Microsoft Announces BackOffice Server 4.5

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 12, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft® BackOffice® Server 4.5, an integrated server suite, optimized for the Windows NT® Server operating system, that simplifies the deployment, management and development of powerful solutions for branch offices, departments and midsize organizations. BackOffice Server 4.5, currently in beta testing, introduces new features for deploying a consistent branch office or departmental infrastructure, and a set of targeted BackOffice Server Manager consoles for common administrative tasks. BackOffice Server 4.5 delivers and integrates setup of the latest BackOffice family components and service packs, including Microsoft SQL Server
7.0, Systems Management Server 2.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 4.

“Customers have told us they want to consolidate the number of servers they are managing and reduce the complexity of administering those servers,” said Rich Tong, vice president of marketing for the application and tools group at Microsoft. “BackOffice Server makes it easy to drop an integrated infrastructure or application server into a branch or department and replicate that configuration throughout the organization with a standardized console for managing those servers.”

BackOffice Server 4.5 Simplifies Deployment

BackOffice Server speeds up server configuration by automatically detecting the current configuration, recommending the appropriate component and service pack upgrades, and defaulting many common parameters, reducing setup time and complexity. BackOffice
Server 4.5 also introduces new features to automate the deployment of multiple branch or departmental servers, including these:

  • Reusable setup scripts. Once a standard server configuration has been established, an unattended setup script can be generated automatically.

  • BackOffice Server deployment wizard. This tool allows systems managers to replicate a single server script across hundreds of servers, automatically updating machine names and parameter settings as required.

  • Branch Office setup scenario. This feature will automatically set the proper settings for a remote location, such as joining an existing Microsoft Exchange Server site and setting up a secondary Systems Management Server site.

BackOffice Server 4.5 Improves Administration With New Management Consoles

BackOffice Server 4.5 simplifies administration with a new BackOffice Server Manager based on Microsoft Management Console technology. The BackOffice Server Manager provides a single point of administration for common suite-level tasks and includes four consoles optimized for entry-level help desk technicians, Web administrators, branch administrators and central IT administrators. Each console can be easily customized to incorporate in-house or third-party management tools.

BackOffice Server 4.5 Simplifies Development With Updated Intranet Starter Site

BackOffice Server 4.5 provides the easy way for customers to roll out and manage a Windows® Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture, providing key application server components, including a Web, e-mail, collaboration, database and search server, and services for host integration, Internet access and desktop management. BackOffice Server 4.5 also provides all of the key BackOffice platform components needed for building rich Office 2000 compatible solutions, including an OLAP Server in SQL Server 7.0 that integrates with Microsoft Excel, e-mail and collaboration functionality based on Exchange Server and the Outlook® 2000 messaging and collaboration client, and a Web server for deploying Office Server Extensions..

BackOffice Server helps jump-start Web development by automatically setting up a fully functional intranet starter site out of the box with seven starter applications, including news, document library, events calendar, discussions, expense tracking and help desk applications. These starter applications demonstrate how to build powerful Web solutions that integrate multiple BackOffice family components and have been updated to include support for Site Server 3.0, Microsoft Transaction Server and Office 2000 Web Components.

BackOffice Server Is Broadly Deployed Today in Large and Midsize Enterprises

BackOffice Server is used today as a branch office standard in a number of leading banking, insurance and retail organizations and is deployed in more than half of the Fortune 200 companies, 45 of 50 U.S. state governments and all Cabinet-level federal agencies in the United States.

First Security Corp., the largest financial services organization in the Intermountain West with assets of about $20 billion, is currently rolling out BackOffice Server to more than 25 campus locations supporting between 500 and 1,500 users as well as to nearly 400 branch offices. BackOffice Server provides a consistent means of deploying and managing server-based file and print services, SNA Server connectivity, System Management Server and SQL Server-based banking applications on each server.

“In each of our campus and branch locations, BackOffice Server has played a key role in our deployment of a standard, powerful and reliable enterprise solution,” said Al Pino, president of First Security Information Technology Inc. “BackOffice Server lowered the cost and time required to deploy our enterprise banking applications. The single point of administration and consolidation of multiple applications on a single server will lower our technology costs into the future.”

BackOffice Server also provides a reliable application server solution for midsize organizations. Antelope Valley Hospital, a 355-bed facility in Lancaster, Calif., uses BackOffice Server to run its day-to-day operations, including patient records, operating room scheduling, and material and financial applications. “BackOffice Server has allowed Antelope Valley Hospital to easily roll out and manage a consistent infrastructure,” said Ash Shehata, director of information systems at Antelope Valley Hospital. “With BackOffice Server, we have been able to consolidate servers and reduce management and support costs by 20 percent.” Antelope Valley runs Windows NT Server 4.0, Internet Information Server 4.0, SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server and Proxy Server on a single server.

The Smart Way to License Microsoft BackOffice Family Software

BackOffice Server 4.5 reduces license administration costs by providing a single license for all of the components installed on a single server. Customers are free to use any or all of the following:

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0

  • Microsoft Windows NT Option Pack (including Internet Information Server 4.0, Microsoft Transaction Server 2.0 and Microsoft Message Queue Server 1.0)

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5

  • Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0

  • Microsoft SNA Server 4.0

  • Microsoft SQL Server 7.0

  • Microsoft Site Server 3.0

  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0

BackOffice Server 4.5 also includes the following client software: Outlook 2000 (Exchange or BackOffice Client Access License required), FrontPage® 2000 Web site creation and management tool (single-user license), Visual InterDev
Web development system version 6.0 (single-user license) and Seagate Crystal Info 6.0 (five-user license).

The BackOffice Client Access License, also updated with this release, reduces license administration costs by providing a single license for user access to any or all of the components in BackOffice Server 4.5, regardless of whether they are deployed as part of the BackOffice Server 4.5 suite or as standalone components.

The Microsoft BackOffice family is a comprehensive set of integrated server products to run businesses of all sizes. The BackOffice family includes Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server, BackOffice Server and the individual BackOffice applications. As businesses grow and demand more from their technology, they will find BackOffice products designed to meet their needs.

Pricing and Availability

The BackOffice Server suite and Client Access License provide the simplest and most cost-effective way to license and use the BackOffice family of products. Pricing for BackOffice Server 4.5 has not yet been determined. Currently in beta testing, general availability of BackOffice Server 4.5 is expected in the first half of 1999. Customers in the United States and Canada who obtain the current version, BackOffice Server 4.0, between Jan. 1, 1999, and

May 30, 1999, will receive a free upgrade to BackOffice Server 4.5 (shipping and handling charges may apply). Microsoft is scheduled to begin taking technology guarantee orders on Feb. 1, 1999.

Additional information on BackOffice Server, including a Web demonstration of new BackOffice Server 4.5 features, is available at the Microsoft Web site at . Customers interested in participating in the worldwide Microsoft BackOffice Server 4.5 beta program should apply by sending e-mail to [email protected]. Customers should include the following in their e-mail: name, title, company, e-mail address, shipping address and phone number.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, Windows NT, Windows, Outlook, FrontPage and Visual InterDev 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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