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Microsoft BackOffice Server 4.5 Now Available

New Team Productivity Update Helps Teams Get Results Faster

LAS VEGAS - May 11, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today at NetWorld+Interop announced the availability of Microsoft® BackOffice® Server 4.5, the complete, integrated server suite that simplifies the development, deployment and management of powerful solutions for branch offices, departments and midsize organizations. The company also announced the Team Productivity Update for BackOffice Server 4.5, which extends Microsoft Office 2000 to help teams create a centralized location for team information. The Team Productivity Update helps end users, with IT control, quickly create a secure, structured Team Workspace where all team members can share and collaborate on documents, view team calendars and contacts, and analyze line-of-business data. This new feature of BackOffice Server, currently under development, is scheduled to be available to customers in the third quarter of 1999.

"Our customers are challenging us to simplify the deployment of solutions based on Office and BackOffice," said Rich Tong, vice president of marketing for the Business Productivity Group at Microsoft. "BackOffice Server 4.5 makes the jobs of IT professionals and solution developers easier by taking the guesswork out of setting up and managing a branch or departmental server. With the Team Productivity Update, we now simplify the rollout of team-oriented knowledge management solutions based on Office 2000 and BackOffice components, including Microsoft SQL Server™ and Exchange Server."

The upcoming Team Productivity Update for BackOffice Server 4.5 enables teams of people to do the following:

  • Create a secure, centralized team work space. Nontechnical end users with proper IT approval can easily create a Team Workspace, a central location for sharing team information that is an extension to a team member's desktop running the Outlook® 2000 messaging and collaboration client or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 browser software. A simple wizard allows end users to assign a project name, add team members, and specify which applications will be included in the Team Workspace. No special programming or understanding of security settings or file structures is required.
  • Start working with out-of-the-box team applications. Team owners or project managers will be able to select from several starter applications that will ship with the update, including team documents based on Office 2000 Server Extensions, Microsoft Exchange Server-based collaborative applications like a team calendar, team contacts and discussions, and a Microsoft SQL Server-based issues-tracking template application.
  • Access custom and third-party applications. A framework for integrating other applications into the Team Workspace is included in the update. In-house developers, ISVs and solution providers will be able to determine how their application should be presented, summarized, searched and taken offline within the Team Workspace. Solutions supporting this framework will appear within the Team Workspace Wizard, allowing end users to select them as part of their custom team work space.

Because the Team Productivity Update is a feature of BackOffice Server 4.5, IT managers will be able to use BackOffice Server to create the core team or department server environment. The update will take care of installing any additional components, such as Office Server Extensions, on top of BackOffice Server 4.5.

BackOffice Server 4.5 Simplifies Deployment, Management and Development

BackOffice Server 4.5 includes new features to simplify the deployment and management of branch office and departmental communications and applications servers. A new branch office setup scenario and multisite deployment tool make it easy to create a base-line configuration for a remote server, for example, and then replicate that configuration across a large number of machines. BackOffice Server 4.5 provides a single, integrated management console, based on Microsoft Management Console (MMC) technology, which simplifies administration of those servers. The BackOffice Server intranet starter site and starter applications streamline the process of creating a company intranet by setting up a turnkey Web application server and providing seven starter applications, such as a company directory, events calendar, help desk and expense tracking system.

BackOffice Server 4.5 also integrates the latest components and service packs in the BackOffice family, including Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Systems Management Server 2.0. BackOffice Server 4.5 also includes updated client software, including Outlook 2000 (Exchange or BackOffice client access license required), the FrontPage® 2000 Web site creation and management tool (single-user license), the Visual InterDev™ Web development system version 6.0 (single-user license), and Seagate Info 6.0 (five-user license).

By providing a broad range of server components and value-added features, BackOffice Server has become the branch office and departmental standard for a number of enterprises, including Regions Financial Corp., Novant Health Inc., Promus Hotel Corp. and Carnival Cruise Lines.

"Customers have been rapidly adopting the Microsoft BackOffice Server to handle many of their critical computing jobs, especially for replicated branch and store environments," said Michael Lambert, senior vice president, Enterprise Systems Group, Dell Computer Corp. "As one of Microsoft's fastest-growing large-account resellers, Dell has seen a strong demand for BackOffice Server on our PowerEdge servers, especially within medium-sized and large business customers."

Licensing and Pricing

BackOffice Server 4.5 reduces license administration costs by providing a single license for server components and a single client access license. The BackOffice Server suite and client access license provide the simplest and most cost-effective way to license and use the BackOffice family of products. Estimated retail price starts at $3,099 for BackOffice Server 4.5 with five client access licenses.

Customers have the flexibility to use any or all of the following components of the BackOffice family on a single server machine: the Windows NT® Server operating system version 4.0 including the Windows NT Option Pack, Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5, Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0, Microsoft SNA Server 4.0, Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft Site Server 3.0 and Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0.

The BackOffice client access license, also updated with this release, reduces license administration costs by providing a single license for user access to any or all of the components in BackOffice Server 4.5, regardless of whether they are deployed as part of the BackOffice Server 4.5 suite or as standalone components.

Information on new product features, pricing and licensing can be found on the BackOffice Server Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/backofficeserver/go/press.htm.

 

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