Microsoft Moves Into Process with ChemRA

ChemRA. Sounds a bit like a Saturday a.m. kiddie cartoon superhero, but it's not. It's the new initiative from Microsoft to "provide solutions for the chemical and oil refining industries," according to the press release. ChemRA, aka, Chemical Reference Architecture Initiative, Microsoft describes it as "a reference architecture framework that will help address business and technological needs for cutomers in the industry."

Industry stalwarts, Aspen Technology, Invensys Operations Management, OSIsoft and Siemens, along with Accenture and pricing software vendor PROS Holdings, have signed on as partners in the initiative.

According to Microsoft spokespersons, "ChemRA will benefit customers by allowing them to implement interoperable IT solutions built on a solid, secure and reliable foundation, while providing great user experience and business insight, as well as allowing for easy collaboration and business processes automation."

There are no products out there yet and won't be for some time, but, says Microsoft, the aim is to build an architecture around existing products, such as Sharepoint, SQL, the new Office suite, and Windows 7 and 8. Developers will be looking at functions such as device enablement and leveraging "the cloud" to enable data-intensive operations, knowledge sharing, collaboration, supply chain management and R & D.

The complete aanouncement is here.

The initiative was announced at the MESA 2011 North America Conference in Orlando, Fla., today.