Microsoft Opens Next Versions of Office, SharePoint to Developers

The software maker is continuing to beat the developer drum for its information-worker platforms with Office Business Application Services and Line of Business Interoperability capabilities. (Microsoft Watch)

BOSTON—Microsoft is making more of its gut Office and SharePoint technologies and services available to third-party application developers.

Microsoft has been beating the developer drum for its SharePoint and Office technologies for months, if not years.

But at the TechEd conference here, company officials crystallized some of the concepts theyve been evangelizing.

/zimages/2/28571.gifGuru Jakob Nielsen offers advice on designing applications for usability. Click here to watch the video.

On June 12, company officials announced that they have christened six Office 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 platform technologies as "Office Business Application (OBA) Services."

/zimages/2/28571.gifMicrosoft says Office 2007 will address the bloat issue. Click here to read more.

Officials also said to expect Microsoft to add more OBA services to its fold some time in 2007, when it introduces additional and so-far unspecified services, christened LOBI (Line-of-Business Interoperability) technologies.

The existing set of OBA Services, for which Microsoft is encouraging developers to write commercial and custom applications, consist of workflow, search, the Business Data Catalog, the RibbonX version of the Office 2007 Ribbon interface, Microsoft Office Open XML file formats, and the Web Site and Security Framework.

These services provide a variety of business intelligence, unified communications and collaboration and content-management capabilities.

LOBI for SharePoint Server—which Microsoft is describing as "a future set of capabilities that will work together with Microsoft Office client applications and Office SharePoint Server 2007"—are more amorphous.

Microsoft is promising to deliver a technical preview of LOBI by the end of calendar 2006.

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