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Mendocino tightens Office with SAP

Microsoft and SAP recently hosted a technology preview of Mendocino, an initiative to more tightly couple Microsoft's Office productivity suite with SAP's application stack. The two companies say they will release Mendocino this spring.

The big idea is to enable knowledge workers to use Microsoft's productivity applications--Excel, Outlook and Word, among others--to accomplish many SAP-related tasks, thanks to extended application menus, an SAP-specific smart panel, Excel-based analytics and "smart" Word documents.

For example, the Mendocino technologies will support synchronization between Microsoft's Exchange groupware platform and SAP processes (via the Outlook client). Both companies say this should enable a new level of continuity between information-worker and enterprise business applications by simplifying the ways information workers access and use enterprise applications.

Mendocino should make Microsoft's notoriously anarchistic Office products (such as the Excel spreadsheet) more compliance-friendly, too, by reducing ad hoc workflows (for example, Excel-based "spreadmarts") in favor of approved--and Excel-friendly--corporate processes.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor for Enterprise Systems. He can be reached at stephen.swoyer@spinkle.net.

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