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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Workflow and XML moves to the center of MS architecture 

Workflow is increasingly being added to both human facing and machine facing systems. It is particularly interesting how they plan to break out the workflow components of Biztalk so that they can be integrated as a light-weight component in other applications, especially human facing systems like Office and Sharepoint. MS gave an interesting demo of a Workflow that was created in Visual Studio that could then be used to trigger Web Services from the action tab of a MS Word document to add data and allow document completion through drag and drops into form fields. The document could then trigger email messages and use sharepoint as a "smart" document repository. Some of the question that this raises, however, is it possible to live in a world were every component of you Office system isn't Microsoft. I raised this question and got the predictable answer (it depends). The other issue is that much of this technology is well in the future.

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