I’ve now had time to digest more of the information about the Office 2010 and ERP announcement that I discussed previously, specifically the functionality of Business Connectivity Services (BCS).
Microsoft has positioned BCS mainly for Office 2010 but has also mentioned it as a function that could be used for ERP, i.e., being able to access ERP data offline.
BCS … simplifies the process of accessing data offline by enabling the connection of any data in a SharePoint list – such as External Lists displaying data from Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions – with either Outlook 2010 or SharePoint Workspace 2010.
I think they are being disingenuous. What seems to be the real situation is that static data from an ERP gets copied to a temporary file which can be used offline. The other issue is that to use BCS seems to require quite a stack of technology including the renamed Groove, now SharePoint Workspace.
Offline access is fine for having access to data for read-only purposes, e.g., customer or product lists, but offline access with transactional capability (which I think Microsoft insinuates) could compromise the data integrity and validity of the whole ERP.
Do you think I am reading the wrong thing into the Microsoft announcement? How would you see offline ERP operating?