Microsoft Corporation, briefing developers at the annual Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Denver, revealed plans this week to make its Office and BackOffice suites integrated. The plan was announced during the Wednesday keynote address, which was presented by Brian Valentine, the general manager of Microsoft's applications and tools group. Valentine says that Office 2000 services will evolve into COM components that can be more easily used by the BackOffice server applications. Office 2000 will feature the beginning of this integration, with Access 2000's ties to SQL Server and a Web Folders feature that allows Office applications to save documents on Web servers.

"Office and BackOffice together are becoming a platform in and of itself," said Valentine.

Microsoft is planning on releasing BackOffice 4.5 in November and an NT 5.0 compliant BackOffice 5.0 next Fall. BackOffice 5.0 will fully support NT 5.0's Active Directory