Microsoft's revamped 'Business Desk' interface for Commerce Server 2002 will hit this week. But those waiting for a major update to the server itself will have to cool their heels until 2006.
The Biz Desk update, available in a feature pack due last week, will offer a new user interface for catalog and discount management that will be more usable and more Windows-like, said Steve Martin, group, product manager in Microsoft's Business Process & Integration Group, formerly known as the e-business server group.
The update should make it easier for solution providers to customise the look and feel of commerce sites for customers, Martin said.
The new task panes and wizards makes managing a catalog much more straightforward and intuitive, thus reducing training requirements, said Neil Slater, deputy managing director of Domino Systems, a British developer of custom e-commerce solutions.
Microsoft had promised this update in the first half of the year and has made the date.
The feature pack will be available free to current Commerce Server 2002 customers. That server software, shipping since April 2002, will likely get a major update in two years, executives said. Microsoft earlier this year nixed plans for a merged 'Jupiter' server suite that would have melded e-commerce, content management and integration technologies.
With the new Biz Desk, the company is 'communicating that we're dedicated to this space going forward,' Martin said. 'For our current customer base, commerce is no longer seen as a separate channel, it's much more integrated in how they do business. The feedback was to make the online commerce channel integrated to business process integration and having visibility across all channels,' Martin said.
That was certainly the message when Microsoft dropped plans for Jupiter last February. At the time, executives maintained that the vision of closely integrated and interoperable servers remained the same, but the packaging had shifted.
Now the goal is to deliver a new Commerce Server in early 2006 that will offer tighter links to BizTalk Server and Visual Studio.Net and built-in SQL Reporting Services borrowed from Microsoft's database group.
The next release will offer more BizTalk connectors in the box to hook into diverse back-end services, Martin said. That upcoming edition of the commerce server could rely on BizTalk's rules engine for fraud detection and other tasks, Martin said.
Microsoft has already acknowledged it is thinking about broadening the reach of BizTalk to its infrastructure. It is possible that BizTalk's basic scheduling and orchestration engine will end up in Longhorn.
Issue: 315 | May 2013
Access CRN's extensive online resources including; email bulletins, community discussions and unique online news.
Processing registration... Please wait.
This process can take up to a minute to complete.
A confirmation email has been sent to your email address - SUPPLIED GOES EMAIL HERE. Please click on the link in the email to verify your email address. You need to verify your email before you can log on to the CRN website or start posting comments on articles.
If you do not receive your confirmation email within the next few minutes, it may be because the email has been captured by a junk mail filter. Please ensure you add the domain '@crn.com.au' to your white-listed senders.