Microsoft is giving away two web part toolkits and a web services toolkit to help to integrate its SharePoint packages with applications from suppliers such as SAP.
The web part and services toolkits are available under Microsoft's shared source programme. Web parts are building blocks for creating modular websites.
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Shared source differs from open source in that users can access the source code without being required to return any source code modifications to the community at large, said Microsoft's Mike Fitzmaurice, technical product manager for SharePoint products and technologies.
"In essence, we are agreeing to share the code with everyone else but we're not going to control what they do with it," he said.
The Web Services for Remote Portlet (WSRP) toolkit will help to build portlets to interact with other portal sites. The toolkit includes a consumer component that displays WSRP portlet services provided by a variety of suppliers within web part pages hosted by Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003.
The Web Part Toolkit for SharePoint for SAP iViews will enable SAP NetWeaver iViews to be displayed in a way that is easy to configure, Microsoft said.
"The Web Part Toolkit for SAP (iViews) is designed to allow a user to display an SAP iView inside a web part in a SharePoint Portal Server environment," Fitzmaurice said.
An iView is similar to a web part in that it is an encapsulated piece of business functionality designed for SAP's web environment. The toolkit allows users to add just the pieces of their SAP applications that are relevant.
Additionally, Microsoft is providing its WSRP Web Services Toolkit for SharePoint available through shared source, to make SharePoint site content available over WSRP-based web services. This toolkit explains and provides examples for deploying WSRP-compliant producer web services.
Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld