RealTime IT News

Partners Shine at TechEd

SAN DIEGO -- Even as Microsoft continues to add functionality and features to its own products, it calls on partners to add more.

In his keynote address at the company's TechEd conference for developers and IT professionals here, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said partnerships with independent software vendors (ISVs) and integrators play an important role in "the ecosystem that you need to make your world come alive." Ballmer stressed they help provide more choice and applications for Microsoft customers. As testament to the message, Ballmer announced that business software provider TIBCO will use the Visual Studio platform as extensibility suite for its runtime and its platforms.

Several companies exhibiting at TechEd announced similar offerings based on Microsoft's server software. Sunbelt Software, for example, announced the release of ServerVision, which provides graphical tools to monitor performance, downtime and security of local and remote Windows servers and workstations. ServerVision provides automated actions and alerts based on pre-defined events and thresholds, and it's designed to be extremely easy to configure. Administrators can use pre-set reporting tools or create custom reports on such things as event logs, performance, services and key system indicators. They can administer through a management console or a Web-based interface.

ServerVision is designed for small to medium-sized businesses that don't need or can't afford Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), according to Sunbelt product lead Phil Owens. The license fee starts at $245 per server, with volume discounts.

Similarly, Venation announced its V-SERVE product. The software for accelerating the delivery and retrieval of Web content and applications is built on Microsoft's ISA Server. V-Serve, along with the company's V-WEB 4.0 product, provides what the company calls "content delivery networking" services: intelligent and proactive caching, compression, URL filtering and blocking, pre-loading of specified content and centralized real-time management of content.

"There are often users within a company who may be in a branch or regional office and connected with limited bandwidth, so performance of the network is a major issue," said Venation vice president of marketing Paul Green. "When everyone comes to work on Monday and goes to the company's home page, you don't really need to pull that same page over and over." Venation's intelligent caching keeps track of which pages are requested the most, caches them and keeps them fresh by monitoring for changes, then delivering only what's been changed.

Priasoft (formerly Automation Specialists) announced its Priasoft Migration Suite for Microsoft Exchange. The product works with Microsoft ADC connector to help companies move corporate e-mail services to Microsoft Exchange. It includes tools for moving mailboxes, Outlook client profiles, Exchange Public Folders and distribution lists.

On the content security front, PKWare released a software development kit. PKWare's niche is compression. Its .zip format has become the industry standard for compressing documents for e-mailing or storage. The SDK lets ISVs integrate the PKZIP data compression and SecureZIP data security technologies into custom applications and packaged software products. The kit includes a data compression library.

"We're seeing a lot of demand from developers, who need help managing bandwidth," said PKWare chief marketing officer Steve Crawford.

While Microsoft continues to beef up security in its products, third-party vendors are betting that customers will want to layer on as many additional measures as they can.