Microsoft on Tuesday announced the completion of BizTalk Server 2000, its XML-enabled Business-to-Business (B2B) solution for companies of all sizes, and the final 2.0 release of the BizTalk Framework, which specifies how businesses should implement XML and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) in their processes. BizTalk lets corporations use simple graphical tools to integrate, manage, and automate dynamic business processes and lets companies integrate internal applications with external businesses. The solution will become widely available sometime next month. "BizTalk Server 2000 is signed, sealed, and delivered and ready to solve the industry's biggest IT challenge of integrating disparate applications and businesses into a single solution," says Chris Atkinson, vice president of Microsoft's .NET Developer and Enterprise Solutions Group. "The powerful capabilities of BizTalk will make it fundamentally easier to build the next generation of corporate and Web solutions. BizTalk is enabling the new agile enterprise by allowing companies to quickly react to customer demands, competitive pressures and changing trading partner relationships." Microsoft is offering two versions of BizTalk Server. The Standard Edition, targeted at small and midsized businesses, supports the integration of up to five internal applications with up to five external business services. It will cost about $5000 per CPU. The Enterprise Edition is targeted at large corporations and has unlimited integration capabilities. Enterprise Edition supports multiple processors and clusters and will cost about $25,000 per CPU.