Office 11 gains developer tools

Thanks xpguy...Microsoft plans to unveil on Monday a tool for customizing Office 11 applications based on its Visual Studio programming environment. The new tool, code-named Visual Studio Tools for Office, exploits the data-sharing capabilities of XML (Extended Markup Language) to help developers create Office-based applications. The enhancements are designed to let companies tailor Microsoft Word and Excel applications to their specific corporate processes and to link "islands of data," said Robert Green, lead product manager for Visual Studio at Microsoft.

"Business processes are not well-integrated, particularly when they include data at the desktop. We're going to see much better interconnections," Green said

The tool will work with the Office 11 versions of Word and Excel, which are supposed to become available by the middle of next year. With Office being tied to Visual Studio, people who work with Microsoft languages Visual Basic and C# stand to benefit from an environment aimed specifically at professional developers. Programmers can also take advantage of the .Net Framework in Visual Studio.Net, which automatically generates much of the lower-level coding needed for networked applications.

Microsoft rival Sun Microsystems plans similar developments for its StarOffice suite of applications. By the middle of next year, Sun plans to release a version of StarOffice that will let professional Java programmers customize StarOffice applications.

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News source: c|net

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