SAP and Microsoft Office 365
[Update – October 7th 2015]
Quite a few customers have reached out to me asking about support for Office 2016. Basically the situation is very similar to what is written below on Office 2013. If you look at Note 722513 – Desktop Office Integration: Maintenance information it has alraedy been updated with information on Office 2016 and several other product teams are already working on officially supporting the rich-client part of Office 2016.
In the past weeks I attended quite a few customers’ meetings and calls regarding SAPs support of Microsoft Office 365. This was not in the context of our SAP Gateway for Microsoft, but more a general question whether SAP would already support Office 365. Unfortunately this is not that simple. As with Office 365, SAP has a lot of products and the answer has to be “it depends”.
Integration in Office productivity tool
One very important thing that we have to keep in mind is what Office 365 actually means. Quite often customer think that Office 365 means the Cloud based version of Office. Basically running your Outlook, Excel, Exchange, Lync, … all in the cloud in a browser. And that is partially true, but if you consider for example Office 365 ProPlus, then this also means that you can have a local “rich client” installation of Office 2013. So Office 365 is more or less an umbrella which contains quite a lot of products.
Having this in mind, there is one thing that we can say right away: in a lot of cases customers are looking for the integration of SAP (meaning also the SAP GUI) and Office via the “Desktop Office Integration” (DOI). This is not supported for the cloud-based / browser-based Office version.
This is because several features are simply not available in the browser based version – on the other hand Microsoft introduced a new concept (called Apps for Office) which allows you to work with these Office applications and I am sure that over time we will see more and more support via this channel (… and this is actually something where Gateway for Microsoft comes in again ).
OK, so for the browser based scenarios there is not much support right now – but what about the rich-client side of Office 2013? Like said with Office 365 ProPlus you have the option to stream (“click to run”) a copy of Office 2013 to your local desktop.
Since Office 2013 is supported (see 722513 – Desktop Office Integration: Maintenance information ) for more details, everything is fine. Well, almost… The “problem” is that with Office 365 ProPlus Microsoft can update Office 2013 whenever they want. So we know that right now a specific version of Office 2013 is supported, but we cannot say for sure that this will not change in the next week. This can be a challenge, but there is also an option to disable the automatic update in your company (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2753538). In this case you would have the option to test and verify that the current version is working and only then update at your pace.
BEx / BI Business Explorer
Regarding the integration of BEx and Office 365, there already exists a great “overview” blog on SCN, http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-29360
Working with Exchange Online
The next thing that I have heard several times is that you want to use Exchange Online and SAP to act as an email client. This is a setup that I have heard now several times and I actually think it makes a lot of sense. An Email Server / Exchange is commodity in the meantime. So why go through the trouble to maintain it yourself? Up until recently this was not supported due to missing support of required authentication options. The good news is that with the latest kernel updates (see 2000465 – Support of AUTH LOGIN as SMTP client ) this is now also working.
Gateway for Microsoft and Apps for Office
So no matter whether you want to start now with Office 365 and leverage your current investments, or want to make sure that you are on the right track and ensure supportability in the future — SAP and Microsoft are working on providing you the best experience possible!
Although not an Office 365 topic, I keep hearing this question from customers as well: what about support for Windows 10? Can I run my SAP products on Windows 10? — Usually this question is more about “can I run my SAP GUI for Windows on Windows 10”. We are working with Microsoft on this and you can check out https://css.wdf.sap.corp/sap/support/notes/66971 where we outlined our plans regarding SAP GUI and Windows 10 support.