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WinOE Workflow Prepped For Whidbey, Longhorn, Office 12 in 2006

Microsoft plans to begin beta testing workflow services and framework planned for the Longhorn wave of client and server franchises by mid-year, sources said.

The workflow technology, dubbed WinOE, will be generally available first as an add-on for the .NET Framework and "Whidbey" version of Visual Studio in mid 2006 and later in the year for the Longhorn version of Windows and Office 12.

The Windows orchestration (WinOE) code, built from the ground up by Microsoft's BizTalk team, is a set of high level XML schemas, .NET classes, application programming interfaces (APIs) and workflow components that will allow Visual Studio 2005 developers create business processes and human-to-human workflow processes.

Microsoft will also have an add-on service available for the Longhorn client and server version of Windows in 2006 and 2007 and will make its fleet of applications including Office 12 and the next Sharepoint Portal Server "WinOE-aware," several sources said.

"WinOE is the next evolution of orchestration, workflow engine that will work across all Microsoft products," said one partner who declined to be named. "It's a set of XML schemas, APIs and objects that provide building blocks for building workflow-enabled software and it'll create a number of opportunities for partners."

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