I just got out of Steven Sinofsky’s keynote session on Office “12” here at the PDC, and that means one thing.  Actually, multiple, things, but the big thing is that I can stop being (as much of) a jerk about not saying anything about what we’re doing next.  Let the disclosure begin!!!

Yesterday morning, Bill Gates and Chris Caposella revealed the new Office “12” client UI.  It’s a client thing, so I’m not going to talk about that for now.  This morning, Steven showed off a bunch ‘o’ stuff, so I’ll start off in this post by just listing ‘em.

  • RSS.  Everything about sites, lists, libraries, etc., can be syndicated via RSS automatically. 
  • Blogs and Wikis.  Templates and features in the box.
  • Content Types.  These aren’t just like SPS 2001’s document profiles.  They define sets of metadata, but they also contain view information.  And associated workflows.  And events bound to them (synchronous or asynchronous).  And you can have more than one in the same list/library.
  • Workflow.  Windows Workflow Foundation is embedded in WSS.  It’s used everywhere.
  • Recycle Bin.  We did it.  It’s scoped to a site and captures deleted documents, items, etc.  It has a user restore and an administrative restore.
  • Per-item security.  Even on list items
  • FrontPage has evolved into a feature set that makes it truly a SharePoint site designer.  (Ghosting’s still around, but it won’t be a problem anymore.  I’ll explain why in an upcoming post.
  • Forms services in Office “12” servers.  That’s right — design a form in the InfoPath rich client, publish it as a SharePoint site, and it can be either viewed/filled out in the full smart client or in a browser as HTML
  • Search.  Better APIs.  Better results.  Alternate search suggestions (misspelled words,etc.).  A highly customizable default Web-based UI.
  • Office “12” servers will also contain a Business Data Catalog, a facility that registers LOB application data and Web services.  Once that’s happened, BDC-aware Web Parts can pull data from them, we can index them, and a lot more.  There’s a session on this tomorrow.
  • Office “12” servers will also be able to take a spreadsheet published to a SharePoint site and reneer it as an HTML application.
  • Mobile views of SharePoint lists.  That’s right, a way to render a list on a mobile device.
  • Lists now have a Business Data type that will use the aforemntioned Business Data Catalog
  • Access will be able to treat SharePoint site data as fulll-blown data sources.

Mike Ammerlaan’s talk on how WSS v3 interoperates with ASP.NET 2.0 is starting.  More later.