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Microsoft Touts SharePoint As Development Platform

The upcoming iterations of SharePoint will act as Microsoft's preferred foundation for collaborative apps, company big wigs said Tuesday.

The upcoming SharePoint Server 2007, due late this year, sports new connectivity services for easing the access and use of business data. The next iteration of Windows Sharepoint Services--Version 3.0--will bring new integrated workflow capabilities to the fore and add integral support for ASP.NET 2.0 framework.

Sharepoint server's new "Business Data Catalog" of services is part and parcel of Microsoft's multi-pronged attempt to make Office applications de-facto front ends for back-end line of business or enterprise data. It would also enable search across multiple corporate data repositories via SharePoint Server 2007.

Microsoft wants to make collaboration "simple and bottoms up" but also give users visibility into their important business information, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates told attendees of the company's second annual Microsoft Office System Developers Conference in Redmond, Wash.

"We are adding new capabilities to make collaboration simple and bottoms-up, but also gives [users] visibility into business information. There are new capabilities in Office aimed at filling the skills gap," Gates said.

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