Microsoft and Baan Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Collaborate In Evolving Technology Solutions for the Enterprise

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23, 1997 — Today at the Microsoft® Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft Corp. and The Baan Company announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a long-term strategic alliance through which Baan has furthered its commitment to key Microsoft technologies, including the Microsoft BackOffice® family. The two companies also announced plans to collaborate in shaping specifications for future Microsoft enterprise-focused technologies. The Baan Company, a pioneer in the world of distributed enterprise computing, also endorsed key Microsoft technologies including the Windows® Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture and COM+, an evolving extension to COM. In addition, Baan confirmed its support for additional BackOffice products and its intention to make BackOffice a primary development platform.

The future alliance combines Microsoft’s strength in delivering easy-to-use technologies and operating platforms with Baan’s expertise in providing solutions for business management across the extended enterprise. Together, the companies will work to create future solutions based on the Windows operating system that are less complex, offer a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and are appropriate for users of all enterprise software applications.

“With Baan’s endorsement of our current offerings, Microsoft customers have even more reason to feel confident that the Windows and BackOffice platforms will enable the best possible integrated solution through COM and the Windows DNA architecture,” said Paul Maritz, group vice president, platforms and applications at Microsoft. “In addition, Microsoft will work with Baan as a key contributor of requirements for its enterprise product development, based on Baan’s experience in delivering advanced technologies as well as the company’s deep understanding of complex requirements of enterprises.”

Baan announced its support for Microsoft’s newly announced Windows DNA architecture and extended support of COM for Baan’s product family. Windows DNA, which uses COM as the foundation for interoperability, is the consistent, unifying architecture that defines the set of services required for modern distributed enterprise applications. As part of the memorandum of understanding, Baan intends to work with Microsoft to develop further enterprise-level capabilities for Windows DNA and COM services.

“This strategic relationship will enable Baan to contribute to many of Microsoft’s enterprise-focused development efforts, and it will help create the best platform for customers embracing Microsoft technology,” said Laurens van der Tang, executive vice president, research and development at Baan. “Like Baan, Microsoft has a passion for delivering advanced technologies with tangible business benefits to a broad marketplace.”

Baan IV for BackOffice was the first ERP application to carry the “Designed for Microsoft BackOffice” logo. The Baan IV product and Microsoft BackOffice are delivered today as a complete enterprise solution that customers can deploy. Baan’s commitment to Microsoft enterprise technologies was expanded by today’s announcement, in which Baan confirmed support for Microsoft Transaction Server, Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), Microsoft Site Server, Active Directory and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Baan also announced it plans to deploy the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Server, BackOffice and Microsoft SQL Server
for its own internal use.

The second part of the memorandum of understanding pertains to Baan’s participation in shaping key Microsoft specifications and products. In the future, Microsoft may license technology developed by Baan. Future releases of Microsoft platform products may also contain technology co-developed by the companies. Projects discussed in this memorandum include developing a Distributed COM (DCOM) and OLE DB gateway for Baan V; enterprise-focused specifications for the next version of Microsoft SQL Server; online analytical processing (OLAP) technologies; and enhancements to the Visual Tools integrated development environment.

Baan developers plan to join Microsoft to help build extended technology required by enterprises embracing distributed computing across multiple sites and computing platforms. Microsoft and Baan also plan to work together to further optimize the Baan and Microsoft SQL Server products to deliver the most compelling price and performance. This tight collaboration of Baan and Microsoft will benefit users of all enterprise application vendor solutions by helping to ensure that BackOffice, COM and other Windows DNA enterprise-enabling technologies have the best scalability and flexibility to support information management across the extended enterprise.

“We are making Windows DNA and COM+ integral to our core technology offerings because it’s an excellent choice for customers seeking powerful and innovative solutions,” said Theodoor van Donge, director, technology research at Baan. “Windows DNA and COM+ offer Baan customers a rich set of integrated services, a wide choice of tools, the largest base of compatible applications, and a total commitment to interoperability.”

About the Companies

The Baan Company (NASDAQ: BAANF; ASE: BAAN) delivers its comprehensive enterprisewide business management software to more than 2,400 companies that use Baan in 4,000 sites worldwide. Its core product set and affiliate offerings span the full scope of enterprise business management, from advanced manufacturing and supply-chain management to front-office activities. Products are based on a client/server architecture that can scale to meet the needs of small, medium-sized and large enterprises. Founded in 1978, Baan has dual headquarters in Putten, The Netherlands; and Menlo Park, Calif.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business 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 personal computing every day.

Microsoft, BackOffice and Windows 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.

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