Microsoft to Grow .NET With Developer Program

Microsoft Corp. launched another offering aimed at the ASP space this week with a program designed to help independent software vendors and developers build hosted applications.

The most recent addition to Microsoft’s .NET strategy, the Hosted Applications Development Community is intended to be a roadmap of sorts, whereby a company looking to enter the ASP market can leverage advice from Microsoft to get their hosted applications to market quickly.

Microsoft’s .NET plan centers on hosted services available via the Internet that corporate in-house developers and independent software vendors use as common bits and pieces of their own applications. Those Web-based services would also allow greater unity of information among an individual's disparate devices such as a wireless phone, PDA and PC.

The Hosted Applications Development Community is the latest in a line of efforts by the Redmond, Wash.-based computing giant to build momentum for its .NET platform.

Microsoft isn’t the only big-name vendor trying to create a place for itself in the ASP community. The technology industry’s most prominent players – from IBM to Oracle – are positioning themselves to capitalize should the model achieve the heights many analysts predict it will.

Earlier this month, Oracle also launched a program for developers of hosted applications. The offering, called iDevelop2001, is an extension of the Oracle Technology Network, Oracle’s umbrella development community. Primarily focused on Java and XML, the program offers information on developing hosted applications based on Oracle9i.

Microsoft’s development community is accessible to any ISV through Microsoft’s ASP Web site, or through Microsoft Certified Partners.

The community will include a newsgroup managed by Microsoft’s product support team, which will be supplemented by bulletins, white papers and case studies.

While the driving force behind the program is first and foremost to extend the reach and awareness of Microsoft’s .NET platform, the development community is expected to offer information about the challenges associated with the ASP model.

Design tips; support and advice on such issues as provisioning, billing and customization; and interaction with Microsoft partners will be available to those that participate in the development community.

One-on-one telephone support will be offered to Microsoft partners through June. Matt Migliore

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.