Microsoft Releases Commerce Server 2000 Beta to Customers

NEW YORK, June 28, 2000 — Today at PC EXPO 2000, Microsoft Corp. announced that the beta version of Microsoft® Commerce Server 2000 is now available for customers to test and evaluate. A major upgrade to Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition, Commerce Server 2000 is designed to meet the challenges of next-generation e-business. In addition to the broad new functionality in Commerce Server 2000 for personalization, user and catalog management, and sophisticated business analytics, Microsoft and industry partners announced compatible products that build on and tightly integrate with Commerce Server 2000 in the areas of content management and business analytics. The final product release is scheduled for this fall.

Commerce Server 2000 reduces complexity and speeds time to market for building tailored, effective sell-side e-commerce solutions that optimize the customer experience and empower business managers with sophisticated decision support and control of their online business. As an integrated component of the Microsoft Windows® DNA 2000 platform, Commerce Server offers customers the highly scalable foundation to get online faster, integrate with existing internal and partner applications, and extend their online business to encourage repeat business and forge tighter partner relationships.

“The new features incorporated into Commerce Server empower site managers to run their sell-side B2B or B2C sites efficiently, while continually monitoring and enhancing the effectiveness of the solution,”
said Paul Flessner, vice president of Windows DNA and Web Services Development at Microsoft.
“Customers and developers alike are already impressed with Commerce Server 2000, which provides the critical infrastructure they need for real-world e-business operations.”

Comprehensive System for Tailored E-Commerce Applications

Rather than trying to be a one-size-fits-all solution, Commerce Server 2000 is designed for maximum flexibility and extensibility. It enables e-business transactions by providing systems for user profiling and management, product and service management, flexible transaction processing, and targeted marketing — all of which are integrated in a comprehensive foundation that can be customized to meet the specific needs of an online business. New features include the following:

  • Profiling System and Targeting System enable customer and partner profiling and management, sophisticated personalization, and targeted marketing campaigns (e.g., advertising, direct mail, cross-sell and up-sell). These systems enable one-to-one marketing by delivering the content most relevant to users based on user preferences, explicit business rules and system-driven recommendations.

  • Product Catalog System manages products and services and enables creation of custom pricing, fast searching capabilities, and easy catalog interchange with trading partners.

  • Business Processing Pipelines System provides an extensible framework for defining and linking stages of a business process to enable tailored processing of orders, advertising, merchandising, content selection and other processes.

“Dell and Microsoft have a long history of collaboration in bringing to market e-business solutions built on Dell PowerEdge servers and PowerVault storage with Microsoft Windows NT® and Windows 2000 operating systems,”
said Russ Holt, vice president and general manager of Departmental and Workgroup servers for Dell’s Enterprise Systems Group.
“The beta availability of Commerce Server 2000 will provide yet another powerful Microsoft tool for us to use to build solutions that meet the e-commerce needs of our customers.”

Time to Market Minimized for Tailored E-Commerce Solutions

Microsoft has incorporated tools and prebuilt business components in Commerce Server 2000 to help customers go live with a dynamic e-commerce site quickly, saving developers the time and expense of building from scratch. Two Solution Sites, included with the product, integrate all the core Commerce Server 2000 components for retail or supplier business scenarios, enabling developers to focus on tailoring the sites so they can get online more quickly. These starter applications provide the fully integrated foundation to evaluate the product, jump-start development, and configure and tailor, as the customer requires.

Systems integration is provided through integration with BizTalk™
Server, and interaction with legacy systems is facilitated through Host Integration Server. In addition, Microsoft has teamed with leading domain experts, which have created best-of-breed components and applications that connect to the Commerce Server 2000 architecture. By offering a comprehensive platform and application framework as well as industry-leading partner solutions, Microsoft is able to provide customers with great flexibility to tailor e-business solutions to their specific needs while still getting to market fast and without sacrificing competitive advantage.

“Time to market in the B2B space is crucial, and the Commerce Server 2000 platform coupled with Microsoft’s strong support during our development allowed Clarus to meet market and customer expectations,”
said Steve Jeffery, president, chairman and CEO of Clarus.
“We were confident in Microsoft’s delivery of Commerce Server 2000, and felt this advanced technology would bring distinct advantages to build a many-to-many framework for digital marketplaces. Commerce Server 2000 cut months off our development time and it will provide our customers with go-to-market advantages as well.”

Empowering Business Managers to Close the Loop

With Commerce Server 2000, each customer interaction feeds into the new Business Analytics System and provides business managers with unprecedented insight. The new Business Desk feature empowers business managers to take action as a result of that insight to continually optimize their site for a better customer experience — a process called
“closing the loop.” The system goes well beyond simple click-stream data, providing sophisticated decision-making support to give site managers the broadest view of their business, through data warehousing, data mining and dynamic OLAP-based reporting that is tightly integrated with Microsoft SQL Server™
. Based on the data provided by Commerce Server 2000, business managers can close the loop by creating or changing targeted marketing campaigns, updating user profiles or product catalogs, and more. The result is highly personalized and relevant content that builds customer loyalty through continual responses to their changing needs.

Industry Partners Extend the Commerce Server System

Because of the familiarity of the Windows DNA 2000 platform and the widespread adoption of Site Server Commerce Edition — most dramatically among the top shopping sites on the Web — Commerce Server 2000 boasts the largest channel of industry partners ready to help businesses develop, design, integrate, extend or host business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce solutions. Through valuable relationships, Microsoft offers Commerce Server customers the greatest choice of solutions and services. Several of these strategic partners are announcing products today that build on and integrate with Commerce Server 2000 (see related announcements):

For content management:

  • Interwoven Inc.’s Content Express is an entry-level content-management solution that includes support for content entry through templating, predefined workflows, whole site versioning and rollback.

For business analytics:

  • Harmony Software Inc. provides key performance indicators (KPIs) that supply customers with critical business information to make informed e-business decisions in real time, ensuring business success and profitability.

  • Visual Insights integrates next-generation e-business analysis and reporting capabilities with the targeting and campaign management features of Commerce Server 2000 to enable companies to transform their analyses into immediate actions.

  • Knosys Inc.’s ProClarity extends the analytical power of Commerce Server 2000 through its ability to unify data analysis from any area in the organization, from Web business data to financial and existing customer management data.

Pricing and Availability

Developers and customers can register now for the Commerce Server 2000 beta product, which is scheduled to be available within two weeks, at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/prodinfo/beta.asp . Commerce Server 2000 will have an estimated retail price of $8,499 per CPU and is scheduled to be released this fall. More information on Commerce Server 2000 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/ .

Windows DNA 2000 and Commerce Server 2000

Windows DNA 2000 is Microsoft’s platform for rapidly building and deploying next-generation e-commerce, line-of-business and Web solutions that easily integrate with customers, partners and existing applications. In addition to Windows 2000, components of the Windows DNA 2000 platform include SQL Server, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, Application Center, Host Integration Server, Exchange Server and the Visual Studio® development system: all best-of-breed products that benefit from widespread support by third-party developers.

Through integration with the rest of the Windows DNA platform, Commerce Server 2000 simplifies the management of an application across even very large distributed environments. As part of Windows DNA 2000, Commerce Server takes full advantage of being integrated with the most widely adopted Web platform in the world to offer the proven scalability, availability and reliability required to build a successful online business.

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“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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