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Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Supports XML

Microsoft Reinvents FrontPage, Tapping Into the Power of XML To Build Live Data-Driven Web Sites

Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Provides More Power to Connect PeopleTo Dynamic Information on the Web

Redmond, WA, USA. June 10, 2003.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, part of the Microsoft Office System, has been reinvented to support a wide range of capabilities for building dynamic, Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based, data-driven Web sites, while retaining the ease of use that has helped make it one of the most popular Web site design tools on the market today. FrontPage 2003 will be the first commercially available, fully WYSIWYG Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) editor in which users can work with live data to create interactive and dynamic Web sites, streamlining the process of sharing information on the Web.

In the WYSIWYG editor, users can easily create XML data-driven Web sites connecting to XML files, Web services and OLE DB data sources. FrontPage 2003 makes building sophisticated data-driven Web sites accessible not only to the Web developer but to anyone who wants to design dynamic Web sites. It is no longer necessary to program with server-side scripting tools such as the Visual Basic development system, Visual C#, Visual Basic Scripting Edition, ColdFusion or Java to develop data-driven Web sites.

"We have made a big investment in supporting XML throughout the products in the Microsoft Office System to unlock customer data," said Jean Paoli, an XML architect at Microsoft and one of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). "An important component to the Microsoft Office System, the FrontPage 2003 WYSIWYG editor lets you define how XML following customer-defined schema should be formatted on a Web page. This is done by authoring XSLT, a standard defined by the W3C. The XML data-driven functionality makes it easier to transition content from internal systems onto the Web. Data-driven solutions in the past took days or even months of hand-coding, but these can now be accomplished in just hours with FrontPage 2003."

FrontPage 2003 supports a complete set of WYSIWYG tools for creating and editing XSLT data views, including support for styles, sorting, filtering, grouping and conditionally formatting data. Furthermore, users can connect multiple data sources and use the results of one database query to filter the data supplied by an XML Web service. All this work can be saved into a Web package, a new feature in FrontPage 2003 that allows for easy reuse. FrontPage will ship with a couple of prebuilt Web packages, including a Web log (blog) solution that can be set up easily with a couple clicks.

EDS, a leading global services company, is using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 to build solutions that enable dynamic collaboration and comprehensive intellectual asset management for business communities that are engaged in product life-cycle management. Specifically, FrontPage 2003 enables the EDS professional services team to quickly build new Web-based applications that can exchange XML documents with legacy engineering change control systems and information repositories. As a result, more information workers can provide direct input during the product development process while the company can continue to leverage its investment in the legacy systems.

"We are very excited about the XML support and the ability to build data-driven webs in FrontPage 2003," said David Tucker, system architect at EDS. "We have been building Web applications based on XML Web services for some time but have had to do all the user interface work by hand. The WYSIWYG XSLT editing and integrated ties to XML data sources now give us a very flexible and elegant way to build rich Web-based user interfaces. It also enables us to build solutions that can be easily tailored by our customers to meet their specific requirements. FrontPage 2003 makes a leap from being a Web design tool to being a first-class development environment for building Web applications powered by XML and XSLT."

FrontPage 2003 is loaded with professional design and coding features that can be used when building an XML data-driven Web site (or any other type of Web site). The powerful new design features include Layout Tables to achieve pixel-precise layouts, Dynamic Web templates to give users control of their site from one location, greater compatibility with widely used graphics and applications, and browser and resolution reconciliation to target specific browsers and screen sizes.

In response to customer feedback about FrontPage, Microsoft has focused on delivering features in the product that will generate clean, industry-standard code. FrontPage 2003 offers robust, powerful coding tools, such as the new Split Screen view, which allows designers to see the code and the design view simultaneously; the Quick Tag Selector and Quick Tag Editor, which help developers select, edit and manipulate tags; Advanced Find and Replace, which uses complex rules to search the code sitewide at even the tag and attribute level; Behaviors, which provide built-in scripting; and Microsoft IntelliSense technology, one of many coding features employing the Visual Studio development system coding engine.

"This is the most significant, feature-packed release of FrontPage since its inception," said Melisa Samuelson, product manager for the FrontPage Product Unit at Microsoft. "We've really listened to our customers, who have told us they want the power to create dynamic and sophisticated Web sites, the flexibility to design the way they want, and total control over their code. FrontPage 2003 delivers on that."

Beta Availability

Beta 2 of Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 is available as part of the Microsoft Office System. Customers that are interested in trying the Microsoft Office System can learn more and sign up to receive the beta at The final release of the product will be out in summer 2003; pricing will be announced at that time.

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers and services, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other -- helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of Microsoft Office 2003 Editions, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 information-gathering program, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 note-taking program, Microsoft Office Project and Microsoft Office Project Server, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Visio 2003. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also the FrontPage 2003 Overview, Product Guide, and FAQ document.

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