Microsoft to Pack Third-Party “Agaves” Web Extensions in Office 15

They will work with Excel, Outlook, and Mobile Outlook Web Apps

Microsoft is set to make a series of changes to the way in which its Office Suite handles third-party extensions, some of the latest reports on the matter suggest

Apparently, the Redmond-based software giant will provide developers with the possibility to come up with “Agaves” web extensions to add more functionality to the upcoming Office 15 suite, a recent article on The Verge notes.

Basically, web developers will be able to create an area within an Office application through which webpages could interact with the document, thus leveraging the content with extra features.

These Agaves are expected to become available both through Microsoft’s Office Marketplace, as well as via private stand-alone Agaves at organizations.

These web extensions will be supported in core client apps, including Excel 15, Word 15, Outlook 15, and Project Professional 15.

Moreover, Microsoft is expected to enable Agaves to run on the Excel, Outlook, and Mobile Outlook Web Apps. These Agaves will be integrated into Office apps in three different ways, namely Task Pane, Content, and Contextual.

Task Pane Agaves will appear as extensions side-by-side with Office documents and will provide users with the option to seek information on a web service starting from a specific product name highlighted in the text.

Web pages could become embedded content in documents through content Agaves. And there are also the contextual Agaves, which will work in Outlook, enabling devs to easily display content with a specific mail or calendar item.

These Agaves could be built using technologies such as HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and REST. Moreover, Microsoft is encouraging the use of Metro style with these extensions, and the inclusion of touch optimizations.

The aforementioned article on The Verge also notes that Microsoft will include these Agaves in an Office Public Marketplace later this year. The company will also enable developers to submit custom Office extensions to the portal.

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