OBA, O Boy!

With the recent emphasis on Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) in the MSDN events this quarter as well as a bit of coverage during our recently completed Northeast Roadshow, I have some rather timely news of interest to those of you building or contemplating Office Business Applications (OBAs).

A new 'end-to-end' Sales Forecast demo has just been released to CodePlex, giving you an excellent resource for learning how to build your own OBA. 


About the E2E Sales Forecast OBA

Excel sampleThe E2E Sales Forecast OBA (watch a short screencast here) walks you through a salesperson creating and submitting a quarterly sales forecast. Using a customized Excel template (built using VSTO 3.0), our salesperson has the ability to navigate to the team Sales Forecast portal (SharePoint portal), invoke a custom Excel sales forecast template from the New button (content type mapping to a custom template), load line-of-business sales data into the document (via WPF custom actions pane), generate executive reports for the forecast (via Open XML), and submit the document for approval (through SharePoint workflow).

The approving manager can interact directly with SharePoint or choose to approve the workflow via a custom Outlook Form Region. Messaging of the workflow is marshaled by SharePoint, and Open XML enables the solution to parse out the necessary data and attach to workflow and to the custom Outlook from region. Also, we’ve added unified communications so the actors within the demo can interact with one another.

Featured technologies include:

  • SharePoint
  • Office Client Ribbon and Action Pane Customizations (VS 2008/VSTO)
  • Outlook Custom Form Regions
  • Open XML
  • Unified Communications (UC)
  • SharePoint Workflow
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)