Line-of-Business Dev in 2011

With all the activity around mobile and Web technologies, it's easy to think that Microsoft might take its eye off the ball in the area of line-of-business (LOB) development. However, according to Rob Sanfilippo, analyst for research firm Directions on Microsoft, business developers actually have a lot to look forward to in 2011.

BizTalk 2010, launched in October, provides new ways to expose LOB functionality beyond the firewall via Windows Azure AppFabric Connect.

"This service can reduce the development burden by allowing Windows Workflow Foundation activities to be dropped into a workflow designer and tied into LOB applications through BizTalk adapters," Sanfilippo wrote in an e-mail interview. "Workflows can be hosted and managed with less effort now using Windows Server AppFabric hosting."

The upcoming SQL Azure Reporting Services will also enable remote access to LOB data stored in the cloud or on-premises.

Office 2010 Business Connectivity Services (BCS) also earned mention. Sanfilippo said the new Duet Enterprise product, which links SAP LOB applications to Office via SharePoint BCS, illustrates how BCS can link diverse data sources. "Duet itself is not new, but its use of BCS is, and since Duet Enterprise could find a decently sized customer base, it will be a notable step toward legitimizing the BCS technology," Sanfilippo wrote.

One technology we might see less of in 2011, according to Sanfilippo, is Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). "With the introduction of out-of-browser support in Silverlight 3, WPF may have lost a lot of its remaining loyalists."

What are your dev plans for 2011? E-mail me at [email protected].

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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