The Idea Behind Snap
-Ins"> The idea behind Snap-Ins is to enable Office 2003 applications to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics applications. At the same time, the program "motivates" partners to integrate Dynamics applications to Office, according to Wang."Forrester expects channels to create application mash-ups from data residing in Project, SharePoint, Outlook and other areas." Forrester sees five major technology platforms evolving for packaged applications: SAP NetWeaver, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Microsoft Visual Studio .Net, IBM WebSphere and Salesforce.coms AppExchange. Where these platforms are similar is in their integration capabilities and development tool offerings. Dynamics, in its evolution to a platform, would likely tap .Net as an infrastructure and Visual Studio for development tools. Microsoft has another technology up its sleeve in the form of its Windows operating system. Part of that technology stack includes the Windows Workflow Foundationa programming model, engine and tools that enable developers to build workflow-enabled applications on Windows. To read more about Microsofts Dynamics ERP and CRM products, click here. The goal of a Dynamics development platform is simple: economics. "Look at SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. All three want to find a way to have packaged applications not just be functionality for general ledger, but a platform that becomes an ecosystem for other technology," said Judith Hurwitz, president of IT research firm Hurwitz & Associates. "This is an era of the ecosystem, where every vendor wants to have every ISV on the planet that has complementary functionality rely on their platform." Packaged application venders, for their part, are "a little frightened" of the strategy, worried that they may become disenfranchised, according to Hurwitz. The big question now is, are there still components missing from Microsofts Dynamics platform strategy? "Yes, theyre missing stuff, but everybody is," said Hurwitz. "It sort of depends on how far up the stack in terms of the enterprise they want to go." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
"Permissive licenses allow partners to build, modify, and resell composite applications under this Shared Source arrangement," writes Wang, in a Forrester Convergence report that will be released next week.