Some companies will be able to start testing the Mendocino data integration package from SAP and Microsoft next week.
The software integrates Microsoft's e-mail and calendar programs with SAP’s back-office business applications, giving employees a more familiar user interface when dealing with business data.
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The program is designed to let workers more easily access and manipulate budgeting, human resource and billing information that is stored in corporate SAP databases.
SAP and Microsoft plan to release Mendocino 1.0 to about 50 customers and partners on 23 December. More customers are expected to be added to the testing phase next spring, before a planned general release in July 2006.
Using Mendocino, corporate data in a SAP business format can be automatically sent to a user’s Outlook e-mail in-box, for instance.
Modifications to the reports can be made in Outlook and then sent back to the main SAP data repository.
This can all be done without the user having to leave a familiar data processing platform, and reducing the amount of time it takes to make modifications to important business data.
The first Mendocino release will require the latest version of the Microsoft Office suite to work, which is Office 2003.
Later versions will be integrated to the forthcoming Office 12 suite, which will be available towards the end of 2006.