Minimize Office 2007’s Ribbon

The Ribbon helps you access more of the commands you need, when you need them. But if you want to see the Ribbon only when you need it, you can minimize it so that only the tab names appear all the time. To minimize the Ribbon in any program, double-click any tab name, or press CTRL+F1. You can also right-click any tab name for the option to minimize the Ribbon.

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Get MS product pricing fast!!!

 This site is good for partners or any ISV wants to give a ball park figure to customer for any MS products. The numbers I got for SQL Server Std Ed with 1 Proc cost around USD5000 which is near the amount I got from my local reseller of RM19000 (USD1 = RM3.70). So this is good to get quick number without waiting for your MS Acc Mgr or reseller.

Link to Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor

Microsoft: The SOA road less traveled

there is an article in SearchWebServices.com which talks about Microsoft’s approach to SOA. They talk about how Microsoft is different in everyway in the SOA implementation whereby instead of creating a whole SOA suite, MS is leveraging on Biztalk, WCF and Windows Workflow Foundation to provide a SOA platform. Having said that, SOA as its name suggest, is an architecture after all. So I guess this is why MS is not coming out with a totally new SOA product like the other vendors did. This strategy work well for MS because they have matured products like Windows, Office and Biztalk which just need to be enhanced to provide an end to end experience for developing and deploying SOA applications. The new Office Business Architecture (OCA) seems to aim at this vision where Sharepoint and Office (which almost everyone is familar with) provides a frontend to the backend processes such as workflow, business inteligence and legacy system; benefits is end user will have a single sign on experience to access corporate information under one shop. On the developer side .NET framework provides a common paradigm for OBA to develop application is all kinds of platform as we see more and more Microsoft products being .NET enabled (meaning there is a .NET API available whether or not the product is coded in C++ or managed code).

SOA is abstract as an architecture so this opens up opportunities for vendors to develop their own implementation and innovate on it. Qouting from the article, “Microsoft has an ecosystem and they have a value proposition that’s very solid for that ecosystem. What Microsoft has for what it’s doing is very good. It is what it is.”