By Martin LaMonica and Jim Balderston
Posted at 1:48 PM PT, Aug 30, 1996
Microsoft Corp. is preparing a series of Web tools and forms builders that
will bring sophisticated layout capabilities to traditional graphic designers,
application developers, and end-users.
Microsoft plans to address server-side Web development with Internet Studio,
which is due in the fourth quarter, company officials said. The company is
revamping the product line, originally conceived as a multimedia authoring
tool for its proprietary Microsoft Network, to take advantage of the ActiveX
Server Framework, a scripting language and set of controls for server-based
The ActiveX Server Framework scripting language, code-named Denali, is
similar to Common Gateway Interface in that it lets developers access
databases and other applications from a Web server, officials said.
Later this fall, Microsoft will release an upgrade to its FrontPage HTML
authoring tool that includes the ActiveX Control Pad, said sources close to
the company. The Control Pad will enable two-dimensional layout features that
are not possible with current versions of HTML. The Control Pad lets
developers embellish existing HTML pages and add features by embedding ActiveX
controls into a Web application front end.
Microsoft will include the ActiveX Control Pad in all of its Office 97
applications by the end of the year, as well as in Visual Basic for
Applications 5.0, which it will begin licensing to third parties later this
Microsoft is positioning the ActiveX Control Pad as a way for end-users and
designers to create sophisticated Web documents.
Microsoft officials refused to confirm the inclusion of the ActiveX Control
Pad in the next version of FrontPage.