In the past couple of days (8 days to be precise working 15hrs per day)
I had to lead a team of developers to create a unified application out
of using Captaris Workflow, Microsoft CRM, Hummingbird Document
Management and Records Management System, Microsoft Sharepoint,
Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Microsoft Mappoint. At the start of the
project I had no idea how Microsoft CRM and Microsoft Mappoint worked
and a vague idea on Captaris Workflow.
Needless to say we finished all the integration using Sharepoint as a
central binding engine and did the presentation to the client (still
waiting on the final outcome the tender is worth millions). I wont bore
you with the details of all the code that went in. In the end what
dawned on me was the simple fact on why we were successful in stitching
it all together. The factor was AD (Active Directory). All the
application in question used Active Directory for authentication and
hence when communication between application once authentication was
taken care of the end user experience was seamless.
Next time when selecting application to participate in Orchestration my
first criteria will be to check if the application supports AD for
Authentication. I know most of us have been in the past guilty of
writing our own authentication layer. If the application is going to
work inside the secure confines of a WAN network we will save our selfs
a lot of heartache in the future by leveraging what is there and not try
to reinvent the wheel especially when it comes to authentication.
Next time when trying to write your own authentication layer believing
the guys in Microsoft don't know what they are doing think again as you
may regret it in the future.
That is my rant for the week.......