@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microsoft Cloud

Agile Computing: Article

Will Office 365 Redefine Enterprise Applications?

How Office 365, Azure, and NoSQL can work together to improve business productivity

There is a of excitement in the air about Microsoft's Office 365 offering. Apart from the traditional view of reduction in licensing cost and no Upgrade issues which the SaaS basically offers, we can also derive some enterprise benefits from it if all the partners and ISV support the same. This one is one such pattern.

Office 365

Office 365 provides anywhere access to email, documents, contacts, and calendars so you're always up-to-date. From scheduling to interactive online meetings to sharing files, you're uniting cloud-based services with the productivity tools people use every day.

At this time , Office 365 will be Microsoft's flagship SaaS offering with :

  • Office Professional Plus
  • Exchange Online
  • Sharepoint Online
  • Lync Online

Windows Azure

The Windows Azure platform is poised to radically change the way Microsoft architects and developers think about building and managing applications. The Windows Azure platform provides an Internet-based cloud computing environment for running applications and storing data in Microsoft data centers around the world. In many ways, you can think of it as Windows in the cloud.


In computing, NoSQL is a term used to designate database management systems that differ from classic relational database management systems in some way. These data stores may not require fixed table schemas, and usually avoid join operations and typically scale horizontally. Academics and papers typically refer to these databases as structured storage, a term that would include classic relational databases as a subset.

Windows Azure & NoSQL

While SQLAzure is a robust relational database platform as a Service,  but yet Windows Azure do provide  lot of capabilities to host and run NoSQL databases. The following are the  typical NoSQL options within Windows Azure apart from third party providers.

  • The simplest way to store data in Windows Azure storage is to use blobs. A blob contains binary data, each container can contain one or more blobs. Blobs can be big-up to a terabyte-and they can also have associated metadata, such as information about where a JPEG photograph was taken or who the singer is for an MP3 file
  • Blobs are just right for some situations, but they're too unstructured for others. To let applications work with data in a more fine-grained way, Windows Azure storage provides tables. These aren't relational tables. The data each one holds is actually stored in a group of entities that contain properties

Business Processing With Traditional SQL Database

  • Most of the business process initiation is carried out through unstructured documents like Microsoft Office, Adobe documents .
  • However due to the lack of validation of the document data with the enterprise information systems (EIS), the document data is shredded (de-normalized) into relational databases
  • Duplication in terms of data entry and reporting
  • End to end integration is achieved only by storing the storing the unstructured documents in relational form and again assembling them back to unstructured form to be passed on to downstream systems
  • Data validation is done through the customized forms and not from the unstructured documents
  • Search capabilities on Unstructured documents are limited or non existing and hence big effort on custom development is spent on Enterprise Reporting Tools to query relational tables
  • The below diagram shows the business processing with Traditional SQL Databases

Transformation Into [Office 365, NOSQL] Cloud Environment

With the proposed offerings on Office 365 along with the NOSQL offerings that currently exist on Azure PaaS platform,  we are into a  new world of seamless integration between the unstructured documents and  Cloud, so that the LOB (Line Of  Business) applications can perform efficient  business process work flow without the over whelming conversion to relational format and  consolidating it again for reporting.

  • Utilize the advanced features of the OBA (Office Business Applications) to integrate the business processes
  • Utilize the unlimited storage options available as part of NOSQL storage offerings as part of Azure Cloud Platform
  • Integrate with other tools that enable the business process orchestration, like
  • o Exchange Online
  • o Sharepoint Online
  • Integrate with human intervention and collaboration with Lync Online.


Traditionally   Office business applications have always been preferred  in various enterprise,  high number of Excel and MS-Access based applications is a testimony.

Mostly these applications have so far restricted by the  scalability, space and multi user needs and hence enterprises migrated them to other platforms  like .net or J2EE.

However availability of Office 365 as a SaaS on a PaaS platform like Azure along with the unlimited storage potential of NOSQL  databases like BLOB makes it very extensible and a truly enterprise business process platform.

We expect the  ISVs to come up with several  glue applications for data acquisition, validation , storage and reporting enhancements to make the best out of this platform, and it looks like  it is already on that course.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

SYS-CON Events announced today that Cemware will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Use MATLAB functions by just visiting website mathfreeon.com. MATLAB compatible, freely usable, online platform services. As of October 2016, 80,000 users from 180 countries are enjoying our platform service.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, the leading provider of modern development tools and best practices for Continuous Integration on OpenVMS, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware products and development tools that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...