We are used to having Service Pack (I think the last one was in 2006 R2) and Cumulative Updates for BizTalk Server (see the full list here) that basically brings hotfixes for BizTalk Server and adapter pack issues that were resolved after the release of that specific BizTalk Server version. Now Microsoft introduces a new concept in BizTalk Server 2016: Feature Packs.
BizTalk Server 2016 will use feature pack approach to providing new functionalities to the product at a faster pace. Now new features (or at least non-breaking features) will be delivered when they’re ready we no longer need to wait 2 years for the next major release of the product to have new features!
BizTalk Server uses the feature pack to provide improvements, features, and closer integration with Azure. Feature Pack 1 extends functionality in key areas, such as deployment, analytics, and runtime. – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt800834.aspx
Feature Pack’s will be available for Software Assurance customers running BizTalk Server 2016 Developer and Enterprise editions or customers running BizTalk Server 2016 in Azure under an Enterprise Agreement
Should we expect new BizTalk Server Cumulative Updates?
Yes, Microsoft will continue to release CU to provide hotfixes for issues that were resolved in the same cadence as they have done in the past
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1: System Requirements
BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 requirements:
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Enterprise Edition
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Developer Edition
Important note: is required to restart BizTalk Server machine to finish the FP1 installation process.
Note: Feature Packs are not supported in BizTalk Server 2016 Standard Edition.
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1: Step-by-step Installation Instructions
After you download the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 You should:
- Run the downloaded .EXE file – BTS2016-KB4014788-ENU.exe – from your hard drive.
- In the “Welcome to Microsoft BizTalk Server Feature Pack 1 Installation Wizard” screen, click “Next”
- In the “License Agreement” screen, select the option “I accept the terms of this license agreement” and then click “Next”
- In the “Ready to Install”, it will be provided a list of products that will be enhanced, you should click “Next” to continue with the installation.
- The FP1 installation will prompt a window with the list of services that will be restarted during the installation process, click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
- The installation process may take some minutes to complete, and you probably see some “background” windows to appear and to be completed, you should wait until the “Installation Wizard has completed” screen to appear
- In the “Installation Wizard has completed” screen, click “Finish”
- Note: that you must restart BizTalk Server machine to finish the FP1 installation process. Click “Yes” to restart the server.
Once the restart is complete, you will be able to see and use the new following features:
- Deploy with VSTS – Enable Continuous Integration to automatically deploy and update applications using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)
- New management APIs – Manage your environment remotely using the new REST APIs with full Swagger support
- Application Insights – Tap into the power of Azure for tracking valuable application performance and to better understand your workflow
- Leverage operational data – View operational data from anywhere and with any device using Power BI
- Support for Always Encrypted – Use the WCF-SQL adapter to connect to SQL Server secure Always Encrypted columns
- Advanced Scheduling – Set up advanced schedules using the new capabilities with Feature Pack 1