The Research Services Development Extras are a gift that just keeps on giving. In writing an article for an up-coming issue of MSDN magazine I wanted to call attention to the RSDE. I think the Research Service task pane is one of several key reasons why people should upgrade to Office 2003. The built-in providers are quite good, and developing your own is actually a good time. The RSDE make it considerably easier.

One of the features in the RSDE is a wizard that uses some basic dialogs to gather info and then generate a set of classes for you that form the foundation of your service. I was blown away by one key feature in the wizard (and I am usually ANTI-wizard as a matter of principle)- you can choose a datasource and let the RSDE build a data layer for you. It's nothing short of world-class. If we had not developed the RSDE, I would really regret it. It is easily one of the sharpest toolkits we have ever done.

For general information about Research services, go to the dedicated section on our Microsoft site. For developer stuff, check out the Research services section of the Office Developer Center.

As a side note, I was helping one of my boys with his homework last night, and I showed them how the Research task pane worked. They were EAGER to start their assignments. It was fun for them. Thanks, Office!

 Rock Thought for the day:  I have always loved true country music. I have never had much time for rock masquerading as country. As close as I want to go is this new artist, Julie Roberts. She does justice to the genre, and she has a great ability to make a melody hold nothing back. Her self-titled debut is first rate. Listen to the single, "Break down here".

Rock on