Day Two: Connection with the Consultants and Integrators
Since we released FarPoint Spread for BizTalk in August 2006 it has been our goal to reach out to SOA/BizTalk Consultants and Integrators (C&I) and have them add FarPoint Spread for BizTalk to their toolbox so they can include the functionality we provide in presentations and proposals they make to their customers. The goal is to create a scenario where everyone wins: the C&I customer wins because they receive the functionality they desire, the C&I wins by dropping FarPoint Spread for BizTalk into their solution and having instant access to a BizTalk Excel disassembler (and Excel, Excel 2007, PDF assembler very soon) with minimal effort. And lastly, FarPoint wins by selling licenses to the C&I customer.
We have had success with this approach, but the BizTalk market has been a difficult place for us due to reasons I discussed yesterday. On Day Two of the conference we met with several C&I's, and every one of them we spoke with was interested in including FarPoint Spread for BizTalk in their toolbox. There were a few who indicated they are definitely interested in FarPoint Spread for BizTalk, have an immediate need, and wanted to know what else we had to offer...
This brings me to a description of our newest product consideration currently named FarPoint Spread for SharePoint - nice segue, huh? Personally, I prefer the name FarPoint Spread for SOA because I believe this name more appropriately defines the capabilities and reach of the product. For FarPoint Spread for SharePoint (SSP) we took our award winning ASP.NET Spreadsheet control, FarPoint Spread for Web Forms (ASP.NET), and created a WebPart that is integrated into MS SharePoint Server 2007. Our initial goal was to create a SharePoint spreadsheet that is bindable to SharePoint lists. We discussed our SSP product concept with our pals at Neudesic to get feedback from the experts. We were encouraged by their excitement, and excited by their suggestion that we add support to SSP to allow it to participate as an Event Driven Architected (EDA) spreadsheet that allows Web services to register with SSP to receive event messages. To achieve EDA in SSP, we added properties to allow Web Services to register with SSP. When the end user, editing the data in a spreadsheet, SSP, through a SharePoint Web site clicks the update button, an event message is generated by SSP and sent to all Web services registered for that particular event. The registered Web services can consume and use the event message information in any way they desire. Neudesic is excited about using SSP as a message provider for their Neuron ESB. When SSP sends an Event Message to a registered Neuron Web service, the Event message data is published to the Neuron ESB as an ESB message. Any Web service that subscribes to the ESB for the particular topic and subject will receive the ESB message. Our industry message for FarPoint Spread for SharePoint is that it is a SharePoint spreadsheet that is bindable to SharePoint lists and participates in pub-sub scenarios by sending event information through its Event Driven Architecture. FarPoint SSP does NOT require MOSS or MS Office.
We have had several folks ask about availability, pricing, and licensing. Unfortunately, at this time, we are currently in alpha with this product and these questions have yet to be addressed. We are on a fact-finding mission to seeking out feedback and guidance from industry experts. Today, we received a good amount of this! Bring on Day Three!