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Apps Hosting Solution from Microsoft

Microsoft said Monday it is shipping a packaged solution meant to enable third-parties to easily offer hosted application services via the Web.

“[The] Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting for Applications Version 1.0 . . . provides independent software vendors (ISVs) and hosting service providers with the platform, tools and best practices to deliver software as a service,” the company said in a statement.

The package is meant to supply software, tools and guidance that ISVs can use to design service-enabled software applications. That includes handling user provisioning, performance monitoring, usage tracking and reporting and service aggregation.

Hosting for Applications comes with a monthly subscription-based licensing model based on its Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA), which requires no upfront investment or commitment from the ISV.

“Service providers and ISVs only pay for the software they use in a given time period, removing risk from moving to a hosted model,” Microsoft’s statement continued.

The solution includes a set of modular, integrated components, and scripts as well as guidance on how to build environments that are both efficient and scalable for delivering software as a service. To that end, the company identified four areas of needs that any hosted application must meet – uptime, service provisioning, security, and management.

To support those requirements Microsoft is providing Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005. MOM 2005 is used to identify and resolve critical issues in the hosted environment in order to help ensure uptime guarantees. The Microsoft Provisioning System automates routine management tasks such as adding new users, updating directory entries, and provisioning applications and services.

Hosting for Applications also provides tools and systems for automating and customizing patch and update management, as well as a variety of tools to enable centralized management of the hosting environment.

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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