Feeds

Mendocino - a love that dare speak its name?

Inside the Microsoft/SAP affair

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Hepburn and Tracey, Reagan and Thatcher, Microsoft and SAP. What's the connection? Individuals - or companies - who can't commit to each other fulltime, yet who also can't seem to stop sharing each others' company.

Microsoft and SAP shocked the world in 2004 when they confirmed the existence of merger talks. While these didn't produce the intended results, that didn't mean two of the biggest forces in software decided to go their separate ways after the initial date.

Far from it. They followed up in April 2005 by announcing Mendocino, a project linking SAP's notoriously proprietary back-end ERP architecture and processes to Microsoft's ubiquitous front-office desktop productivity suite, Office.

The first fruits are now ripening. Remarkably for a Microsoft-backed roadmap, Mendocino is slipping out as promised in the fourth quarter to a select number of companies - 40 customers and 10 partners are due to get Mendocino code this month. A further 50 are expected to get code in April with Mendocino 2.0 due in July.

Ripe for plucking

Mendocino is a critical step for Microsoft and SAP, which recognizes both each others' relative strengths and addresses their respective needs in staying relevant to their respective markets.

For Microsoft, Mendocino is a vital step in its clearly emerging mission of turning Office into a portal on to enterprise data. Office 12, due in 2006, is expected to achieve this in the Microsoft domain through greater integration with Windows servers. Office 12 is, we are told, to feature improved business intelligence (BI) as Excel spreadsheets access data held in SQL Server while a server-based set of Excel Services will allow customers to secure and share data.

That's an essential value proposition for Microsoft for two reasons. First, it contributes to the underlying mission of defining each new version of Office against its predecessor by bringing in new features that help enhance its capabilities and appeal as a piece of collaborative software. This feeds into Microsoft's second objective: of maintaining growth in the Office franchise.

Thirty percent of Office users have seen no reason to purchase the last three versions of Office because the product they have already meets their desktop productivity needs. Those needs? Word processing and running spreadsheets.

As far as Microsoft is concerned, SAP is "another" back-end system for Office to pry open, like SQL Server, whose data can be served to the front-office user inside Office. It's no coincidence 42 per cent of SAP installations rely on SQL Server to provide the database layer of their application architecture.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Upgrade, she wrote

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.