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Developer Tool Leverages Exchange 2000, Tahoe, Office 10

Microsoft is demonstrating a new Office developer tool this week at the Microsoft Exchange & Collaboration Solutions conference in Dallas.

The tool, called Office Designer, is supposed to help developers create Web-based collaborative applications. A major feature of the tool is a capability to create applications that work while users are disconnected from the network.

Office Designer will ship with Office 10, the code name for the next version of Microsoft’s office suite that is scheduled for release in late spring, says Lisa Gurry, a product manager on the Microsoft Office team.

Office Designer will rely on two other upcoming Microsoft products, Exchange 2000, which has been released to manufacturing, and Tahoe, the code name for a document management and portal services server Microsoft is working on. Gurry says Tahoe will also be available before Office 10’s release.

Office Designer will take advantage of a new feature in Outlook 10, the e-mail client in Office 10, called the local Web storage system. The local Web storage system will allow various file types to be stored locally and accessed via many protocols including HTTP, ADO and OLE DB. It will synchronize with the Web storage system in Exchange 2000 and Tahoe.

Rob Spalding, product manager for Office Designer, says prime candidates for the developer tool would be applications frequently used by road warriors for accounting, expense reports, or time and billing.

The tool might also be attractive for benefits applications, Spalding says. “When you have benefits administration inside of a large corporation, certain people might just have a kiosk with Netscape Navigator in the cafeteria. Some other people are going to want to play what-if scenarios, and try it at home,” Spalding says. Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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