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Commentary: Microsoft's Jupiter expedition

Jupiter, a forthcoming bundle of BizTalk and other servers, opens another front in the company's war with BEA Systems, IBM and Oracle for developers' attention.

Commentary: Microsoft's Jupiter expedition
By Forrester Research
Special to CNET
May 23, 2003, 9:30AM PT

By Ted Schadler, Principal Analyst

Microsoft has announced Jupiter, a forthcoming server software bundle to which developers can write content-rich, process-driven, self-service applications, opening a new front in its war with BEA Systems, IBM and Oracle for developers' attention.

With Jupiter, Microsoft will integrate its collection of servers--BizTalk, Content Management and Commerce--into a single application platform running on Windows and developed with Visual Studio .Net. The announcement signals that the software giant has the following goals:

• Easing the lives of application builders. Developers and independent software vendors today must laboriously stitch together separate products from companies like IBM, Plumtree Software, Tibco Software and Vignette to build a process portal or another content-rich, process-driven application. By 2004, Jupiter's integrated servers and single toolkit will make it easier to build applications that combine data, content and process.

• Defining the next software server battleground. By tying these servers together and uniting them with a single toolkit and execution system, Microsoft will set the bar for BEA, IBM and Oracle in

Related story

The company sees new server software
bundle as its key to a fast-growing market.

attracting chief information officers and corporate infrastructure investments. These companies will be forced to expand their scope and consolidate their servers and tools to compete. Forrester also expects project budget holders to be drawn to an attractively priced Jupiter.

• Challenging the existence of standalone software markets. Vendors as diverse and successful as Interwoven and WebMethods have built solid businesses selling standalone servers for content management and integration. When Jupiter catches on in late 2004, these vendors will be further shut out of project deals. The answer for them? Specialize like fanatics and partner for large-scale deals.

© 2003, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change.