Line of Business (LOB)
A LOB (line-of-business) application is one of the set of critical computer applications that are vital to running an enterprise, such as accounting, supply chain management and resource planning applications. LOB applications are usually large programs that contain a number of integrated capabilities and tie into databases and database management systems.
When SharePoint emerged on the scene, it was originally aimed at the Intranet Portal market and considered by many to be a packaged solution strictly for portals and collaboration. While the SharePoint platform has lived up to this promise, SharePoint 2010 has evolved into a platform where mission critical LOBs are being built upon.
SharePoint comprises a suite of architectural services that work in concert to make enterprise portals come alive, however, these services can also be used to build general purpose line of business applications. In essence, the SharePoint platform represents a powerful Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that includes:
- User Interface Services - InfoPath Forms Server
- Security Services - Active Directory and Site Administration
- Document & Content Management Services
- Search Services
- Data Services - SharePoint data persistence & Web Services and the Business Data Catalogue (BDC)
- Component Architecture - Web Parts
These rich architectural services can be combined in part or in total to rapidly create conventional line of business applications with the same features and robustness of traditional SharePoint portal implementations. If your organization is contemplating building a line of business application, why not mine the services in SharePoint and use them as the underlying architecture for your custom application.