Microsoft has expanded its relationship with Data Return so that the pair can develop automatic install scripts for use by ASPs (application service providers), Microsoft said last week in a statement.
The scripts should help ASPs more rapidly and easily deploy hosted business services and electronic-commerce applications, Microsoft added.
The US software giant also made a $US5 million investment in Data Return, a supplier of advanced hosting services, with the possibility of investing a further $3.7 million in the company at a later date.
The automatic install scripts are aimed at business and commerce services for direct selling, Web purchasing and CRM (customer relationship management). The scripts are based on Microsoft's Windows NT operating system, its SQL Server 7.0 relational database and Site Server Commerce Edition, Microsoft said.
The two companies plan to be able to reduce the amount of time taken to install scripts from several hours at present to one hour for services involving multiple server components. By Jack McCarthy