What is OBA all about?

The next months I'll be involved in a number of OBA-related projects initiated by Microsoft Corp with the goal of making OBA better know to the Microsoft partners (especially the Independent Software Vendors – a.k.a. ISVs). There is a lot of excitement around OBA and I'm happy to ride this wave J also because I know a lot of the guys and girls in the OBA team and it is going to be fun again to work with them more closely. As a result, I intend to start creating a bunch of OBA-focused postings here on the blog. I'll kick off with an explanation what OBA exactly is.

OBA is the abbreviation for Office Business Applications. No, it is not really about the Microsoft Dynamics products. It is actually very developer focused. The goal is to position Office (both the clients and the servers) as the platform for companies to build and integrate their business applications. This is a message that I really like since I have advocated Windows SharePoint Services and also Office for a long time as a solution platform. Leverage it to build your own solutions, integrate with it, and connect it to the external line-of-business applications so that the information workers get more productive in their work. With OBA, Microsoft wants to help you being more successful in all of this with resources, sample applications, training material, guidance, best practices and patterns. Now, since Office is used by information workers and business users, the type of solutions are business applications. Duet, the joint-project with SAP, is a good example of an OBA-project. Connecting information workers to business data is one of the challenges a lot of partners are facing and the OBA team wants to help them with bridging what is known as the results gap.

Here are a couple of essential resources to get you up-to-speed with OBA: