Microsoft Corporation on Monday announced the Windows DNA 2000, the next version of its distributed application architecture that will be enabled with Windows 2000, due late this year. Windows DNA 2000 expands on the previous version of Windows DNA, first introduced two years ago, by making it easier to create and deploy Web-based applications by using technologies such as XML and Distributed Authoring and Versioning (DAV).

"These new technologies will change the Web from a connectivity medium to an integrated fabric that will tie everything together," says Microsoft's Charles Fitzgerald. "The result will be incredible new opportunities for companies in virtually every industry."

Windows 2000, of course, is at the cornerstone of Windows DNA 2000, providing services such as COM+ that are crucial to distributed application development. Microsoft is also planning a suite of products that will bring Windows DNA to fruition, including Microsoft Commerce Server 4.0, Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft Integration Server (code-named "Babylon"), Microsoft AppCenter Server, Microsoft SQL Server 8.0 (code-named "Shiloh") and Microsoft Visual Studio 7.0, which will include the Windows 2000 Developer Readiness Kit. All of these products are expected to become available in beta form this fall with retail release in mid-2000.

"Just as 'browsing the Web' provides access to an almost infinite array of content, 'programming for the Web' will give developers an almost infinite array of building blocks to enhance or combine in any fashion to create exciting new solutions," said Steve Ballmer, the president of Microsoft. "Making developers successful is central to Microsoft, and with Windows DNA 2000 we're focused on providing the very best tools and infrastructure to enable an explosion of services similar to the explosion of applications brought about by the PC and the explosion of content brought about by HTML."

Most of the Windows DNA-related products are relatively well known, but AppCenter Server was first announced today. This new server is designed to deploy Windows DNA application in "server farms" where multiple machines are used for scalability. Microsoft says that the combination of Windows 2000, the Visual Studio development system and AppCenter will provide a best-of-breed Web application server solution for quickly building, deploying and managing high-volume, high-availability Web applications.

"AppCenter Server will enable customers to harness the power of the PC architecture to build Web applications that provide mainframe caliber performance, scalability and availability," said Paul Maritz, Developer Group vice president at Microsoft. "AppCenter will help make managing server farms as simple as managing a single machine.