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Latest release of Public Source SharePoint accessibility solution broadens customization for ease-of-use and provides additional regulatory standard support

Nashua, NH – March 9, 2009 – HiSoftware Inc. (www.hisoftware.com), a leading provider of software, services and managed operation solutions that monitor and optimize Web content, quality and regulatory compliance for accessibility and privacy content, together with Microsoft today announced the release of the Accessibility Kit for SharePoint (AKS) v2.0, to support an accessible development framework for Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server (MOSS) environments. The latest release includes a series of Smart Control Adapters to reduce customization, HiSoftware’s Compliant Code Engine (HCCE) to assist organizations in creating code that is compliant to standards-based HTML or XHTML, support for additional regulatory standards and more.

Tom Rizzo, Senior Director of SharePoint for Microsoft Corporation says, “Microsoft has a long standing commitment to accessibility and our work with HiSoftware on the Accessibility Kit for SharePoint (AKS) reinforces that commitment. The AKS v1.0 and v1.1 have already helped customers around the world to address their accessibility requirements for SharePoint intranet, extranet and Internet sites. The AKS v2.0 incorporates feedback from our customers and partners, and greatly simplifies the process of developing accessible SharePoint sites and applications. It is Microsoft’s goal to deliver better accessibility for all SharePoint content and we believe that the AKS v2.0 moves us in the direction of this goal.”

AKS 2.0 significantly reduces the level of effort and knowledge needed by customers and partners to improve the accessibility of SharePoint-based sites/applications. Microsoft, in collaboration with HiSoftware, successfully launched the Accessibility Kit for SharePoint v1.0 in late 2007 and early 2008, along with a Web-based partner and customer community (https://aks.hisoftware.com). More than 4,000 organizations from fifty countries have downloaded AKS v1.x which is available under the Microsoft Public License (Open Source see http://www.microsoft.com/opensource/licenses.mspx). AKS is intended to be a community based project to which other organizations can contribute.

Key Features in AKS v2.0

AKS v2.0 introduces the following:

  • Smart Control adapters which greatly reduce the amount of custom configuration previously required for AKS control adapters.
  • The Web Part Zone Control Adapter, a special Smart Adapter that modifies the output of SharePoint so that it does not use tables for layout of the Web parts.
  • HiSoftware’s Compliant Code Engine (HCCE) to assist organizations in creating code that is compliant to standards-based HTML or XHTML.
  • Additional requirements under Canadian Common Look and Feel 2.0 (CLF 2.0) guidelines.
  • Examples of remediation to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
  • French language version of AKS components.

While SharePoint and AKS provide a framework with which to develop an accessible application layer, MOSS is a dynamic solution that provides a mechanism for constantly changing and evolving content. Beyond AKS, HiSoftware provides end-to-end solutions to address accessibility and other Web governance issues during the development process and to provide ongoing Web compliance testing through an integrated SharePoint work flow process. HiSoftware solutions for MOSS provide an integrated, full Web project life cycle approach that allows customers to start accessible and stay accessible.

HiSoftware President and CEO, Kurt A. Mueffelmann, stated, “We are pleased to release AKS v2.0. With more than 4,000 downloads of AKS 1.x during the past year, we look forward to the continued commitment of the Microsoft SharePoint community towards creating a more accessible solution. This latest release of AKS 2.0 makes it easier than ever for SharePoint users to create a more accessible Web site with new features that improve ease-of-use and support for additional standards. Paired with HiSoftware’s commercial offerings for MOSS, the tools allow organizations to not only start accessible - but stay accessible - despite constantly changing and evolving content with an end-to-end solution.”

Pricing and Availability

AKS v2.0 is available immediately at no charge under the Microsoft Public License through Codeplex at https://aks.hisoftware.com. For more information on HiSoftware’s products call +1.603.578.1870, email info@hisoftware.com or visit www.hisoftware.com