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The kit will allow Java developers to modify Sunoffice to a greater degree than is currently possible with Staroffice Basic. It will allow the software to be tailored so that processes can be automated using plug-ins. There is also the possibility of changing menus to block or add features - it may also be possible to change words used on the pull-down menus to help users migrating from Microsoft Office.
Staroffice is based on Openoffice, an open source development freely downloadable from the Openoffice Web site. Sun charges for Staroffice but has added more components and service support. The basic pack costs £50 but larger orders carry discounts.
Sun has the Staroffice SDK in development and plans to release it as open source software which will be downloadable from the Openoffice.org site in mid-2003. Its appearance could coincide with the arrival of Microsoft's Office 11 which is beta testing and also slated for a mid-year release.