Microsoft Makes Office 2007 Protocols Available

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-04-08 Print this article Print

The documentation defines how high-volume Microsoft products communicate with other Microsoft products.

Microsoft will make available the preliminary versions of technical documentation for the protocols built into Microsoft Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007.

This documentation, which defines how these high-volume Microsoft products communicate with some of its other products, is 14,000 pages and is in addition to the 30,000 pages posted when the software giant first introduced its new Interoperability Principles last month. They will be made available April 8.

"There have been more than 100,000 downloads of the first 30,000-page documentation set posted on MSDN [Microsoft Developer Network]," Tom Robertson, Microsoft's general manager for Interoperability and Standards, told eWEEK.

The preliminary versions of the new documentation, which will also be posted to MSDN, contain the protocols between SharePoint Server 2007 and Office client applications; SharePoint Server 2007 and other Microsoft server products; Exchange Server 2007 and Outlook; and Office 2007 client applications and other Microsoft server products.

While everyone will have access to this protocol documentation without having to sign a license or pay a royalty or other fee, there is a catch: Those protocols covered by a Microsoft patent will have to be licensed if they will be commercially distributed.

However, the software company has pledged to make patent licenses available on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and at low royalty rates, Robertson said. 

Microsoft recently launched the Interoperability Forum. Click here to read more.

In June, Microsoft will also publish a list of the protocols that are covered by patents, and will make available a patent map containing a list of the specific Microsoft patents and patent applications that cover each protocol, when the final version of the protocols are available, Robertson said.

The company will also release the final patent pricing and licensing terms at that time. "As we work over the coming months on feedback on the protocols themselves, we are also going to be completing the patent map for each of these protocols," Robertson 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


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