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The Power of Customization Moves to the Web via Microsoft

Press release from the issuing company

REDMOND, Wash., The rise of the Internet offers a host of new possibilities for the way people do business. Chief among them is the chance to move business process automation onto the Web, giving sales staff access to the power of back-office computing any time, any place and on any device. But while there are plenty of choices for prepackaged Sales Force Automation applications for the Web right now, there is also a problem. Customizing them to conform to an organization's unique procedures is prohibitively time-consuming and expensive. With today's announcement of a new Web application customization technology, called Visual Studio for Applications (VSA), Microsoft is delivering the ability for companies to easily customize their Web-based applications. "Corporations are sharply limited in their ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Web because there is no easy way to extend their internal business logic in distributed applications," explains Robert Green, Microsoft's lead product manager for Visual Studio. "There are ways to do it today, but they are all hugely unattractive. Either your software vendor has to be willing to expose its source code, which they typically don't want to do, or you have to hire a consultant to do the work, which is expensive and doesn't scale. Least attractive of all is having to build your own application from scratch, which just is not a viable option for any but the largest organizations." VSA builds on the concepts first developed by Microsoft with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which made it possible for independent software vendors (ISVs) to offer their customers a powerful development platform that included a feature-rich desktop application along with simple tools that allowed for quick and easy customization through the use of scripting. VSA extends this approach to the Web by giving ISVs the ability to build in seamless, secure, controlled access to an application so that customers can modify it to reflect their own organization's ever-changing business rules. Utilizing a powerful design-time environment, based on Visual Studio.NET, for writing and deploying custom code and a high-performance, lightweight runtime engine for executing that code, VSA allows ISVs to pick features that organizations might want to customize and then add code that opens that functionality to almost limitless adaptation.

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