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Host Integration Server 2004 Coming Next Month

Host Integration Server 2004, Microsoft's server software for connecting mainframes and midrange systems to Windows servers, will be generally available on Sept. 1, the company said this week.

The product once known as SNA Server was rebranded as Host Integration Server in 2000. Microsoft expected sales to dip as it emphasized Web services and BizTalk Server as a better way to interoperate with legacy systems. But despite cuts to marketing and to the development team, the product chugged along and Microsoft quietly prepared a new release.

The most heavily touted new feature of HIS 2004 is a Transaction Integrator that allows Windows developers to use Visual Studio .NET 2003 to wrap host applications as XML Web services or Microsoft .NET server components. The new version also allows a Windows server to function as a peer to an IBM mainframe or AS/400 computer in distributed applications. Another new feature is a single sign-on solution for authenticating security credentials between Active Directory and non-Windows systems, including IBM mainframe and midrange systems, CICS, IMS, DB2 and MQSeries.

Microsoft unveiled new packaging for the technology, which is split into standard and enterprise editions for the first time. List price for the standard edition is $2,500. The enterprise edition will cost $10,000.

About the Author

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