Determined to transform Office 2007 from a productivity suite to a business applications platform, Microsoft has unveiled a program to help partners add functionality to the suite by creating Office Business Applications, or OBAs.
OBAs add business processes and intelligence to Office applications such as Excel and Outlook. They are designed to connect functionality from back-end applications, such as Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft Dynamics suite, to frontend desktop applications that business users are familiar with and often use.
The OBA OnRamp Program included technical resources, training and sales and marketing assistance for partners, program manager for Microsoft's platform strategy group, Daz Wilkin, said. It also featured an OBA Quickstart Kit including case studies and demos that would help partners get up to speed on what OBAs were and how to build them, Wilkin said.
Microsoft partners can also sell the OBAs they develop on a site called OBA Central.