS2006? Contact Andrew McDonald, our TAP Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.