MEC: Greenwich, Jupiter On Tap

Let the code names fly. At this years MEC 2002, formerly known as the Microsoft Exchange Conference, Microsoft announced a number of upcoming server products, including a few members, Greenwich--a real-time communications server originally intended to ship as part of Windows .NET Server 2003--and Jupiter, which will consolidate three of the company's e-business servers into a single product.

Greenwich will provide enterprise instant messaging and team room capabilities, says Microsoft senior vice president Paul Flessner, and though he refused to discuss a delivery timetable, Microsoft representatives previously told me that the plan was to ship Greenwich within a few months of Win.NET Server's public release. The product will be tightly integrated into Win.NET Server, and extend the consumer-oriented instant messaging platform we use today with Windows Messenger with features making the technology more suitable for the enterprise.

"Basically, \[Greenwich is about\] any means of doing business in real time," says Cliff Reeves, the vice president of marketing for Microsoft's Windows .NET Server Product Management Group. "Today, businesses need instant messaging, video conferencing, and voice communications to run their businesses effectively." Reeves says that Greenwich will integrate with telephony applications, line of business applications, information worker productivity applications, conferencing applications and more, using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) that debuted with Windows XP, but adding the security, manageability, standards-based architecture, and extensibility that enterprises demand.

Jupiter, meanwhile, will consolidate Microsoft's BizTalk Server, Content Management Server, and Commerce Server products into a single server product for building and delivering e-business solutions. Jupiter will be delivered in two phases over the next 18 months, the company says, adding support for XML Web services standards, such as the Business Process Execution Language for Web services (BPEL4WS; now there's an acronym), and integration with Visual Studio .NET and Office 11.

"The challenge with today's legacy e-business software is that much of it can be characterized as proprietary, disconnected and overly complex," says David Kiker, general manager of E-Business Servers at Microsoft. "The Jupiter project is focused squarely on addressing these issues. In unifying our best-of-breed \[server\] applications, we are both simplifying the complexity of our customers' infrastructure and providing them with a comprehensive, standards-based solution to connect, analyze and react to the information, people and processes that make up the extended enterprise."

Jupiter will offer customers an e-business solution with business process management, tools integration, and a componentized design that makes building customized solutions easier. The first phase of Jupiter, due in late 2003, will focus on delivering process automation, workflow enhancements, integration technologies, BPEL4WS support, and an integrated developer experience. In the first half of 2004, Microsoft will deliver phase 2, adding content management, commerce services, catalog management, campaign management, site management, site analytics, targeting, personalization, and the integrated information worker experience.

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