Microsoft readies 'Green,' unified code base for business ap

Luc_VanDyckLuc_VanDyck Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 3,633
edited 2004-06-27 in General Chat
By Barbara Darrow, CRN

Boston -- Microsoft Business Solutions hopes to deliver on its promised unified code base for business applications by late next year, sources said.

MBS,which encompasses diverse offerings from Microsoft's acquisitions of Great Plains Software, Navision and Solomon Software,plans to offer a unified code base for its full plate of ERP, supply chain management and related business apps.

The "next gen" code base, code-named Green or Project Green, is slated to be in usable form by late 2004, sources said. Microsoft executives have been quietly discussing the plan for some time, but it is a significant undertaking, and partners say the date is optimistic.

A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on timing.

"Green will be the poster boy for the whole .Net game plan utilizing Office, SQL Server, SharePoint, the whole product family," said one source familiar with the project.

As such, the technology would deliver on Microsoft's goal of entrenching its entire software stack in small and midsize businesses. Underlying the Green game plan is the Microsoft Business Framework, a development platform, components of which now serve as the basis for Microsoft Business Portal.

Microsoft-CRM and its .Net underpinnings are another early indication of "what they're going to do with Great Plains and Navision," said Yacov Wrocherinsky, president of Infinity Info Systems, a New York-based MBS partner.

At Microsoft's Convergence 2003 in March, company executives said an early adopter version of Microsoft Business Framework will be available for use by third-party ISVs for their own development by year's end.

The Microsoft Business Framework, in turn, builds on the .Net framework, adding more functionality to be used by partners as the base for custom applications. "Who really wants to write another general ledger?" asked Mitch Ruud, product planning manager for Microsoft Business Framework, at Convergence.

Some partners say they could win big if Microsoft delivers one set of code that can be customized into vertical application stacks.

"Since I'm Microsoft CRM-only, the complexity of the other MBS products is a barrier to entry for me," said Ben Holtz, president of Green Beacon Solutions, a Watertown, Mass.-based MBS partner. "A unified code base will make it easier for me to broaden out to sell not only CRM applications but ERP as well."

Conversely, for a small shop that made its name specializing in Solomon code, as an example, the unified code base might not be such good news, Holtz said. "This will scare the living daylights out of them," he said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is not standing still. In June, it hopes to release Microsoft Business Network (MBN), software that promises to help solution providers collaborate with partners and customers over the Internet and transact business,sharing data without rekeying. MBN will be delivered both as on-premises software and as a hosted service.

The offering will rely on the Microsoft BizTalk, SQL Server and Exchange Server stack. MBN also builds on users' familiarity with Outlook and Office applications. "You stay with the apps you know, use Outlook to send/receive mail, and then plug in capabilities as needed so Outlook can expedite B2B transactions," said Marcus Schmidt, lead product manager for MBN.

Pricing is not set, but Schmidt said there will be an annual subscription fee.

This article appears courtesy of CRN, the newspaper for builders of technology solutions.
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Comments

  • DenSterDenSter Flagstaff, AZMember Posts: 8,287
    By Barbara Darrow, CRN
    <snip snip>
    At Microsoft's Convergence 2003 in March, company executives said an early adopter version of Microsoft Business Framework will be available for use by third-party ISVs for their own development by year's end.
    <snip snip>
    This article appears courtesy of CRN, the newspaper for builders of technology solutions.
    Does anybody know if this has been released, or if it hasn't, when it will be released? We are dying to know what direction MS is taking with MBS, so we can use our down time investing in proper training.
  • MattVMattV ScotlandMember Posts: 3
    The following link gives you some indications about the timings of when the new MBS offerings will be unveiled.

    Its interesting to see that they aim to leverage the strengths of each product but im sure the finished solution will be unrecognisable from any.

    Watch this space!

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2 ... 416,00.asp
  • DenSterDenSter Flagstaff, AZMember Posts: 8,287
    Thanks Matt, that's a very helpful article. I just wanted to post the most interesting part of the article here:
    "Our strategy is to build the next generation suite from the ground up on the latest Microsoft tools, including Visual Studio," according to some partner conference litereature. "To accomplish this, we are taking a 'best of' approach. For example, we're leveraging the model ease of use and deployment practices of Navision, the event-based customizations built into Great Plains, the metadata-store technology and object-driven development concepts with Axapta, and Solomon's visual basic foundation for customization, as well as the more than 20 years of development and domain expertise behind our current solutions."
    Now what that actually means remains a mistery to me, as per usual.... :shock:
    Does this mean that we're all going to be VB developers? Are we going to have to learn C#? I have yet to get an answer as to what skills we are going to need for this new product.
  • MrDeeMrDee AucklandMember Posts: 48
    :evil: Ship date for first 'Project Green' apps pushed back from this year to 2008
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/06/ ... kes_1.html
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