Microsoft and SAP teamed up for a do-over on Duet. In my experience, I’ve never seen a customer implement Duet 1.0 or 1.5 with the Microsoft Office integration. Maybe it wasn’t the right use case? Maybe it wasn’t easy enough to customize? In any case, the focus for the next version of Duet, Duet Enterprise has turned away from Microsoft Office applications and onto Microsoft SharePoint which is a terrific direction.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is generally well accepted, and becoming much more prevalent as the corporate Portal. Knowledge workers collaborating in this product is a simple and pleasant experience. Why not integrate some SAP data into this space?
The question will likely come down to the technical architecture. Duet Enterprise is not yet available, but will offer a number of accelerators, including Single Sign-On, monitoring, and “flattening” of services. I attended a terrific webinar this week reviewing this solution: http://webinars.sapinsideronline.com/. However, one of the advantages of SharePoint BCS (Business Connectivity Services, or SharePoint’s simple method for connecting to external data sources) and SAP’s Enterprise Services is that they are both standards that should work together without any special 3rd party components. Shouldn’t the goal be to simplify this solution? Is the added cost and complexity of Duet Enterprise worth the acceleration that it is offering? I will be digging into these questions over the next few weeks.