The 2007 release streamlines data collection through integration between InfoPath 2007 and the core applications. Electronic forms can be presented as standalone forms in the InfoPath 2007 client or in the browser, imported into Groove 2007 workspaces, embedded in Document Information Panels and Task Panes, or embedded in Outlook 2007 e-mail messages so colleagues can complete forms without leaving the familiar Outlook environment. With InfoPath 2007 and Microsoft Office InfoPath Forms Services, organizations can also extend electronic forms solutions outside the corporate firewall, enabling customers, business partners, and mobile or remote users to complete electronic forms using many different Web browsers and mobile devices.

Features that take advantage of InfoPath 2007 forms include:

·     E-Mail Forms. The ability to embed an InfoPath form within an Outlook 2007 e-mail message provides a fast, efficient way to collect information.

·     Developer enhancements. Enhanced development capabilities enable developers to display richer content, including InfoPath forms, within custom Task Panes.

·     Document Information Panel. Support for InfoPath forms within the new document Information Panel enables organizations to define custom document properties and to initiate business processes from within a document based on those document properties.

Table 4:  Advanced Support for Electronic Forms Capabilities

Capability

Microsoft Office Standard 2007

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007

Complete, collect, and organize InfoPath 2007 e-mail forms in Outlook 2007.*

  P P

Host embedded, fully customizable InfoPath forms in Word 2007, Excel 2007, and PowerPoint 2007.*

  P P

Complete forms in Programmable Task Panes.*

  P P

Complete custom fields and execute custom business logic in Document Information Panel forms.*

  P P
*These capabilities require that InfoPath 2007 be installed on the client computer. Office Professional Plus 2007 and Office Enterprise 2007 include InfoPath 2007. Organizations that license other suites can purchase and install InfoPath 2007 separately.
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In conjunction with SharePoint Server 2007, the Integrated Content Management capabilities of the 2007 release provide secure access to business information through a number of differentiated features and capabilities, including integrated document workflow, PowerPoint slide libraries, label and barcode attachment, and the newReport
Center portal.

·     Workflow. The workflow capabilities of the Microsoft Office applications and SharePoint Server 2007 support sophisticated document life cycle and enterprise content management. Integration between the Office applications and SharePoint Server 2007 allows users to initiate review and approval workflows, simplifying content review and approval processes, and reducing time spent managing documents through their life cycles. For documents stored in a SharePoint library with an associated workflow template, users can initiate the workflow process from the File menu in the Office application or from a browser-based interface.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes user-configurable workflow templates that can guide review and approval processes. Developers can also use Microsoft Visual Studio® or Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 to define custom workflows, create document-handling processes, help users collaborate through portals and workspaces, and connect users to information in enterprise business systems.

·     PowerPoint Slide Libraries. SharePoint Server 2007 provides centralized storage for presentations and individual slides. PowerPoint Slide Libraries enable users to easily repurpose existing content and build presentations from existing slide sets, reducing the need to recreate content. Users can publish presentations to a PowerPoint Slide Library directly from PowerPoint 2007.

·     Report Center. In organizations that deploy Microsoft Office Excel Services, Excel 2007 adds the capability to publish worksheets with full fidelity to the Web, portals, and dashboards, provided by SharePoint Server 2007. The Report Center, a central repository for reports and spreadsheet data, ensures that all users have access to the same version of critical business information. The user who publishes the worksheet can control access to the information by defining what data is visible to others in Report Center and defining which cells can be edited by other users.

·     Barcodes and Labels. The 2007 release facilitates document and records management with the capability to generate and embed barcodes and labels within documents. Text-based labels or barcodes can be generated from document metadata, such as subject keywords or customer numbers. Labels and barcodes are printed with the document and can be updated automatically. 

Table 3:  Integrated Content Management Capabilities

Capability

Microsoft Office Standard 2007

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007

Initiate document workflows and complete workflow tasks from within the Office applications.*

  P P

Initiate document workflows and complete workflow tasks from the browser.

P P P

Publish presentations and individual PowerPoint 2007 slides to slide libraries for later reuse.

  P P

Browse slide libraries from within PowerPoint 2007, build new presentations from individual slides, and get updates when slides change on the server.

P P P
Publish spreadsheets to
Report
Center and specify parameters and viewing permissions for spreadsheets and specific cells published to
Report
Center.

  P P
View and use spreadsheets published toReport
Center from the browser.

P P P

Create printable labels and barcodes from metadata and insert barcodes and labels into Office documents.

  P P

Read, print, and update existing labels and barcodes in Office documents.

P P P

*Certain workflow features require a valid InfoPath 2007 license.

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It was announced yesterday that the Office team has completed its development work on the 2007 Microsoft Office system – our most important release of Microsoft Office in more than a decade. 

The release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system is a milestone event for the Microsoft Business Division and Microsoft. It is the most significant release of the Office system since Office 95 in terms of its scope, the level of deep customer research conducted to help our users get better results faster, and the user feedback we received to improve it.  Over 3.5 million beta testers and data from nearly 150 million user sessions helped shape and strengthen this release.  Simply put, the 2007 Microsoft Office system ushers in an enormous opportunity to help information workers be more productive everywhere. It will be available to our volume license business customers later this month and will be broadly available to consumers early next calendar year.  As you know, we will soon release Windows Vista and Exchange Server 2007. In combination with the 2007 Microsoft Office system, these products are nothing short of breakthrough – their combined innovations will amplify the impact of people everywhere. Beginning later this month we’ll be launching them to our business customers through an orchestrated wave of over 250 business availability events. Please visit the business value launch homepage today to learn more.   

There has been tremendous internal adoption of our earlier betas – over 53,000 Microsoft machines are running pre-release versions of Office today.

On December 5th we are seeing the Launch event to our business comunity in the UK of Exchange, Vista and Office 2007 which stands to be an awesome event with some great speakers.

The Microsoft strategy for publishing content on the Web has been, until recently, based on Microsoft Content Management Server (CMS) 2002. CMS provided a structured way for content authors to add content to a company’s public Web site using professionally formatted layout pages. CMS also provided a formalized scheme where a privileged user must approve any page modification before it can be seen by the Web site’s visitors. While there is a connector that provides a certain degree of integration between CMS 2002 and SPS 2003, these two products are built on very different architectures, and you cannot build a site that fully benefits from both the CMS Web content management features and the SPS portal features.With the introduction of MOSS 2007, Microsoft recommends migrating CMS-based Web content management to MOSS. This will obviously have a significant impact on customers who have already become familiar with CMS development. If you have worked with CMS in the past, it’s important to note that the CMS concepts of channels and postings are not used in the MOSS 2007 Web content management infrastructure. Instead, the infrastructure has been designed using basic WSS 3.0 building blocks such as child sites, page templates, content types, document libraries, and security groups. This approach lends itself to building custom solutions that extend the basic Web content management infrastructure by using standard WSS components such as custom event handlers and workflows.

When you need to brand a MOSS 2007 portal site, you can modify a single ASP.NET Master Page to customize the appearance of the entire Web site just as you would in a standard WSS 3.0 site collection. However, MOSS 2007 extends this functionality by introducing a publishing scheme based on page layouts. A page layout provides a structured approach to collecting content from content authors and displaying it on a page within a portal site. Some of the page layouts provided by MOSS 2007 include welcome pages, articles, and news items. Page layouts are designed to make it fairly straightforward to add and modify content from within the browser. MOSS 2007 alos provides a toolbar within the browser to give content authors and approvers a convenient way to move content pages through the editing and approval processes.

Each page layout is based on a WSS content type and an associated .aspx page template. By layering page layouts on top of content types, MOSS makes it possible to add custom fields for storing different types of structured content such as HTML, links, and images. Once a custom field is defined inside the content type associated with a page layout, it can be data bound to the associated .aspx page template using another new MOSS 2007 component known as a field control. MOSS 2007 ships with several field controls such as a rich HTML editor as well as others for editing custom fields based on images and links. Many field controls support adding extra declarative constraints to keep portal content within a highly structured format.Note that the page layout infrastructure is extensible because WSS content types support inheritance. It’s fairly straightforward to take one of the built-in page layouts and customize it by extending its underlying content type or .aspx page template.In addition to field controls, an .aspx page template for a page layout can also contain ASP.NET server controls and Web Part zones. A page layout with Web Part zones provides the content author with the flexibility to add Web Parts displaying content outside the schema of the current page layout. MOSS 2007 provides several Web Parts that have been designed for use in portal pages including the Table of Contents Web Part and the Content Query Web Part.The .aspx page templates associated with page layouts are stored along with the portal site’s Master Page in the master page gallery. The master page gallery also contains a metadata column to associate each .aspx page template with a content type. Note that it is possible to have multiple page layouts, each with its own .aspx page template, that are all associated with the same content type. This is useful when you want to create several different views for the same set of structured content.Whenever a content author creates a new content page from a page layout, MOSS 2007 creates a new instance of the associated content type and stores it in a document library named Pages. When a content author updates content for custom fields within a page layout, WSS stores the data within a structure defined by the underlying content type. The fact that content page instances are stored in a WSS document library means that the MOSS Web content management infrastructure can take advantage of basic document library features such as versioning, auditing, approval, workflows, per-document security configuration and security UI trimming.By default, MOSS uses the basic document approval features of a WSS document library to control when the updated content is shown to the site’s visitors. However, the infrastructure was designed to make it straightforward to associate custom workflows with the Pages document library for scenarios where you need something more sophisticated than the default content approval functionality.Note that an instance of a content page stored in the document library does not represent a copy of the page template. Instead, it contains redirection logic to link it with the .aspx page template at run time. That means updating the .aspx page template will always affect content pages that have already been created from the associated page layout.A number of other MOSS 2007 features focus on Web content management. MOSS provides a framework for document converters, components designed to read content from an external format such as a Word document and convert it into a format that can be displayed within a content page. Several document converters are scheduled to ship with MOSS 2007, as well as a framework for building and integrating custom document converters.MOSS provides content deployment features that allow you to transfer content from one site collection to another. This is valuable for companies that prefer to author content in a staging environment before moving it into their production environment. You take advantage of MOSS 2007 content deployment features by configuring paths and jobs. A path defines one site collection as a content source and another site collection as a content destination. Once you have defined a path, you can define one or more jobs to move content from the source to the destination. Jobs can be run on demand or they can be scheduled to run at a future time or on a periodic basis.MOSS 2007 also supports a feature known as site variations for companies that need to duplicate a site’s content for translation into multiple spoken languages or for targeting different types of rendering devices. For example, imagine you have configured variation support for German, French, and Spanish. MOSS 2007 maintains a parallel structure across these three different sites with respect to pages and child sites. When a content author adds a new page to the master variation site maintained in Spanish, MOSS automatically adds the same page into the structure of the other sites as well. MOSS can also be configured to create a WSS task marking the required translation as a to-do item for a language translator. While MOSS 2007 will not actually convert your content from one language to another, it does keep multiple sites in sync with respect to their content structure, which provides a good deal of value.Finally, it’s important to note that MOSS 2007 publishing sites benefit from WSS 3.0 security advancements. In particular, WSS 3.0 is built on top of the ASP.NET 2.0 authentication provider infrastructure. Unlike SPS 2003, which is tightly coupled to Active Directory, you can configure a MOSS 2007 portal site to use forms-based authentication. That means you can store the user credentials in a SQL Server database or another LDAP identity management system of your choosing. 

In past versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint®, Microsoft relied on a default file structure based on binary files written in a proprietary format. These formats have been very hard to read and modify unless you go through the object model of the hosting Office application, such as Word and Excel. As a result, companies have tried to run Office desktop applications on the server, which poses problems with scalability and robustness not to mention expense.Office 2000 and Office 2003 added some modest capabilities for creating Excel workbooks and Word documents using XML. In the 2007 Office release, we  take this idea much further by adopting the Office Open XML File Formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. These formats use a new file standard for creating composite documents containing multiple inner XML files that factor out content from other aspects of the document such as formatting instructions, data, and code.The top-level file in the Office Open XML File Formats is known as a package and it is structured using standard XML and ZIP technologies. The internal files contained within a package are known as parts. Many parts within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files contain XML structured in accordance with published XML schemas. Other parts within a package can consist of binary files for items such as graphics, audio clips, and video.A major goal of the Office Open XML File Formats is to provide a standard approach for reading, manipulating, and generating documents in server-side scenarios where using the object model of a desktop application such as Word or Excel isn’t a viable option. Think about a scenario in a MOSS portal site when you have created and configured an event handler to fire whenever someone uploads a new Word document. The new Office Open XML File Formats make it significantly easier to extract data or to perform hygiene on the document such as removing comments and personal information. You can also use Office Open XML File Formats to develop server-side components that generate Office documents on the fly using data pulled from content sources such as a WSS list or the BDC.To get started working with the Office Open XML File Formats, you need to learn how to program against the new WinFX® packaging API. You must also learn the specific package structure and XML schemas for the type of Office document you are working with. Some of these details will change as you move between Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Microsoft has started a developer community effort around the Office Open XML File Formats at openxmldeveloper.org and you’ll begin to see the myriad of user based productivity gains that could be achieved.

Boy am i excited about this and proud to be a part of the launch – Office Professional 2007 provides  a complete set of productivity and information management tools to accomplish routine tasks quickly, effectively manage customer and contact information in one place, produce professional-quality marketing communications and campaigns in-house, and simplify database creation and reporting. Here are the top 10 ways that Office Professional 2007 can help you save time, stay organized, and spend more time with customers, i’ve been using the product now throughout the beta cycles for eight months and have gained so much in acheiving better results in less time.


Find and use the features you need with ease.

The new and more intuitive look and feel of Office Professional 2007 helps you use the software features you need easier and faster. Task-based menus and toolbars are automatically displayed based on the feature you are using.

Locate, manage, prioritize, and act on an increasing volume of e-mail.

The new category coloring feature in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 helps you more easily sort and manage e-mail messages. Advanced Instant Search capabilities speed your search for critical information. Improved junk mail and anti-phishing technologies help you filter out unwanted e-mail and manage the messages that matter. Learn more about Office Outlook 2007.

Manage time and tasks more efficiently.

The new Office Outlook 2007 To-Do bar consolidates your tasks, e-mail messages flagged for follow-up, and appointments in one view. Using the improved task and calendar integration, you can allocate time for tasks with drag-and-drop functionality to help you stay well organized. Learn more about Office Outlook 2007.

Manage all your customer and prospect information in one place.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager brings small business contact management functionality to Office Outlook 2007. Track, view, and access customer information in Office Outlook 2007, including contact information, e-mail messages, phone calls, appointments, notes, documents, and faxed or scanned items. Learn more about Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager.

Manage sales leads and opportunities better.

Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager helps you manage sales leads and opportunities in one place, including contact information, communications history, phone calls, notes, documents, and more. You can customize the enhanced reporting features with new filtering capabilities to help forecast and close sales. And the innovative dashboard feature gives you a consolidated view of your customer and prospect information, which helps you make decisions and prioritize tasks. Learn more about Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager.

Create, publish, and manage designer-quality publications in-house.

Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 helps you establish a visual brand identity for your business. You can then easily share design and content elements across all types of projects. Office Publisher 2007 walks you through the process of creating and publishing materials for print, e-mail, and Web sites. New tools and tighter integration with other Microsoft Office system products help you distribute your marketing and communications materials and track your activities. Learn more about Office Publisher 2007.

Manage all your marketing efforts more efficiently.

Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager helps guide you through the full spectrum of marketing campaign activities. Create custom mailing lists and personalize print or online marketing materials created in Office Publisher 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2007, or HTML. You can then use Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager to track and assess responses so that you can determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Learn more about Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager.

Create professional-looking documents and presentations in less time.

New Office Word 2007 tools, including the new QuickFormats and Live Preview features, help you create more professional Word documents by making it easier to reuse content, apply professional formats, and quickly preview changes. In the Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 presentation graphics program, an extensive library of customizable slide layouts and new tools help you create powerful charts, diagrams, and tables. You can also quickly preview changes to create more dynamic presentations faster. New style capabilities in the Microsoft Office system help to ensure a consistent appearance between documents you create in Office Word 2007, Office PowerPoint 2007, and the Microsoft Office Excel 2007 spreadsheet program. Learn more about Office Word 2007 and Office PowerPoint 2007.

Analyze your information to make better decisions.

Office Excel 2007 includes new tools that help you more effectively filter, sort, graph, and visualize your business information. The new collection of predefined styles, Microsoft Office art, and integrated graphics in Office Excel 2007 help you quickly apply a consistently professional look to your spreadsheets. For more advanced analysis, improved PivotTable and PivotChart views are now much easier to create. Learn more about Office Excel 2007.

Simplify database creation and reporting.

Microsoft Office Access 2007 helps you create new databases easily, with no experience required. A library of predefined database applications help you track important business information, including assets, expense reports, and customer orders. Create reports with a single click, and use improved tools to filter, sort, group, and subtotal data. Learn more about Office Access 2007.

Its time for change and this suite is built for the changing demands placed upon organisation in the digital age.

What’s Core CAL?

October 5, 2006

A client access license (CAL) suite is available through volume licensing—the Core CAL, i’ve been asked twice in the last two weeks what this is all about so heres a quick post. The Core CAL includes CALs for Microsoft Windows® Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Systems Management Server, and Microsoft SharePoint™ Portal Server. The Core CAL offers a convenient way to license basic server components across desktop computers. In addition, it reduces the overall complexity of managing CALs for server software for IT professionals. The economic upside is circa 10% rather than buying the individual component elements.

The next development in licensing is the Enterpise CAL and this is in response to those customers who are really at the leading edge of adoption looking to use technologies such as OneNote 2007 and Office Groove 2007 – it really is a superset suite. It will still offer deployment flexibility and control, simplified licensing and increased value for IT spend – More bang for your buck as I keep hearing during this week at the IW readiness session in Redmond.

Office Groove 2007

October 5, 2006

Office Groove 2007 is a collaboration software program for working on a broad range of project activities, from simple document collaboration to custom solutions integrated with business processes. Here are the top 10 ways Office Groove 2007 can help you, your organisation and your team work together more effectively and improve the quality of your deliverables.

 

1. Work together in context.Teams often lack context because not everyone is in the same place and connected to the same data and systems. Groove workspaces add context by putting all people, tools, and data in one place—the workspace—and making them accessible to all team members right on their computers.
2. Customize each workspace for the team’s unique needs.With Office Groove 2007, you and your team decide what tools you need to get the job done. Choose from more than ten basic tools, such as Files, Discussion, and Calendar, as well as several pre-built templates. Or design your own custom tools with Groove Forms and Groove InfoPath Forms.
3. Collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers—with one product.No more switching tools when you need to work with people outside your organization. With Office Groove 2007, it’s as easy to invite a customer or partner to a workspace as it is a coworker.
4.Work effortlessly anywhere, online or offline.Groove stores all your workspaces, tools, and data right on your computer—there’s no need to connect to the corporate network to access information. You stay productive whether you’re working in the office, at a customer site, on the road, or from home.
5.Keep your team in sync, automatically and efficiently.Groove automatically “pushes” just the changes you make in a workspace to your team members’ computers in the most efficient manner. No more attaching, detaching, uploading, or downloading.
6.See who’s working on what, when.With built-in presence awareness, alerts, and unread marks, you know who’s working on what, when, without having to ask. You and your team spend less time coordinating and more time working.
7.Synchronize SharePoint document libraries with Office Groove 2007.With the new Groove SharePoint Files tool, you can easily check out documents from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or a Windows SharePoint Services V3 teamsite into an Office Groove 2007 workspace, collaborate on them, and push them back when you’re done—all with just a few mouse clicks.
8.Create a form with Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007; share it with Groove 2007.With the new Groove InfoPath Forms tool, you can import forms solutions created in Office InfoPath 2007. Why? So you and your team can collect and track fielded data, like status reports and questionnaires, in the context of your project activities.
9.Make the most of impromptu encounters with Microsoft Office Communicator integration. With new integration with the 2005 and 2007 versions of Office Communicator, Office Groove 2007 helps you engage your teammates at just the right time, wherever they are.
10. Work with international teams in their own languages.With support for 28 languages, your global team members can now experience the power of Groove in their native languages.

 From http://markharrison.co.uk/blog/default.aspx 

Administrator documentation for Office SharePoint Server 2007 Beta 2 :

Administrator documentation for Windows SharePoint Services v3 Beta 2 :

Why Open XML?

June 21, 2006

I've been asked to provide more information on what features are missing from ODF and why it was that we decided to create our own XML format 'Open XML' – Brian Jones provides some very good bLog posts on this subject matter if you would like or need to know more than I can tell you. Most of you know that ODF wasn't even around when we first started working on our XML formats, so that's really one of the big reasons. Another reason is that we need to make sure that we created an XML format that all of our customers could (and would) use. We want our customers to move all their existing documents into this new format and we need them to be willing to use it as the default format. ODF just wouldn't have allowed us to achieve that both because of a lack of functionality as well as different optimizations that sacrifice things like performance, none of which i can comment on because i don't know the detail! – but i'll find out.