Microsoft has launched an initiative to encourage developers to integrate existing business applications with its Office environment.
The move to encourage the creation of “Office Business Applications” is part of Microsoft’s push into the business market.
It follows an joint initiative with SAP to make its data from its enterprise software accessible through the Office suite and the release of software giving access to Siebel customer information platforms via the Outlook e-mail program.
A recent tie-up with Hyperion will also make the two firms’ business products interoperable.
Developers will be able to build Office Business Applications using new services in Office 2007, covering workflow, search, a Business Data Catalogue, Microsoft Office Open XML formats and the platform’s website and security framework.
The software giant has also announced line-of-business interoperability (LOBi) for SharePoint Server, a toolkit designed to allow structured process integration with Office applications and SharePoint Server 2007.
Microsoft will also release BizTalk Adapter Pack, a set of application adapters to simplify the link-up between Office 2007 and business applications.
Office Business Application Services are available for beta testing, while a technical preview of LOBi for Office SharePoint Server is scheduled for the end of the year.