SAP updates Netweaver suite

Business applications supplier SAP will unveil a version of its application and integration platform designed to end some of the...

Business applications supplier SAP will unveil a version of its application and integration platform designed to end some of the headaches for IT managers who need to co-ordinate among its separate pieces.

SAP confirmed that it will announce the alignment of the various components of its NetWeaver suite. NetWeaver includes among its components an information warehouse, integration broker and portal.

"We'll update NetWeaver annually, with all the pieces being updated and synchronised together," said company spokesman William Wohl. "One obvious benefit is that if it's fully synchronised, it makes integration much more simple."

Eventually, customers will be able to run the entire suite on a single server, something not possible today. In addition, said Wohl, the latest version of NetWeaver will include radio frequency identification tag support, so users can craft RFID-enabled supply chain management processes.

"The products were never built to be together at the same time," said Mike Perroni, vice-president of IT at energy services provider Halliburton. That meant users had to worry whether a given version of a NetWeaver component would work with another, and any glitches "could be very time consuming and make the process of upgrades very complex".

"I believe the improved products will be much easier to manage and will work better together," Perroni said.

Halliburton runs both SAP R/3 and the company's portal and business warehouse software. Halliburton can now could run the portal and business warehouse on the same server, he said.

SAP is trying to keep middleware rivals such as IBM and BEA out of its installed base, said Gartner analyst Yvonne Genovese. By signing a single licence to buy the mySAP Business Suite, companies can get the NetWeaver technology thrown in.

"The whole goal is to bring it on as a single platform at a single price," she said, adding, however, that SAP might wind up more focused on making the suite interoperable rather than on adding new features.

Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld

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