Beta Wave Hits Office and SharePoint Developers at PDC09

The final leg of the PDC09 keynote today focused on Office and SharePoint 2010 development. Microsoft released the first public betas of both technologies. The bits were made available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers on Tuesday.

The company also released the public betas of its Project 2010 management software and Visio 2010 modeling tool. The Office Mobile client for Windows Mobile 6.5 is was also made available today on Windows Marketplace for Mobile. It includes the new SharePoint WorkSpace Mobile 2010 in addition to mobile versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote.

"We really do believe in this notion of three screens and having a consistent experience across all of them," said Kurt DelBene, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Office Business Productivity Group, referencing the three screens and a cloud vision put forth in Tuesday's keynote. "And we are delivering that through the 2010 set of products on client and server and also through the Office Mobile clients that you can take a look at today."

Microsoft also announced an Office 2010 feature called Outlook Social Connector, which enables users to access SharePoint 2010, Windows Live and third-party social networking data from within Outlook. DelBene is encouraging third-party providers and developers to build extensions for the technology and announced that Microsoft is releasing the Outlook Social Connector SDK today. Linked-in is slated to offer a provider for the connector in 2010, according to Microsoft.

Derek Burney, Microsoft general manager of SharePoint Tools and Platforms, demonstrated Visual Studio 2010 integration with SharePoint 2010, by building a dashboard that track's performance data of a race car. The SharePoint 2010 application, which had a Silverlight 4 front-end, accessed telemetry data from the Windows Azure cloud. Barney demonstrated how that cloud data could also be accessed from Excel 2010 by adding a SharePoint button to the Excel ribbon. Earlier in the keynote Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the .NET Developer Division, announced today's release of the Silverlight 4 beta.

DelBene quantified the ecosystem opportunity for SharePoint developers and partners today as a $5.6 billion in revenue, expected to reach $6.1 billion in 2011. He said Microsoft has sold 100 million licenses to roughly 17,000 SharePoint customers.

Microsoft estimates that there are more than 100,000 SharePoint developers. "We anticipate with the next release that, that will cross over the million mark," DelBene said.

The company also announced plans to further its Duet partnership with SAP. The companies will work together to provide Duet Enterprise, SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 templates and prepackaged solutions that help developers integrate SAP data models and processes with SharePoint. It is expected to ship in the second half of 2010.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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