Microsoft Debuts Content Management Server 2002

By Brian Morrissey

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With an eye on the lucrative market for managing Web content, Microsoft released its new Content Management Server 2002 on Monday, boasting the server makes developers' jobs easier by more tightly integrating with Microsoft Office and Visual Studio.Net.

Content Management Server 2002 joins Microsoft's suite of .Net enterprise servers, which include BizTalk Server, SharePoint Portal Server, and Commerce Server. Microsoft said developers could use the content management server to roll out XML Web services on Microsoft's .Net platform, thanks to its integration with Visual Studio.Net, ASP.Net, and Microsoft Office.

"As companies expand their business practices over the Internet, an integrated eBusiness infrastructure connecting people to the information they need will be more important than ever," David Kiker, general manager of eBusiness Servers, said in a statement. "By providing deeper support for the Microsoft .NET Framework, XML Web services and integration with Microsoft Office and Visual Studio .NET, Content Management Server 2002 is helping customers take full advantage of current skill sets and lower their cost of ownership through a fully integrated and interoperable content management solution."

Microsoft said the Content Management Server 2002,released in beta in July, would include a number features, including:

With the addition of support for XML, the content management server continues Microsoft's push to steer businesses to its .Net world of Web services, which favor XML over those on rival Sun Microsystems' J2EE platform.

The content management server is priced at $42,000 per CPU. It will be broadly available by the end of the year.

The content management server is the last of Microsoft's .Net enterprise servers to be upgraded this year. In February, Microsoft rolled out BizTalk Server 2002; and in April, the company unveiled Commerce Server 2002.

Microsoft began its push into the enterprise content management market in May 2001, when it acquired NCompass Labs for $36 million. Microsoft's Content Management Server 2001, released in August 2001, grew out of NCompass Resolution content-management offering.

According to research firm IDC, the document-and content-management market is poised for 44 percent compound annualized growth in the coming years, reaching about $24.4 billion in 2006.

This push to compete with Interwoven, Vignette and others for the high end of the market for managing Web content was evidenced by Microsoft's announcement in April that Ford Motor Co. had signed up to use Content Management Server to power its Ford.com Web site. Microsoft also said that JetBlue Airways, an enthusiastic believer in .Net Web services, had also signed on to use the server, in addition to the Graduate Management Admission Council.