Microsoft and SugarCRM partner

Microsoft and open source CRM vendor SugarCRM announced a partnership at the Open Source Business Conference, which kicks off Tuesday in San Francisco.

The two vendors are collaborating to improve interoperability between their products. SugarCRM plans to release a new Windows-based distribution of its flagship product, Sugar Suite 4.5, optimized for customers running the software on Microsoft Windows Server.

The new version will feature improved support for Microsoft's Internet Information Services, Active Directory and Microsoft SQL Server products, for example. In addition, SugarCRM plans to use Microsoft's Windows Installer XML (WiX), a tool set that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code.

SugarCRM is the first commercial open source application vendor to adopt the Microsoft Community License, which is one of Microsoft's revamped licensing options aimed at making it easier for developers to access Microsoft source code. Developers who manipulate and redistribute code using the Microsoft Community License are required to contribute back material contained in the manipulated files.

The SugarCRM arrangement isn't the first commercial open source deal struck by Microsoft for its server products. Microsoft last fall announced a similar deal with open source middleware maker JBoss. The two companies forged a technical partnership to improve interoperability between middleware from JBoss and Microsoft's Windows Server software.

The Microsoft-JBoss collaboration targets integration with Microsoft Active Directory, optimized SQL Server performance, and interoperability using the WS-* set of Web services standards.

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