Duet is a solution jointly developed by SAP and Microsoft. The solution allows information workers to interact with common SAP business processes through the Microsoft Office environment, leveraging the best of both worlds.
The uptake has not been impressive so far, but with a complete overhaul of the architecture, we can have high expectations for the future 3.0 release. Duet 3.0 will be the next major release after the current Duet 1.0/1.5 (there will be no Duet 2.0).
Not many details about the Duet roadmap have been released, but the latest I have gathered from various conference presentations is that we can expect Duet 3.0 around 3-6 months after the Office 2010 release, in other words probably towards the end of 2010.
The two major concerns about the current version of Duet is the relative complexity of the architecture and the lack of an SDK. Both of these concerns will be addressed in Duet 3.0. There will be a comprehensive Duet SDK alongside a complete toolset which will enable Duet extensions and customisations.
Duet 3.0 will also have a revamped architecture. There will no longer be a specialised Duet Server in the mix. Instead the communication between Microsoft Office and SAP will be facilitated by the SharePoint Business Connectivity Services (BCS), which is the evolution of the Business Data Catalog (BDC) in SharePoint 2010.
The new architecture will lower the barrier of entry as many organisations already have a SharePoint environment and the associated capabilities which can be utilised in a Duet deployment. Hence, it will become quicker and cheaper to get that initial pilot deployed.
By relying on SharePoint infrastructure rather than a specialised Duet Server, there is also potential for significantly lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Duet solutions. How much easier will it be to find SharePoint resources to implement and manage the solution infrastructure compared to Duet Server resources?