Microsoft supplementing SharePoint apps integration

Microsoft Corp.’s Office System group is making available free of charge two “Web Part” toolkits and a Web services toolkit to boost integration of the company’s SharePoint Portal Server 2003 package and SharePoint Services sites with applications from vendors such as SAP.

Available at under Microsoft’s “shared source” program is WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portlets) Web Part Toolkit for SharePoint Products and Technologies. Also available via shared source is Web Part Toolkit for SharePoint Products and Technologies for SAP iViews.

Shared source differs from open source in that users can access the source code without being required to return any source code modifications to the community at large, according to Microsoft’s Mike Fitzmaurice, technical product manager for SharePoint products and technologies. “In essence, we’re agreeing to share the code with everyone else but we’re not going to control what they do with it,” he said.

The WSRP toolkit leverages the WSRP specification for building portlets to interact with other portal sites. The toolkit includes a “consumer” component that displays WSRP portlet services provided by a variety of vendors within Web Part pages hosted by Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003, according to Microsoft.

The other Web Part toolkit provides Web Parts that display SAP AG NetWeaver iViews in a way that is easy to configure, Microsoft said. Web Parts, according to Microsoft, are building blocks for creating modular Web sites.

“The Web Part Toolkit for SAP (iViews) is designed to allow a user to display an SAP iView inside of a Web Part in a SharePoint Portal Server environment,” Fitzmaurice said. An iView is similar to a Web Part in that it is an encapsulated piece of business functionality designed for SAP’s Web environment, he said. The toolkit allows users to add just the pieces of their SAP applications that are relevant.

Additionally, Microsoft is providing via shared source its WSRP Web Services Toolkit for SharePoint Products and Technoloiges, for making SharePoint site content available over WSRP-based Web services. This toolkit explains and provides examples for deploying WSRP-compliant producer Web services, to make it easier for businesses to leverage SharePoint application functionality and content within third-party portals, according to Microsoft.

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