I have a new gig at a place that would like to move away from their usual Excel-VBA + Sql Server solutions to .net. I think the only reason they want to start using .net is because they think it's more professional than VBA.
It's a small 25 person finance company, their apps/requirements are mostly data-centric and there's a good mixture of different technologies in use (perl, Mathematica, lots of Excel, a large .net/Sql Server third party app). There's no internal .net apps in production at the moment so I'm free to run with Visual Studio 2010 & .net 4.
I was thinking of suggesting they use WCF Data Services (WCF-DS) as a sort of exposed middle tier. We can hook up .net front-ends easily. It looks like Mathematica can consume the JSON delivered by WCF-DS fairly easily. So funnily enough most of the client work will be writing a component to pull the data into Excel (they use 2007 so PowerPivot isn't an option). With WCF-DS in place I would be hoping to get some re-use and data availability whilst avoiding closely coupled client & server objects and locking all this information into specific spreadsheets.
So.. would welcome people's thoughts, suggestions, 2c, etc.
[Since I'm writing this at 11pm uk time & in the US the Superbowl is just starting, I won't hold my breath waiting for replies ]