The software giant plans to offer free sample code through the eBay Developers Program and later Microsoft's MSDN developer site for tying selected Office applications to the auctioneer's listing servers. The eBay Developers Program is a venue for developers to create programs that help large-scale sellers on the site manage inventory, automate listings and other tasks.
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Other piece of sample code will focus on integrating Web content developed with FrontPage,with eBay services.
Extensive new XML functionality has been one of Microsoft's main selling points for Office 2003, the updated version of the software. While much of the discussion surrounding XML has focused on using the format to with enterprise computing systems, eBay is an example of how XML-based documents can benefit small businesses, Barzdukas said.
"We really view this as yet another example of how we're bringing Office into the connected community that is the Web," he said. "It is broadening the scope of how people can take advantage of XML. You don't have to be a large company with a lot of custom development capability to benefit."
Microsoft previouslyto include Amazon data in research services available through Office 2003 applications.