This Week In Products: Microsoft’s Dynamic GP

The Big Launch: Dynamics GP offers MS Office integration
Microsoft launched Dynamics GP, a business management solution that combines the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions-Great Plains) with a Microsoft Office-like interface.

Dynamics GP includes the addition of role-based user templates for access to relevant information tailored to an individual’s daily responsibilities, deeper integration with the applications employees use every day, such as Microsoft Office, enhanced business intelligence tools that provide managers with access to decision-making information. GP will also offer deeper integration between the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and Microsoft Dynamics GP through a new XML-based processing engine. Coverage: Microsoft’s Project Green unifies business apps

Microsoft offers up server software for manufacturing, HPC
Microsoft has also released to manufacturing (RTM) Virtual Server 2005 R2, which will be available in volume licensing and retail the first week of December. Virtual Server 2005 R2 delivers improved performance, availability and scalability for server consolidation, legacy application migration, disaster recovery, and software testing and development. Microsoft will be offering Virtual Server R2 Standard Edition for US$99 estimated retail price and Virtual Server R2 Enterprise Edition for US$199.

Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 Beta 2 is now publicly available. Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 is a 64-bit solution designed to accelerate time to insight by offering a high-performance computing (HPC) platform that is simple to deploy, operate and integrate with existing infrastructure and tools. Microsoft is working with more than 20 software partners across manufacturing, life sciences and geosciences, and other industries to offer a set of commercial applications available on Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003.

The company announced the December RTM of System Center Capacity Planner 2006, which brings an unprecedented level of functionality and flexibility to the process of performance analysis and planning of Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 system deployments. Microsoft also detailed plans for a midmarket offering called System Center Essentials. The new product will bring the commitment of the Dynamic Systems Initiative to midsize companies, allowing them to easily and cost-effectively secure, update, monitor and track their IT environment and better support end users.

FrontRange adds inventory, knowledge management
FrontRange Solutions extended access of its modular IT Service Management (ITSM), by introducing an enhanced version along with new integrated solutions for Inventory Management (IM) and Knowledge Management (KM).

Updates to ITSM 5.0.4 include Outlook Calendar integration to automatically or interactively add and update task items to public folders or recipient’s default tasks folder. E-mail Parsing for mapping e-mail content to update objects within ITSM, enhanced LDAP integration for scheduling imports with specific users or record limits and inventory management are also available.

The FrontRange Inventory Management Module provides automatic discovery capabilities for collecting data on computer, printers and network devices that are network connected and /or SNMP enabled. However, it also is also designed to enable non-network connect assets to be managed by providing a manual interface for inventory items to be entered into the CMDB via data entry forms.

Hummingbird Enterprise includes Outlook Client
Hummingbird released Hummingbird Enterprise 2005.

The Hummingbird Enterprise Client for Microsoft Outlook provides an interactive, business-based view of the entire suite of Hummingbird Enterprise functionality from within Microsoft Outlook. At its core is Hummingbird Enterprise Workflow that links content lifecycle processes by automating critical business tasks and simplifying repetitive activities associated with content creation, profiling and records retention and disposition practices. Features include a repository for managing documents, e-mail, Web content, digital assets, and physical and electronic records. Reporting and auditing facilities alert management as to how content is used and by whom in accordance with compliance requirements.

Enterprise also includes Content Drive, which can control how an application talks to a repository. All file operations to the content repository are handled natively at the Microsoft operating system kernel level, eliminating the need to write and maintain specific code to transfer documents.

IntelliChief promises paperless process management
Quadrant Software released its enterprise document lifecycle management suite, IntelliChief. IntelliChief creates, manages, routes, archives, retrieves, and delivers inbound/outbound business documents for the iSeries 400 and Windows enterprise. This product suite consists of ScanChief, WorkflowChief, StorageChief, ViewChief and PortalChief.

Supporting iSeries 400, MS-Windows, and any browser based platform (for retrieval), IntelliChief works with servers running the Pentium 4 processor or higher with minimum 500MB RAM, Java Development Kit v1.4 or higher (open source, no charge download), JBoss application server v4.02 and higher (open source, no charge download), FTP Server (any type), .NET Framework 2.0 and above (for thick clients). It can integrate with any existing Web server including Microsoft IIS 5.0 and higher or Apache 1.3 and higher, and allows e-mail integration with Novell GroupWise, Lotus Domino/Notes, Microsoft Exchange, and SMTP servers.

Individual components of the IntelliChief suite are priced from US$4,995 with fully configured systems expected to average US$50,000 per installation including software, scanning hardware as well as professional services for installation, implementation, and training.

Adobe aims LiveCycle at financial services
Adobe Systems Inc. and Satyam Computer Services Ltd. announced the Intelligent Statements solution for financial services organizations.

Based on Adobe LiveCycle software and developed and distributed by Satyam, the Intelligent Statements solution allows banks and other financial institutions to add transaction-level intelligence to electronic statements, which are batch-processed and delivered to customers in Adobe PDF. Using the free Adobe Reader software, customers can view and interact with these statements for transactions such as updating personal information, disputing an erroneous transaction, or taking advantage of a special offer. Once the customer clicks the submit button, the data is protected and automatically sent back to the institution’s core systems for processing. Additionally, the statement can be saved to a local hard drive for completion or submission at a later time.

MXtreme centrally manages e-mail policies
BorderWare Technologies announced MXtreme Mail Firewall version 6.0. Key advancements in 6.0 include MXtreme Intercept Engine, MXtreme Privacy and Compliance Engine, integrated email encryption, integration with F5 BIG-IP and Cisco IOS devices and enhanced on-demand scalability and resilience capabilities.

MXtreme 6.0 can also block attacks and unwanted email at the network edge via policy integration with F5 BIG-IP and Cisco IOS devices located at the perimeter of the network.

The new detailed policy controls in MXtreme 6.0 allow organizations to centrally manage and enforce corporate email policies based on any part of a mail message including attachments.

The MXtreme Privacy and Compliance Engine combines granular content filtering, detection of regulated content and pre-defined, customizable compliance dictionaries to identify content that must be secured. Messages are then processed based on pre-defined policies typically using encryption. In addition to default TLS/SSL connections, MXtreme 6.0 uses industry standard S/MIME and PGP integrated with third party encryption engines from PostX and PGP. Pricing for the base MXtreme product starts at USD $4,750. Solution bundles are available for an email security solution and a privacy and compliance solution. Additional modules can be purchased to address specific business requirements including the F5/Cisco connector, encryption module, on-demand clustering and message-level redundancy.

iPIG keeps taps on e-mail, Web sites
iOpus Software has released iOpus Private Internet Gateway (iPIG), a Windows application that keeps strangers from monitoring your e-mail exchanges or gaining unauthorized access to your computer. iPIG creates a secure tunnel for your data. Using 256-bit AES encryption technology, iPIG protects e-mail, Web traffic, instant messaging, VOIP, FTP, and all inbound and outbound communications at any Wi-Fi hotspot or wired network. It is protected all the way to iOpus’ secure connection servers deep in the Internet.

iPIG works with Wi-Fi, WLAN, 802.11 a/b/g, wired Ethernet, and any kind of Internet connection. iPIG requires no configuration of any kind. Simply start your favorite Web browser, e-mail client, or chat software, and switch iPIG encryption on. iPIG also works with all major firewall software, including ZoneAlarm and Norton Internet Security.

iOpus Private Internet Gateway runs under Windows 2000/XP/2003 and is available without charge (freeware). Optionally, if you want to set up your own iPig VPN server, the iPig Server Express Edition supports up to five users, and is also available without charge. In addition, the iPig Server PRO Edition, which allows an unlimited number of users, is available for US$99.95.

DeltaSpy keeps an eye on Web sites
Bitberry Software has released DeltaSpy, a Windows application that alerts users when there have been changes to Web sites that they wish to monitor. Tell DeltaSpy which Web sites to monitor, and how often you want these web pages searched. The program will work silently in the background, and notify you when there are changes to these important sites. You can track sports scores, news about stocks that you own, job listings, and blogs that are updated every few days. When something changes on the web pages that interest you, a pop-up notice slides up, tells you what’s happening, and slides back down. Alternatively, you can make the DeltaSpy tray icon blink whenever it has found new information.

You can view updated sites in DeltaSpy’s built-in browser. All of the changes are highlighte. Even if the changes on a competitor’s site are small, DeltaSpy finds and highlights them. You can tell DeltaSpy to ignore some portions of the selected Web sites. For example, you don’t want to be notified each time a web site’s visitor count changes, or each time the site updates its date/time stamp.

Web sites are listed in an Explorer-like tree structure. You can tell DeltaSpy to check a site immediately, or you can create a regular monitoring schedule. To add a new site, simply drag and drop its URL into your list of sites.

When monitoring blogs, DeltaSpy understands data formats including RSS, RDF, and Atom. DeltaSpy can even be set to monitor changes in text files that are available online.

DeltaSpy costs US$39.95 for a single-user license, runs under Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000/XP/2003.

Cisco rolls out wireless network tools
Cisco Systems unveiled the Cisco Wireless Service Module (WiSM) for the Catalyst 6500 Series and the Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module for the Integrated Services Router (ISR) series.

The Cisco Wireless Services Module (WiSM) is a network adapter card that operates within a Catalyst 6500 Series switch. Each Catalyst 6500 series switch with the Wireless Services Module can centrally control and manage up to 1,500 lightweight access points (APs) per chassis, with each module supporting 300 APs. This solution also supports up to 3,600 APs per roaming domain, clustering across modules, non-blocking and high-availability performance, zero-touch AP configuration for large-scale deployments and enhanced wireless LAN intrusion prevention capabilities.

The Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module provides enhanced security features, such as wireless intrusion protection. It supports up to six lightweight APs, and with its zero-touch capabilities, it automatically handles AP configuration, monitoring and management.

BoostSpeed 3.3 combines 15 modules
<a href=AusLogics unveiled version 3.3 of BoostSpeed, a combination of 15 precision-engineered modules delivered in one optimization suite.

BoostSpeed 3.3 includes a registry defragmenter that allows users to scan, analyze and optimize registry structure. An Internet Optimization Wizard is designed to improve Internet connection performance. Other features include the ability to tweak every aspect of Internet connection manually, the ability to view connections statistics, and traffic by graph, optimization of ICQ, MSN Messenger, Outlook Express and Norton SystemWorks and a Banner Killer to stop banner ads.

PRTG Traffic Grapher monitors bandwidth use
Paessler AG debuted a version of PRTG Traffic Grapher, providing users of small-to-large networks a tool to monitor bandwidth usage and analyze network traffic.

PRTG Traffic Grapher runs on a Windows system 24 hours a day, constantly observing the network’s usage. All common methods for data acquisition are supported, including Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), packet sniffing, and Netflow.With the launch of version 5, Paessler adds network protocol analysis and improves PRTG’s support for larger networks. The new network protocol analysis scans each network packet and accounts for the source address, target address and the protocol. This provides detailed traffic statistics for each computer or each network application. From this data PRTG compiles up-to-the-minute lists of the network’s Top Talkers, Top Connections and Top Protocols. Top Talkers shows the systems in the network with the highest bandwidth usage; Top Connections shows the pairs of PCs that exchange the most data packets and Top Protocols shows which Internet protocols use up the bandwidth.

Other new features include a redesigned user interface to make it more suitable for larger networks with hundreds or thousands of sensors. A new reporting system that includes a billing system for ISPs, user management and many other enhancements are also included.

The fully functional freeware version of PRTG Traffic Grapher 5, which was upgraded to now support up to three sensors, can be downloaded free. Commercial editions are available starting at US$49.95.

SATABeast battles enterprise storage issues
Nexsan Technologies announced availability of its SATABeast enterprise-class storage array, which is built around Serial ATA disk drives.

SATABeast is designed with 21TB of storage capacity in 4U of rack space and can scale to 210 cost-correct terabytes of capacity in a single rack. Its AutoMAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks) function allows SATABeast to place its disk drives to an idle state to conserve energy yet provide near-instantaneous access to data.

Each RAID controller is configured with dual high-performance 2 Gigabit Fibre Channel SFP LC host ports powering the SATABeast to sustained reads speeds of over 700 MB/s. Triple intake fans paired with two redundant 760-watt power supplies with tachometer-monitored blowers provide power and cooling. Nexsan’s SATABeast is available at a suggested manufacturer’s price of around US$2100 per terabyte.

Bobcat takes FastPath to NAS data
ONStor Inc. unveiled the Bobcat 2280, a high-throughput NAS gateway featuring the FastPath accelerator chip for 40 per cent more performance in streaming media, content delivery and large-scale file storage applications.

The Bobcat 2280 includes the FastPath streaming performance accelerator chip that enables 300 Mbps sustained reads and 265 Mbps sustained writes. Integrated n-way clustering capability allows aggregate throughput to grow linearly to 1.2GB per second as NAS Gateways are added to the cluster.

The Bobcat 2280’s purpose-built hardware platform employs 64-bit network processors. Capable of 300 Mbps throughput, the Bobcat 2280 NAS Gateway occupies 1U of rack height and consumes 160 watts.

The Bobcat 2280 NAS Gateway is available from ONStor resellers and system integrators worldwide and has a list price of US$59,000.

Roaring Penguin brings CanIt to SMB crowd
Roaring Penguin Software Inc. announced the release of CanIt-SMB – an anti-spam solution designed specifically for small and medium businesses.Offering per-user or per-group anti-spam settings and quarantines and graphical reporting tools, CanIt-SMB can be tailored to meet diverse technical, corporate policy, or industry-specific e-mail filtering requirements without complex administration, Roaring Penguin says. CanIt-SMB also includes setup wizards to simplify initial deployment, access to the Roaring Penguin Training Network (RPTN) spam classification engine, and downloads from the CanIt Automatic Updates service to provide the most current spam and virus definitions.

CanIt-SMB is available as a pre-configured plug-and-play appliance or as a ‘soft’ appliance download. The soft appliance option allows organizations to create their own fully-functioning CanIt anti spam appliance using existing in-house computer hardware or equipment from their preferred hardware supplier.

Eloqua offers marketing tools for SMBs
Eloqua Corp., announced Eloqua Express, an e-mail marketing and Web analytics platform for small and mid-size businesses (SMB). Eloqua Express is a streamlined version of the Eloqua Conversion Suite, an integrated demand generation platform.

Eloqua Express allows users to create and deploy personalized e-mail campaigns while building rich prospect profiles by tracking campaign responses, including e-mail opens and click-throughs, all Web site visits and search engine queries. It can report all prospect activity, behavior and interest to sales teams via deep integration with CRM, deploy personalized landing pages and pre-filled contact forms to maximize conversion rates.

IBM systems offered for branch banking environments
IBM announced IBM Systems Solutions for Branch Banking, a pre-configured, pre-tested platform that can be used to consolidate branch infrastructure. The banking solutions – built on Intel Xeon-based IBM BladeCenter and xSeries platforms – include software, networking and security features.

Systems Solutions for Branch Banking provides functions and services that can be used with in-branch applications, such as wireless networking, local storage backup and restore, and management of automated teller machines (ATMs). The offering also includes IBM Director software for central office management of the infrastructure and software deployment.

Systems Solutions for Branch Banking includes a variety of solution options, including the option of using VMware virtual infrastructure to support several base operating systems, including versions of Windows and Linux, on a single blade server. Provisioning systems such as Altiris Deployment Solution are available, and Datacom Systems has recently made available an IBM BladeCenter version of its video surveillance system. IBM is also unveiling the next solution in its Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure portfolio with BladeCenter, VMware and ClearCube.

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