Financial-Accounting Community Builds Applications For Microsoft Internet Products

NEW YORK, April 28, 1997 — At the SoftEx in Accounting & Finance trade show today, Microsoft Corp. announced that its World Wide Web technologies are receiving widespread support among Solution Developers committed to developing financial-accounting applications based on Microsoft® Internet platforms.

Microsoft Active Server technologies, including Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 3.0 and Microsoft Merchant Server, allow companies to fully exploit the Internet to create new, dynamic ways of conducting business and enhancing profitability. Microsoft Solution Developers increasingly are building products designed for Microsoft’s Internet platforms.

“Microsoft and its partners have combined talents and technologies to offer companies the most robust and easy ways to use the World Wide Web for business,”
said Holly Henson, accounting industry marketing manager at Microsoft.
“We are proud of our relationships with these vendors and believe that our customers will be the greatest beneficiaries.”

The vendors developing applications for Microsoft’s Internet platforms include FlexiInternational Software Inc., Great Plains Software Inc., SAP AG and Solomon Software.

Microsoft Active Server, Merchant Server: The Most Complete Internet Offerings

Microsoft Active Server, a suite of technologies, makes the development of server applications for the Internet and intranets faster and easier by offering a unique language-independent approach that separates business logic from display generation. Active Server technologies include the following:

  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0, with Active Server Pages, enables rapid application development by allowing Web site developers to combine HTML, scripting and components on the server.

  • Distributed component object model (DCOM) is a protocol that enables software components to communicate directly over a network in a reliable, secure and efficient manner. Active Server is now extending DCOM to the Internet.

  • Microsoft Transaction Server provides scalable Internet transaction processing technology and lowers server development costs up to 40 percent. Microsoft Transaction Server delivers the
    “plumbing”
    – including transactions, scalability services, connection management and point-and-click administration – providing developers with the easiest way to build and deploy scalable server applications for business and the Internet.

  • The technology currently code-named
    “Falcon,”
    scheduled for delivery in mid-1997, will provide message queue technology and enable asynchronous application communication over the Internet. Falcon is designed to reliably tie together thousands of connected and disconnected application nodes through a common queuing model, providing the scalable performance required to solve the largest enterprisewide application problems.

Microsoft also offers Microsoft Merchant Server, which allows companies to establish selling sites with minimal development cost, helps attract and retain customers through a compelling and secure buying experience, and helps generate higher sales and profits through targeted, dynamic sales promotions. Merchant Server is built on the Active Server platform and is a member of the Microsoft BackOffice
™
family.

Solomon Software Plans Host of Microsoft-Based Products

During 1997, Solomon Software plans to introduce a host of Web-based products built around Microsoft technologies including Microsoft Active Server, Microsoft Merchant Server and the Microsoft FrontPage
™Web authoring and management tool. Solomon Software’s products all will be part of Solomon IV for the Windows® operating system, the company’s award-winning, middle-market accounting software based on Microsoft SQL Server
™and built from the ground up with the Microsoft Visual Basic® programming system.

Planned introductions for 1997 include the following:

  • Solomon IV WebMerchant, an Internet product that will feature tight integration between Solomon IV for Windows and Microsoft Merchant Server to provide customers with the ability to establish an electronic storefront to shop and pay for items using secure credit card transactions. The integration of Microsoft Merchant Server will allow catalog maintenance, real-time inventory checking and automatic processing of orders with Solomon IV

  • Solomon IV Tools for Visual Basic, Web Edition, which will make it easy for Solomon IV developers to create new Web applications, customize existing Solomon IV Web applications and integrate Solomon IV with Internet Web servers for transaction processing and publishing of query results

  • Solomon IV Internet Application Server (IAS), an Internet and intranet agent and process server that will take requests for any Solomon process, including reports, and manage execution

“We are very well-positioned to focus on the Internet over the next 12 months because we have built our products around Microsoft technologies,”
said Gary Harpst, CEO and chairman of Solomon Software.
“Microsoft is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Internet technologies. Therefore, we can focus our energy on new features that will allow us to deliver the vast benefits of the Internet to our clients.”

FlexiInternational, Microsoft Uncork Internet


Genie

FlexiInternational Software Inc. currently offers FlexiNet, which makes use of Microsoft IIS.

“With FlexiNet and Microsoft Internet Information Server, the accounting Internet and intranet genie is out of the bottle,”
said Stefan R. Bothe, chairman and CEO of FlexiInternational Software, based in Shelton, Conn.

Now that Flexi’s Internet-enabled financial applications are available, our clients are beginning to realize the benefits of being able to widely distribute financial information to their managers, vendors and customers at a significantly lower cost per user.


The gaining acceptance of DCOM confirms Flexi’s early decision to use Microsoft ActiveX
™technologies. In fact, according to industry analysts, more than 60 percent of the organizations in our target market that have committed to an object messaging strategy have already committed to DCOM.”

Great Plains Software Leveraging Active Server, Merchant Server

Great Plains Software also offers a host of Internet applications based on Microsoft technologies, including these products:

  • Dynamics.View, running on the Microsoft Windows NT® operating system and Internet Information Server, is an interactive financial information publishing application that delivers business-critical financial information to employees across the enterprise through customizable Web pages.

  • Dynamics.Order enables business-to-business ordering over the Web for companies that conduct business with established trading partners. Dynamics.Order makes extensive use of Microsoft ActiveX technologies to create interactive Web content.

  • Dynamics NetTools is the set of development tools used to develop the Internet applications in the Dynamics NetSeries.

  • Dynamics.Merchant, shipping in summer 1997, is a consumer-to-business order processing system that directly links Dynamics to a commerce server. Dynamics.Merchant provides streamlined, high-volume order processing for companies that have a storefront on the World Wide Web based on the Microsoft Merchant Server system.

“We want to provide the most comprehensive Internet solutions for our customers,”
said Cecil Bordages, Internet general manager with Great Plains Software, based in Fargo, N.D.
“We’ve embraced a host of Microsoft Internet and intranet solutions because Microsoft provides the best technologies for our financial-accounting customers. In addition, Microsoft offers industry-standard products that our customers want, and we definitely want to offer solutions that meet the demands of the marketplace.”

SAP’s Internet-Enabled Solution Meets Needs in Enterprise

SAP’s R/3 enterprise software solution integrated with Microsoft Merchant Server provides corporations and merchants with a comprehensive Internet retailing platform that connects merchandising and high-volume transaction capabilities to an organization’s R/3 business processes and business APIs (BAPIs). The result is an Internet commerce platform that is scalable for secure, high-volume transactions and is based on open industry standards. Businesses can deploy this platform quickly and easily, and rapidly expand their channels to reach new and existing customers.

SAP and other solution developers will continue to deliver additional functionality in applications for the financial and accounting community. Microsoft technologies provide the platform and framework for these vendors that help enable customers in any size organization to take full advantage of the Internet for horizontal online commerce.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for businesses and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of computing every day.

Microsoft, BackOffice, FrontPage, Windows, Visual Basic, ActiveX and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For online product information:

Accounting Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/industry/acc/

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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