Exchange goes Platinum

Exchange goes Platinum

By Paul Montgomery

The release of Office 2000 signals Microsoft's gradual push for a beach head in the knowledge management arena, but the main guns are still to be fired. The attack will begin in earnest with the next release of Exchange Server, codenamed Platinum. CEO Bill Gates previewed some of its new features at the recent TechEd 99 conference in Dallas.

Ross Dembecki, lead product manager for enterprise products and product manager for Exchange at Microsoft Australia, said a lot of work was being done on building a server-based infrastructure, which included Active Directory and the more general functions of Windows 2000. This also includes some new elements of what Mr Gates calls the "digital nervous system".

"There was some talk [at TechEd] about the new Web Store, which is a key technology as part of the Platinum release. [Web Store] has been engineered into the Platinum product that is for creating a single Web store for documents, collaborative applications, indexing, search, and managing all different types of information," Mr Dembecki said.

Other previews at TechEd included Tahoe, which will be a new set of document library and search services based on Platinum, and a forthcoming toolset for building integrated Web- and Microsoft SQL Server-based solutions to automate team business processes on top of Office, codenamed Grizzly. Also on display was the already released Team Productivity Update for BackOffice Server 4.5, which creates a "team workspace" for document collaboration, team calendaring and contacts, and data analysis.

Mr Dembecki said Microsoft would not be seeking to displace its partners in the document management or workflow industries.

"We have a wide variety of ISVs [independent software vendors] that are supporting Exchange today, and we're working to get early support from them [for the new features]. I definitely see Web Store as a platform for people to build point solutions," he said.

Business Solution: