Microsoft and The Baan Company Deliver on a Common Vision For the Integrated Enterprise With the “Digital Nervous System”

Microsoft and The Baan Company Deliver on a Common Vision For the Integrated Enterprise With the
“Digital Nervous System”

DENVER, April 21, 1998 — Today at BaanWorld 98, Microsoft Corp. and The Baan Co. announced an expansion of their September 1997 development memorandum of understanding. The two companies intend to continue collaborating on specifications for future Microsoft enterprise-focused technology while fully exploiting Microsoft® technology in Baan solutions, enabling both companies to deliver easy-to-use, world-class enterprise products. As a part of this expansion, The Baan Co. has strengthened its commitment to the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) by adopting COM/DCOM as the primary development, deployment, maintenance and interoperability infrastructure for all BaanSeries-based products, including the recently announced BaanERP and AurumFrontOffice
(also announced at BaanWorld today).

This alliance is a key ingredient of Baan’s strategy to deliver innovative enterprise applications that provide business value to companies of all sizes while reducing complexity and cost of ownership. This relationship takes advantage of Microsoft’s strength in delivering intuitive, easy-to-use, scalable technologies and operating platforms and Baan’s expertise in providing solutions for business management across the extended enterprise. Stemming from these strengths, the long-term strategic development alliance allows the two companies to influence each other’s product road maps and features and synchronize product release schedules. The companies’ plans include future joint development and technology sharing in many areas, including COM+, the Visual Studio
™development system, the BackOffice® family, Microsoft Office, the Windows NT® operating system version 5.0 and Microsoft SQL Server
version 7.0.

“Baan is a great ally for Microsoft,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“By combining Baan’s deep knowledge of the extended enterprise with Microsoft technologies, we have created the building blocks necessary for a comprehensive ‘digital nervous system.’ Enterprise customers clearly benefit from this relationship by lowering their cost of ownership, increasing interoperability and accelerating their measurable return on investment.”

“Baan’s development collaboration with Microsoft supports our mission to reduce the complexity of enterprise applications and assures our customers a clear future of innovative applications based on Microsoft technology,”
said Jan Baan, CEO of The Baan Co.
“Customers benefit because the cost and risk of integrating applications across multiple platforms, including Microsoft Windows NT and UNIX, is significantly reduced. Furthermore, by integrating tightly with products such as Microsoft Office and Microsoft BackOffice, Baan is utilizing customers’ current investments in and familiarity with Microsoft technology, which is already pervasive in their organizations.”

COM/DCOM Plays Integral Role in Baan Integration Strategy

Baan is the first enterprise applications vendor to deliver native COM/DCOM implementation in its product offerings, beginning with AurumFrontOffice. Microsoft’s COM/DCOM, an open architecture for development and deployment of distributed enterprise applications, will be the foundation of Baan’s Enterprise Integration Strategy and Common Component Architecture (CCA). COM/DCOM drives down the effort and cost of building and integrating distributed business applications in the enterprise. These features are expected to offer a new dimension of openness, performance and scalability, enabling Baan and its customers to focus on building and extending business application logic in the Microsoft environment with a high potential of reuse across the enterprise. The goal is shorter development times and easier integration of components within BaanSeries-based products and external applications on Windows NT and other COM/DCOM-enabled platforms.

Baan’s enterprise integration strategy provides an extensible framework for Baan and its partners to deliver a total enterprise software suite while removing the customer’s burden and cost of integrating otherwise disparate applications. COM/DCOM is a proven technology well-suited for enabling interoperability between different applications running on dissimilar computer systems in the front or back office of a company. Baan will use and support the extended reach of COM/DCOM’s interoperability, allowing for integration across UNIX platforms, legacy systems and third-party applications, making it less complex for Baan to integrate products from multiple platforms.

Baan Delivers Products Optimized for Microsoft Technologies

The Baan Co. has recently delivered several products based on and optimized for various Microsoft technologies including BackOffice, Office, Visual Studio, Windows® Foundation Classes (WFC), Microsoft Internet Explorer, Internet Information Server and COM/DCOM. These include the following:

  • BaanERP for BackOffice, the first enterprise resource planning application to earn the
    “Designed for Microsoft BackOffice”

  • AurumFrontOffice, customer interaction software (marketed outside North America as Baan FrontOffice) that extends customer information from the back office to the desktop (see related announcements of April 21, 1998)

  • BaanDataNavigator, which provides a user-friendly business object view of Baan data and enables simple
    “drag and relate”
    data analysis across the entire BaanSeries family of applications

  • BaanERP configurator, which provides visual, intuitive product configuration capabilities in complex manufacturing environments

Microsoft and Baan are also working together to tightly integrate and fully optimize Microsoft and Baan products and technology – for example, the upcoming release of Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, including the new OLAP Services and BaanSeries-based applications. As part of this joint effort, Baan’s decision support strategy for BaanSeries-based products is being built around Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. Baan also intends to include functionality based on Data Transformation Services (DTS), OLE DB for OLAP and the Microsoft Repository. Further, Baan plans to build data transformations for BaanSeries-based products that will provide an integrated solution for building a business intelligence server for BaanERP for BackOffice. This strategy will benefit customers by providing a completely integrated solution, allowing them to exploit information assets and make better business decisions, which is the goal of a digital nervous system. In another initiative, Baan and Microsoft plan to continue working on a highly visual, COM/DCOM-based set of BaanERP applications using the rich client services of Microsoft Office as the basis for the desktop platform.

Microsoft and Baan plan to continue to provide increased levels of integration between their products. With the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment, Baan developers can now easily provide custom extensions to their application packages. Visual Studio Enterprise Edition provides a comprehensive suite of the most widely used development tools for application design, development, team support and component assembly. The two companies plan to continue their work together to advance technology in the use of development tools and in a number of joint research projects such as intelligent queued components and next-generation user interfaces.

About The Baan Co.

The Baan Co. (Nasdaq
) is one of the world’s leading providers of scalable enterprise business solutions, with more than 3,000 customer systems implemented in 5,000 sites worldwide. With its BaanSeries-based products, Baan offers ongoing delivery of open components for enterprise applications, including a comprehensive and flexible suite of year-2000-compliant software solutions for small, medium and large enterprises, and best-in-class business modeling tools. Customers include assemblers and their entire value chain within the automotive, electronics, process, aerospace and defense, and other project-based markets, as well as companies with hybrid manufacturing environments.

About Microsoft

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

Aurum, AurumFrontOffice and AurumActiveWorkbench are trademarks of Aurum Software Inc.

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

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

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