Merant, a provider of change and configuration management software for infrastructure and software development lifecycles, has extended its reach in the content space with the release of Meritage, a new tool for document management within Microsoft Office 2000 and 2003. Merant extends a similar philosophy of enterprise change management across the content, infrastructure and software development domains. "The [infrastructure] landscape reinforces our belief that in our world everything at the heart is configuration management, knowing what assets you have and knowing the state of configuration," says Jim Van Riper, director of product marketing at Merant. "Wrapped around that is change management which is controlling change to those configurations. When you do that you get insight and predictability." For a software development team, the relevant asset of value is project documents. "It's easy to argue that your vision docs, your functional specifications, your test bed design docs are as valuable if not more valuable than the code that gets generated at the end," says Van Riper. "With Meritage we are trying to make the process of protecting those assets as easy as we make it for managing source code." In the context of Office 2003, Meritage offers version control, parallel review, change rollback and other features within Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2003. An extended WebDAP server fronts the version manager and provides a virtual network drive within the My Documents folder on the end user desktop. Within are folders representing different servers on the network that can be navigated with drag and drop networking, rollbacks, branching with security features. Files can be checked out and edited offline, with notifications, subscriptions and change merges. Read.