We have been saying everywhere that "the Microsoft Office System is a complete set of client applications, servers, and services that provide organizations with the means to create, manage, and enhance business solutions." We have also published a full load of content for every product since Beta 2. Yet, we realize that as a developer, sometimes it's hard to understand the big picture and how all the little pieces (features and product specifics) can work together to help you build a real-world solution.
Office is a huge family of products and technologies and we have been working with all product teams to create an overall map that helps developers to visually understand how all the pieces of the puzzle relate to each other, but more important, provide information of where on MSDN you can find technical documentation related to specific features. We want to go deep to namespaces, class members, and schemas for each product to list them all together on a single place.
As you can imagine, space is a huge limitation. While trying to put all this together, I happen to agree with the "Microsoft 2007 Office system – It's more than you think" slogan. Office is HUGE and there's limited space to place all PIA objects, namespaces, web services, product features, schemas, names, descriptions and relationships for more than 25 products and technologies. However, we have found a great way to summarize the most relevant ideas and make it fit all together.
I can share with you that I have found the exercise to be fascinating. Just imagine how much fun we've had having on a single meeting room PMs for all product teams + Developer Platform Evangelism + Marketing + Office Developer Documentation group and work together as a team to build the treasure map.
We are about to conclude this project, but in the meantime, I just couldn't wait to share with you a small version of our treasure map. I built this conceptual diagram using PowerPoint 2007 and then generated an image map that provides links to places on MSDN and Microsoft.com. You can hover the map and drill-down to find detailed information for each product and technology. Of course, this is a petite version, but soon, you'll get the complete treasure map.
So here goes...