Microsoft fits Exchange with .Net

Microsoft has released a toolkit that enables users of Exchange 2000 server software to build and access Web services.

Microsoft has released a toolkit that enables users of Exchange 2000 server software to build and access Web services.

The Exchange 2000 Server Developer Enablement Kit, which is used with Microsoft's e-mail and collaboration server software, will allow developers to create Web services in XML.

The software was distributed to 5,000 attendees at the Microsoft Exchange Conference in Florida. The two-CD set includes the Exchange Software Development Kit, sample Exchange-based XML Web services, white papers on how to develop XML Web services and a code-centred training guide.

The tools will be available to international customers from the company's Exchange Web site. Microsoft said at the conference that it has sold more than 94 million seat licences of its Exchange server.

As part of its plan to build a Web-based platform for delivering software and services, Microsoft is building its entire line of software and tool products to support XML and other Web services standards. The company encouraged migration to the Web services platform by releasing toolkits for certain versions of its software that have yet to be released with XML support.

Microsoft's application development environment, Visual Studio .Net, will be released in its final version with support for building XML Web-services. Before that toolkit was first unveiled in a beta version, Microsoft had created an add-on for Visual Studio 6 that enabled users to begin using .Net services.

Windows .Net, the enterprise server software that will be the successor to Windows 2000, will also include Web services support when it is released early in 2002. That operating system is the server version of Windows XP, the desktop operating system due for widespread release on 25 October. Microsoft has said it will release Windows .Net within six months of Windows XP.

Microsoft has also announced details of the latest beta version of its server software, Mobile Information Server 2002 (MIS 2002) Enterprise Edition, which allows users to access data from Exchange 2000 on mobile devices.

Using the soon-to-be-released Pocket PC 2002 software, Microsoft said that with MIS 2002 users could wirelessly synchronise handheld devices with data stored on Exchange 2000.

The new mobile server includes enhanced security, additional phone support, new administration tools, improved performance, new language support and an updated software development kit. Microsoft officially released the predecessor to MIS 2002, Mobile Information 2001 Server, in June.

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