Microsoft, Siebel Ink .Net Pact

Siebel embraces .Net but says that pact with Microsoft won't inhibit its support for Java.

Microsoft Corp. and Siebel Systems Inc. finally announced their long-awaited partnership Monday, committing the two companies to joint development and marketing agreements.

As expected, Siebel will increase its commitment to Microsofts .Net platform and use Microsofts Visual Studio.Net as its primary application development tool. Siebel applications will be optimized for .Net, and new versions of Siebel will be delivered in conjunction with new releases of .Net, officials of the two companies said.

In addition, joint development efforts will be undertaken to improve performance, scalability and reliability of Siebel apps running on .Net.

As previously reported by eWEEK, the alliance also calls for Microsofts BizTalk application integration server to support Siebels Universal Application Network for business process integration among disparate applications.

Siebels embrace of .Net will also enhance the interactivity of the Siebel Smart Client introduced in the browser-based version 7 of Siebels applications, Siebel officials said. .Net support will also improve integration with Microsoft Office applications and support deployment of Siebel apps on mobile devices, officials said.

In addition, Siebel applications will be optimized for Windows Server operating systems, Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft .Net Framework, officials said.

The deal also includes joint sales, marketing and customer support activities.

Siebels increased support for .Net would not inhibit its Java support, insisted Ed Abbo, vice president of technology at Siebel.

"Our customers are demanding support for both J2EE and .Net so well interoperate with both stacks," he said.

A Microsoft official said the Redmond, Wash., company would continue to develop its own CRM applications, which are not affected by the deal with Siebel.