SAP and Microsoft have released an early version of their Mendocino data integration package to selected businesses for testing.
The software integrates Microsoft's e-mail and calendar software with SAP's back-office business applications, providing end-users with a more familiar interface when dealing with business data.
It is designed to let end-users more easily access and manipulate budgeting, human resources and billing information stored in corporate SAP databases.
Using Mendocino, 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 there is also a reduction in the amount of time it takes to make modifications to important business data.
SAP and Microsoft released Mendocino 1.0 to 50 users and partners at the end of 2005. More users are expected to be added to the testing phase in the spring, before a planned general release in July.
The first Mendocino release will require Microsoft Office 2003. Later versions of Mendocino will be integrated to the forthcoming Office 12 suite, which will be available towards the end of 2006.