Microsoft Office's Integration Advantage

Two reasons many IT managers say they'll stick with Microsoft Office: Integration and Web services support

Microsoft Office's dominance isn't just the result of the company's operating system monopoly. Many users say that Office rules because it's ideally suited to the enterprise.

Ken Meidell, CIO at Cascade Design Inc. in Seattle, points to the development project his company recently did with Office XP integration and the One World enterprise resource planning environment from Denver-based J.D. Edwards & Co. Cascade needed to connect its customer repair database, which runs on SQL 2000, with its overall customer information data source on One World. Meidell says the company looked at third-party approaches but decided that "we could do it faster, cheaper and better with an Excel front end to both systems."

Meidell says Cascade used C# to write Web services calls to the different databases and to update the data appropriately in each one while entering the information only once. The data from the different sources is then brought into a single Excel view.

He says Cascade evaluated StarOffice before upgrading to Office XP but found that the software lacked the integration capabilities it needed.

While StarOffice may steal cost-sensitive customers away from Microsoft, Gartner Inc. analyst Michael Silver says the company's strong technology and integration advantages - and a huge base of third-party support - will ensure Microsoft's continued dominance in office productivity software.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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