Recent surveys for e-business future in western European countries, show that there is a huge growth potential as the total amount spent on ebusiness (B2B and B2C) is forecasted to rise from 150BUSD in 2004 to 650BUSD in 2008 and web buyers will rise from 67M in 2004 to 94M in 2008 [source, IDC 2004]. Interestingly, Greece seems to have an even greater potential with a forecast of increasing e-business transactions from 2.861mUSD in 2004 to 13000mUSD in 2008 [source, IDC 2004]. As a result, all major software vendors are working on strategy, products and technologies in order to obtain the pole position in business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce.
This paper discusses the e-business strategy, products and technologies of a major software vendor, which is expected to have a key role in this area during the next years, Microsoft Corporation. Firstly, an architectural and functions’ overview of Microsoft e-business servers, namely “Biztalk Server”, “Content Management Server” and “Commerce Server” is provided. Secondly, “Jupiter”, the codename for Microsoft’s e-business roadmap and vision is presented and discussed. With “Jupiter” Microsoft aims at reducing IT complexity and connect people, processes and information through an integrated, standards-based e-business infrastructure. Finally, the underlying technologies of the abovementioned products and strategy, such as XML, Web services, SOAP, .NET, are presented, together with the latest advancements in e-business facilitator standards, such as web services interoperability standards.