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Microsoft Fluid Framework rethinks collaborative web apps

Microsoft has unveiled an application development framework, called Fluid Framework, designed for building web-based, collaborative applications. Due to arrive later in 2019 as a software development kit, Fluid features a componentized document model that Microsoft says is conducive to shared interactive experiences. 

Fluid purports to break down barriers of the traditional document and enable what Microsoft calls the “free-flowing canvas.” Content from the web or productivity apps can be deconstructed and reconstructed into modular components, enabling collaboration. Other capabilities include:

  • Enablement of high-performance, multi-person, co-authoring experiences on the web.
  • Support for intelligent agents to co-author, fetch content, provide photo suggestions, and translate data.

With Fluid, a human resources department, for example, could create a global manual with authors from around the world who speak different languages. There could be real-time translation across teams as they co-author the manual. For procurement management, a document could be made that links words with calculations in the same document, with calculations updated by someone on the development team.

Microsoft plans to deliver Microsoft 365 cloud experiences powered by Fluid and hopes developers extend Microsoft 365 with it. Microsoft 365 applications such as Word, Teams, and Outlook are expected to benefit from Fluid.

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