Microsoft is making a serious play for the enterprise with its next-generation middleware, called Component Object Model (COM+), which the company will detail at its Tech Ed developers conference in the US in June.
COM+ will meld Microsoft's existing COM and Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), and will add a collection of services.
The elements of COM+ may make their way into Windows NT 5.0, which is not expected for release until 1999. Officials say that packaging has not been decided.
COM+'s new services include publish and subscribe, load balancing, queued components, and a new role-based security model, according to Joe Maloney, Microsoft's group product manager for COM and MTS.
However, one analyst said Microsoft's enterprise claims for COM+ should be treated with a healthy dose of scepticism.
"Typically, it takes Microsoft five to seven years to roll out a technology," said John Rymer, director and senior consultant at Upstream Consulting.
"The game for Microsoft is balancing innovation with simplicity. Deploying services such as publish and subscribe will take some time to manage."