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SAP-Microsoft Link Due

SAP and Microsoft have a time frame for delivering the goods from a cooperative effort to link SAP applications with Microsoft Office. A final beta version is due this week, followed by a general release in about two months.
SAP and Microsoft have a time frame for delivering the goods from a cooperative effort to link SAP applications with Microsoft Office. A final beta version is due this week, followed by a general release in about two months.

The offering, called Mendocino, will include embedded analytics by the end of this year. "We are pushing together Mendocino and analytics to give the information worker all the data in the environment they prefer, which is Microsoft Office," says Dennis Moore, general manager of emerging solutions at SAP Labs. "SAP will push the enterprise data through Mendocino to make the information available in folders that sit on the computer desktop."

The move comes as Microsoft invests in business intelligence features to supplement its Office apps. This month, it acquired software maker ProClarity, whose product companies use to analyze data in conjunction with Microsoft products such as SQL Server.

SAP intends to embed analytic capabilities across its software suites, including ERP and CRM. Mendocino initially will center on four functions: leave management, time management, organization management, and budget monitoring.

Getting Mendocino off the ground meant meshing the two companies' styles. SAP tends to make sure the code is "fully baked" before releasing it to anyone, and then slowly ramp up to a small number of customers, Moore says. Microsoft prefers wide availability of preview versions, he says, "so the product works without a lot of support before releasing it to customers."