For Integrations Sake
Satya Nadella, vice president for development with Microsoft Business Solutions, the business applications team within Microsofts Information Worker group, laid out three types of application development Microsoft is focusing on with the Web services integration layer: Mash-ups (Microsoft Snap is the companys version of mash-ups) that bring together different application functionality using Web services (think Google maps and a supply chain application); Composite applications, where users create an application from various components based on a business process; and business-to-business integrations, where one partner is integrating with another using Web services. SAAS companies are being called to the mat for outages that have prevented them from providing 99 percent uptime. Click here to read more. "The core of what we are doing as a division, in terms of technological design, is all around roles-based productivity," said Nadella. "It comes down to starting with people in specific role, and connecting to their work, or business process. When you look at the issue, the thing that really jumps out is the seams that exist between multiple applications people use to get their job done."The idea is to break down the "seams" between applications and systems using Web services integration, along with other Microsoft technology, for example, Windows SharePoint Services, with which Dynamics is linking.Mike Gillis, CEO of MBS partner Iteration2, said his AX customers arent asking for integration technology per say, but rather asking for solutions to business problems. "No ones asking for Web services, but theyre asking for ways to be more nimble," said Gillis, in Irvine, Calif. "Web services enable that." Gillis said he as a "strong vision" for how hell use the Web services integration layer in the future: a middleware layer to connect systems togetherfor example, Axapta 4.0 and Dynamics CRMand to integrate Microsoft Snap applications. Hell also couple the integration layer with BizTalk for business process orchestration and timing across systems. As for SAAS, Gillis has heard rumors of "some sandboxing and things going on as far as [Microsofts] own hosting," but he cant confirm that. "The whole thing would make sense," he said. "I like the idea; I would like a strongest player in the world to do hosting, but I dont know how far along they are with that." Appolis Smith is banking on Dynamics Web services integration capabilities for his own on-demand services. "Right now were building an application, Without Wire Warehouse for GP, to be released in May. Its our first real offer thats going to take advantage of the Web services integration layer," said Smith, who will offer the application as an on-demand application. "Going forward, we plan on building a lot more applications using this model. Its our future. Its what people want." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.