Microsoft Emerald City


About the Client

Microsoft Corp in Redmond needs no introduction, one of the largest and most successful IT companies in the world.


The Working Challenge

Emerald City was the code name given to Microsoft’s original ECommerce environment, and was the hosted environment for all web development that required security and processed transactions. At the time, the only alternatives was, the public environment, and MSN, which was designed as a subscription service for external end customers.

The support requirements for the ECommerce environment were very high, as was the need for atomic transactional integrity. WebConsult partners were involved in the infrastructure design, and developed a release process and a support process to provide a single common Tiered application support for all Emerald City applications, the first time the application support had been done by dedicated app support professionals at Microsoft; prior to this the support had always been done by the development teams that created the applications.

Emerald City eventually supported over 120 line of business ecommerce applications, with over 7000 dedicated servers spread in 5 worldwide datacenters, handling several billion dollars of transactions. 

The release methodologies and ongoing support methodologies developed by us, were used as case studies to underlie the first release of the Microsoft Operations Framework, (MOF) which was taken to market by Microsoft Consulting Services as a best practice methodology.


WebConsult takeaway

The experience we gained developing Emerald City became the basis for what our company does today; it is not enough to simply provide a common Tiered support model for infrastructure. Transitioning custom applications developed by multiple different groups utilizing different technologies, is hard. Doing it without impact to the very high levels of service is the single core competency we pride ourselves on. 

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