Microsoft updates Office developer tools

Microsoft has presented new development toolsets for building Microsoft Office-based workflow and collaboration applications that also integrate with the Exchange 2000 messaging platform, and SQL Server 7.0. Office 2000 Developer Edition Version 1.5 will include Workflow Designer for Exchange 2000 server, Workflow Designer for SQL Server, and a copy of Office Premium according to Anders Brown, product manager for Office 2000 Developer.

"Most notably, what we're putting in the product is a developer version of Exchange 2000 server; developers actually have the server software as well [as the tools], so they can build and test their applications prior to deployment," Brown said.

However, he also noted it contains a full retail version of Exchange 2000 that is limited by licence so "it's only good for development or testing in the lab environment, prior to deployment".

Microsoft expects to target professional developers with the Office 2000 Developer toolset, including corporate developers and solution providers. Developers will be able to automate business processes, such as expense reporting or document routing, between Office and Exchange or SQL Server by using the tools to lay out and visualise business processes step by step, then streamline the processes by adding business rules and logic, according to the company.

Brown added that the Office 2000 Developer toolset will also be included with the release of the Exchange 2000 server.

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