Microsoft Introduces Scriptlets in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, Enabling Reusable Dynamic HTML Components for the First Time

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 15, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a breakthrough technology – scripting components (scriptlets) – that, for the first time, lets Web authors create reusable objects with Dynamic HTML.

A scriptlet is a Web page, authored with HTML and script, that content providers can use as a component in their Web applications. Scriptlets bring the benefits of object-based technology to HTML and script, offering content providers the convenience of reuse and encapsulation. This innovative technology also enables Web authors to use the languages they already know to create powerful, cross-platform Web components.

Microsoft will support scriptlets in the final release of Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0, due at the end of this month, enabling millions of users to view scriptlet-based content. Leading vendors, including Acadia Software Inc., Elemental Software Inc., ExperTelligence Inc., Microsoft, Pictorius Inc. and Powersoft Corp. are providing scriptlet support in future releases of their tools products, enabling the easy creation and reuse of script components.

“Scriptlets are one more reason we are authoring our site for Internet Explorer 4.0,”
said Mark Graham, vice president of technology, iVillage.
“Reusing existing HTML and script without having to cut and paste code is an ideal situation. With scriptlets, authoring dynamic content for the Web is faster and easier than ever.”

“Through scriptlets, Microsoft is bringing the power and convenience of component technology to Dynamic HTML,”
said David Cole, vice president of the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft.
“Microsoft is providing unmatched support for content providers with Internet Explorer 4.0.”

Scriptlets: Fast, Reusable Components

Today content creation often requires Web authors to manually retype commonly used elements, such as logos and navigation bars, each time they occur. This not only is a time-consuming process for content providers, it also creates larger Web pages to be downloaded by end users. Common elements can be built with other component technology; however, this requires development expertise and knowledge of a language such as C, Java
™or the Visual Basic® programming system, and they do not download as quickly as HTML and script and may not run across all platforms.

With scriptlets, content providers can create common elements once, designate these components to be scriptlets, and then incorporate them as needed in their Web pages using the standard OBJECT element. Scriptlets, like HTML pages, are downloaded to the client machine and then cached for reuse, resulting in smaller and faster Web pages overall.

Open, Cross-Platform Technology

The scriptlet technology is based on existing standards. Content providers can create scriptlets using HTML 4.0 and any scripting language supported in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 such as Visual Basic Scripting Edition and JScript
™
development software, which is based on the ECMA-262 specification.

Microsoft will support scriptlets in all versions of Internet Explorer 4.0, including releases for the Windows 95 and Windows NT® 4.0 operating systems, Windows 3.1, Macintosh and UNIX. On Windows® 32-bit operating systems, scriptlets can also be used with applications supporting Component Object Model (COM) technology.

Tools Support for Scriptlets

To create a scriptlet, content providers need only follow straightforward conventions to create well-defined interfaces that can be used to customize scriptlets for future use. Third-party tools from Acadia Software, Elemental Software, ExperTelligence, Pictorius and Powersoft will be supporting scriptlets in the next versions in their respective products, enabling content providers to follow these conventions seamlessly and to incorporate scriptlets into their Web pages. In addition, Acadia Software will be adding scriptlet creation support in a Design-time Control.

Microsoft plans to support both creating and using scriptlets in the next release of the Microsoft Visual InterDev
™Web development system. With the Microsoft FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool, authors can incorporate scriptlets in their Web pages.

“ExperTelligence announces support for Microsoft scriptlets and sees them as a great new use for its recently announced WebberActive 4.0 Dynamic HTML design tool,”
said Denison Bollay, president of ExperTelligence.
“Now, it is easier than ever to create powerful components for the Web.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Visual Basic, Windows, JScript, Windows NT, Visual InterDev and FrontPage are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Joscelyn Zell, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, jzell@wagged.com

Darrin Swaim, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, darrins@wagged.com

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