Microsoft Corp. today announced beta availability of the newest version of its industry-leading legacy integration solution, Host Integration Server (HIS) 2004, part of Microsoft® Windows Server System™. With innovative support for XML Web services, Visual Studio® .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework, HIS 2004 represents a significant advance for customers seeking to connect to their IBM mainframe and midrange systems in a more cost-effective, industry-standard and efficient manner. Host Integration Server 2004 will include enhanced features for securing cross-platform access and will offer improved application and data integration capabilities, giving enterprise developers and administrators a complete, seamless host integration experience.

“Today the challenge for customers is that the solutions on the market do not efficiently support a services-oriented architecture approach to legacy integration,” said David Kiker, general manager for E-Business Servers at Microsoft. “With Host Integration Server 2004, we are reducing the complexity of our customers’ infrastructure, enabling greater interoperability, and providing them with a standards-based solution to link information from mainframe and midrange computers to partners and customers through XML Web services. This is another way our e-business customers can achieve value from their IT systems.”

New Features Aimed at Lowering Development Costs and Improving Time to Market

Scheduled for release to customers by mid-2004, Host Integration Server 2004 will provide customers with new tools aimed at reducing the cost of developing and deploying legacy integration solutions, thereby dramatically shortening a customer’s time to market for new host integration projects. The new tools include the following:

—Support for industry-standard HRP/IP protocol. Host Integration Server
2004 will include an IP-DLC link service, a feature set developed
jointly by Microsoft and Data Connection Ltd. This functionality
provides connectivity for Systems Network Architecture applications
across a routable Internet protocol (IP) network by supporting the
industry-popular HPR/IP (high-performance routing over IP). This
enables customers to simplify their network infrastructure and connect
more seamlessly to OS/390 and z/OS mainframes.

—Extended application integration. Through innovative integration with
the .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET, the new Transaction
Integrator (TI) enables Windows®-based computers to extend the
functionality of existing IBM mainframe and IBM midrange AS/400
line-of-business applications. The new TI Designer allows developers to
wrap existing line-of-business applications, such as Customer
Information Control System (CICS) and Information Management System
(IMS), as .NET client components. In addition, TI offers host-initiated
processing that allows a Windows Server™-based computer to function
as a “peer” to IBM mainframe and AS/400 computers, thereby allowing
customers to migrate portions of their line-of-business solutions onto
the Microsoft Windows platform.

—Improved data integration. HIS 2004 offers customers improved tools to
integrate vital data from line-of-business data sources using
industry-standard ODBC, Component Object Model-based OLE DB, or .NET
Framework-enabled Data Providers for DB2, as well as an OLE DB Provider
for AS/400 and mainframe file systems. HIS 2004 will offer reliable
two-phase commit distributed transactions over TCP/IP to DB2 running on
most popular computing platforms, plus an intuitive new data access
tool allowing administrators and developers to easily create and manage
connections to DB2 and host file systems.

—Enhanced security. New support for secure sockets layer (SSL) and
transport layer security (TLS) will help improve network security for
customers accessing mainframe terminal and printer resources via the
HIS 2004 TN3270 service.

Building on the success of Microsoft SNA Server 4.0 and Host Integration Server 2000, HIS 2004 will provide enterprise organizations with essential technologies for integrating their mission-critical host applications, data sources, messaging and security systems with new solutions developed using the Microsoft Windows platform.

About Windows Server System

Microsoft Windows Server System is an integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that reduces IT complexity to enable IT professionals to deliver innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of business. With Windows Server 2003 at the foundation, Windows Server System is engineered from the ground up for XML Web services based on Microsoft .NET technologies to connect information, people, systems and devices. Based on a common software architecture that spans all facets of IT from design, development and deployment through ongoing management and usage, Windows Server System provides comprehensive IT infrastructure for operations (security, systems management, networked storage), applications (data management and analysis, e-business), and information work (messaging, communications and collaboration). More information on Microsoft Windows Server System can be found at .