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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Shares Connectors

Microsoft released the source code of three software toolkits designed to tie its collaboration software with applications built by the competition, officials announced Monday.

The company has been relatively quiet about its SharePoint product line since it launched SharePoint Services for Windows Server 2003 last October. The technology allows business users to share data files across the network for business projects or other collaborative efforts.

Now companies using OASIS' WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portlets) standard can begin to tie in non-Microsoft applications to SharePoint Server 2003 and SharePoint Services sites and vice versa. Passed last September, WSRP is an XML-based technology that allows for the development of portlets from one vendor on another's platform.

The first toolkit is for SAP NetWeaver iViews customers and systems integrators who want to take immediate advantage of a Web Part Toolkit that ties iViews into SharePoint portals. With it, applications can be displayed with iViews within the SharePoint server.

Another toolkit provides a generic tool for developers to tie in third-party vendor applications with SharePoint, including a "consumer" version that displays WSRP portlets on a SharePoint server.

The third toolkit, WSRP Web Services Toolkit for SharePoint Products and Technologies, lets developers tie in Microsoft's collaboration capabilities with third-party portals.

The source code for the toolkits is available at GotDotNet.com, a community site for .NET developers.

More and more companies within OASIS, a Web services standards body made up of vendors, such as BEA Systems , Intel and Oracle , have demonstrated their interoperability among competitors since the passage of the WSRP standard.

In March, Microsoft and other OASIS members showcased WSRP's abilities, demonstrating portlets made by one member on another platform. Officials said the adoption of the Web services technology by application vendors will free enterprise developers from manually coding integration between different software platforms.

To date, however, only about 10 organizations have come out and publicly announced applications that support WSRP 1.0; Microsoft is one of four companies that has been conducting interoperability testing of its WSRP implementations.