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Yo, lets RAP!

Yo, lets RAP!

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Office Business Application Reference Architecture Pack for Supply Chain

Ok, here it is, a complete example of an Office Business Application built using the 2007 Office System. You can download the reference bits, learn how to build and see what one looks like, all at the newly launched OBA RAP page

OBAs are an emerging class of applications that connect users to existing LOB systems through the familiar Microsoft Office interface, they extend the transactional systems with more people centric and collaborative capabilities.

In this reference architecture, Microsoft provides an example of how the interactions in a multi-tier Retail Supply Chain can be implemented with the 2007 Office System, providing the users a powerful yet familiar interface. A Merchandise Planner at the Retailer can easily share forecast with the Production Planner at the Manufacturer at the beginning of the sales season. As the demand fluctuates, the inventory analyst can monitor potential stock outs, and pull orders to avoid them. The Production planner at the Manufacturer can analyze each forecast change request, look at the POs from their tier1 supplier and move orders to fulfill the changes. With the 2007 Office System, all the roles in the SC can have their specific ‘Sites’ that they can tailor to their own needs. There is no need to copy data from transactional systems into spreadsheets to analyze, share and make decisions, the planners can create an excel file and publish it to a document library…they can choose to publish only parts of it, or only the values. To send it across the enterprise, no need to send sensitive information over email, as excel files are published to a doc library, a workflow is triggered that extracts the data and creates a Rosetta Net message that is sent over securely.

I am thrilled at how easy it is for developers to compose an application from building blocks such as BDC business entities to access data from LOB system and then feed into the UI extensibility components such as custom taskpanes. This should be every app developers dream, providing end users the ability to perform a complete task such as PO analysis and approval, completely within Outlook.

Stay tuned for more

  • An Office Business Application Reference Architecture Pack (RAP) for Supply Chain is now available on

  • Office Business Applications are a new category of business applications that connect line-of-business systems and processes with the people that use them through a familiar user interface: Microsoft Office. In this blog entry I talk about the concept

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