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 Saturday, September 25, 2004

This week we were in Amsterdam for an EMEA technical and business training regarding the Office smart client technologies and the Information Bridge Framework. The product team delivered the technical training and also explained and shortly demonstrated the new enhancements that will be delivered in the next version (1.5) of IBF. This version is planned for release January 2005 and introduces a lot of functionalities that will make it easier to create IBF-based solutions. Additionally, Gary Gross demonstrated the activation of the Information Window from within InfoPath.

Here are a number of new features you can expect:

  • Server-less Deployment
    Deployed entirely on a desktop, without the need for a server component.
  • Enhanced Metadata Designer
    The IBF 1.1 Metadata Designer tool has been significantly improved to make it easier to design, develop and debug IBF-based solutions.
  • New wizards to guide the user through the development process.
  • The BizTalk Mapper has been integrated with the tool so that developers no longer have to write XSL code.
  • Automatically generating winforms for the IBF “views”, significantly reducing the UI development effort.
  • An integrated debugger makes debugging the metadata at design time easier

Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how ISVs are adopting this new version of IBF since they have the possibility to start 'branding' their solution. ISVs can brand their solution through a “non-collapsible”, “always-visible”, region in the task pane. ISVs can place their logo, URL or any other information in this region.

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