I have left Microsoft and this blog is no longer under my control. All of the content should remain for some time however and any new updates can be found at http://davedev.net.
-Dave, September 2013
Seadragon is a technology from Microsoft Labs that enables the display of images on screens without the worry of bandwidth or size. Instead, your only limitation is the number of pixels you can display. See my previous blog post for more information and an awesome video that shows Seadragon as well as it's use in Photosynth.
If you watch the video, you will start to get the idea of how this technology could be used just about anywhere. One of those uses is in the mobile device market for web browsing. Imagine a web browser that displays web pages on your Smartphone exactly as they appear on your desktop machine. Enter Deepfish!
Sounds familiar right? But wait... we are talking Seadragon technology here. We are not downloading the actual pages, we are taking visual representations of those pages generated by Seadragon and then have the ability to zoom in/out on the fly with no loss in clarity. Full webpage representation, ability to load those pages on very low bandwidth, ability to work on existing Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, and then the addition of 3G networks . You are talking one great web browsing experience!
Check out the site here. Sign up to download the software here. Overview animation here and actual video of it in action found here!
What is OBA? It is a question I am hearing more and more from customers lately.
We get the following definition from MSDN " The 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. Office system Platform. "
But what does that mean? In a nutshell, OBA is taking your current investment in Microsoft Office Technologies (both the client and server tiers) and using them to create your own composite application in a familiar user environment. In fact, most of these technologies you probably already have within your enterprise. Excel... Word... Powerpoint... there are business processes that live and breath in that world. These are the processes where your "Excel Wizards" create formulas of fabulous proportions. Why should they need to learn a new application when the information they need and use is right there in Office?
Over the past year we have seen the rise of powerful new extensible, collaboration technologies too.. Open XML, Infopath Forms, and WSS 3.0/Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007. We now have a platform where collaboration is commonplace, employees can get calendar and presence information instantly. Enterprises are leveraging SharePoint webparts that pull data from excel spreadsheets, back end databases, and web services to create dashboards and portals users can modify themselves. Empowerment.
That's OBA! It is taking those office technologies and creating a LOB application for your employees in an already familiar environment. Plus, the power that all of the office platform brings, and no need to start from scratch.
The MSDN Solution Architecture Center has two great reference applications you can begin leveraging today as well:
OBA Reference Application Pack for Supply Chain Management provides guidance, instructions and videos on how to create an OBA around Supply Chain Management.
Consumer Engagement Reference Architecture (CERA) for Health Plans provides guidance and reference examples for Health Care Providers.
There is an excellent Steve Ballmer OBA Overview video that shows an OBA Airlines Lifecycle Management application developed for Dassault Systemes.
Also, some excellent OBA banter at channel 9 here, here, and here!
Lastly, sure to check out the official OBA Developers Portal as and the Official whitepaper for Building Composite Office Applications.
Got OBA? =)
Exciting announcements in the Health and Life Sciences space around Sharepoint! First Consulting Group, well known in the Enterprise Content Management space, has announced a full suit of applications that provide a FDA regulated solution for content management, collaboration and electronic submission automation. All running on MOSS 2007 and Microsoft Office.
Official announcement here. Bloomberg is also running an article here.
For more detailed information, follow the links below:
Blogs.. Wikis... Social networking.. we use them everyday, but how can we leverage that in the Enterprise?
Community Kit For SharePoint, enter stage left! Building upon the already great foundation of Sharepoint (specifically Windows SharePoint Services 3.0) this community driven, freely available download will effortlessly transform your blog sites into something like this:
More information about the enhanced blog format can be found here.
There is a great write up on the SharePoint Teams' blog, go check it out here!
This is another great example of open source, community driven content on the Microsoft Platform. Be sure to check out all these other great SharePoint projects hosted on Codeplex as well!
For those that just want a quick general overview of what this is all about, News.com has an article here.