I was talking to a customer last week at PDC and we were discussing about the possibilities offered by Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 (MCMS 2002). Powered by Microsoft .NET–connected technology, MCMS 2002 enables companies to quickly and efficiently build, deploy, and maintain mission critical content-rich Web sites.
MCMS 2002 provides a managed object model that allows you to extend the functionality that ships with the product and manage content programmatically. You can create custom navigation controls, placeholder controls, and more. A common need for site managers is to find and replace text of a given set of web pages. Imagine that after a while of creating postings (web pages) inside your MCMS 2002 site, you suddenly realize that you need to replace the text "foo" with the text "bar." Now imagine that you have more than 10,000 postings! MCMS 2002 does not provide built-in functionality to find and replace text because there are multiple combinations of channels, postings, and different kinds of placeholders where you might need to find and replace text. However, you can add this functionality to your site thanks the managed object model that ships with MCMS 2002.
Suppose that given a root channel, you need to find and replace text inside all the HTMLPlaceholders of all postings and the same for each subchannel inside the root channel. The following source code provides a way to implement the functionality that I explained:
So as you can see, you can play around with the MCMS 2002 managed object model and create cool enhancements for your Web sites.
I am back at Redmond and before I continue with my after-trip duties, I want to share with you the Office & SharePoint PDC slides:
Have a peek and enjoy!
Do I have stuff to talk about today! The track lounge became quite popular today after more cool things about Office "12" and SharePoint "v3" were presented through the sessions. The Office team is quite enthusiastic and I can honestly say that they have a great passion for customers and worked extra shifts to answer more questions. Here are some pictures of the Office & SharePoint Track Lounge while the day started:
I could write for hours about the sessions and discussions related to Office "12" and SharePoint here at PDC. However, I will keep it simple and write about some of the key enhancements that were presented in some sessions and discussions throughout the day:
Before I became a part of the Office User Assistance Team, I used to be an MCS Development Consultant, and I know that all these scenarios/challenges are common business needs for different organizations. I am glad to see that the Office and SharePoint team made a great effort to understand the current needs and pains that appear across organizations and is delivering a well-thought set of solutions through Office "12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3" that help to solve common business problems easily and makes a simple kind of life for developers too!
Microsoft continues to invest deeply in XML in Office. The new release of Microsoft Office "12" Word®, Microsoft Office "12" Excel®, and Microsoft Office "12" PowerPoint® includes a set of XML schemas that comply with the W3C specifications. The XML schemas allow you to understand an XML based definition of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations as part of the new Open XML formats for Office "12."
If you want to understand more of the internals of Microsoft Office "12" Word®, Microsoft Office "12" Excel®, and Microsoft Office "12" PowerPoint®, download the Office "12" XML Schema Reference - PDC 2005 Preview and take a deep dive into the XML schemas.
Keep in mind that this is draft documentation and that some details of the schemas might change for the Beta release.
I was dying to blog since I woke up this morning and finally I got a chance to sit down and share some Office "12" news with the community.
The day started with Steven Sinfosky's Keynote, where he announced some of the coolest enhancements for Office "12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3." Steven started his presentation by talking about how the Office System has evolved to a results-oriented developer platform that allows extensibility thanks to the integration to XML and Web Services, Visual Studio .NET and managed code, a results oriented user interface, and the XML File Formats. Steven concluded his keynote with some great demos for InfoPath, Access, SharePoint, Excel, and Outllook. I really enjoyed to experience the joy and surprise shown by the audience as Steven presented some of the new features added to Office "12."
We also had eight sessions today that are related to Office "12' or Windows SharePoint Services "v3". In a nutshell, I can share with you some of the new enhancements that were announced today and yesterday at PDC and that are related to Office "12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3":
Introducing and extending the Ribbon User Interface
Office "12" has a new look for client applications that replaces menus and toolbars with a Ribbon UI that organizes buttons, galleries, menus, and toolbars into tabs organized by categories. If you created special toolbars and CommandBars, the UI displays a special tab for your custom functionality. You can also extend the Ribbon UI by creating COM or managed Add-Ins or by using a text-based XML markup definition to create and customize the UI. The following picture shows a peek of the Ribbon UI:
Open XML File Formats
Office "12" provides a new XML based file format that allows interoperability and collaboration between other Microsoft Office System and third-party applications. The new XML file format replaces the previous Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Project file extensions to an open XML file format that is integrated with ZIP compressions to reduce the file size up to 75 percent. Office "12" client applications still allow you to save documents in the previous file format for backward compatibility. The files generated by Office "12" client applications are not only raw documents, now, you can use these files as a repository for data used by other applications.
InfoPath Forms services
InfoPath Forms services provide a Web browser form-filling experience for users that need to complete InfoPath forms from Web-based applications. This Web experience is built as a feature on top of the Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services "v3" platform. This feature is really cool because now you can add InfoPath forms to your ASP.NET applications.
Some Web-based applications require to host Excel and interact with spreadsheets to explore and pivot on data, calculate and set values, or analyze PivotTable reports and charts using the browser. To obtain this functionality, Microsoft introduces Excel services. Excel spreadsheet services provide you with the ability to view and interact with spreadsheets in a browser. You can calculate, create snapshots, and extract values from the workbooks. You can also programmatically generate, manage, and distribute customized Excel spreadsheets by using Excel spreadsheet services. When I knew about this I almost cried! This one was a great need that lots of customers demanded and I am happy that we have something like this now and into the future.
Access, InfoPath, Windows SharePoint Services, and Outlook integration and collaboration
Believe it or not, you can create business workflows where you can define for example and InfoPath form that is filled inside Outlook, when sent back, a WorkFlow is updated inside Windows SharePoint Services, and the data stored inside Access. Today, writing and application that accomplishes this set of tasks is a bit complex and requires many lines of code. With Office "12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3" ease of use, collaboration, and productivity have a real meaning.
I close the day with a picture of the great Office "12" stairs at PDC: "Step Up to the Future" - Microsoft Office "12"
So here we are at PDC 2005!
Bill Gates and Chris Caposella (the VP for Information Worker Division at Microsoft), presented a preview of Windows Vista and Office "12." The demo included a preview of the new ribbon user interface for Office "12" client applications and some of the productivity enhancements added to Excel "12", Word "12, and Windows SharePoint services "v3." Today, Jensen Harris and Andy Himberger will present a two-part session that provides guidance to extend and customize the Office "12" user interface, so keep connected to know more about the outcome of these sessions.
If you are here at PDC, come to the Office & SharePoint Track Lounge, a place where you can come to ask questions to the experts and meet the speakers for Office & SharePoint sessions. The following table displays the schedule for the Office & SharePoint Track Lounge:
PDC starts next week and many enhancements for Office "12" and SharePoint "v3" will be announced, so expect to learn more about what's new for Office developers next week. The Office Developer Center will have some great surprises for you, so stop by next week.
I am very happy because I will be at L.A. next week to attend PDC 2005. I am responsible for the Office & SharePoint Track Lounge, a place where you can stop by and hang out to meet the speakers, staff, and experts. If you are not attending PDC, visit my blog, I will keep you posted on the latest news and surprises.
If you are attending PDC 2005, don't loose the opportuniy to learn more about the possibilities that Office offers as a development platform: