MSDN Academic Alliance (briefly MSDN AA) is a programme of access to technology, addressed to educational institutions or organisations supporting, in relation to these educational institutions, pupils' and students' access to technology and specialised education.
The programme provides access to operating systems, platforms and development tools, server products and Microsoft applications, for educational purposes and / or extra-commercial research.
MSDN Academic Alliance is de facto programme of access to technology in the specialised chairs and faculties of an educational institution (or departments that organise courses of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, briefly "STEM").
The technologies and products included in this programme are a good part of Microsoft's commercial offer in fields such as application platforms, IT infrastructures, embedded systems, portal technologies or infrastructures for high-performance computing.
A central place in the offer of MSDN Academic Alliance programme is represented by the operating systems from MS-DOS for Windows XP, Windows XP Tablet PC and Windows Vista, Small Business Server and Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Pack for High Performance Computing, Windows EC. NET 5.0 for embedded systems and services such as Windows SharePoint services, Software Update Services or Windows Services for UNIX.
As regards popularity, development tools constitute the second largest category of products included in MSDN AA from Visual FoxPro and Embedded Visual C + + 4.0 to Visual SourceSafe 2005, Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server and Windows CE Tools. Practically all the editions of Visual Studio 2005 tool are available through the MSDN Academic Alliance in order to contribute to a comfortable learning experience in the different stages of preparation of a student - Express editions in introductory programming courses or the editions of Visual Studio Team System subsequently in software engineering courses.
Moving forward in the platform of Microsoft applications, through MSDN AA, we certainly provide access to SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006, two servers which complete this field alongside the application server (Windows Server 2003) and the family of development tools, Visual Studio 2005.
The Microsoft server family available through MSDN AA is also substantial - from messaging scenarios (Exchange Server, Mobile Information Server), to portal applications scenarios (SharePoint Portal Server), complex IT infrastructure management and monitoring (Systems Management Server, System Center Capacity Planner, System Center Data Protection Server, Microsoft Operations Manager) or IT infrastructure security (ISA Server). The list is completed by other specialised servers such as Speech Server, Host Integration Server, Live Communications Server, Commerce Server or Office Project Portfolio Server.
MSDN AA includes MSDN Library (collections of technical articles, classes of documentation and code examples) and Knowledge Base (for technical support).
Also as part of the subscription are available several applications from the family of Microsoft Office applications, such as Access, Visio, InfoPath, OneNote or Project.
Most of the other development platforms (.NET Framework 2.0, .NET Compact Framework 2.0) and SDK or DDK type tools (e.g. DirectX SDK, Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK) from Microsoft's offer are included in MSDN AA.
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