Microsoft will launch a new online tool in January to help its independent software vendor (ISV) community get in touch with potential resellers.
The Channel Builder tool will enable ISVs to post a company profile with details of products they are developing.
Resellers and integrators can respond to the posting if they want to express an interest in selling the new offering.
"Most ISVs are small companies with a great idea that they are trying to get into the market," Microsoft Australia partner group director, Kerstin Baxter, said. "The new online tool will allow them to contact potential resellers more quickly.
"It allows developers to search for partners that are interested in their type of solution and contact them directly."
The online facility was originally slated to be made available by July this year but was delayed while Microsoft added extra functionality, Baxter said.
"We showed our partners an early prototype and they wanted more," she said.
"We have extended it so that integrators can use it to network with other integrators.
"For example, a Sydney integrator might have a customer in Darwin but no people up there to do the work.
"The Channel Builder expansion means it can be project-based rather than just about wider channel opportunities. It was a fairly major redesign."
Developers and dealers need to be certified or gold certified by Microsoft to access the portal, Baxter said. As well as finding suitable partners in Australia, developers will be able to find export opportunities.
The software giant considered allowing its 290 Empower partners to use the matchmaking facility.
Launched just over a year ago, Empower provides developer tools and advice to new ISVs that are looking to enter the marketplace.
Microsoft has decided those developers need to establish a small customer base before they are eligible to make a Channel Builder posting.
The new Channel Builder online tool was announced at Microsoft's ISV Community Day events.
The roadshow has already visited Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney. It will be in Melbourne on December 2 and Brisbane on December 8.
Microsoft Australia invested an estimated $4 million in the independent software vendor community during 2003. That figure is expected to reach $6 million this year, according to Baxter.