Office Standard versus Office Professional ?

June 7, 2006

There is so much to be gained from Office Professional and I have summarized the detail below. I have covered the three areas in the same order; XML, IRM and Smart Docs. Just before I cover those areas, this is how I summarize what Office Pro and the solutions based on it offer; The Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003 help business managers improve organizational productivity and protect confidential business information by streamlining business processes, enabling employees easier access to important information, enabling them to work better in teams and preventing the unauthorized use of business information. Here are some comparison details; 

Comparison Table: http://www.microsoft.com/office/editions/prodinfo/compare.mspx ·        

Functionality differences: http://www.microsoft.com/office/editions/prodinfo/functionality.mspx

So, the three areas in summary;

1. XML; Extensible Markup Language (XML)

What is it?Define the structure and content of a file so you or your company can efficiently index, search, combine, and reuse text-based information. Define your own Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas—how you want data organized and presented within your company. Learn more about managing information with XML.

Professional EditionYou can create customized XML schemas or use the XML file formats in Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office Word 2003.Support for customer-defined XML schemas in Excel 2003 and Word 2003 enables more information creation, capture, exchange, and reuse. Save, edit, and retrieve information by defining your own XML tags or using industry standard tags, depending on your business needs. While opening and saving documents, customize how the data can be formatted.

Standard EditionYou can use only the XML file formats that are included in Excel 2003 and Word 2003. These formats carry only formatting information and do not specify the "meaning" of the content. The contents of these files can be manipulated and searched using any program that can process industry-standard XML. Information can be extracted from the saved files and reused by another file or content management system. Excel 2003 or Word 2003 files created in Office Professional Edition 2003 with a customer-defined XML format can be opened and printed. Edits of these files in other editions of Excel 2003 and Word 2003 will not keep the custom-defined XML tags.

No Pro? – So what?Without support of XML schemas organizations will not be able to easily use Metadata to search, tag and index unstructured documents easily.More than 80% of enterprise's digitized information reside in individual hard drives and in personal files. (Gartner 2002)High cost and complexity to provide users with custom or 3rd party vendor access to business data

2. Information Rights Management (IRM) 

What is it? 

This technology enables you to define how a recipient can use information in your file, such as who can open, modify, print, forward, or take other actions with the file. Permissions can be granted to an individual recipient or to a group. These permissions stay with the information no matter where it goes. Learn more about helping to protect information with information rights management (IRM).

*IRM functionality is only available in Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003, and Word 2003* – this is worth remembering!

Professional Edition

Create IRM-protected e-mail messages and files, defining who can open the information, along with defining various permissions such as read only, editing, and other actions.Apply company-defined templates to your information, providing a quick and easy way to protect access and use the information while complying with company policies.

Standard EditionYou can only open, edit, save, and print IRM-protected files and e-mail messages when given the appropriate permissions. You cannot create/initiate new rights-protected documents or e-mail messages, or modify the permissions on existing rights-protected files.

No Pro? – So what? 

Electronic communication and collaboration tools (e-mail, IM, etc.) have greatly improved our ability to communicate.  Employees are now able to share ideas with people around the world from their desktops with a few clicks of the mouse.  Although the internet has greatly improved efficiency and knowledge sharing, it has also made it that much more possible for employees to intentionally or accidentally put sensitive information in the wrong hands.  For instance, an inadvertent click on the “Reply All” e-mail button could share confidential intellectual property information with the wrong peopleIn addition, increased competition in the marketplace has put a premium on protecting intellectual property and new government regulations (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley) have forced firms to focus on following strict protocols for documentation, reporting and transparency.

3. Smart Documents 

What are they?

Developers can create XML-based solutions in Excel 2003 and Word 2003 that provide helpful commands or data. For example, when you're working on a business report, a smart document can offer to automatically fill in information such as name and address, or offer help. It can also provide access to useful data, such as related charts or graphs. Learn more about smart documents.Professional EditionUsers can open and use smart documents. 

Standard Edition

Users can only open and print smart document. Changes can not be saved.

No Pro? – So what?

Traditional document creation methodology typically involves one employee creating a document and then passing it on to another employee for editing and further refinement.  At times a group of employees are responsible for the contents of a document, one per section of the document, perhaps, with each member of the group working on the document at different times.  Such an asynchronous collaboration method inherently leads to document ownership and version control challenges. Even modern publishing tools pose similar problems as many versions (or copies of a single version) of a single document can exist in cyberspace, thus creating “multiple versions of the truth.”  Document creators are often dependent on IT for publishing and data reporting, once again pulling IT away from its primary function

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2 Responses to “Office Standard versus Office Professional ?”

  1. Melody said

    Your information was very thorough and helpful. Nicely explained. Thanks

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