This post is written by Chris Medina, Program Manager for the SAP Center of Excellence at Microsoft.

First off, the Engineering Forum was awesome! Tele-presence, human centric computing, vision of Microsoft’s Online Data Services, Azure….if you haven’t seen the presentations by Craig Mundi, Dr. Lu, Sumit Mehotra, or Doug Hauger, these are not to be missed. I think you can still view them in //engineering….

The past few weeks have been nuts! But now that I have had some time to sit and think about current events in web services and interoperability between Microsoft and SAP technology, it is clear that it’s like I am in the line up at Ala Moana Basin waiting for waves and a really big swell is coming in…a never-ending huge set of monster barrels called Azure.

I heard that SAP has installed ECC 6.0 up in Azure in a lab, and I have seen a set of apps in the cloud (non ECC6 based) in a demo, and it’s just a matter of time before real ERP in the cloud becomes a reality. A week or so ago I got a chance to catch up with Doug Hauger, the GM in charge of the business side of Azure, and he was excited about ERP in the cloud, but stated there is a lot of work to be done…but the prospects are fascinating. I expect to see some interesting POCs in that space, perhaps even including Duet Enterprise acting as a web service broker to SAP…awesome!

More on Duet Enterprise: the SD folks, MSIT and Cap Gemini have completed their initial scoping of the Hiring Manager POC. I had a chance to attend some of the sessions this week, and the efforts are shaping up very nicely. I am pretty excited at what capabilities will be proven as part of this effort. They are going to be getting deeper into workflow and transactional collaboration and that should really help prove what works and what still needs work. I am pretty stoked on that. Plus they have UI/UX people assigned…that is the way it should be! Nice!

I recently ran thru some of the web service composition tools using Visual Studio 2010, BizTalk Server service orchestration, RFC config in SAP using the SE80 wizard and SOAManager, setting up SSO with Kerberos, and consuming the service in SharePoint. The config on the VS side when creating a project from scratch is not without pain! It seems like so much of it can be scripted…my hope is for a wizard that drives the entity configuration, naming, and other error-prone steps. On the other hand, with Duet Enterprise, the config pain is on the SAP side, and I am hoping we can eventually use a wizard to set up Duet Enterprise once the proper RFCs have been developed, or identified…c’mon guys, wizard driven automated config!!