Microsoft Hosts First-Ever Business Applications Conference

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 9, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today launched its Business Applications Conference 98, a technical how-to workshop designed to teach 3,000 developers, systems integrators, systems architects and independent software vendors (ISVs) how to integrate disparate computer systems and line-of-business applications into complete, end-to-end solutions.

This first-ever event, held in the Las Vegas at the MGM Grand hotel and casino, is Microsoft’s latest effort in its commitment to helping developers and customers realize the vision of a
“digital nervous system”
– a computer infrastructure that provides an ideal information flow, empowering corporations to react faster to changing business needs, make more informed decisions, get closer to customers and business partners, and focus on business, not technology.

At the conference, Microsoft will be joined by customers such as Federal Express Corp. as well as industry-leading developers such as The Baan Co., Cognos Inc., and IBM Netfinity. Two fictitious companies will be used to illustrate business computing solutions that counter the software integration challenges many corporations face today. Demonstrations will include sample applications in five conference tracks: line of business, electronic commerce, collaboration, tracking and business intelligence.

“The Business Applications Conference is really the first time we’ve shown software developers how to integrate and effectively utilize Microsoft technologies, third-party products and legacy systems to achieve cost savings and improved efficiency in specific types of business computing scenarios, such as e-commerce,”
said Microsoft President Steve Ballmer.

“Cognos’ participation in the Business Applications Conference is an important milestone in the Cognos/Microsoft relationship and a testimony to Cognos’ leadership in the business intelligence market,”
said Paul Hill, Cognos vice president, strategic alliances and business development.
“This event is the perfect showcase for developers looking to get insights into how Cognos and Microsoft products work together to provide complete business intelligence solutions.”

For each of the five tracks, sample applications will be deconstructed live on stage with extensive technical code and architecture review. Conference attendees will come away with source code, documentation and sample applications to be used as road maps for building complete, integrated, cross-platform solutions based on the conference tracks. Keynote presentations are scheduled to be given by Ballmer along with several other Microsoft executives including David Vaskevitch, Paul Gross and Jim Gray. The presentations will focus on corporations that effectively link disparate computer systems and the efficiency and competitive advantage they gain as a result of this integration.

“This conference demonstrates how committed Microsoft is to helping corporations integrate their computer infrastructures and prepare for the coming surge in the delivery of goods and services online,”
said Mike Janes, vice president for electronic commerce and logistics marketing at Federal Express.
“We are excited to be a part of demonstrating to conference attendees how corporations can do things better, faster and cheaper through the prudent use of information technology.”

Conference Tracks

The conference tracks will include combinations of developers, systems integrators, customers and Microsoft program managers discussing how to combine various technologies into complete solutions. Attendees will be walked through the solutions’ systems architecture and management, component design, data management and integration as well as performance. Audience members will also hear ongoing dialogue between the architects who designed the products and the people at customer sites who have actually deployed solutions based on them.

Line of Business

This track will focus on best practices for building and deploying applications based on the Microsoft® Windows® Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture that integrate with ISV applications and legacy systems in the data center. Three core applications will be utilized: an SAP R/3 system that uses the DCOM Connector as an object wrapper; an MVS COBOL/CICS application using COM Transaction Integrator as an object wrapper; and a new, Windows DNA-based order entry application that operates as a middle-tier, transactional front-end to both the SAP system and the mainframe.


This track will highlight optimum processes for implementing business-to-business
e-commerce solutions and linking production systems from two companies into a single application. The track will consist of an intranet-based procurement system based on a real-world production application Microsoft uses internally for Internet-based purchasing; integration of an online purchasing system with a Baan ERP system; an online product catalog, including integrated document management between trading partners; and transactions over the Internet.


This track will focus on how to integrate a messaging infrastructure with line-of-business applications. Core applications in the track will include an approval routing application that demonstrates how to integrate Exchange technologies like public folders, event scripts, routing objects and Microsoft Outlook
messaging and collaboration client forms with transactional middle-tier components running on a Windows DNA-based order entry system; a customer tracking application that integrates Microsoft Exchange public folders with Microsoft SQL Server
-based databases to demonstrate interoperability among line-of-business production data, messaging and collaboration management and personal productivity applications in Outlook; and a departmental intranet site with collaborative components, including shared documents, indexing of public folder content, discussion groups, group calendaring and group contacts.


This track will show how to build an application and data infrastructure that is fully integrated. The demonstration will cover how to build an integrated infrastructure for operational data that ties multiple back-end systems with front-end systems for call centers, sales force automation and order entry; how to build multiple clients – using Dynamic HTML, Microsoft Office, the Windows CE operating system and disconnected laptops – accessing shared components in a three-tier production system; and how to deploy a departmental intranet for managing ad hoc collaboration.

Business Intelligence

This track will highlight how to transform the raw data accumulated by heterogeneous line-of-business applications into an integrated knowledge base or data warehouse used for reporting, ad hoc analysis and decision-making.

Conference Sponsors

The Microsoft Business Applications Conference 98 is being supported by industry-leading companies seeking to help enhance systems integration and everyday computing. Platinum sponsors include Baan, Cognos, IBM Netfinity and Ziff-Davis Inc. Gold sponsors include Computer Associates International Inc.; DIGEX, a division of Intermedia Communications; Eastman Software; Ernst & Young LLP; Federal Express; Sagent Technology; SAP America Inc.; Sterling Software; Wall Data Inc.; and Visio Corp.

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, Windows and Outlook 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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