Today's release is designed to make it easier for developers to build Web applications using IE 4.0 as a client interface to corporate data.
The company has introduced Data Access Components version 1.5, a new version of the company's data access tools for developers.
The integrated set of components, downloadable from Microsoft's Web site at no charge, includes three Microsoft interfaces for data access: ActiveX Data Objects 1.5; OLE DB 1.5; and ODBC version 3.5.
The combined components give developers access to Web, client-server, and mainframe data through a single integrated set of components, the company said.
ActiveX Data Objects is a data interface that allows developers to build client software to access both relational and nonrelational data through ODBC and OLE DB.
OLE DB is Microsoft's interface for accessing relational data, stored in databases, and nonrelational data such as spreadsheet files and word processing documents, not stored in standard databases.
The components will be bundled with IE 4.0, Microsoft said, but also can be used with standard Windows client software.
Microsoft also said today that it has posted to its Web site a free Visual InterDev Web Solutions Kit containing sample code and a white paper describing how to build Web applications using the company's tools. The Kit can be requested via Microsoft's Web site.