First thanks to everyone whom came to my sessions at TechEd. Other thanks goes out to folks in the blogosphere talking about the session. The first session was standing room only! I have two more on the same topics in New Zealand.
In the presentations I talked a lot about the separation of human and system workflow and demonstrating that MOSS is a great platform for exposing Service Oriented Architectures.
From an architecture perspective I talked about how OBAs are really composite applications. Below you will find the "Formula for Composite Architectures" you’ll see OBA in the middle.
I received some great feedback and questions on my OBA talk. Here are some of the questions that were asked:
What if we can not invest in MOSS right away, can we still build OBAs? Yes, you can leverage WSS services, build ribbons and task panes. However, it will be limiting compared to building off of the MOSS platform. Additionally, OBAs are not just Office 2007 clients either. You can build OBAs from Office 2003 version assets. You will quickly find out there that there is a strong business case to move to the new version.
Can OBAs help with Configuration Management? This was an interesting question. OBAs in and of themselves can’t help with configuration management. However that is like contrasting database technology with that subject. The answer is YES you can build them and YES you can buy them. If you want to buy a solution rather than build it you can check out: http://www.enterpriseinformatics.com/sharepoint.shtml. They specialize in this area. They have a great picture that describes how they complement our product.
What is the long term plans for OBA? If I build one today will something new come along and obsolete it? Well there is always a chance of that further down the line, however Microsoft has a very strong dedication to OBAs. We will further define OBAs and how they integrate with LOB solutions with LOBi. There will be a plethora of new features in Office 14 around this integration. So the short answer is OBAs are here to stay for awhile.
In summary I received some great feedback on the OBA RAP for Loan Origination Systems. There was two customers that personally approached me that said this is exactly what they were looking for to solve their problems in this space. I am happy to of helped those of you in this space.