Microsoft has announced the beta program for the next version of Windows Small Business Server (SBS), codename Aurora.

Windows Small Business Server Codename “Aurora” is part of the greatly anticipated next generation of awarded winning Windows Small Business Server, and represents a significant departure from our traditional on premise version because Aurora will be Microsoft’s first server to deliver both on premises and cloud computing capabilities for small businesses.

Windows Small Business Server Codename “Aurora” provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use way to simplify those businesses’ IT infrastructure, reduce cost and spend more time focusing on core business’ needs and less time worrying about their IT.

Aurora offers small businesses the help they need to ensure their data is safe through advanced backup and file restoration features. Aurora’s users can quickly set automatic, daily backups of every computer and server on the network and if problems with files arise, the customers will be able to restore individual files, folders, or an entire PC or server with simple recovery tools.

In addition, SBS is giving our users the power to utilize their files and documents to address business challenges even when they’re away from the office. By using a personalized web address, Aurora’s users will also be able connect to the server from virtually anywhere and access their computers and documents from any common web browser.

Finally, Aurora offers our customers the possibility to run their critical line of business applications on a stable, reliable platform based on Windows Server 2008 R2.

If these on premise functionalities are not enough, Windows Small Business Server Codename “Aurora” is a true “bridge to the cloud” designed to integrate between on-premise and online services and to use pay-as-you-go online services to extend the server functionality without increasing workload and maintenance needs. To learn more about the next version of Windows Small Business Server, visit our SBS site.

The beta release is available on connect website and can be downloaded now.

Additionally, Microsoft have posted a version of our Windows Server Solutions SDK for those that are interested in developing add-ins for “Aurora”. The SDK can also be found on our connect site in the download section.

For Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora,” the SDK provides a toolset to extend the platform, develop server and client add-ins, and provides customized interoperability with cloud services. Partners can develop integration components for new and existing cloud services for Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora”

The SDK provides the following content:

· API references that help you understand all the API elements that can be used to extend and manage Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora”

· How-to documents that help you to understand how to build add-ins

· Templates that help you build add-ins with Visual Studio 2008

· Samples that provide examples of complete add-ins