Microsoft Joins Meta Data Coalition to Foster Meta Data Standard

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 7, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it joined the Meta Data Coalition (MDC), an industry consortium of 47 software vendors and corporations, and transferred to the organization the rights to maintain and evolve the Microsoft® Open Information Model (OIM), a specification for representing meta-data.

As part of this agreement, the coalition will integrate the OIM and MDC’s Meta Data Interface Standard (MDIS) 1.1 to provide the industry with a technology-independent and vendor-neutral specification to facilitate sharing and reuse of meta-data. The specification will help ensure high interoperability of tools, applications and repositories implementing the standard, thereby reducing design, development and administration costs of application development and data warehousing.

“Microsoft has worked extensively with the industry to establish the OIM as the most open and flexible model for describing and sharing meta data,”
said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft’s applications and tools group.
“Combining our efforts with the Meta Data Coalition helps ensure that the meta-data models will expand even further, enabling customers to have the broadest possible choice of interoperable data warehousing and application development solutions.”

Developed by Microsoft and more than 20 industry-leading companies, OIM is based on industry standards such as SQL, COM and the Java language and has been reviewed by more than 300 companies as part of Microsoft’s open design process. This open and collaborative approach to the meta-data standard is consistent with Microsoft’s strategy to encourage industry participation in the Microsoft Data Warehousing Framework, which includes Microsoft Repository and its Open Information Model as core enabling technologies. The framework is a comprehensive architecture for integrating all aspects of decision support, including the building, managing and use of data warehouses and data marts. Customers benefit from lower costs of ownership because of the growing number of interoperable products with advanced capabilities and improved manageability. The MDC, as part of its commitment to continue this open process, plans to make the unified specification available to its members for review in the first quarter of 1999; availability for implementation is expected in the third quarter of 1999.

XML Meta Data Interchange Format Strengthens Repository Interoperability

Microsoft and other leading repository vendors also announced today that they have enabled their products to interchange meta-data using the EXtensible Markup Language (XML), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) format for representation of information as structured documents, and the Open Information Model. Support for the XML Meta Data Interchange by Microsoft, NCR Corp., PLATINUM technology inc., Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems Inc., Softlab GmbH, Sybase Inc., Unisys Corp. and Viasoft Corp. allows customers to easily integrate meta-data from multiple repositories, resulting in reduced costs and increased flexibility. Microsoft’s implementation of the XML interchange ships with Microsoft
Repository 2.0, a component of Microsoft SQL Server

“This initiative from Microsoft and the Meta Data Coalition is a significant movement to develop a technology-independent meta-data interchange standard,”
said Dave Yeger, vice president at Merrill Lynch & Company.
“Organizations like Merrill Lynch with multiple CASE tools and repositories will benefit from the improved interoperability of tools, applications and platforms.”

Microsoft has also made two new extensions available as part of the open design review process for gathering industry feedback on the Open Information Model. The design review period for the Legacy Database Model, developed as part of the repository collaboration with PLATINUM technology, begins today with the availability of the specifications and is expected to conclude in February 1999. The Informix Database Model, an extension of the database subject area of the OIM, has been developed by Informix Corp. and is available as part of the Microsoft Repository SDK 2.0. For information on how to participate in the open review, visit .

About Microsoft Repository

Microsoft Repository 2.0 is a component of SQL Sever 7.0 that provides life-cycle management services to store and share software components along with their descriptive information. More than a database, Microsoft Repository creates and manages the relationships between the items it contains. Microsoft Repository consists of the Open Information Model, the XML Interchange Format, a set of published COM and SQL interfaces, and an engine that sits on top of Microsoft SQL Server. More than 1,000,000 copies of Microsoft Repository have shipped, more than 70 licenses have been signed, and more than 50 products based on Microsoft Repository are shipping or have been announced. Microsoft Repository 2.0 is available with SQL Server 7.0 and in the Visual Studio® development system version 6.0. PLATINUM technology has announced the availability of the beta version of the port of Microsoft Repository to HP-UX, Sun Solaris and Windows NT® platforms, as well as Oracle 8, Sybase 11.5 and DB/2 UDB databases.

About the Meta Data Coalition

The Meta Data Coalition was founded in October 1995 by a group of industry-leading vendors aiming to define a tactical set of standard specifications for the access and interchange of meta-data between software tools. Participation in the Meta Data Coalition is open to all vendors and end users. MDIS version 1.1, as well as general information about the Meta Data Coalition, including its 47 participating vendors, is available through the Coalition home page on the World Wide Web at . Members of the Meta Data Council, the group’s steering committee, are IBM Corp., NCR Corp., Sybase Inc., Evolutionary Technologies International Inc. and PLATINUM technology inc., Hyperion Solutions and Commercial Financial Services Inc.

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

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