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Partners bring out tools for Server 2003

Several long-standing Microsoft partners last week brought out a variety of offerings for the new Windows Server 2003 product family during its launch festivities in San Francisco.

Officials from both Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard (HP) told reporters that the new Microsoft software would run on their server products, and they announced plans to provide support services designed to help customers migrate their businesses to the Microsoft system. Dell officials said they had shipped more than 9,000 PowerEdge servers running Windows Server 2003 to a range of customers, including the NASDAQ stock exchange, which has consolidated its infrastructure on 35 PowerEdge servers running the new operating system. Dell supports the new OS across its entire line of PowerEdge servers and the PowerVault storage systems it manufactures with EMC Corp., according to company reps.

HP officials said their firm is offering all four editions of Windows Server 2003 on its servers, either factory-installed for both 32-bit and 64-bit computing environments, or shipped with a server (32-bit only). Carly Fiorina, CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, appeared on a video during the launch presentation to support the new Microsoft products. Fiorina said that some 5,000 Microsoft-certified systems engineers at HP would be helping enterprises to plan and implement a migration strategy to Windows Server 2003.

Among the other announcements coinciding with the Microsoft launch were the following:

* Borland unveiled the latest incarnation of its evolving life-cycle management strategy for the Microsoft .NET Framework. The suite of products "integrates the definition, design, development, testing, deployment, and management stages of the software application life cycle," said reps at the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based firm. Included in this suite is Borland's new integrated development environment, the Borland C# Builder IDE, announced earlier this year under the code name "Sidewinder." Borland is billing the new IDE as the first independent development environment for the Microsoft .NET Framework.

* German enterprise software company SAP announced its global support of 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the new Windows Server and key features of SQL Server 2000 (64-bit). SAP and Microsoft have been engaged in a global technology alliance since 1993, and SAP is throwing considerable weight behind this new technology from Microsoft. SAP R/3 Enterprise is currently available on Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit). mySAP Supply Chain Management (mySAP SCM) and SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (SAP APO) are also available, company reps said.

* Schaumburg, Ill.-based installation and authoring toolmaker InstallShield said that its InstallShield Developer and InstallShield Express products fully support Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003. The support is available through the release of Service Pack 1 for Developer 8 and Service Pack 1 for Express 4, said company officials.

* Technology integrator Avanade is "architecting and implementing upgrades for the Windows operating system" and "developing dozens of applications" for the Microsoft Windows platform and Microsoft .NET. According to company officials, Avanade has completed more than a dozen Windows Server 2003 projects. Of more than 150 application development projects using Visual Studio .NET, some 50 have leveraged the expertise of Avanade to build Web services, reps at the company said.

* Installation and authoring toolmaker Wise Solutions announced the immediate availability of Version 5 of Wise for Visual Studio .NET. According to reps at the Plymouth, Mich.-based company, the VS .NET version of the Wise product automates the creation of installation files needed to deploy server-based, mobile and Web services applications that use the Microsoft .NET Framework. This automation strips away more than 80% of the manual coding normally required to create an installation file for a database-driven Web application, officials said.

* Miami, Fla.-based legacy integrator, ClientSoft, announced support for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 on its ClientSoft ServiceBuilder product. Designed for rapid development on Windows XP and deployment natively on the mainframe or the .NET Framework, ServiceBuilder is designed to allow developers to leverage Visual Studio .NET 2003 as they wrap existing legacy programs and transactions into ready-to-use components and Web services.

* Citrix Systems expressed its support for Microsoft's launch of Windows Server 2003. It also announced the launch and availability of two of the latest products in its MetaFrame Access Suite of Infrastructure Software: Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, Feature Release 3; and Citrix MetaFrame Conferencing Manager. Both products support the Microsoft Server products.

* Security solutions provider Oblix declared itself the first to ship an identity management solution that integrates with Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Cupertino, Calif.-based Oblix provides comprehensive support for Windows Server 2003, including enhanced Active Directory and IIS6 support, as well as applications built on the .NET Framework, officials said.

* Crystal Decisions, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of information management software, announced support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on its Crystal Enterprise 9 reporting, analysis and information delivery platform. The company also announced the general availability of Crystal Reports for Visual Studio .NET 2003, a special edition of an industry standard for high-performance report design that is fully integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003.

* Corporate Radar announced a major revision of its flagship product, Corporate Radar, an enterprise solution that combines portal, business intelligence and data warehouse technologies into a single application. Version 5.0 of its "business intelligence framework" is now optimized for Windows Server 2003. According to officials at the Novato, Calif.-based company, Microsoft provided Corporate Radar with laboratory testing facilities and consulting on all of the products announced at last week's launch, as well as best-practices guidelines to complete the implementation.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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