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.

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