Build OBA Solutions for Retail


The 2007 Microsoft Office system provides a comprehensive set of servers, clients, and tools to make it easier for enterprises, software vendors and developers to build and deploy a new class of business applications called Office Business Applications (OBAs).

OBAs connect Line of Business (LOB) systems with the people that use them through the familiar user interface of Microsoft Office. OBAs enable businesses to extend the Microsoft Office clients and servers into business processes running in LOB applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). This enables enterprises to create new value from existing IT investments by combining them in innovative ways.

XML blocks in the Open XML document formats of Microsoft Office 2007 documents help users interface with information and functionality from LOB applications. Custom Task Panes within these documents allow the users to interact with LOB data in the context of their current activity.

One of the common areas where retailers face huge challenges is the availability of the right information, at the right time, and at the right place—for example, making sales information available in near real time to the store managers, regional managers, and merchandising managers in the corporate headquarters. OBAs help retailers access information using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Outlook or Sharepoint Dashboards.

Microsoft's first major foray into Office Business Applications came last year with Duet, a partnership with SAP that lets Microsoft Office users access services from SAP software.

THE CHALLENGE: Check out details of the O2 OBA Challenge to build an Office Business Application (OBA) using the 2007 Microsoft® Office system and Oracle® technology.
The company that builds the best solution wins $25,000 to implement the OBA, and a unique opportunity to protect the air we share.If you win The O2 OBA Challenge, you’ll do the global environment a huge favor, and reinforce your reputation as a corporation that cares. Microsoft® will donate $40,000 in the winning company’s name to a clean-air cause.  After building the OBA you can enrol your solution at the INNOVATE ON 2007 Microsoft Office system site.


  1. Video Tutorial for Creating Custom Task Panes 

  2. Office Business Applications for Store Operations

  3. Office Business Applications Home

  4. Office Business Applications Developer Portal

  5. Microsoft Duet Home / Duet

  6. OBA RAP for Price Management

  7. OBA RAP for Supply Chain Management

  8. O2 OBA Challenge

  9. OBA Case Studies


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