25 July 2002 Software giant Microsoft has started offering customers a pre-release version of its new server operating system, .Net Server — an upgrade to Windows 2000 Server enabled for web services. The delivery of Release Candidate 1 (RC1) comes on the back of Microsoft unveiling details about its product road map for “phase two” of its web services .Net initiative.
.Net Server joins other Microsoft product, such as Visual Studio.Net and BizTalk Server, that have been rewritten to allow the deployment of web services – the new standards-based application approach to locating, composing and delivering software as services over the Internet. The release of RC1 will give developers the opportunity to test .Net Server’s web services features such as the universal description, discovery and integration registry (UDDI). UDDI is a registry where developers can go to find specifications for web services, which they can then access with their applications.
In addition, Microsoft claims .Net Server will make it easier for developers to deploy XML-based web services applications. To this end, Microsoft will provide additional software components and include its .Net Framework in services for Microsoft’s web server, Internet Information Server. “By providing more reusable objects, built-in services and better process management and integration, Windows .Net Server raises the bar for integration and ease of management for server operating systems,” according to Microsoft executives.
Web services features for the next version of Microsoft’s relational database SQL Server 2000, code-named Yukon, were also unveiled. One new capability will be the SQL Server Notification Services for SQL Server, which provides a system to notify users about new or updated data across corporate networks.
Additional .Net Server product details – not specifically tied to web services – were unveiled by Microsoft. The company claims .Net Server provides enhanced scalability and performance capabilities, as a result of enhanced support for 64-bit processing, broader inclusion of eight-way clustering, and support for the parallel processing architecture, non-uniform memory access (NUMA).
Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates admitted progress with .Net has been slower than expected. He also said that earlier products launched in September 2000 had been prematurely branded. Net products, as they had added little relevant functionality.