Microsoft to Showcase Interoperability Technologies

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-10-23 Print this article Print

At Interop, company officials laud the progress made so far but say a lot of work remains to be done.

Microsoft is using Interop New York to showcase the interoperability work from its collaboration with the 50 software and hardware vendors that are members of the Interoperability Vendor Alliance it sponsors. The technologies from the work of the Alliances technical labs and being shown at Interop the week of Oct. 22 are used to streamline the management of heterogeneous systems, including Linux, Oracle, JBoss, SAP, Windows and SQL Server, Tom Robertson, Microsofts general manager for interoperability and standards, told eWEEK Oct. 23.
The work was done through the Systems Management Lab with the help of EMC, CA, Engyro, Tidal, F5 Networks and Microsoft.
Centeris, Centrify, Quest Software and Microsoft also worked together to show how to centrally manage security identities across Linux, Unix, Mac OSX and Windows systems in the Centralized Identity Lab. Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., also worked with CA, Oxford Computer Group and other industry vendors under the federated identity initiative to create step-by-step lab guides to demonstrate cross-product federation, he said. To read more about why Microsoft sees no conflict between its patent claims and open-source bridge building, click here. Meridio, Open Text, Vorsite, SchemaLogic and Microsoft also collaborated on advancing portal document repository collaboration that lets companies identify, move, search and collaborate on documents across portals and repositories. "We think a lot of progress has already been made and a lot more will be made going forward," Robertson said. "We are very pleased with the solutions we are showing at Interop and the amount of collaboration that is taking place as we do this." Microsofts objective was to find the issues its customers cared most about and then work internally with them, its partners and other vendors to address those issues, he said. The 41-member Interoperability Executive Customer Council, which Microsoft set up in June 2006, is addressing more than 60 percent of all issues identified by its customers and has made progress in four areas: office productivity and collaboration tools; developer tools and run-time; security and identity management; and systems management, Robertson said. To read more about Microsofts Customer Council, click here. "There are other issues that are still outstanding and which we will continue to work to solve," he said. On the security and identity management front, Microsoft collaborated with the Fraunhofer-Institute, ThoughtWorks, Zend Technologies and Ping Identity to develop open-source interoperability projects on information cards for systems based on Sun Microsystems Java language, Ruby, PHP, and C-Module, Robertson said. Regarding systems management, Microsofts acquisition of enterprise management company Engyro helped bring other monitoring products natively into Systems Center Operations Manager 2007, Robertson said. Some customers such as Thomas Vogel, head of information management for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland, and a member of the Interoperability Executive Customer Council, were initially skeptical of Microsofts motives. Microsoft has agreed to comply with the landmark 2004 antitrust decision by the European Commission. Click here to read more. "I initially thought this council might be nothing more than an alibi for Microsoft in its antitrust battles, but that skepticism was unfounded as Microsoft is committed to taking the right steps in the right direction for a number of issues, some of which are close to my heart," he told eWEEK. "We are having constructive discussions about interoperability." Another customer, Radu Popescu-Zeletin, director of the Berlin-based Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, is also pleased with the way things have gone on the Council. "We are running a number of projects with Microsoft to try and solve some of the interoperability issues around this, and we are satisfied with what we have achieved so far, but this will be an ongoing issue as there will always be new products from different companies that will need to interoperate," he told eWEEK. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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