Application Portfolio Management

image It’s amazing the e-mails I received as a result of the Enterprise Architecture and Application Portfolio Management article and the many posts I have made in relation to APM. To all the responded, Thank You!

The Enterprise Architecture space is littered with tools that are either address niche areas or just provide high level coverage of EA. I look at EA as a facilitating function that encompasses it’s own processes but also many other enterprise processes. Since this is the case, it is tough for vendors to address all of these concerns. Often times vendors will build a governance tool or framework that they say is an EA tool. As they say, it’s close but no cigar.

So what does this mean? These tools leaves the EA space fragmented and end Enterprise Architects confused. Since I view EA as a facilitating function of many others that means that there isn’t just one master EA tool but rather a EA toolbox.  APM is just one of many of the tools in that toolbox.

If you are new to my blog or just need to catch up here is where we are at:

Last month I published MSDN article that I have written for the Application Portfolio Management space.  This primer will walk architects through the synergies between Application Portfolio Management and Enterprise Architecture. The article is titled Integration of Enterprise Architecture and Application Portfolio Management. I hope you enjoy it and provide some of your thoughts and comments on it as well.

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Full post: http://blogs.msdn.com/mikewalker/archive/2007/11/29/article-integration-of-enterprise-architecture-and-application-portfolio-management.aspx

Other related blog entries:

 

As I mentioned before I got a ton of responses from internally at Microsoft, customers and you. Thank you for the kind responses and sorry for my delayed response. If you follow my blog you have noticed that I have been a bit busy launching some very comprehensive materials.

The majority of the comments were centered around what are Microsoft’s offerings for APM and PPM. There is a lack of awareness on what Microsoft offerings are out there. I think we as Microsoft haven’t been doing a good enough job of talking about these solutions. I would like to change that 🙂 It is clear that you are hungry for more information on this space. Remember as we publish guidance we are starting small and working are way along. Keep you comments coming, they are great and help us tailor what we build and publish all that much better!

Here is an overview video that details our product offering in this space:

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Application Portfolio Management Overview

There was some activity in the blogosphere on this article.

Eric Swanson writes:

…I would have liked to see suggestions that were more evolutionary. Rather than jumping on Project Portfolio software, I would have liked to see a suggestion to perhaps start simply with spreadsheets and maybe suggest the types of information most likely to deliver the highest value (end of life dates, etc.)…

Eric brings up a great point about how I dive right into the Portfolio software. That was partly by design. Since this is just a primer on EA and APM I do not go into the "How To’s" or detailed guidance of APM. That is a much longer article. But… what I am hearing load and clear is that you want more guidance on APM specifically. What Eric eludes to is he is looking for the step by step guidance on how to go from working from multiple Excel spreadsheets to a mature APM tool and practice. I am unaware of any internal Microsoft guidance on the end to end APM guidance. This would fill a big gap. I will keep you updated on this item as I feel this is critical.

 

Nick Malik writes from his blog:

I decided to take a few minutes of my vacation time to catch up on my reading, and I read through Mike Walker’s article on MSDN on APM and EA.  It is an interesting and useful article. (I’d give it a B-).

One thing that I’d like to highlight in the practice of application portfolio management is that of risk management, an area that Mike implicitely touches on, but which I believe is fundamental to the business case of APM.

Nick is absolutely right that I do not talk explicitly about risk management and it’s relationship. I encourage you to read Nick’s post on this. It is very useful. Your probably asking yourself why I didn’t go into these details. Well, as I mentioned in the post that describes the whitepaper (above) this is just a primer on one small aspect (relation of EA activities to APM) of APM. This article just scratches the surface of APM. As many of you know, I am a former EA from a bank. Risk management is hard coded in my brain! I am also a practitioner, I have started an APM practice from scratch and deployed in an enterprise. This topic is near and dear to me. Now, I excluded it because I wanted to describe the breadth of the topic rather than the micro level details. With that said, we should do something around the risk management aspects. I may write a post or a full MSDN article on this later.

 

More Information on Microsoft’s APM tools

Blogs

 

Partners to help with APM:

UMT Consulting Group

 

Tags: Enterprise Architecture

There was some activity in the blogosphere on this article.

Eric Swanson writes:

…I would have liked to see suggestions that were more evolutionary. Rather than jumping on Project Portfolio software, I would have liked to see a suggestion to perhaps start simply with spreadsheets and maybe suggest the types of information most likely to deliver the highest value (end of life dates, etc.)…

Eric brings up a great point about how I dive right into the Portfolio software. That was partly by design. Since this is just a primer on EA and APM I do not go into the "How To’s" or detailed guidance of APM. That is a much longer article. But… what I am hearing load and clear is that you want more guidance on APM specifically. What Eric eludes to is he is looking for the step by step guidance on how to go from working from multiple Excel spreadsheets to a mature APM tool and practice. I am unaware of any internal Microsoft guidance on the end to end APM guidance. This would fill a big gap. I will keep you updated on this item as I feel this is critical.

 

Nick Malik writes from his blog:

I decided to take a few minutes of my vacation time to catch up on my reading, and I read through Mike Walker’s article on MSDN on APM and EA.  It is an interesting and useful article. (I’d give it a B-).

One thing that I’d like to highlight in the practice of application portfolio management is that of risk management, an area that Mike implicitely touches on, but which I believe is fundamental to the business case of APM.

Nick is absolutely right that I do not talk explicitly about risk management and it’s relationship. I encourage you to read Nick’s post on this. It is very useful. Your probably asking yourself why I didn’t go into these details. Well, as I mentioned in the post that describes the whitepaper (above) this is just a primer on one small aspect (relation of EA activities to APM) of APM. This article just scratches the surface of APM. As many of you know, I am a former EA from a bank. Risk management is hard coded in my brain! I am also a practitioner, I have started an APM practice from scratch and deployed in an enterprise. This topic is near and dear to me. Now, I excluded it because I wanted to describe the breadth of the topic rather than the micro level details. With that said, we should do something around the risk management aspects. I may write a post or a full MSDN article on this later.

 

More Information on Microsoft’s APM tools

Blogs

 

Partners to help with APM:

UMT Consulting Group

 

Tags: Enterprise Architecture

There was some activity in the blogosphere on this article.

Eric Swanson writes:

…I would have liked to see suggestions that were more evolutionary. Rather than jumping on Project Portfolio software, I would have liked to see a suggestion to perhaps start simply with spreadsheets and maybe suggest the types of information most likely to deliver the highest value (end of life dates, etc.)…

Eric brings up a great point about how I dive right into the Portfolio software. That was partly by design. Since this is just a primer on EA and APM I do not go into the "How To’s" or detailed guidance of APM. That is a much longer article. But… what I am hearing load and clear is that you want more guidance on APM specifically. What Eric eludes to is he is looking for the step by step guidance on how to go from working from multiple Excel spreadsheets to a mature APM tool and practice. I am unaware of any internal Microsoft guidance on the end to end APM guidance. This would fill a big gap. I will keep you updated on this item as I feel this is critical.

 

Nick Malik writes from his blog:

I decided to take a few minutes of my vacation time to catch up on my reading, and I read through Mike Walker’s article on MSDN on APM and EA.  It is
an interesting and useful article. (I’d give it a B-).

One thing that I’d like to highlight in the practice of application portfolio management is that of risk management, an area that Mike implicitely touches on, but which I believe is fundamental to the business case of APM.

Nick is absolutely right that I do not talk explicitly about risk management and it’s relationship. I encourage you to read Nick’s post on this. It is very useful. Your probably asking yourself why I didn’t go into these details. Well, as I mentioned in the post that describes the whitepaper (above) this is just a primer on one small aspect (relation of EA activities to APM) of APM. This article just scratches the surface of APM. As many of you know, I am a former EA from a bank. Risk management is hard coded in my brain! I am also a practitioner, I have started an APM practice from scratch and deployed in an enterprise. This topic is near and dear to me. Now, I excluded it because I wanted to describe the breadth of the topic rather than the micro level details. With that said, we should do something around the risk management aspects. I may write a post or a full MSDN article on this later.

 

More Information on Microsoft’s APM tools

Blogs

 

Partners to help with APM:

UMT Consulting Group

 

Tags: Enterprise Architecture

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6th Annual Microsoft Financial Services Developer Conference

image I will be presenting again at the Financial Services Developer Conference on March 12-13, 2008. If you are going to be present swing by my presentation or stop by to have a chat.

The 2008 Microsoft Financial Services Developer Conference will focus on providing developers and architects in Financial Services a clear roadmap of the Microsoft development platform with a focus on High Performance Computing (HPC).

In celebration of the conference’s 6th year, we are building on the momentum of years past. We will be highlighting trends and best practices in the HPC space, including:

· A strong roadmap that will empower customers and partners to leverage Microsoft’s current and next wave of technologies to ensure that they are operating with optimal efficiency and performance.

Other key topic areas include:

1. The Software + Services space (S+S)

2. Technologies such as Office Business Applications (OBA), Excel Services

3. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS)

These are just some of the technologies that will be covered at this two-day event – register now as space is limited! As a reminder, the event is free and includes a welcome reception at the Marriott Marquis on the first night sponsored by our Platinum and Gold partners!

REGISTRATION
Register today by clicking here.

Loan Origination Reference Architecture Version 2

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I announced at the Office Developers Conference 2008 the release of the Loan Origination Reference Architecture version 2. Like the previous version, this reference architecture shows architects and developers how to bridge OBA technologies with transactional service oriented systems such as BizTalk.

The Loan Origination Reference Architecture shows how to build architectures that unify people, process and technology through familiar Office 2007 user interfaces. It includes an architecture framework for lending with an Office Business Application based scenario and BizTalk “MISMO” Accelerator for the loan origination process in banking. OBAs are an emerging class of business applications that connect existing line-of-business (LOB) systems with the people that use them every day through the familiar user interface of Microsoft Office, bridging the gap between how business process systems work, and how people work. OR-LOS will help customers simplify document management, increase integrated workflow, improve efficiency and ultimately lower time-to-market offering for faster turn-around and reduced cost.

Solutions that leverage the OR-LOS have the following benefits:

  • Empowers Business Users to make informed lending decisions
  • Using familiar Office tools for common business tasks (e.g., Outlook or Excel)
  • Provided with a extensible lending platform that will reduce the development cycle
  • Lending technology consolidation strategies can be derived
  • Interoperable Lending Platform through BizTalk MISMO Accelerator
  • Rich collaboration platform

 

Summary of Additions

image image image

  • New Instant Messaging OCS Integration for Broker and Loan Processor collaboration
  • A new set of five Excel based Mortgage Calculators
  • More Content Management
  • Real-World Patterns for ECM
  • 2 New Business Intelligence Reports
  • New 1003 FannieMae v.3.2 based InfoPath form
  • InfoPath Quick Registration Enhancements including:
  • Enhance Look and Feel
  • Surfacing Workflow Steps
  • MLS Integration using the RETS standard for an S+S example.
  • Add Data Elements to conform to the industry standard 1003 Form
  • New OpenXML Document Generation of Loan Documents Includes an example of generation of the Good Faith Estimate

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Last month Gartner releases whitepaper entitled “Banks Must Redesign Their Lending Architecture”. The guidance is very similar to the guidance in the Loan Origination Reference Architecture.

Be sure to check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Links for downloads of the source code will be made available soon.

Truth about Microsoft Meetings

This is really funny especially for me as I am  listening to that same song everyday on conference calls. I never thought to "Bust a move" though… It would be pretty scary if I did, I would most likely look like Elaine from the popular show Seinfeld.

This is really funny especially for me as I am  listening to that same song everyday on conference calls. I never thought to "Bust a move" though… It would be pretty scary if I did, I would most likely look like Elaine from the popular show Seinfeld.

This is really funny especially for me as I am  listening to that same song everyday on conference calls. I never thought to "Bust a move" though… It would be pretty scary if I did, I would most likely look like Elaine from the popular show Seinfeld.

Office Developers Conference 2008 Wrap-Up

What a great conference! Thanks to everyone that attended the conference and my sessions. I will be posting my deck very soon so all of you can see. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to come to the Office Developers Conference to see Bill Gate’s keynote, you can see the video here.

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If you would like more information on the FedEx Outlook Plug-in you can find some great material on one of the guys that worked with FedEx on the project. Check out John Mullinax’s Blog.

Financial Services OBA Component Library

imageAt the Office Developers Conference this week I announced the release of the Financial Services OBA Component Library. The Financial Services OBA Component Library is a comprehensive set of OBA components that span across key areas in the Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets industries. The components are built in a composite way. This enables customers to assemble OBA components into existing or new business processes.

There are three things you need to know about the Financial Services OBA Component Library:

  • First, these components are built as composite OBA components. This makes these components composable in a mash-ups fashion. Since the components are driven by industry scenarios they address discrete areas of functionality in financial services business processes.
    • An example of this is a web part that is a 360 portfolio view of a insurance customer(shown in the screenshot above). Since this component is built in a composite manner, this component can be exposed across many different technology implementations (thick or thin client) OR business implementations (can be used in various other scenarios using the component as is but changing the systems it integrates to).  The Silverlight component is exposed as a web part in MOSS, the information is retrieved from the Business Data Catalog and the process is enabled by WF.
  • Second, these components fit into an end to end set of business capabilities and processes. The Loan Origination Reference Architecture is a result of mashing-up a set of components that demonstrates not only the value of OBA but how OBAs can transform the business process.
  • Third, components are all built on industry standards which makes these interoperable not only at the protocol level but at the business process level. These components break down the classic interoperability barriers. OBAs show customers new integration patterns and new uses of LOB information.

What are the scenarios?

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Banking

  • Lending Reference Architecture
  • Online Banking
  • Broker Commissions

Insurance

  • Insurance Claims Processing (Coming in March)
  • Insurance Channel Sales (Coming in March)
  • Life and Annuity Components

Capital Markets (Coming in March)

  • Create Structured Products Scenario
  • Excel OpenXML

 

The library will include approximately 90+ OBA Components for Financial Services. Below is a list of the technology components that comprises the component library.

image   image  image 

What is included?

  1. Site Templates
  2. Master Pages
  3. Silverlight Components
  4. Web Parts
    1. BDC Web Parts
    2. Extending Enterprise Content Management Web Parts
  5. Industry Standards based Infopath Forms
  6. Document Generation Framework
  7. Custom XML based OpenXML Documents (Excel/Word)
  8. State Machine WF Workflows
  9. Series of standards based integration BDC Entities
  10. WS-* enabled ACORD Web Services Messages
  11. Office Communications Server Components

 

Over the coming months you will see more content and additional Financial Services scenarios. Keep an eye out for these additional materials:

  1. MSDN Articles and Architecture Guidance
  2. Source code will be provided for free
  3. How To Articles
  4. Scenario based Hands On Labs
  5. MSDN Virtual Lab
  6. Content can be found on:
    1. Microsoft Connect – http://connect.microsoft.com
    2. Financial Services Architecture Center – http://msdn.microsoft.com/FinServArch
    3. My Blog (of course) – http://blogs.msdn.com/MikeWalker

When will it be released?

We will be rolling out guidance, source code and installable packages over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out on the MSDN Financial Services Architecture Portal.  

Office Developer Conference – Kurt DelBene

image Kurt DelBeneCorp. VP, Office Business Platform Group had the second keynote after Bill Gates. He talked about applying OBA to real world business applications. He also went much deeper on the announcements.

Kurt talked about developer trends in the market. SharePoint development is a rising star in the .Net world. Interoperability was discussed in length. There were a ton of Business Data Catalog (BDC), BizTalk Adapter Pack and OpenXML demos and discussions. I like the slide below, very simply MOSS is the Glue…

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The Financial Services OBA Component Library was announced in the keynote!!!

Kurt spent a good amount of time on library and how it ties nicely into the overall strategy for Office Business Applications.

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Components will be released very soon to the Financial Services Architecture Center on MSDN.

I will be blogging more on this as time goes on.

There were a ton of business applications demo’ed. Below is a sampling of those.

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UPDATED: See below few of the demos that were shown at the keynote:

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Kurt DelBene Keynote – Canadian Govt Demo

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: ODC 2008 Bill Gates Demos in Keynote

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Keynote – Outlook and E-Grant Demo

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: ODC 2008 Bill Gates Demos in Keynote

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Keynote – Outlook and E-Grant Demo

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: ODC 2008 Bill Gates Demos in Keynote

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Keynote – Outlook and E-Grant Demo

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: ODC 2008 Bill Gates Demos in Keynote

http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Keynote – Outlook and E-Grant Demo