What a year it has been…it was just at this time last year that we began transition planning of Commerce Server from Microsoft to Ascentium. I wanted to use this as a point to reflect and share some of the experiences of the last year, and offer some insight into things to come.

But first, a blast from the past: http://cstools.codeplex.com/ - all of the old tools from CS2002 and CS2007 that have disappeared from the Internet over the years are back and now in open source form. This will be the first of many things we plan to put out here, as we intend to leverage the broader ecosystem for lots of things that don’t touch the core product.

And, now back to the journey. Two of the biggest challenges we have faced are ensuring no confusion with Microsoft while the Microsoft-versions of Commerce Server were still available in the market as well as prioritizing our resources accordingly. All while maintaining a laser-like focus on customers, both current and future prospects.

To that end, we operated mostly in stealth mode until after July 1, when Microsoft stopped selling Commerce Server. Prior to July 1st, we spoke 1:1 to over 100 customers, partners, and prospects to vet our vision of the product and the roadmap going forward. This has been a tremendous opportunity and allowed us to greatly refine both our market positioning and the roadmap to build the absolute best product possible, while working on our 2012 initiatives.

And speaking of that, here is what we have been up to since July 1st:

  • Shipped the Ascentium-branded version of Commerce Server 2009
  • Shipped the Ascentium-branded version of Commerce Server 2009 R2
  • Launched the Commerce Server partner program
  • Getting the infrastructure of our open source community established
  • Working towards our v.Next, which continues to be on track to be out by end-of-year

One of the hardest decisions we had to make was how much to market the existing versions of Commerce Server. And we arrived at the conclusion that we are best off putting the majority of our efforts towards the future. With that, everyone can soon look forward to:

  • Announcements regarding the next version of Commerce Server
  • Debut of our next-generation marketing collateral (including all customer-facing Web properties, which are being redone from-scratch)
  • The next version of Commerce Server itself Smile
  • Updated public roadmap

Stay tuned…it’s going to be a busy Fall! In the meantime, we’ll continue posting resources to better help customers work with the existing technologies and understand the transition.

And I’ll continue personally sharing my personal thoughts about the journey and anything else cool that is of interest to the Commerce Server ecosystem as they come along here, while contributing to our official communiqués on the main Commerce Server blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/commerce/.

Hope this helps!