Microsoft Keeps Working On Windows Server Links

With the next version of Commerce Server and BizTalk Server, and their shared foundation, Microsoft hopes to eradicate many app server integration problems.

September 30, 2005

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

With the next version of Commerce Server and BizTalk Server, and their shared foundation, Microsoft hopes to eradicate many server integration problems.

With these releases, slated for the first half of 2006, Microsoft will phase out the Microsoft Solution for Internet Business (MSIB), a Microsoft executive told CRN.

Markellos Diorinos, product manager for Commerce Server, said Microsoft has alleviated the need for MSIB in the next server release.

“MSIB consisted of three things: a lot of documentation [explaining] the use of the product; some integration between CMS [Content Management Server] and Commerce Server, which were developed isolated from each other; and some infrastructure in the form of a Microsoft Operations Manager [MOM] management pack,” Diorinos said.

With Commerce Server 2006, Microsoft is rewriting the documentation and building a MOM management pack into the server itself. The pack funnels information about the workings of each server into the MOM console. “This pack puts more knowledge into MOM about Commerce Server,” he said. Previously, an older version of the MOM management bits was included in MSIB.Many partners say good riddance to the MSIB add-on code and documentation intended to ease integration.

But it is still unclear if and how Microsoft will implement tighter integration between the next Commerce Server and the next CMS, a major concern for VARs implementing e-commerce shopping and catalog sites.

Diorinos said he could not speak about CMS other than to say partners should not worry. “We’re still one company … the foundation is common,” he said, adding that Commerce Server and BizTalk Server both build on the .Net Framework 2.0 and ASP.Net Framework 2.0.

The next CMS, due in the Office 12 “wave” starting next year, will be more tightly integrated with SharePoint Server—in fact, the two may converge. But those products come out of the Office group while Commerce Server remains in the Windows Server group.

The division between those groups raises concerns that the integration between their respective products will fall through the organizational cracks.“The MSIB kludge was essentially trying to add Commerce Server bit buckets into CMS pages for rich product descriptions. It never really worked, and the integration was a nightmare. Just the setup instructions were 45 pages,” said one longtime Microsoft partner. “The analytics didn’t work together properly, the targeting available in Commerce Server 2002 didn’t tie into the CMS 2002 targeting system … it’s an integration disaster.”

A possible communications or technology gap between Office and Windows servers plays into the fears of some solution providers, who cite turf wars between the groups. CMS, once part of the Windows Server group, was moved to the Office group in what some saw as a power grab by the Office/Information Worker team.

Representatives from the Information Worker group in charge of Office could not be reached for comment.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights