And the long-promised SharePoint integration whitepaper is now live…

The last few months have been busy. Far too busy. Now it’s time to return to the world of blogging.

But one good output of the business is the long-promised whitepaper on SharePoint integration – chronicled on the Commerce Team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/commerce/archive/2007/03/03/using-cs2007-with-office-sharepoint-server-2007.aspx and available for direct download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/thankyou.aspx?familyId=2AEB1A5E-43B8-483B-8CB2-86C0E82BF0AB&displayLang=en.

Last spring when I blogged about the future (or lack thereof) of MSIB, we promised this guidance and I’m pleased to say that it’s now available. As indicated, thanks to a common foundation based on ASP.NET 2.0, it is possible to build Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal sites that can directly access and query any of the services and data present in Commerce Server 2007. This whitepaper provides examples of how to do that.

To answer some of the other questions that have come up:

  • There are no plans to provide any follow-on work at this time, but never say never. It will be interesting to gauge customer interest and response now that both base products are generally available and this guidance is out there. At the end of the day, it’s customer interest and adoption that drives feature decisions. We’ll certainly be looking at how many downloads and site deployments result from these efforts. As a comparable data point, MSIB only represented about 1% of the total Commerce Server customer-base at the peak of it’s deployment.
  • There are no plans long-term to rearchitect Commerce Server such that it has a hard dependency on SharePoint. There are scenarios where using just ASP.NET and Commerce Server makes sense (where absolute performance/scale or only pure e-commerce capabilities are needed), where just using SharePoint makes sense (to manage content or utilize the collaboration or search capabilities), and where using both would make sense (when capabilities need to be converged into a single site). Requiring a hard SharePoint dependency would impose complexities on the pure e-commerce scenarios (and possibly on the pure portal scenarios in reverse), so the focus is on keeping the core architectures mutually exclusive but complementary (through guidance such as this or whatever works *might* come up in the future based on customer demand).
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