As more and more business processes come online, users can find it challenging to know where to look for the official copy of a given piece of data, or to remember from where they can or cannot get to the same. Of course, by “business processes” I mean “things my boss rates me on”, by “users” I mean “myself, and others like me who post to and read this blog”, and by “challenging”, I mean a string of profanities that should not appear in this publication.
I bring this up because technically, we all know that it doesn’t have to be this way, and because viscerally, we all feel something should be done about it. Therein lies the opportunity for innovative ISVs on the Microsoft platform.
When you consider that:
· OpenXML enables line of business data to be embedded within Office documents
· The Visual Studio Tools for Office enable development of add-ins that can surface that data
· The Dynamics Snap projects provide source for add-ins that connect Office to line of business data
· The CRM Mobile Express project provides source for an app that extends line of business data to Windows Mobile
· The Windows Workflow Foundation provides a way to neatly encapsulate the logic that enables all this
you‘ll soon realize that you have everything you need to put all this together at the bargain price of (correct me if I’m wrong) $0. You also have strong community support on all these fronts to help keep support costs down. That’s a whole lot better than starting from scratch with the Platform SDK.
I’m hoping someone will do this for us soon, and if so, I hope they get in front of my boss and convince him to buy it for us. I don’t know if I could make *that* happen, but I’d be willing to take a whack at it.