Microsoft Corp. announced a new set of technologies designed to enable developers to build business solutions based on the next version of Microsoft Office, code-named “Office 11.” A new set of tools, code-named “Visual Studio Tools for Office,” enables Visual Studio .NET developers to use Microsoft’s application development tool to build solutions based on Word and Excel documents, as well as several new XML development experiences. Microsoft will continue to support Visual Basic for Applications. Using “Visual Studio Tools for Office,” developers can create applications written in Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# .NET that run in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. “Visual Studio Tools for Office” will be available in conjunction with “Office 11” in mid-2003. “Office 11,” features enhanced support for XML, including improved object model programmability, the ability to use XML schemas, built-in support for XML Web services and a new smart document solution model. Word and Excel templates can be designed with an underlying customer-defined XML structure. Integrated support for XML Web services in “Office 11,” along with support for XSL and XPath, leverages existing Office and Web development skills. www.microsoft.com/office/developer/preview

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