Where is Commerce Server going?

I was attempting to pull together a “master” list for my CV the other day. The company that I work for relies heavily on them for the bidding process, so compiling and keeping them up to date is a necessary thing. That process of rediscovery reignited thoughts of my experiences with Microsoft Commerce Server.

And hot off the heels of his visit to the PDC, Spence posts a history, perspective and view of where Commerce Server is going.

Frankly, until reading Spence’s article reminded me, I’d forgotten about the Merchant Server heritage. As his post describes, Site Server introduced a michmash of products, with its inherant nightmare of licencing and installation. Rolling forward to the last PDC, which I was priviledged to attend under the old Cedalion banner, nothing at all was said about Content Management Server, Commerce, MSIB, whatever. The only inference from the introductions to .NET 2.0 was that the mixed feature bag spread over the MSIB products was going through another Microsoft checkpoint, and the essential bits being pushed down to become standard platform features.

Roll on another few years, and release date realities mean that we see what is actually going to appear in .NET 2.0 with regards to identification, personalisation etc. But back to my title, Commerce is still out there on a limb and is likely to do so for a while, which in some ways is a shame. It is a shame because learning how to work with it can be a real pain, and consistency in the other Internet products just exascerbates that. On the other hand, it is a relief that all that investment getting the most out of Commerce features will still pay off.

I’ll study the materials out there on Commerce 2006 and I’ll post again if I think I have been talking Baloney, or form some other opinions.