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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Twelve months after first unveiling Project Mendocino, SAP and Microsoft have announced they will ship the first release of the product in June 2006. The product is officially named Duet Software for Microsoft Office and SAP. It is jointly developed, sold, marketed and supported by SAP and Microsoft. Nearly 100 joint customers and partners have been using the product in its early release form since late 2005.

Duet allows users to employ the Microsoft Office environment to access selected SAP applications. There are four main business processes support by Duet.

* Budget monitoring gives managers access to SAP financial data.

* Time management enables employees to record work and billable hours using their MS Outlook calendar, and then automatically synchronize MS Outlook with mySAP ERP.

* Leave management enables employees to submit personal leave requests and handle management approvals processes through MS Outlook, and then synchronize this information between the desktop and mySAP ERP.

* Organization management allows employees and managers to access SAP organizational information and human resources-related tasks in the MS Outlook environment.

SAP and Microsoft also announced plans to enhance the capabilities of Duet and to release additional business scenarios. In the second half of 2006, SAP and Microsoft will offer two value packs for Duet. These provide additional business scenarios, enhanced platform capabilities, and additional language support. These value packs will expose five additional mySAP ERP and mySAP CRM scenarios in MS Office. The scenarios are recruitment management, travel management, analytics, purchasing management and sales activity management. With these value packs, the capabilities of Duet will be extended beyond employee and manager self-service to include line-of-business operations. The value packs are designed for compatibility with the next release of mySAP ERP and Microsoft Office 2007. The Duet language support at this time will include English, French, German, Portuguese Spanish and Japanese.

A white paper on Duet can be found at

There are two interesting aspects to this announcement. First, it demonstrates the need for business users to be able to access business information through a collaborative environment such as Microsoft Office, in addition to a web-based interface like the SAP Enterprise Portal. Second, it shows that SAP and Microsoft are creating a powerful alliance that will be able to compete effectively against vendors like Oracle.

Posted May 2, 2006 2:40 PM
Permalink | 5 Comments |


I am quite stunned that something as lame as Mendocino would get as much coverage as it is getting, not because the Office connectivity problem is not a big one, but because their extent of coverage is so stunningly puny. Out of thousands of module, they pick 4, take 1.5 years to deliver it, require Office 2003, and now require 6 new servers to be installed before this can be deployed.

The most interesting part of the entire announcement as you point out is the MSFT-SAP partnership, and its potential impact on Oracle. Hoping to hear from them soon.

The vision for Duet is no doubt compelling, but its execution is fairly limited, and requires a good bunch of middleware.

It seems to me that this heavy weight alliance has bunged in heavy weight software stacks for fulfilling this vision. Time lines too seem to be stretching over years - not done in days when "business@speed of thought".

- Sangeeta Patni

It is again a product to fool the SAP customers. It is well know fact that whoever has bought SAP has suffered for wrong decision. Huge investment and lifetime pain.

Duet (mendocino) is another such product from SAP

It takes 3 days to install. (whereas IBM product takes less than 15 seconds. even oracle product is 1000 times better. Even some freewares are better)

I dont understand how it will help information workers. It takes 8 minutes for a simple pop-up menu to pop. :) Its just crazy how microsoft can tie up with a company which has a history of customer- Unfriendly. Its a stategic mistake on part of microsoft.

very true a fraud product. you know it hangs my windows and then it crashed my XP. I have to reinstall my XP. mendocino is a fraud. it overwrites your registery files. use it carefully


Can you give me an example of how Duet caused you to re-install XP. Also what company are you with and where did you download the TAP?

Ajay- can you give me an example of what pop up takes 8-min to pop up?


Don Reamey

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