Microsoft Announces Updated Toolset for Building Workflow And Collaborative Office Solutions

REDMOND, Wash., May 23, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced new tools for building workflow applications and collaborative Microsoft® Office solutions that integrate and take advantage of features in Microsoft Exchange 2000 and Microsoft SQL Server™
7.0. Office 2000 Developer Edition version 1.5 offers professional tools for building tracking and workflow solutions, including the new Workflow Designer for Exchange 2000 Server, the Workflow Designer for SQL Server, and the developer editions of Exchange 2000 Server and SQL Server 7.0. In addition to existing Office developer tools, these workflow tools allow for quick and easy development of collaborative, Office-based solutions that help automate business processes. Today’s announcement was made in conjunction with the release to manufacturing (RTM) of the Workflow Designer for Exchange 2000 Server, ensuring retail availability of Office 2000 Developer version 1.5 in late July.

“Developers are increasingly asked to create solutions which allow better collaboration between knowledge workers,”
said Tod Nielsen, vice president, Platform Group, Microsoft.
“The new tools in Office 2000 Developer version 1.5 will enable developers to more efficiently build these collaborative solutions and automate business processes. With tighter integration to Exchange and SQL data, these tools will enable developers to create solutions that make knowledge workers more productive.”

New Workflow Tools Automate Business Processes

Expense reporting, document routing, issue tracking – virtually any approval process can now be automated by developers using the new workflow capabilities in Office 2000 Developer version 1.5. Developers can save months of development time by using the new tools to visually design workflow processes for SQL and/or Exchange data. The tools enable developers to fully automate a variety of business processes, including document routing and associated e-mail notification, for both Exchange 2000 and SQL Server data.

“We reduced our report publishing process by 15 percent with an Office 2000 Developer-based solution which automatically imports and formats data,”
said Alan Davis, senior analyst at, an equity research firm specializing in the small-cap market.
“We’re now streamlining that process even further, using the new workflow tools to automatically route and track reports. As a research firm, the more efficiently we work, the more timely reports we publish, the more viable we’ll be as a market leader.”

Workflow for Exchange 2000 Improves Corporate Collaboration

Using Exchange 2000 and the Workflow Designer for Exchange 2000 Server, developers will be able to quickly build Exchange-based collaborative workflow solutions that automate the routing and approval of Office documents, business forms and other Exchange data. Office 2000 Developer version 1.5, in conjunction with native workflow services in Exchange 2000, significantly speeds the development of workflow solutions by providing the necessary tools and components as part of the core development product and platform. By using the visual designer, the workflow process can be further modified without having to redevelop or recode any part of the solution.

“Exchange 2000 offers great new opportunities for application development and workflow,”
said Mike Sayers, chief technology officer, Reuters.
“The Workflow Designer for Exchange 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 itself, allows us to quickly and easily automate a variety of collaborative, multi-step processes, such as routing real-time news to different Exchange folders. Microsoft’s workflow tools eliminate the intense development otherwise required to automate collaborative processes, and even enable our processes to be exposed through a Digital Dashboard.”

Comprehensive Exchange 2000 and Office 2000 Solutions Benefit Corporations

Together with Office 2000 Developer version 1.5, the new functionality in Exchange 2000 provides unparalleled integration with Office 2000 applications and documents. Office 2000 users can save and open documents directly to a server running Exchange 2000, enabling users to store all documents and e-mail in one central, easy-to-use location. In addition, Exchange provides native content indexing of Office documents for quick searching and retrieval. These enhancements to Exchange 2000 make it easier and quicker for developers to build more comprehensive and efficient Office- and Exchange-based solutions.

Recognizing that three-fourths of developers targeting the Exchange platform also target Office, Microsoft is providing an Exchange 2000 Server Developer Edition in Microsoft Office 2000 Developer version 1.5. Likewise, Exchange 2000 will include the Office 2000 Developer version 1.5 toolset to provide more convenient access to both technologies.


Office 2000 Developer version 1.5 is expected to be available in retail outlets by late July

for an estimated retail price of $999. The update will be free for all licensed users of Office 2000 Developer.

Microsoft Office 2000 Developer version 1.5 is the edition of Office designed for professional developers building and deploying solutions with Microsoft Office 2000. Currently, there are 2.6 million professional developers who target Microsoft Office as a development platform. Office 2000 Developer includes Microsoft Office 2000 Premium (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client, the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program, Microsoft Access and the FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool) as well as professional productivity tools, documentation and sample code for quickly building solutions with Microsoft Office. More detailed information about Office 2000 Developer can be found at .

About Exchange 2000

Exchange 2000 is a reliable, scalable, easy-to-manage infrastructure that provides 24×7 messaging and collaboration with low total cost of ownership. Exchange 2000 offers a rich set of services for developers building and deploying collaborative Web solutions that automate business processes. Exchange 2000 enables access to people and information, anytime and from any place.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

Microsoft, Outlook, PowerPoint and FrontPage are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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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