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Microsoft Offers Tools for Knowledge Workers

Smart Tags are ba-a-ack.

Microsoft has been mostly silent about its controversial Smart Tags since being pressured to shave them from Windows XP. But this week Microsoft announced two new knowledge worker tools -- one of which highlights the Smart Tags in Office XP.

Microsoft presented the tools as a combination of XML Web services and Office XP. Official names for the tools are the Office XP Web Services Toolkit and the Smart Tag Enterprise Resource Toolkit.

Smart Tags are a type of pop-up technology that alert users to possibilities within their applications. For example, a user of Word 2002 importing text into a document might see a Smart Tag that allows her to specify that the text should conform to the style and type size in use in that document.

Microsoft's vision for Smart Tags is much grander, however, with the tags linking to applications all over the Web.

While Smart Tags did ship with Office XP last May, Microsoft pulled them from Windows XP under heavy industry pressure. Microsoft maintained that the technology was not ready to ship in the operating system, which was released in October.

The Smart Tag Enterprise Resource Toolkit will provide sample code for using XML Web services with Smart Tags and white papers on planning, implementing and deploying Smart Tags in the enterprise.

The toolkit can be downloaded at http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/.

The Office XP Web Services Toolkit is supposed to allow developers to quickly discover XML Web services using the UDDI service and integrate those XML Web services into an Office XP solution.

That toolkit, which works within the Visual Basic for Applications editor is available as a free download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.