While the Windows 2000 battle of giants continues to heat up (see story below), Microsoft Australia is hard at work pitching the system to independent software vendors (ISVs) through its Windows 2000 Compatibility and Certification Program.
As part of the program, Microsoft will offer ISVs and enterprise clients free Windows 2000 compatibility sessions at the TechNet roadshow, which kicks off in Canberra this week.
In addition, Microsoft has invited local ISVs to take advantage of the free two-day compatibility testing program hosted by the $1 million Microsoft laboratory in Melbourne.
The laboratory was set up last year by then Expert Software Systems (now Expert Information Services), Microsoft and Dell to encourage thedevelopment of applications using Microsoft DNA architecture.
"The response to the DNA initiative wasn't as great as expected, so Microsoft decided to include the facility with the first test lab for Windows 2000 outside of the US," explained Peter Summers, Expert Information Services' laboratory manager for Windows 2000.
"Only two other labs exist at present - one in Paris and one in Beijing."
More than 20 Australian ISVs, including Technology One, MYOB and Sybiz, have tested and ported their software to Windows 2000 since the program's inauguration in December.
"The testing has been highly successful and we've mainly had minor problems, usually with the installation or on the application side of things," Summers said.
Leveraged by online support from Microsoft's headquarters, the compatibility test consists of running a third-party application on Windows NT and Windows 2000 before upgrading the serverto Windows 2000 to ensure that the application"survives" the upgrade process.
While the program ensures that ISV applications comply with the Application Specification for Windows 2000, it does not guarantee instantcertification.
However, according to Summers, most ISVs who pass the test can expect to obtaincertification.
"The lab engagements are carefully structured to meet the individual vendor's specific requirements and this enables the ISV or enterprise clients to plan, develop and export their existing and new applications to the Windows 2000 platform by identifying any potential compatibility issues."
Expert Information Services is hoping to bring up to 70 or more ISVs on board over the next three to four months.
Expert Information Services
(03) 9320 6100 http://www.expert.com.au