Microsoft Outlook 2000 Joins Office 2000 Suite in Supporting Visual Basic for Applications

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft® Outlook® 2000, the next upgrade to the premier messaging and collaboration client, joins the rest of the Microsoft Office 2000 suite in supporting Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA). VBA is the edition of the Visual Basic development system designed specifically to provide rich development capabilities in an off-the-shelf application.

VBA enables developers and solution providers to use the power and functionality of an application for easy creation of custom business solutions. Integrated VBA support in Outlook 2000 also makes it easier for developers and solution providers to create messaging and collaborative applications with Microsoft Exchange Server.

Fully Customizable Applications

The customizable Microsoft Office 2000 suite includes Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, the Microsoft FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool, Microsoft Word, the Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation graphics program, and now Microsoft Outlook. Office 2000 will make it easier than ever for corporate developers and solution providers to combine Office and Exchange Server, delivering powerful solutions for workflow, tracking and routing, and customer interaction. In particular, the Outlook 2000 object model has been significantly expanded, enabling greater programmatic access to the application user interface and application events. Outlook also joins the rest of the Office Suite in supporting the new COM add-in architecture for simplifying deployment of custom solutions.

Integrated Solutions Created With Visual Basic for Applications

When developers have a full suite of programmable, off-the-shelf applications to work with, integrate and customize, they can produce custom productivity solutions. Here are just a few examples of the types of customized and integrated solutions developers can build with Microsoft Office 2000:

  • Automated collection, processing and distribution of information. For example, VBA can be used with Outlook and Excel to prepare a sales report. The applications could be integrated to automatically collect multiple e-mail messages containing sales information; the user could then open the messages, extract the sales information, place the information in a final sales report, and redistribute the report via e-mail or post it to the Web.

  • Custom rules and wizards for managing mail and schedules. For example, when a user receives new mail messages, a custom rule developed in VBA can be used to intelligently route incoming e-mail to various folders based on user-defined fields, calculated fields or complex scenarios. Users can manage mail and schedules more easily because VBA will scan all incoming mail for dates or terms like
    “next Tuesday”
    and offer to add those events to users’ calendars. VBA also can be used to publish a personal calendar in HTML to a specified Web site.

  • Integration of Outlook with organizational data. For example, the custom solution could walk the end user through a VBA-based wizard, which generates e-mail with content pulled from an enterprise database directly into the body of a message. The wizard could then automatically distribute the message to a list of recipients identified by user-defined criteria.

  • Using Outlook to respond to automated requests from the Exchange Server Routing Engine. Developers can customize Outlook to scan users’ Exchange Public Folders and provide a daily summary listing the number of new items, total number unread, number interesting to the user, etc.

VBA Is Popular Tool for Off-the-Shelf Customization, Integration

Developers who use Visual Basic and VBA make up one of the largest groups of developers in the world – over 3.2 million worldwide. Now with the full suite of Office 2000

applications, developers can use their existing knowledge to build custom productivity solutions for their clients.

VBA is widely supported and currently licensed by a growing list of third-party application vendors. It is shipping in more than 60 products. For a list of licensees and more information about VBA, developers can visit the VBA Web site at .

Office 2000 is the desktop suite for knowledge workers that makes the Web work for users, streamlining the process of working with people and information to get better results. Office 2000 offers a new Web-productivity work style that integrates core productivity tools with the Web to streamline the process of sharing information and working with others.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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, Outlook, Visual Basic, FrontPage and PowerPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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