While all computers at their core use the same ones and zeroes to process information, software has evolved to speak many different languages.
That problem creates an opportunity for a class of software known as integration servers. Initially, such software was a niche market of high-end products only the largest businesses could afford to use. Microsoft, which has been aiming to broaden the market for some time, on Tuesday launched its latest effort, BizTalk Server 2004. The goal of this version, as with prior efforts, is to "take the disconnected business processes and provide an opportunity to link them," said Ted Kummert, vice president of Microsoft's E-business Servers Group.
BizTalk is part of a class of products designed to help companies get their various software components talking to one another. The need for such software has emerged, as companies have continued to write software that does a good job of talking to a few products but has trouble speaking broadly to all of the different types of computers a company might use. Price has been a key part of Microsoft's strategy with BizTalk. The software giant announced late last year that it would keep pricing at $25,000 per server processor, with an unlimited number of connections allowed. That compares to as much as $500,000 for rival products from IBM, Tibco Software, BEA Systems and others, analysts said.
News source: C|Net News.com