Netweaver evolves to become an enterprise services architecture

SAP, the world's largest enterprise software provider, has backed the services-oriented architecture concept with the launch at...

SAP, the world's largest enterprise software provider, has backed the services-oriented architecture concept with the launch at CeBIT of its revamped Netweaver application server middleware.

With Netweaver 2004, SAP promises greater packaged integration to support web services, combined with lower user implementation costs. The company has bundled components previously available as separate products within Netweaver. In Net- weaver 2004 SAP is offering business intelligence, portal and mobile infrastructure software.

Simon Harrison, chief technology officer at SAP, said, "In time, all our applications will be based on Netweaver".

This would give users a way to add web services to existing SAP infrastructure. As users deployed more SAP applications, they would include the web services architecture in their systems, Harrison said.

SAP has re-engineered mySAP CRM to use features in the new version of Netweaver technology that increase the speed of running analyses via a high-speed search engine.

It also said Netweaver was behind other MySAP CRM developments such as expanded analytics applications with role-based portals and automated software agents.

Netweaver is part of SAP's web services strategy, known as enterprise services architecture.

In the past the company had been criticised because its applications were built around the client server model of computing, with logic and business processes coded into the applications.

Harrison said, "Enterprise service architecture has elevated processes out of the application."

Netweaver 2004 includes SAP Master Data Manager, which is designed to reconcile supplier and customer data across both SAP and non-SAP systems, and Exchange Infrastructure, a business process management tool.

Many SAP enterprise users have in the past integrated the enterprise resource planning package to other systems using third-party middleware, such as IBM Websphere or Microsoft's .net technology.

But as Netweaver matures it could prove more compelling than third-party products, because of SAP's tight integration between the middleware tools and the enterprise software, according to Jyoti Banerjee, chief executive at analyst company MyBusiness.net.

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