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January 10, 2011

Surface 2

Microsoft Surface is a few years old, but I didn't seem to have done very well. There are limited instances of its usage and applications that run on it. Some reasons for this have been a bulky horizontal table, the cost and specialized hardware, which meant high replacement costs in case some parts were to get damaged. The base operating system was also Windows Vista, which we know wasn't all the successful

At CES 2011 Conference, Steve Ballmer, as part of his Keynote address showed some things in store for users in 2011. You can watch the keynote here. The keynote showcased Hands-free Zone experience which brings movies, music, TV and sports on XBOX 360 along with Kinect. Kinect is the new add on to XBOX that makes an individual the controller for the various actions and games played on XBOX.

Along with this also showcased was Windows Phone 7, which was launched recently in many parts of the world.

And finally there was also Surface 2, which addresses many of the concerns from its earlier version like

  • uses Windows 7 operating system
  • much thinner (just about 4") 
  • has done with various cameras and other such custom hardware and instead uses PixelSense to recognize fingers and objects on the table
  • supports vertical orientation as well
  • cheaper

With Surface SDK 2.0 alongside support for WPF 4 and XNA 4, Surface may actually see a revival of interest, with new and interesting commercial applications being targetted towards it. I am definitely going to be watching this with keen interest. How about you?

January 7, 2011

Duet - SharePoint and SAP integration

It has been a while since i have been working on the Duet RDP program with Microsoft. We were one of the first few who got an opportunity to understand what Duet is all about even before the same will be launched into the market. SAP and Microsoft conducted few sessions exclusive for Infosys and gave a heads up to understand and work on the Duet.


Duet is one of the highly anticipated products which will help enterprises consume and extend SAP through SharePoint 2010. I will focus in this blog on the how Duet will help in increasing the value of existing investments made by enterprises.

Duet gives this value of leveraging the existing SAP platform with powerful features like

·         Prebuilt integration as an add-on to Microsoft SharePoint and  SAP Net weaver platform

·         Has OOB interoperability with support for

o    Security / SSO

o    Templates for accessing SAP data objects

o    All are industry standard based

o    Easy access to SAP reports

o    Browse HR information

o    Easy integration with Office  


·         Also provide very useful tools and services for SAP ABAP developers, .Net developers and business users

o    Service composition and adoption

o    Custom business logic development

o    Field configurations

o    Declarative and no code

o    Custom UX and data integration

Duet is the foundation for interoperability between SAP and SharePoint. Apart from giving the flexibility of integration with SAP systems it also provides capabilities like providing

·         Duet enterprise sites

·         Duet enterprise profiles Enterprise collaboration and much more

I will look into the enterprise collaboration feature which I got to explore. The first steps for this will be to install the SharePoint bits and the SAP bits. Both were available for Infosys as it is part of the Olympus partner program with Microsoft.

The scenario we tried to explored was integration of the SharePoint with SAP and

·         Fetching information from the SAP  and presenting the same  on SharePoint collaboration websites

·         To blend the SAP data and business process with content in SharePoint and enable better collaboration

Microsoft always looked at enhancing developer productivity and has come up with easy tools and templates to build this integration not just the developer community, I am sure many of folks with investments in the SAP will be looking forward at DUET launch and are looking at leveraging the powerful collaboration features of SharePoint 2010 to drive people productivity, expand the value of existing investment and also rapidly respond to the business needs.

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