Using the Microsoft.NET Enterprise Servers and other Microsoft products, suppliers have been building robust and flexible supplier solutions. To help accelerate the development of these types of solutions, Microsoft introduced a new product in the fall of 2001, called Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for Suppliers (AFS). The goal of this product is to accelerate the deployment of a supplier solution by providing the common pieces of a supplier solution, as well as the guidance to customize and extend the solution. By providing the foundation of a supplier enablement solution, suppliers can have a quicker time to market in a less cost-prohibitive way. As the name also suggests, Microsoft BizTalk Server plays a central role in the solution AFS offers.