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SAP Aims for Tighter Integration with Microsoft Technologies

Enterprise application giant SAP is working to hook its wares more tightly with Microsoft's ubiquitous Office desktop productivity software and Microsoft's widely used Visual Studio development platform.

The two companies announced an expansion of their partnership this week at SAP's SAPPHIRE conference by detailing a new roadmap for joint projects.

The plan starts this summer with a beta of an SAP Enterprise Portal software development kit for Microsoft .NET. In August, SAP will update its .NET Connector for integrating SAP applications with Microsoft .NET-based solutions. Version 2.0 of the SAP .NET Connector will add enhanced language support for Visual Basic .NET and better integration with Visual Studio .NET.

SAP will join the Visual Studio Industry Partner program and work to make it easier for .NET developers to more directly program against SAP applications from the Visual Studio integrated development environment.

SAP will also update its flagship SAP NetWeaver development platform to provide better support for Microsoft .NET technologies such as BizTalk Server. At the same time, SAP is delivering sample applications for developers to implement smart clients to access SAP system capabilities from Microsoft Office System applications and Visual Studio 2005. SAP is also working on a software development kit for "Longhorn," which is the next version of Windows due as a client in 2006 and a server in 2007.

In 2005, Microsoft will deliver technology to aid integration among SAP NetWeaver, Microsoft Exchange and Windows SharePoint Services.

According to the companies, more than 40,000 SAP installations run on Windows, which is more than all other platforms combined, and almost two-thirds of all new SAP installations are on Windows.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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