Calls On Microsoft Office Developers

The sforce Developer Program for Microsoft Office includes free software tools, a marketplace for developers to sell their custom wares to customers, and an online community for Office developers that includes message boards and integration examples.

The software, dubbed "sforce Toolkit for Office," is a Microsoft Office plug-in that helps developers access the sforce API directly from within Office 2000 and later applications. The kit is in beta and can be downloaded from the site.

"This program builds on our vision of providing the world's most customizable CRM by allowing our customers to share and manage customer information from not just their Web browsers, but also via integration with Microsoft's Office," said Marc Benioff,'s chief executive, in a statement. is a set of sales and customer relationship management (CRM) Web applications that are typically accessed via a browser. The San Francisco-based company launched an Office edition of its service over a year ago that delivers data to Microsoft's suite, but Wednesday's announcement is an attempt to convince developers to build custom Office applications that link with

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The announcement was made at the Microsoft Office System Developer Conference, which opened Wednesday and runs through Friday. The first-ever such conference, it's part of Microsoft's efforts to boost adoption of Office 2003 and its use as a XML-centric developer platform. Chairman Bill Gates is scheduled to speak at the meeting on Friday.