Feeds

SAP claims SOA future is here

Forget the past

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Sapphire SAP has called time on SOA and outlined changes to NetWeaver for broad use of composite applications, deeper integration with Microsoft, and Web 2.0.

Chief executive Henning Kagermann rallied 15,000 delegates at SAP's customer and partner conference today. He claimed SOA would be largely delivered in 2007 and that NetWeaver and mySAP ERP 2005 are poised for mass adoption, with NetWeaver uptake more than doubling in the next year. SAP expects 4,000 customers on NetWeaver during the next 12 months.

Kagermann told delegates: "This is the year when we finally deliver on our promise and will deliver enterprise SOA. The entire product portfolio with the exception of Business One is on a business process platform."

Kagermann was speaking no-doubt with a wary eye on Oracle, which has promised to deliver its SOA strategy for applications and middleware in 2008. Oracle has been generally trash-talking SAP's revenue and market share to undermine its presence in the eyes of press, analysts and customers.

According to Kagermann, Oracle is "consolidating the past" while SAP is building for the future.

Of course, SAP - with other ERP giants - has a dubious past on enterprise-wide implementations of new architectures. The 1990s are peppered with ERP and business process re-engineering horror stories of missed deadlines and busted budgets.

SAP customer Hershey Foods became a poster child for failure after a $115m SAP implementation ran late and saw the snacks giant miss the Halloween sales bubble in 1999 and get eaten alive by competitors.

Recognizing this while urging customers to again trust SAP and adopt the SOA version of its platform, Kagermann blamed past failures on "too many upgrades" and lack of product maturity. Things will be different this time, thanks to greater management experience and standardized connectivity, he said.

"We can manage the transformation much better," he promised.

SAP will bring the proof of concept it established in NetWeaver and ERP to the full SAP applications suite, he said. Suggested updates will be delivered incrementally through what SAP is calling "value packs".

Also, features in SAP's forthcoming A1S package - for companies with between 50 and 500 employees - will be fed back into the full suite where appropriate. There will be synchronization between packages and updates.

SAP last year committed to no new major revisions of its underlying ERP platform until 2010, with new features delivered in six-monthly value packs.

"After 2008 we will bring those innovations to the market side by side. We will deliver new highly innovate process extensions based on the new model... we will make it available and scale to the large clients without disrupting the core platform," Kagermann said.

A1S, he added, would be "easy to consume, quick to install," on demand only and limited to clients and industries that don't consider a traditional, integrated suite.

Composition will be improved through SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (CE), tools based on Java Enterprise Edition 5.0, and NetWeaver Process Integration (PI). This will be a standards-based bus to connect composite applications, features a UDDI 3.0 registry, and that SAP called an "evolution" of its previous NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure (NetWeaver XI). Both are expected in 2007.

In a significant expansion of its partnership with Microsoft, SAP announced two planed versions of Duet - providing data and workflow integration between SAP and Microsoft Office and launched barely a year ago. Duet 2.0, due in 2008, and Duet 3.0, due after the next release of SAP's Business Applications Suite, will bring in Microsoft's SharePoint Server for collaboration, virtual workgroups, content sharing and workflow organization.

SharePoint will underpin SAP's plans to support more ad-hoc, and unstructured forms of working, hinted at Monday, on top of its structured workflows and data and information storage. SAP Tuesday demonstrated what's planned, with an Outlook 2007 email being used to kick-start a quick, team-based project to find new suppliers by searching, finding and communicating with employees that have relevant knowledge, and generating RFQs and purchase orders from lists of suppliers already housed in existing SAP ERP systems. Users would drag-and-drop lists of suppliers between applications through the Duet interface, generate windows that are pre-populated with information, assign tasks dynamically and view supplier data.

Duet 2.0 and 3.0 will also feature a bigger set of scenarios, the name for workflow integrations between Office and SAP, and let customers build their own scenarios. Version 2.0 will use SharePoint extensions with SharePoint becoming a full-featured part of the Duet fabric in version 3.0, Microsoft business division Jeff Raikes told press after Kagermann's keynote. "SharePoint will become a foundation element," Raikes said. ®

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?