Microsoft Launches Web Parts Toolkits To Bolster SharePoint Interop


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Microsoft this week offered up two new Web Part toolkits--complete with source code--for solution providers working with the company's SharePoint Portal Server.

The toolkits build upon the OASIS-backed Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) specification that aims to make it easier for portlets (or portal applications) built for one portal environment to interact with portlets built for other environments. The toolkits can be found on the Gotdotnet Web site.

The WSRP Web Part Toolkit for SharePoint Products and Technologies aims to ease co-existence between portal sites built with SharePoint and those constructed with other technologies.

"In theory, this would make it easier for SharePoint components to flow into Plumtree or other portals and that would be useful in corporate accounts that run departmental SharePoint portals and corporate Plumtree portals," said one east coast integrator who had not yet had a chance to examine the toolkits.

Microsoft has tried to build a library of home-grown and third-party Web Parts--reusable "applets" that plug into SharePoint portals--to help promulgate more SharePoint. Those efforts have thus far met with less-than-spectacular success, several solution providers said.

SharePoint has done well in small workgroups and departments but still has to prove itself in large enterprise-class portals, observers said.

Microsoft is also pitching a Web Part toolkit to better link SharePoint and SAP NetWeaver iViews. That toolkit suits companies wanting to combine information residing in SAP ERP systems with other data.

Solution providers said the toolkits could add much-needed extensibility to SharePoint which natively only allows them to connect portals using ODBC and SQL links.

 
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