Friday, March 31, 2006

Oracle and Office Interoperability Center on OTN

People may have missed this: there is a new sub-site on OTN for "ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE and Microsoft Interoperability" (link to OTN page), which brings together under one sub-site all of Oracle's products and technologies as they relate to Microsoft Office.

There is also a new doc that has been released as part of the Oracle Application Server 10g (10.1.3) release (Part No B25781-01), titled "Oracle Application Server Developer's Guide for Microsoft Office Interoperability" (link to HTML doc, link to PDF doc).

To prepare this document a virtual team comprising of product managers and development contacts from different Oracle product groups was assembled and each product team then contributed their time and resources to bring to completion chapters for their specific product (or technology). One of the takeaways that people should get from reading this document is that even today there are a lot of areas where Oracle and Office integrate and there are lots of technologies that can be leveraged to bring more of Oracle's technologies and products closer to the end user using Office as an interface.

Here is a list of the chapters from the developer's guide:
  • Understanding Microsoft Office 2003 Extensibility Technologies
    Which covers such topics as XML Schemas, Smart Technologies (Smart Documents, Smart Tags, Smart Clients, Smart This and Smart That), Task Panes, Research & Reference Services, and more.
  • Understanding Oracle Application Server Interoperability with Microsoft Office
  • Part II then gets into the specifics of building Microsoft Office Interoperability technologies using Oracle products and technologies.
  • Creating Smart Documents That Interact with Self-Service Business Processes
  • Completing Forms and Entering Data Using Microsoft Office
  • Securing Smart Documents and Web Services
  • Delivering Business Activity Monitoring Alerts and Reports to Microsoft Outlook
  • Delivering Business Intelligence Information to Microsoft Excel
    This is the chapter that covers Discoverer and all the rich and different ways you can get static as well as refreshable and live information into Excel - via plain CSV (Comma Separated Values), or Excel HTML, binary Excel with formatting preserved, or export Discoverer crosstabs to Excel as Pivot Tables, or the Web Query (iqy) format, or using the OracleBI Spreadsheet Add-In that lets you use the familiar BI Query Builder and Calculation Builder to build and edit queries inside Excel.
  • Managing Tasks and Collaborating in Microsoft Outlook
  • Provisioning User Identity Information and Alerting Microsoft Outlook Contacts
  • Accessing in-Context Web Information and Invoking an Enterprise Portal
  • Saving Microsoft Office Documents to the OracleAS Portal Content Repository
  • Delivering Enterprise Reports to Microsoft Office with Oracle Reports