New Microsoft Office Family Application Taps Power of Industry-Standard XML

Editors’ Update:, Feb. 10, 2003 — The product referred to in this article under the code name “Xdocs” has been named Microsoft InfoPath.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Oct. 9, 2002 — Today at Gartner Inc.’s Symposium/ITxpo 2002, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., will announce plans to deliver in mid-2003 the newest Microsoft®
Office family application, code-named “XDocs.” “XDocs” streamlines the process of gathering information by enabling teams and organizations to easily create and work with rich, dynamic forms. The information collected can be integrated with a broad range of business processes because
“XDocs”
supports any customer-defined Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema and integrates with XML Web services. As a result,
“XDocs”
helps to connect information workers directly to organizational information, giving them the ability to act on it, which leads to greater business impact.

“The vision for ‘XDocs’ is to deliver on the needs of our customers by connecting XML Web services to information workers at their desktops,”
Ballmer said.
“‘XDocs’ provides new ways to gather and reuse company data, enabling better information flow, more informed decisions and greater integration of people with business processes throughout an organization.”

Turning Information Into Knowledge

Today’s organizations are often forced to rely on inefficient, error-prone ways to gather data — information that can be difficult to share or reuse in the organization’s business processes.
“XDocs”
allows customers to create flexible, dynamic forms that capture the information they need in a timely manner. Using the validation capabilities in
“XDocs,”
customers can ensure that data being gathered meets business criteria and that information is more accurate. And because
“XDocs”
supports any customer-defined XML schema, organizations can define exactly how the information they collect is structured.

“The XML community has waited a long time for a product to bring the power of Extensible Markup Language to the mass market,”
said Charles F. Goldfarb, inventor of markup language technology and author of
“The XML Handbook (TM).” “With ‘XDocs,’ information workers can now directly interface with enterprise resources and XML Web services. That offers limitless possibilities to improve the way people do business.”

“XDocs”
‘ support for XML allows customers to integrate information directly into their existing line-of- business processes, ranging from customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and supply chain management to workgroup-level processes such as project status and team reports. By making it easier to collect and share information,
“XDocs”
enables teams and organizations to make better-informed decisions.

Increasing Efficiency and Productivity

By helping businesses capture and reuse their data more readily, Microsoft is addressing a key challenge that they face today: how to use information to enhance efficiency and productivity across the enterprise.

“We are excited about the introduction of ‘XDocs,'”
said Art Huggard, director of digital strategy at Solutia Inc.
“Participation in the alpha program really let us see its potential. We are exploring the impact on many internal processes, from custom purchase order solutions to clinical-trial data submission. The validation capability within ‘XDocs’ enables us to check our data against criteria that we have set, improving the accuracy of data entry. And because the data collected by ‘XDocs’ is XML, we can send it directly to our clinical systems, actually eliminating a step in our clinical trials process. We anticipate that ‘XDocs’ will not only speed up the flow of information, but also reduce errors, saving everyone a significant amount of time and money.”

The introduction of
“XDocs”
and Office’s continued investment in XML demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to innovation and to helping customers leverage information for greater impact.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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