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Next verse for Microsoft-SAP's business Duet

Software makers map out next move in project to make SAP's key applications accessible via Office.

Microsoft and SAP have mapped out the next stage for Duet, a joint project to strengthen ties between their key business products.

The next version of the software, which enables people to use SAP's business management applications together with Microsoft Office, is planned for release next summer, the companies said Wednesday. Duet 1.5 will add more business scenarios, as well as tools for configuring and customizing the Duet scenarios to match customer needs even better.

The software makers also said the next 12 months will see the arrival of a number of value packs, or additions, including support for Microsoft's Office 2007 refresh. One value pack will bring in new scenarios for Office and mySAP Business Suite to cover travel management, sales management and supply chain planning features.

With Duet's travel management, for example, the software aims to simplify travel planning and expense approval through the use of Outlook. Duet also aims to simplify supply chain planning via Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program.

The product road map comes six months after the companies unveiled Duet. They noted Wednesday that over the three months that Duet has been available, more than 200,000 licensed seats have been sold.