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Site Server 3.0 goes to beta

Site Server 3.0, Microsoft's Web publishing server that the company is targeting to company intranets, will go into beta testing next week.

    The latest version of Microsoft's (MSFT) Web site server will go into beta next week, the company said today.

    Site Server 3.0 is Microsoft's Web publishing server that the company is targeting to company intranets. It comes in two editions, a standard version for publishing on intranets and a commerce version, which is a superset of the standard, for conducting online transactions. Both versions require Windows NT Server 4.0 with Internet Information Server 4.0.

    Site Server 3.0 will allow users to search for information they want to gather from the company network and have it delivered to the desktop either by email or by an Internet Explorer 4.0 "push" channel. Site Server can search Web documents, file servers, ODBC-compliant databases, and Exchange folders.

    The commerce edition will add failsafe capabilities that Site Server 2.0 lacked. If a transaction is canceled in midstream, all the information will be rolled back to the pretransaction levels. To do this, Site Server 3.0 must be connected to the Microsoft Transaction Server, which is part of the NT 4.0 Option Pack, group product manager Pat Fox said.

    The commerce edition will also include an Ad Server for hosting online advertisements.

    Microsoft will bundle FrontPage 98 and Visual InterDev, both Web development applications, with the shipping version of Site Server 3.0. It will also be bundled into the Back Office Server 4.0. It is scheduled to ship next quarter. Pricing has not yet been determined.