Iris Classon
Iris Classon - In Love with Code

'Stupid' Question 2: What do you mean by LOB (line of business) application?

[To celebrate my first year of programming I will ask a ‘stupid’ questions daily on my blog for a year, to make sure I learn at least 365 new things during my second year as a developer]

During a Metro roundtable yesterday the devs started discussing LOB apps, Line Of Business apps. I sat quietly and listened in on the conversation, untill I suddenly realized that I wasn’t sure what they meant by LOB. I kind of knew, but then I didn’t. I secrectly googled it. Google is my best friend. I like to google.

Another comic by me :P

But no luck. Wikipedia just laughed at me in the face. Hm. Plan B, I’ll just ask the devs.
So I asked and lucky for me one of the devs, Matthew Baxter-Reynolds , sent me a mail with a great answer, and he allowed me to share:

“It all depends on the audience. 90% of all software is written by a company for private use within that company. Microsoft has now managed to get the name “LOB” in common use for this sort of software. The classic example is salesperson on the road captures an order on a tablet and it transmits it back to their ERP system for fulfilment.

The theory runs that because most software written is LOB software that a key opportunity for Metro-style developers is for this sort of software. Most software on Windows 8/Windows RT tablets should be LOB.

If the software isn’t for private use, it’s for retail distribution from the store for anyone to use.”

So yeah, it’s pretty simple really. Hm, it sounded so grand, but it’s just an app defined by its target usergroup and purpose. In this case, business. (And with that comes certain criterias, and limitations of course). But it’s still an app.

Hurray! I am two questions smarter now! And the journey continues…


Leave a comment below, or by email.
Alan Cummings
8/25/2012 4:19:22 AM
If you imagine a group of people (who don't know each other) getting together in a room, and they all had one thing in common - they each own or control a company... one of the first questions they will ask one another is: 

"What is your line of business"... or in other words; what does your company make or do.

So to answer your question: a LOB (Line of Business) Application is one which is used by a company that directly supports them in making or doing what they do. (So the company's HR application [usually] isn't a LOB App, but a CRM application [usually] is). 
6/4/2015 2:19:48 AM
Reply to: Alan Cummings
Nice explanation @Alan Cummings . Thanks for sharing this information. 

Last modified on 2012-07-19

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