New Office product to simplify (News.com):
Microsoft hopes to turn XDocs into the data-retrieval mechanism most Office customers would want to use, which would enhance the value of the productivity suite. Office contributes more than one-third of Microsoft’s overall revenue.
Meta Group analyst David Yockelson said XDocs is “powerful because it lets me collect up a lot of related information into a tabular format,” Yockelson said. “It removes the demarcation between what a spreadsheet is, what a document is, what a form is, and how I can look at and retrieve information that would be in those things.”
One usage scenario is a sales organization where the field force must input lots of disparate information as part of a sales trip, such as customers visited, client feedback or traveling expenses. Rather than use multiple tools to input the data, a salesperson “could create a hyperdocument or form to input that information once and take that XML (and use it) as the business defines,” said Scott Bishop, Office product manager.
Companies cannot always pull out the real-time information they need using Web forms and, often, hours of work are wasted when a dropped server connection stops data entry midstream. Web-based systems also are typically slower accessing data.
“In a traditional Office-type application, all of that information can be stored on the user’s desktop,” Bishop said. “There are some distinct advantages to moving things back to the desktop. This lets users actively participate in Web services, which until now primarily are server-to-server.”
Some interesting ideas here to consider for our Digital Dashboard and Enterprise Software development.