Microsoft OBA’s (Office Business Applications) , since there conception are amazingly interesting area , for one thing the idea that you can use existing Office Client applications to access/update data from broad range of systems is just awesome. From pure end users point of view , they are so much involved with applications like Word , Excel , Outlook , its just so natural for them to perform tasks right from these familiar environment , rather than launching something separately .
On Jan 27th 2010 , Microsoft hold an “ISV Innovation Day: Insights to Success in the Singapore Market” event , particularly focusing ISV’s. I had conducted a session titled “Line of Business Applications with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010” , which is mainly focused on how ISV’s can leverage the new and improved features and functionalities of Office 2010 along with SharePoint 2010 and Silverlight to bring new degree of productivity. The new BCS (Business Connectivity Services) feature in SharePoint 2010 , which is a evolution of BDC (Business Data Catalog) available in SharePoint 2007 , covers large landscape of scenarios. One of the key take away is that BCS is extremely powerful in these scenarios, which in turn open doors to new opportunities for ISV’s. This was actually shown in the demo which uses BCS and common office applications like Outlook and Excel , which are extended using OBA tool and technologies to provide solution for an enterprise. The silverlight is used with Sharepoint to give users good lavish UI and at the same time completely integrated experience.It also demonstrates that how out of the box capabilities in SharePoint 2010 Workspace can be used to take data offline as required.
I think , with Office 2010 & SharePoint 2010 there are huge opportunities for ISV’s , including those involve in product development and also for those who are system integrators or have focus on trainings.
The session slide deck is available for download (in various file formats) from following links.