Thursday, February 01, 2007

Great example of Office System integration


Yesterday, I delivered the keynote address at the first-ever SharePoint Information Worker Conference. We are holding the conference in Orlando and at 8 a.m. we had a ballroom full of Information Workers eager to see what SharePoint 2007 has to offer that will help them in their daily work. It amazed me that we had attendees from around the world - as far as Kazakhstan.

I think the way Microsoft continues to enhance the integration between all of the Office programs and SharePoint may be the #1 reason why the Office System stands out from the crowd. To this end, I demo'd an application that I developed easily and with no code. The application featured my Pocket PC Phone running Windows Mobile 5.0, OneNote 2007 Mobile, OneNote 2007 on my laptop, MOSS 2007 and Outlook 2007.

In a nutshell, the application involves using the Pocket PC Phone's camera and OneNote Mobile to snap and store a picture of an expense receipt. Then Activesync automatically adds the note to OneNote on the laptop and I quickly annotate the image of the receipt. After that, I publish the OneNote page with the image to a SharePoint document library for the project the receipt relates to. The document library has the out-of-the-box MOSS Approval workflow setup to route the receipt for approval through my boss and then to accounting for reimbursement. Once the approval workflow kicks in, my boss never has to go to the document library to do his part. Instead, he is notified automatically by the workflow via Outlook 2007 and can approve the receipt right in Outlook.

This is the type of application that would have previously required hundreds of development hours to custom develop. Now, all of the pieces are baked right into the Office System. Way to go Office team in Redmond! After the demo, one of the Information Workers in the conference held up a sign with a 9.5 score (out of 10) on it. I took it as a compliment, but who knows, maybe he thought he was judging a figure skating competition :).
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