Web Services on Desktop

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-01-21 Print this article Print

Office XP Web Services Toolkit and Smart Tag Enterprise Resource Toolkit, released last week, will enable developers to put XML Web services data into Office XP.

Office XP Web Services Toolkit and Smart Tag Enterprise Resource Toolkit, released last week, will enable developers to put XML Web services data into Office XP, which Microsoft Corp. officials said will make it easier for users to access important information in applications they use daily.

"Right now, our vision for the .Net platform as a whole is of smart clients talking to smart servers with XML and Web services in between," said Anders Brown, lead product manager for Office, in Redmond, Wash. "Office is going to be one of those smart clients along with many others provided from Microsoft. So, in the short term, Office XP now becomes a smart client to XML Web services."

Smart Tag Enterprise Resource Toolkit provides a road map for how to plan, design, implement and deploy robust, scalable smart tags within the enterprise, while Office XP Web Services Toolkit enables developers to apply XML Web services in Office XP, Brown said.

Microsoft has already signed up General Motors Corp. for its newly launched pilot program to recruit partners and customers into building Office-based Web services. GM is rolling out Windows 2000, Office XP and some of these tools to about 120,000 workstations.

"We are just getting our feet wet, looking at understanding how the Web services work and how easy it is to develop solutions with those tools," said Tony Scott, GMs chief technology officer for IS and services, in Detroit. "At this stage, we are using data that is easy to get at, like sales data and internal phone book data, but more broadly, once we get an idea how hard or easy it is to develop these, we could expand it to a number of different areas like quality data, broader sales data, manufacturing, parts and costs."

GM expects to know by the end of March how much further it wants to take the integration of Web services into Office XP, but "based on what weve seen so far, it looks like its going to be an interesting and productive exercise for us," Scott said.

Microsofts Brown said the tool kits also allow developers to discover XML Web services using the standards-based Universal Description, Discovery and Integration service and integrate them directly into Office XP solutions with a single click.

"We believe that XML Web services will solve the data integration problem and essentially expose data and make it very easily accessible both within and outside an enterprise," Brown said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel