The software, which will be a separate product license, is being jointly developed under the code name "Mendocino." An early beta of the joint product is expected by the fourth quarter of this year, the two companies said.
Mendocino will link SAP process functionality such as time management, budget monitoring, organizational management, and travel and expense management directly into Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Outlook and Word.
Its the first joint product-development effort by SAP AG and Microsoft Corp., and it will give users the familiarity of Microsoft Office as they access SAPs business processes and information through SAP-specific "smart panels" in Office applications.
The idea is to extend SAP business applications to more users in an organization through the Office apps with which they are more familiar, company officials said.
Mendocino will be a composite application, built on top of SAPs forthcoming business process platform, expected next year. SAP and Microsoft each will resell the complete solution, meaning SAP will resell Microsoft Office and Microsoft will resell licenses to SAPs business process platform, officials said.
"For the first time, Microsoft and SAP are designing, developing, selling and supporting one joint product," SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said in an exclusive interview with eWEEK. Kagermann said Mendocino goes beyond existing integrations between business application software and Office. Virtually every business-application software developer offers some level of integration with Office apps today.
"Everybody can link into something, but they dont offer a joint product that supports both products," said Kagermann, at SAPs Sapphire 05 international customer conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. "Well bring innovation and design across both products, and users productivity can be increased."
The product that emerges from Mendocino will be a separate license, though the terms have not been determined, Kagermann said.
In other news at Sapphire 05, SAP unveiled a preview of its ESA (Enterprise Services Architecture) that includes more than 500 live enterprise services that have been developed and deployed on the latest version of MySAP ERP. This ESA preview system will be available for partners, developers and customers to contribute to the definition and development of new business processes, SAP officials said.
"This is the first inventory of our ESA," Kagermann said. "Its not complete, but its something for customers and partners to see, get experience with, get their feet wet, get their arms around."
This will evolve into SAPs next-generation SOA (service-oriented architecture) business process platform, expected next year, Kagermann said.
In other news at the conference, SAP announced:
- More than 100 new, industry-specific analytic applications, spanning more than 25 industries;
- A NetWeaver subsidiary connectivity solution to connect companies mySAP Business Suite solutions with their smaller operating locations running SAP Business One;
- A global strategic alliance with Siemens AG to deliver an integrated IT offering to the health care provider market to help drive patient safety, increase efficiency and transparency, promote growth and innovation, and reduce total cost of ownership for health care organizations worldwide. The Siemens Soarian and SAP Healthcare solution will first be made available in the United States, Germany and Japan using an integration powered by SAP NetWeaver, officials said.
- An expanded partnership with IBM to add new features to Version 8.2.2 of IBMs DB2 database that enhance deployment, maintenance and availability and deliver improved performance for SAP customers. Customers also will benefit from autonomic capabilities, such as DB2s "SAP tuner" feature developed to auto-configure DB2 in an SAP solutions environment. ´