Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Nick Basinger, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microsoft Cloud

Agile Computing: Article

Will Office 365 Redefine Enterprise Applications?

How Office 365, Azure, and NoSQL can work together to improve business productivity

There is a of excitement in the air about Microsoft's Office 365 offering. Apart from the traditional view of reduction in licensing cost and no Upgrade issues which the SaaS basically offers, we can also derive some enterprise benefits from it if all the partners and ISV support the same. This one is one such pattern.

Office 365

Office 365 provides anywhere access to email, documents, contacts, and calendars so you're always up-to-date. From scheduling to interactive online meetings to sharing files, you're uniting cloud-based services with the productivity tools people use every day.

At this time , Office 365 will be Microsoft's flagship SaaS offering with :

  • Office Professional Plus
  • Exchange Online
  • Sharepoint Online
  • Lync Online

Windows Azure

The Windows Azure platform is poised to radically change the way Microsoft architects and developers think about building and managing applications. The Windows Azure platform provides an Internet-based cloud computing environment for running applications and storing data in Microsoft data centers around the world. In many ways, you can think of it as Windows in the cloud.

NoSQL

In computing, NoSQL is a term used to designate database management systems that differ from classic relational database management systems in some way. These data stores may not require fixed table schemas, and usually avoid join operations and typically scale horizontally. Academics and papers typically refer to these databases as structured storage, a term that would include classic relational databases as a subset.

Windows Azure & NoSQL

While SQLAzure is a robust relational database platform as a Service,  but yet Windows Azure do provide  lot of capabilities to host and run NoSQL databases. The following are the  typical NoSQL options within Windows Azure apart from third party providers.

  • The simplest way to store data in Windows Azure storage is to use blobs. A blob contains binary data, each container can contain one or more blobs. Blobs can be big-up to a terabyte-and they can also have associated metadata, such as information about where a JPEG photograph was taken or who the singer is for an MP3 file
  • Blobs are just right for some situations, but they're too unstructured for others. To let applications work with data in a more fine-grained way, Windows Azure storage provides tables. These aren't relational tables. The data each one holds is actually stored in a group of entities that contain properties

Business Processing With Traditional SQL Database

  • Most of the business process initiation is carried out through unstructured documents like Microsoft Office, Adobe documents .
  • However due to the lack of validation of the document data with the enterprise information systems (EIS), the document data is shredded (de-normalized) into relational databases
  • Duplication in terms of data entry and reporting
  • End to end integration is achieved only by storing the storing the unstructured documents in relational form and again assembling them back to unstructured form to be passed on to downstream systems
  • Data validation is done through the customized forms and not from the unstructured documents
  • Search capabilities on Unstructured documents are limited or non existing and hence big effort on custom development is spent on Enterprise Reporting Tools to query relational tables
  • The below diagram shows the business processing with Traditional SQL Databases

Transformation Into [Office 365, NOSQL] Cloud Environment

With the proposed offerings on Office 365 along with the NOSQL offerings that currently exist on Azure PaaS platform,  we are into a  new world of seamless integration between the unstructured documents and  Cloud, so that the LOB (Line Of  Business) applications can perform efficient  business process work flow without the over whelming conversion to relational format and  consolidating it again for reporting.

  • Utilize the advanced features of the OBA (Office Business Applications) to integrate the business processes
  • Utilize the unlimited storage options available as part of NOSQL storage offerings as part of Azure Cloud Platform
  • Integrate with other tools that enable the business process orchestration, like
  • o Exchange Online
  • o Sharepoint Online
  • Integrate with human intervention and collaboration with Lync Online.

Summary

Traditionally   Office business applications have always been preferred  in various enterprise,  high number of Excel and MS-Access based applications is a testimony.

Mostly these applications have so far restricted by the  scalability, space and multi user needs and hence enterprises migrated them to other platforms  like .net or J2EE.

However availability of Office 365 as a SaaS on a PaaS platform like Azure along with the unlimited storage potential of NOSQL  databases like BLOB makes it very extensible and a truly enterprise business process platform.

We expect the  ISVs to come up with several  glue applications for data acquisition, validation , storage and reporting enhancements to make the best out of this platform, and it looks like  it is already on that course.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...