Nike case study.doc - Center

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0
Customer Solution Case Study
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Retail, Manufacturing, and
Consumer Products
Customer Profile
Nike is a worldwide leader in the sports
and fitness industry. With headquarters in
Beaverton, Oregon, the company has
25,000 employees around the globe.
Business Situation
The Nike technology team wanted to
demonstrate the power and business value
of a service-oriented architecture in a
visually compelling way.
With the help of Microsoft® Gold Certified
partner IdentityMine, the Nike technology
team created a proof-of-concept
application using Windows®
Communication Foundation and Windows
Presentation Foundation.
 Quick, visually rich business application
 Innovation enabled
 Technology that sells innovation
Nike Demonstrates Power of Web Services to
Help Secure Technological Innovation
“…Windows Communication Foundation shows
Microsoft’s commitment to the service-oriented
approach and Windows Presentation Foundation adds
a ‘coolness’ factor that sells new ideas.”
Steve Dennis, Enterprise Architect, Nike
Nike, a recognized brand across the world, inspires customers with
innovative athletic gear. This drive to innovate—along with a
forward-thinking vision—is also reflected in Nike’s technology
initiatives. The Nike technology team wanted a visually engaging
way to demonstrate the business value of its technology
infrastructure. Nike teamed with Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner
IdentityMine and used Windows® Communication Foundation and
Windows Presentation Foundation to create a proof-of-concept
merchandising application called the Virtual Retail Wall. Using
Microsoft technologies, the team successfully provided a glimpse
into the visual superiority of next-generation applications and
demonstrated how technology can foster developer creativity.
“Windows Presentation
Foundation makes
graphically dynamic
presentation layers
more practical and less
cost-prohibitive. This
ultimately gives our
developers the freedom
to open up their
Steve Dennis, Enterprise Architect, Nike
In the early 1970s, two running enthusiasts
in Eugene, Oregon, started Nike—a company
that has grown to become a leading global
presence in the sports and fitness industry.
While its world headquarters remain in the
Pacific Northwest (Beaverton, Oregon), the
company has expanded to nearly every
corner of the world. With approximately
25,000 employees, Nike is dedicated to its
mission of bringing inspiration and innovation
to any and every athlete.
At the center of the Nike brand is innovation,
which is reflected in more than the products
Nike sells. As an example, the Nike
technology team knew that exciting, inspiring,
and inventive technology could help improve
business operations and increase revenues.
So the team is making a substantial
investment in software that would pull
together information from otherwise
disparate sources—making it easy to organize
and analyze data.
The technology team looked forward to
creating and deploying this new infrastructure
but wanted to show the value of the
company’s software development efforts in a
highly visual and compelling way.
Steve Dennis, Enterprise Architect for Nike,
explains, “We needed to paint an engaging
picture for our senior leadership that would
demonstrate what life could be like in a
couple of years if Nike continued to support
these initiatives. And we needed to show how
continued investment could help Nike from
both a business and technology perspective.”
With challenge in hand, the Nike technology
team began researching various technologies
that would help them to illustrate the benefits
and business value of a project that takes
advantage of the features of a serviceoriented architecture (SOA). An SOA organizes
and modularizes distributed IT resources,
creating loosely coupled business processes
that integrate information across business
systems. Through this learning process, two
technologies within the Microsoft® .NET
Framework 3.0 stood out: Windows®
Communication Foundation and Windows
Presentation Foundation. Using these
technologies, the team built a proof-ofconcept application: the Virtual Retail Wall.
The Virtual Retail Wall
The Virtual Retail Wall addresses a recent
push by Nike to elevate its presence in retail
stores and to help retailers make the most
educated decisions regarding products and
product placement. Through Web services,
the application has instant access to the
most up-to-date information, including sales
data and product descriptions. Using this
data, Nike retail store advisors could identify
the most popular women’s running shoe for
the fall season, for example, and suggest that
the particular shoe be prominently displayed.
Then, with a visually rich graphic interface
that represents an actual store wall,
complete with 3-D product images (see
Figure 1), advisors could show retailers what
a display might look like, along with Nike’s
recommended assortment plan for that
retailer. The team also integrated Microsoft
Virtual Earth™ mapping software, which could
be used to identify various retailer locations.
The Development Process
With a self-imposed three-week deadline, the
Nike technology team knew it couldn’t take
the Virtual Retail Wall project on by itself. As a
result, it recruited Microsoft Gold Certified
Partner IdentityMine to help with the
development effort. Given IdentityMine’s
unique level of experience with Windows
Presentation Foundation, it was tasked with
creating the presentation layer.
To start, Nike engineers used Windows
Communication Foundation, which offers a
An IdentityMine team in Tacoma,
Washington, coordinated and integrated
each component into the final application.
In total, 5 developers (2 from Nike and 3
from Identity Mine) and 3 designers worked
on the project. The team completed
additional development work using the
Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 Professional
development system. And by using
Extensible Application Markup Language
(XAML), developers and designers
collaborated on and shared iterations of their
designs without losing any information.
Figure 1. The Virtual Retail Wall in
“With Windows
Foundation, everyone,
from designer to
developer to integrator,
was able to use the
same underlying
markup format: XAML….
We were able to meet
our three-week
Robby Ingebretsen, Director of Creative
Design, IdentityMine
unified programming model and runtime for
building service-oriented applications, to
create the Web services interfaces. They
published these services for IdentityMine,
who then accessed them using Windows
Presentation Foundation data binding. At the
same time, IdentityMine created the interface
using Windows Presentation Foundation,
which provides classes and a unified
programming model for simplifying the
integration of documents, 2-D and 3-D
graphics, and media. The team also used
Microsoft Expression® Studio—a suite of tools
for creative designers that also helps
developers deliver rich user experiences for
the Web, Windows Vista™-based applications,
and beyond.
Three different teams built the user interface:
 An IdentityMine team in Cochin, India,
created a prototype for basic navigation
and interaction.
 A third-party design firm created the 3-D
graphics that would be used in the
application. These graphics were created
using 3D Studio Max and then exported to
.obj files.
With Windows Communication Foundation
and Windows Presentation Foundation at the
core of the Virtual Retail Wall application, the
Nike technology team accomplished two
goals. They demonstrated how dispersed
data can be quickly aggregated into a visually
compelling application and they presented
the future of technical innovation. The team
succeeded in creating an application that
demonstrates the value of an SOA. Most
importantly, the outlook for moving future
Nike applications to an SOA looks bright.
Quick, Visually Rich Business
Application Development
Before the introduction of Windows
Presentation Foundation, projects that
involved an extensive amount of 3-D work
were complex and required a significant
amount of work. Windows Presentation
Foundation seamlessly integrates 2-D and
3-D graphics in a declarative, object-oriented
API that lowers the effort required to produce
richer visualizations.
“With Windows Presentation Foundation,
everyone, from designer to developer to
integrator, was able to use the same
underlying markup format: XAML. As a result,
we were able to meet our three-week
timeline—something that would have been
Figure 2. Detailed product
information presented in an
engaging interface.
difficult to achieve with any other
technology,” explains Robby Ingebretsen,
Director of Creative Design for IdentityMine.
with technology, which allows Nike
developers to stay true to the company
Chad Brown, Senior Vice President of
Products and Services at IdentityMine,
concurs, “One of the most exciting aspects of
this project was how we could access data in
a 3-D environment in a way that we just
couldn’t do in the past. And, at the same
time, we created a dynamic application that
responds to Web services, which is unique to
working with Windows Presentation
For example, Windows Communication
Foundation enables the Nike software team
to combine Web services to create serviceoriented applications that meet any business
need. Dennis elaborates, “Windows
Communication Foundation is easy to work
with and we look forward to using it to tie
more applications into our services
Innovation Enabled
The Virtual Retail Wall proof-of-concept also
demonstrates how Windows Communication
Foundation and Windows Presentation
Foundation empower people to be innovative
What’s more, Windows Presentation
Foundation simplifies the process of building
applications, which offers a lot of
opportunities for a company like Nike that
exists in a highly visual industry. “Windows
Presentation Foundation makes graphically
dynamic presentation layers more practical
and less cost-prohibitive. This ultimately
gives our developers the freedom to open up
their imaginations,” says Dennis.
For example, to display information about a
soccer cleat, the team created a soccer
theme that includes hexagonal images that
render behind the shoe (see Figure 2).
Through the use of Web services, real-time
product information, including description
and available colors, appears within these
shapes. The result is an informative,
engaging interface that represents the
possibilities of a next-generation application.
Technology That Sells Innovation
The Virtual Retail Wall application succeeded
in demonstrating the value of an SOA
environment, while achieving the requisite
“wow” factor to capture executives’
attention. The team continues to use the
Virtual Retail Wall application to help convey
Nike’s technological future to internal
business unit audiences. The team is
working on additional applications that
For More Information
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Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0
further its commitment to the SOA initiative
and Microsoft technology.
.NET Framework 3.0 is Microsoft’s managedcode programming model for developing
software on the Windows platform. It builds
on the .NET Framework 2.0, combining the
power of the existing .NET Framework 2.0
application programming interfaces with new
technologies for building applications that
provide visually stunning user experiences,
seamless interoperable communications, and
the ability to model a range of business
processes. The .NET Framework 3.0 includes
Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows
Communication Foundation, Windows
Workflow Foundation, and Windows
CardSpace technologies. It provides a
consistent and familiar development
experience, bringing new technology to the
millions of developers programming in
managed code today.
Dennis sums up, “Windows Communication
Foundation shows Microsoft’s commitment to
the service-oriented approach and Windows
Presentation Foundation adds a ‘coolness’
factor that sells new ideas.”
For more information about Nike products
and services, call (800) 344-6453 or visit
the Web site at:
For more information about IdentityMine
products and services, call (866) 4436463 or visit the Web site at:
For more information about the .NET
Framework 3.0, please go to:
Software and Services
Microsoft Visual Studio
− Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
 Microsoft Expression Studio
 Microsoft Virtual Earth
© 2007 Microsoft Corporation. This case study is for
informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO
Document published April 2007
− Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0
− Windows Communication Foundation
− Windows Presentation Foundation