Microsoft and Data Return Expand Relationship To Deliver Automated Install Scripts

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its collaboration with Data Return Corp. to develop automated install scripts to help application service providers (ASPs) deploy hosted business services and e-commerce solutions more rapidly and with less need of technical expertise. These install scripts automate the deployment of business and commerce services for direct selling, Web purchasing and customer relationship management based on the Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system, SQL Server TM 7.0 and Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition.

Microsoft has invested $5 million in Data Return, with a right to invest another
$3.7 million. Data Return is a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) and Advanced Hosting Partner that provides advanced hosting services for the Microsoft BackOffice® family.

As a part of the investment, Data Return, a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP), will develop automated install scripts to reduce the install time from several hours to less than one hour for services that involve multiple server components from Microsoft and ISVs. The kit will also include documentation to assist with required hardware and software, baseline performance, scaling beyond the basic configuration, and tuning and testing the service. Ultimately, these scripts help to minimize customers’ organizational costs by shortening installation time and reducing the skills required of their IT staff.

ASPs will still need to purchase the required hardware and software to run the script and offer the hosting service. These scripts will be available on the Web at within the deployment kit for the specific business or commerce service.

“We are excited to be able to develop these scripts with Microsoft, which will be beneficial to our customers and the ASP industry,”
said Sunny Vanderbeck, chairman and CEO, Data Return.
“In order to rapidly deploy services and create standardized configurations every time a customer requests this service, Data Return has automated this setup and configuration process.”

“Microsoft is interested in working with key associates like Data Return to utilize its Microsoft server skills and extensive experience in the application hosting environment,”
said David Ostroff, Web and commerce hosting marketing manager, Network Solutions Group, Microsoft.
“With these automated install scripts, customers will find services offered by ASPs to be more reliable because they are properly installed and configured every time.”

Scripts are available for the direct selling of business-to-consumer services; current users include TAXWARE International Inc., TanData Corp. and CyberCash Inc. Scripts in Web purchasing services will also be made available through Clarus Corp. and in the customer relationship management market through Pivotal Corp. These scripts can also be created by any Microsoft Certified Solution Provider or independent software vendor to make it easier to deploy additional business services and commerce solutions by ASPs.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows NT and BackOffice 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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