XML-based web services will be key to developing add-on applications based on Microsoft Office Systems.
Microsoft kicked off the first Microsoft Office System Developer Conference at its Redmond headquarters, encouraging users and developers present to build tighter integration between the Office suite and XML-based web services.
Microsoft’s strategy is to make its Office family of desktop software an interface to enterprise systems such as using Excel with SAP.
At the event Microsoft unveiled Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System (VSTO 2005), a version of its development tools suite designed around the .net Framework for programming web services.
Microsoft said the tool would allow users to customise Microsoft Excel 2003, Microsoft Word 2003 and Microsoft InfoPath 2003.
Attended by 800 developers, the three day conference is being addressed by Microsoft chief software architect Bill Gates. The conference will be used to promote the use of Microsoft’s Visual Studio tools for developing applications for Microsoft Office 2003.