LAS VEGAS, Sept. 9, 1998 — In conjunction with Business Applications
Conference 98, Microsoft Corp. with Ernst & Young LLP announced a program for rapid, low-risk development of electronic-commerce applications using the Microsoft® Visual Studio
™development system and products in the Microsoft BackOffice® family. The eCommerce RapidStart program utilizes Ernst & Young’s portfolio of tested e-commerce template components and a preconfigured advanced development lab to deliver a working e-commerce application pilot in less than 30 days. Based on the enterprise edition of the Microsoft Visual Studio development suite and Microsoft’s multi-tier enterprise application architecture (Windows® Distributed interNet Applications, or Windows DNA), the pilot solution provides the basis for a scalable, flexible and extensible business application.

eCommerce RapidStart allows organizations to avoid the problems associated with incompatible and frequently short-lived technology choices that fail to scale up and integrate well with other systems. Experienced Ernst & Young system architects will provide guidance in project planning, application architecture and implementation using Microsoft Visual Studio and BackOffice. Overall project risk is dramatically reduced and total project cost is minimized with immediate startup, pretested components, sound planning and a proven architecture.

“Customers are continually faced with an alarming number of technology choices. This is especially true when it comes to the Internet. The wrong choice can result in an obsolete system that can not be extended or easily integrated with other applications,”
said Dave Kelly, vice president of application strategies for Hurwitz Group.
“Basing new e-commerce solutions on broadly supported products and a sound architectural approach is a smart way to make sure applications will interoperate and be able to adapt to changes.”

About the Program

eCommerce RapidStart opens the door to one week of dedicated lab time, architectural design, project planning, and the development of a working pilot application at one of Ernst & Young’s Microsoft Advanced Development Centers worldwide. These centers are preconfigured with the latest Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio and Microsoft BackOffice products such as Microsoft Site Server, Microsoft SQL Server
and Microsoft Exchange.

The RapidStart program also provides an optional week of pre-work and post development, onsite transition and follow-up. Customers can further reduce startup time and risk with the availability of a completely configured,
hardware and software environment. eCommerce RapidStart includes these services:

  • E & Y solution components. A pretested portfolio of E & Y eCommerce application templates and system components for business-to-business applications allows rapid implementation of buy, sell and procurement e-commerce sites. The component-based approach using the multi-tiered Windows DNA architecture enables the assembly of scalable solutions that integrate well with back-end MRP and financial systems. The Ernst & Young RapidStart solution can include a pre-engineered hardware configuration to meet stringent security and scalability requirements.

  • RapidStart solution definition. A prioritized project plan defines the scope of the solution along with an implementation road map to address future project requirements. The plan defines the technical and nontechnical roles that clients and their trading partners need to assure pilot success.

  • Preconfigured lab. Ernst & Young’s Microsoft Advanced Development Center provides a preconfigured hardware and software environment for development use. Startup time traditionally associated with new projects is dramatically reduced with instant access to a complete Visual Studio-based development environment and integrated application services with preinstalled Microsoft BackOffice components. The complete lab environment can be palletized in the preconfigured state for customer delivery.

  • Pilot implementation. RapidStart users benefit from the rapid delivery of a pilot application. The pilot reduces project risk and total cost by getting the system up and running quickly with experienced support, tested components, and the latest versions of widely used Microsoft Visual Studio-based and BackOffice-based products.

The eCommerce RapidStart program enables an organization to have a working pilot implementation in less than 30 days using a proven architecture, components and tools. Applications will benefit from the scalability provided by the architecture and the extensibility and interoperability of the infrastructure. Enrollment for this program is available now directly through Ernst & Young. For more information, visit the Ernst & Young Web site at or call (425) 990-6970.

About Microsoft Visual Studio and BackOffice

Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 provides a comprehensive enterprise workbench for developing scalable, distributed applications for Internet and traditional client/server implementations. The new version of Visual Studio launched this month provides support for the application lifecycle, team development, enterprise database design, and component-based development. Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition also includes a developer and test version of Microsoft BackOffice for easy integration with application services.

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 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.

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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