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Welcome to FabriKam Microsoft Office System Solutions Learning Platform

Office 2003

Welcome to FabriKam, a Microsoft Office System Solutions Learning Platform

Today's enterprise solution developers have to manage ever-increasing expectations and challenges. Competing priorities and conflicting realities - the rapid pace of technological innovation, shrinking product life cycles, a dynamic business environment, and the need to extend the IT infrastructure and technological investments – have to be balanced. Enterprise solution developers have to work within these constraints and still find a way to create solutions that meet the enterprise's current and future needs.

In a sense, the enterprise's "current and future needs" have always revolved around enabling business processes. Today, perhaps more than ever, key limitations of existing business process solutions in most enterprise environments is a top concern for IT departments and, hence, for developers. The shortcomings of paper-based solutions, proprietary systems, and other solutions that help solve only a small part of the enterprise's mission need to be addressed. Some of the answers are already there – XML, for example, offers great benefits for integration of disparate systems. However, developers still need the proper tools, processes, and supporting technologies to make these industry innovations work.

FabriKam - the Microsoft® Office System Solutions Learning Platform – addresses these needs. FabriKam incorporates the tools, processes and technologies that developers can use to successful build powerful business process solutions on the Microsoft Office System. Delivered in a virtual PC environment, FabriKam includes sample solutions that address typical scenarios and implement business process that are common to most enterprises.

In this solutions learning platform, developers at a fictitious enterprise, FabriKam Inc, created solutions for common business processes. FabriKam, a furniture manufacturer with about 10,000 employees, faces business problems and challenges not unlike many of today's enterprises. Starting with a set of realistic infrastructure assumptions, FabriKam developers built six solutions and four reusable components that address FabriKam's needs in innovative ways, with extensive use of Web services, XML, integration of front-end applications and back-end systems, and full use of the Office environment with which most information workers are already familiar. The FabriKam 3.1 Solutions Learning Platform represents the essence of the efforts of FabriKam developers.

FabriKam solutions are fully customizable and extensible. Developers can use the FabriKam solutions to learn about Office System technologies, and they can modify or create new solutions for their own unique requirements. FabriKam solutions showcase development best practices for Office solutions builders and also educate and inform developers on the potential of using Microsoft Office System to build solutions.

Microsoft is making available the FabriKam virtual machine image containing all FabriKam solutions and components as part of a fully-functional Microsoft® Virtual PC® 2004 environment. Developers can load this virtual PC, which runs Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003, SQL Server™ 2000, BizTalk® Server 2004, Office 2003 Professional Edition, Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server, Visual Studio® .NET 2003, and all of the custom solutions and components, and have an instant test environment for learning about these solutions and components. Microsoft is also providing extensive developer documentation about the solutions, the components, and the infrastructure so that developers can truly understand how to make these solutions their own.

The purpose of this document is to help technical decision makers and solutions developers/architects explore the scope of FabriKam solutions environment. Specifically, this document provides a roadmap to help identify those solutions and components that address areas of particular interest. To help clarify the value of each solution or component, the document also provides architectural overviews and detailed descriptions of the programs, technologies, and features that each solution or component uses. The document is also an index to the detailed, rich content that can be found in individual solution documents.


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