Today Microsoft released the new Windows Azure BizTalk Services (WABS), which extends the Azure services with new integration capabilities.

The start release contains EAI and EDI (B2B) features for

Cloud-based EDI Processing

BizTalk Services provides a robust and extensible solution for trading partner management and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) processing, which can lower the cost of business partner collaboration for enterprise and EDI service providers.

Enterprise Application Integration

BizTalk Services provides a flexible integration platform for enterprises and systems integrators to build EAI solutions for integrating on-premises, SaaS, and cloud services with easy to use config-driven interfaces.

Building Hybrid Applications

BizTalk Services provides out-of-the box, cloud to on-premises, line-of-business applications integration for SAP, Oracle EBS, SQL Server and Oracle DB. It allows you to connect with any HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or REST data sources. You can route messages by using various Windows Azure artifacts such as Service Bus Queues, Topics, SQL Database, and Blob store.

Note: Up to now the BizTalk Services do not support EDIFACT messages – so this can be a real issue to European customers.