Well I’m heading up to Redmond later today to attend the Microsoft Office Developers Conference 2006. Should be interesting stuff. As basic Office-like functionality such as making documents and spreadsheets is increasingly commoditized by open source offerings, Microsoft is being forced to innovate in this space to keep customers paying for Office licenses. Fortunately for them the Office family of products has some cool stuff that has come out of the last couple of years. Our intranet is based on SharePoint and we use it extensively for document management and collaboration and the integration with Office 2003 is pretty seamless. We also use Live Communication Server quite a bit for more secure in-office IM and window sharing. We are currently testing Right Management Services for the encryption and content control capabilities. Think PGP on steroids with better user interface integration.
So I will be posting from Redmond for the next couple of days. I’m probably most looking forward to seeing where the Groove technologies are these days. I worked with the product a long time ago when it first came out and it had some really interesting capabilities (although it consumed disk space at an unbelievable rate). I can only imagine it got better since I last looked at it around 2002. I am also interested to look at the security underpinnings of all these collaboration technologies. Developers are bad enough at paying attention to things like input validation and parameter manipulation for web applications when traffic is being run over HTTP or HTTPS with a browser client. I can only imagine attention to these sorts of details will get worse as developers start using rich Office clients to talk to server-side applications. I’ll have to see what sort of demos are available, dust off my trust web proxy and see what I can see.
Watch this space…
dan _at_ denimgroup.com