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Office Business Applications: Building Composite Applications Using the Microsoft Platform

 

Atanu Banerjee, Moin Moinuddin, Mike Walker
Microsoft Corporation

December 2006

Applies to:
   Office Business Applications (OBAs)
   Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
   2007 Microsoft Office System

Summary: This book is about composite applications and how they can be developed as OBAs using the 2007 Microsoft Office System. It provides an overview of the technologies available in the 2007 Microsoft Office System, and gives several examples from various industries to build OBAs using composition at the presentation, business-logic, and data layers. This book is meant for solution architects, industry architects, or senior developers who are designing, developing, and deploying composite applications. (97 total printed pages)

Contents

Foreword
Articles in This Series

Click here to download "Building Composite Applications Using the Microsoft Platform."

Foreword

Companies are adopting service orientation as a design principle to drive enterprise agility and business innovation. With service-oriented architecture (SOA), they can efficiently respond to business changes and evolve their IT systems rapidly. Service orientation is about decomposing the IT assets into easily consumable services. A composite application is the primary vehicle to deliver business value through service orientation, and is a great way to aggregate these services to support cross-functional processes. Theoretically, composite applications allow for these services or components to be mixed and matched like blocks, allowing developers to customize applications relatively easily to evolving enterprise needs.

With the release of 2007 Microsoft Office System clients, servers, and tools, Microsoft delivers a true application platform that can be used to create collaborative, role-based, easy-to-use solutions that extend the traditional line-of-business (LOB) applications and enterprise systems. Not only has Microsoft significantly improved the capabilities and tools for personal and business productivity, but it has also invested significantly in the extensibility and programmability of the 2007 Microsoft Office System. Microsoft calls these solutions Office Business Applications (OBAs) and recently announced the technology to design and develop OBAs.

This book is about composite applications and how they can be developed as OBAs using the 2007 Microsoft Office System. It explains the concept of a composite application and discusses in great detail the different aspects of composition. It provides an overview of the technologies available in the 2007 Microsoft Office System, and gives several examples from various industries to build OBAs using composition at the presentation, business-logic, and data layers.

This book is meant for solution architects, industry architects, or senior developers who are designing, developing, and deploying composite applications. The OBA examples from manufacturing, retail, and financial-services industries will allow solution architects in these industries to understand the concepts in the context of scenarios that are specific to their respective industries.

Chapter 1 introduces the concept of a composite application and discusses the benefits of composition as enterprise alignment, adaptability, and agility. For each of the benefits, the author lists best practices that can be applied to achieve these benefits.

Chapter 2 presents the 2007 Microsoft Office System as the platform to build composite applications. The authors introduce the concept of OBAs. They discuss Microsoft technologies for composition in presentation, productivity, application, and data tiers. The chapter ends with guidelines for building an OBA.

Chapter 3 presents guidelines on deploying an OBA in an enterprise. It suggests a step-by-step approach for deploying OBAs to support a single business process at a time, without re-architecting the entire back-end system architecture in one big bang. It walks the readers through best practices for:

  • Deploying departmental SharePoint sites to host local documents and processes.
  • Connecting multiple departments.
  • Connecting business processes to LOB systems.
  • Adding data connections for cross-functional processes.
  • Connecting business processes to the systems on the edge of the enterprise.

Chapter 4 presents a sample OBA designed to address the collaboration between a retailer and a manufacturer. It describes the challenges a manufacturing enterprise faces today, and presents synchronization of demand, supply, and product development as the steps towards becoming a demand-driven supply network (DDSN) to drive enterprise agility and responsiveness. It then presents the architecture of a sample solution built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) for the manufacturing enterprise to achieve the goals of a DDSN. The sample solution is a great example of a composite application, stitching together documents, processes, business rules, and industry-standard schemas—all while bringing the power and familiarity of Microsoft Office clients to people-centric processes.

Chapter 5 presents a sample OBA designed to address the process of loan origination in financial banking. It explains the high-level process and identifies the complexities involved in implementing a solution. This OBA uses MOSS as a records repository and the hub for all records-management processes. The OBA uses the Workflow Foundation in MOSS for user-centric workflows and implements long-running system workflows in Microsoft BizTalk Server.

Chapter 6 presents various examples of OBAs that can be designed to enhance collaboration between the retail-store processes and the retail corporate systems. These OBAs can be built as dashboards for various store-management processes, such as promotions or workforce management.

Finally, the attached DVD on the back inside cover contains the bits for the supply-chain collaboration OBA discussed in Chapter 4. You can also get these bits on MSDN with documents and decks that explain the solution in detail.

The 2007 Microsoft Office System is a great platform to build composite applications. The investment Microsoft has made in the 2007 Microsoft Office System makes it easy to create collaborative and role-based OBAs that bring the power and familiarity of Microsoft Office to enterprise applications. I am super excited about the new Office System and OBAs; I am sure this will usher in a new era of business productivity. Please visit the Microsoft Architecture Center and the Microsoft MSDN Solution Architecture Center. Drop me a line, and let me know what you think of the book and the new 2007 Microsoft Office System.

Javed Sikander

Director, Industry Architecture
Microsoft Corporation

E-mail: javeds@microsoft.com
Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/javeds

Articles in This Series

What Are Composite Applications?

The 2007 Microsoft Office System and Other Platform Technologies for Building Composite Applications

Deploying Composite Applications in the Enterprise

Sample Composite Applications in the Enterprise

Financial Services OBA

Retail Industry OBAs

 

About the authors

Atanu Banerjee is on the Architecture Strategy Team at Microsoft. He has 10 years of experience in the software industry, having worked earlier on solutions for supply-chain management and advanced process control. In his current role, Atanu looks at architectures for enterprise solutions that leverage next-generation technologies for collaboration, analytics, business-process management, and integration. In this capacity, Atanu frequently interacts with key decision makers in customer and partner organizations, and with thought leaders in industry and academia.

Atanu came to Microsoft from i2 Technologies, where he worked in various roles for more than seven years. He was chief architect for their supply-and-demand management product line, and prior to that served as development manager, product architect, team lead, and software developer for various teams. During that time, he wrote a lot of code, designed new solutions, and worked with some large manufacturing customers. Prior to joining i2, Atanu worked at Aspen Technologies in the advanced control systems group, designing and implementing model predictive control systems for the process industry. Atanu received a PhD from Georgia Tech in 1996, and holds a bachelor's degree from IIT Delhi, India. He lives in Redmond, WA, with his wife and son.

E-mail: atanub@microsoft.com

Moin Moinuddin is a retail-industry architect and is part of D&PE organization at Microsoft. He is responsible for evangelizing the Microsoft platform and products to the architects in the retail community. Moinuddin works with architects at customers and partners. He is also responsible for influencing internal product teams in development of new products to meet requirements from the retail community. He evangelizes initiatives and development in the retail industry to the Microsoft product teams and the Microsoft field. As an industry architect, Moinuddin generates white papers that show how to build future retail products using the Microsoft platform and tools. He also engages in speaking at the global architecture forums. In addition, Moinuddin represents Microsoft at the National Retail Federation's ARTS group, where he chairs the subcommittee that is working on creating standards for the food-services industry.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Moinuddin spent 12 years in retail and payment-processing companies. He was a key member that developed a point-of-service solution for the hospitality industry, and then was part of a startup that built one of the largest payment gateways for processing credit-card and electronic-check transitions.

On the personal front, Moinuddin lives in Bellevue, WA, with his wife and two children. Moinuddin holds a BS in Computer Science from Osmania University, India, and a MS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

E-mail: mmoin@microsoft.com
Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/mmoin

Mike Walker is the managing architecture strategist for the Financial Services vertical at Microsoft. He is responsible for driving and evangelizing Microsoft's worldwide industry and vertical strategy in the banking, insurance, and securities segments. Specifically, Walker ensures that financial-services institutions around the world realize the full extent of Microsoft's vision and value proposition, by overseeing areas such as industry strategy, marketing, solution development, partner development, thought leadership, and executive relations.

Mike joined Microsoft in early 2006. His background is as a financial-services strategist, specializing in business transformation around technology, but he combines this experience with a strong focus on strategic execution. Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked as an enterprise architect in banking, where he developed business strategies, conducted strategic infrastructure planning, and implemented technology projects. His experience includes bespoke and package implementation, enterprise process design and management, applications management, and systems selection.

E-mail: mikewalk@microsoft.com
Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/mikewalker/

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