Office Forms Server 2007 Now Available on TechNet and MSDN

Microsoft has just posted the download for Forms Server 2007 on the MSDN & TechNet sites.  In case you’re like me and have absolutely no idea what exactly this is, here’s Microsoft’s take on what the product is supposed to do:

“Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 provides scalable, standards-based electronic forms solutions with enhanced security that can help your organization to extend the reach of forms-driven business processes to anyone with a Web browser.

Office Forms Server 2007 is a new server offering in the Microsoft Office system. It is a standalone server that delivers new Microsoft Office InfoPath Forms Services, which is also available in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. This new technology uses server-based electronic forms to streamline business processes and make data collection, distribution, and integration more cost-effective than with paper-based forms.”

Still confused?  Hey, me too!  All I got from this description is that it’s a standalone server product to work with InfoPath and that it makes delicious waffles.  I’m sorry…did I say “waffles?”  I meant “waffles.”

I’m hungry.

Anyway, WinSmarts.com has an interesting article on how this particular product, along with InfoPath & MOSS, will work together.

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Adobe Releases New Labs Project: Kuler

Adobe Labs has released a new project on their “Labs” testing site.  Going by the name “Kuler,” the project “helps you explore, create and share color themes for your Web pages, design projects and other creative work.”

Based on Flash (requiring Flash Player 9,) the online application provides a way for designers to collaborate on various color themes.  You can view other users’ themes and download them (or your own) for use in the Creative Suite 2 applications.

Feedback is being taken via a forum which already has 55 users logged as I’m writing this.

There seems to be a new energy slowly creeping it’s way through the halls of Adobe since the Macromedia acquisition.  The company seems to be more open to beta testing new products and it appears as though they’ve become more receptive to using non-proprietary technology in some of their more recent online ventures.  It’s refreshing to say the least.

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MySQL Tools Released

The makers of the MySQL database have just released four new tools for managing your new or existing MySQL databases:

MySQL Migration Toolkit

The MySQL Migration Toolkit is a powerful framework that enables you to
quickly migrate your proprietary databases to MySQL. Using a
Wizard-driven interface, the MySQL Migration Toolkit implements a
proven methodology and walks you through the necessary steps to
successfully complete a database migration project. Learn more >>

MySQL Administrator

MySQL Administrator is a powerful visual administration tool that makes
it easy to administer and monitor your MySQL environment and gain
significantly better visibility into how your databases are operating.
MySQL Administrator now integrates database management and maintenance
into a single, seamless environment, with a clear and intuitive
graphical user interface.  Learn more >>

MySQL Query Browser

MySQL Query Browser is the easiest visual tool for creating, executing,
and optimizing SQL queries for your MySQL Database Server. The MySQL
Query Browser gives you a complete set of drag-and-drop tools to
visually build, analyze and manage your queries.  Learn more >>

MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is a database modeling tool for MySQL. You can use it to
design and create new database schemas, document existing databases and even
perform complex migrations to MySQL.  Learn more >>

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Microsoft Releases Office Accounting Express 2007 – for FREE

Microsoft just released a free accounting tool for Windows users: Office Accounting Express 2007.  Aimed at small and home-based businesses and available at IdeaWins.com, OAE offers the following features:

  • Create quotes and invoices; track expenses and employee time
  • Enter data once and share it seamlessly with other Microsoft Office system programs
  • Manage payroll and taxes with ADP’s integrated payroll service
  • List items on eBay, track sales activity, and download and process orders
  • Email invoices and get paid faster with PayPal
  • Monitor your customers’ business credit in real-time through Equifax

MS plans to complement this release with a Professional version which will offer many more features including inventory management and Microsoft Dynamics POS integration.  The professional version will be available in January 2007 for $149.

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Google Docs & Spreadsheets

Google has finally begun merging their Writely & Spreadsheet services into a single collaborative environment.  As you can see from the screenshot above, the homepage of Google Docs & Spreadsheets gives you an overview of your currently active documents.  From here, you can upload a new document or spreadsheet as well as tag and share existing documents.  This marks the first time that Writely (which now redirects to docs.google.com) features have been available within the “classic” Google interface.

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Wax On

Now this sounds interesting. Whilst exploring the “New Projects” page on Sourceforge, I stumbled upon a new entry that sounded quite interesting…WaxOS:

“Wax. An OS that runs windows programs, looks & feels like windows
(but ‘better’). Built from a heavily modified linux kernel, Wine, Xgl,
DirectFB, and most importantly, has not a line of X11 in it. One of its
many aim is to boot ‘instantly’.”

That’s all, folks. There’s no home page for the project, no forum discussion, no news…just that description…which just barely qualifies as a paragraph. We’ll be sure and post any updated info as it becomes available.

Update: We’ve received some updated information fromTom, the developer of the WaxOS.  Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve been developing my Operating System (in its many incarnations) for the most part of the last 6 years.

Originally it started as an OS written in assembly. I got quite far with that, booting, multi-tasking, mouse and  keyboard support, reading and displaying background images. Then I started developing in C on top of that in which I made a nice desktop composition/windowing engine.

Realizing the faults in my ways of not using the insanely detailed, complete and hardware-supporting linux kernel as a base, I have switched to that now. I can tell you that the first OS project was not a loss in any way, as having that knowledge is just so incredibly useful.

I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress.

He also writes to tell us that he’s currently in the middle of developing yet another Open Source project: an audio player by the name of BlueTunes which takes a unique 3D approach at browsing your music collection.  With support for a variety of different formats, iPod & other portable devices, and music database information powered by MusicBrainz, it will be interesting to see how this project develops.  (Tom also warns us that the current incarnation of the program is quite buggy but definitely usable.)  You can find more information at the official site or you can keep up with and/or participate in the program’s development at Google Groups.

A Screenshot A Day: Windows Vista: 2006-09-18

Today, we’ll be looking at the new Windows Vista Start Menu. Definitely one of our favorite new features about the next-generation OS, the new Start Menu now allows for instant search of not only program shortcuts within the menu itself but also of your entire computer. As you’ll notice in the screenshot, the Start Menu now contains a search box which features search-as-you-type technology we all know and love. As you can see, typing “Live” into the menu instantly gives us related programs, internet shortcuts, e-mails, and more. We’re quite fond of the fact that we can do a desktop search just by hitting the Start key of our keyboard, typing, and hitting Enter (or arrowing up and down). Finding pretty much anything on our computer is literally a two-second process now. Be sure and checkout the screenshot below to see it in action.

Here at Fans of Tech, we’re testing out using Picasa Web Albumsto host these and other images for our readers. If you’re new to PicasaWeb Albums, please check out the graphic below before clicking on theScreenshot of the Day.

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