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Former Member

Those of you following my blogs know that I am a huge fan of the new Apps for Office model introduced by Microsoft with Office 2013 and Office 365 (Connecting Apps for Office with SAP) . Using HTML5 and JavaScript and not being linked to a computer, but to a user will certainly solve a lot of (roll-out) related issue that every company had in the past. Integrating in Office, creating apps for Outlook, Excel, … will be much, much easier. Of course the number of APIs are not yet has big as the ones from VSTO, but it is a good start.

Well, it turns out I am not the only one thinking so. During this years SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas we learned a lot about new technologies like Office Graph, Oslo, Office Video, Open Source SDK for Android, Access Services, OneDriver for Business are just a few things. Another important point that was mentioned a lot was: Apps for Office!

Actually there were quite a few comments saying that SharePoint Conference turned into an Office 365 conference, focusing on Office, and SharePoint “just” being part of this story. Still they showed some nice and impressive scenarios how developers can benefit from these new featuers.

Obviously the next thing coming into your mind is: what about SAP? Wouldn’t it be great to have CRM data from my SAP system in Outlook? Latest Vendor Address information in Word? Latest sales figures in PowerPoint? Product master data in Excel?

All easily integrated via HTML5 and JavaScript and wherever the user logs in without having to pre-install a VSTO based add-in?

As you know this has already been possible and we worked with several partners to create some showcases – but the problem was always in the detail: these  demos used username / password, had to work with proxies to prevent cross site request forgery issues, …

What's next?

At SPC2014 SAP announced the plan to release GWPAM for Azure, which basically brings SAP NetWeaver Gateway OData services into Windows Azure. My colleage Yuval Anafi together with Shoshanna Budzianowski from Microsoft presented a great session where they showed the latest lab previews!

With the planned functionalities the Microsoft developer can consume SAP data as he would with any other data already available in Azure. You do not have to care about SSO or security topics. Since your app is already running in Azure, it can simply connect to the SAP data source via the planned GWPAM for Azure service.

Using the planned GWPAM Azure provider it was easy to bring the data in SharePoint Online, in Outlook Web App, and even on Windows Mobile devices. All done in an enterprise ready way.

If you are interested -- we already have a customer engagement initiative running for GWPAM and we are currently looking for more customers to participate. I will post related information here soon.

This is just the beginning...