Office System Developer Conference 2008 preview staff

Next week's Microsoft Office System Developer Conference 2008 is shaping up as a significant display of Office-related tools. It is a big step in the company's effort to forward the notion that Office can be born again as a new type of application development platform.

Moreover, the company's efforts to recast its bellwether apps as services -- be they Office Live services or other -- will be on prominent display at the conference, which is to be held in San Jose, Calif.

Office developers, like all others, are doing more planning and architectural design as they build applications these days. One session will provide an architect's view of Microsoft's Office System, while another will show attendees how to build collaborative business process management applications using Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation. Still other sessions will focus on how to form composite applications from tools in the Microsoft collection such as SharePoint 2007.

Services sessions at next week's event are several. Microsoft's Michael Lehman will lead a session on "Software-plus-Services Blueprints;" Ben Riga will discuss "Building Web-Based Line-of-Business Applications on the Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM Platform" and David Sterling will describe how to create "Enterprise Mashups with Exchange Web Services." The session diversity is notable. Other services-oriented sessions will discuss the Groove platform that came to the Microsoft camp along with software guru Ray Ozzie, Live Meeting's XML API, and integrating Amazon Web Services with Office.

For the Microsoft faithful, most every Bill Gates keynote is an important event. That is truer than ever next week. Gates is in his final months as a full-time Microsoft employee, planning to step away from day-to-day activities this summer. He is scheduled to present the opening keynote. In some of his more recent keynotes he has mixed reminiscences with technology predictions, while poking a bit of fun at his own geeky persona. will be at the show, sitting in on the Gates keynote and a couple SharePoint 2007 sessions. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled for other news that emerges as well. Stay tuned.

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