First Office Developer Conference

Last week Microsoft held their first Office Developer conference in Redmond. I attended and found it to be packed full of solid details on Office 2003 development topics such as InfoPath, Visual Studio Tools for Office, SharePoint Development, and more. There were about 800 attendees and the buzz level was high. 

Bill Gates talked on the last day of the conference, so there was some good coverage of the event:

Next Office Will Have Built-in Workflow Features

Gates Shows Off Upcoming Office-Development Tools
Visual Studio Tools For Office 2005

Gates Gives Developers A Peek At Elixir
Linking Office to other business processes

Gates: SharePoint Is A Powerful Tool That's Underutiliized
"Windows SharePoint Services — the Web-based team collaboration environment that Microsoft has decided it will build into future versions of Windows, starting with Windows Server "R2," due out next year — is the base-level SharePoint product. SharePoint Portal Server (SPPS) builds on top of SharePoint Services and provides indexing and management tools for SharePoint-based sites."

Net net: Office has shifted from a suite of personal productivity applications to a platform for building Information Worker Productivity solutions. XML is now a key part of Office and this enables these types of new solutions.

Here was my favorite demo from the show. The Halo 2 RSS Excel Workbook . It pulls Halo 2 online results from the webiste using RSS, and graphs and charts them in Excel. I wish I had thought of that!