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MS Commerce Server 2006 Enters Beta Test

The latest release of Microsoft's full-on e-commerce package has begun beta testing, the company said this week. Microsoft Commerce Server 2006 is currently targeted for final release in July.

Commerce Server 2006 aims to lower the technical barriers to entry for customers wanting to deploy e-commerce sites by simplifying their design and deployment.

For instance, the new version will have the ability to link e-commerce sites to existing line-of-business applications, as well as partners, via integration with Microsoft's BizTalk Server 2006 and the array of adapters available for BizTalk from vendors like SAP and Oracle.

Commerce Server 2006 will also come with a starter site preconfigured and ready to deploy. The starter site is designed to provide a blueprint for building core e-commerce applications, including catalog browsing, searching, shopping cart and check out functions, profile management and personalization. The starter site will also include multilingual and multicurrency support so that customers can create a global presence.

Additionally, Commerce Server 2006 will add improved integration with Web services technologies including ASP.NET 2.0, according to company statements. The new version will feature new business user tools as well, such as Customer and Order Manager, Catalog Manager, Marketing Manager, and Reports and Analytics. Customers will also be able to customize and expand reports using SQL Server Reporting Services.

Microsoft has not announced pricing for Commerce Server 2006 yet. Parties interested in participating in the beta test can sign up here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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