SAP strengthens support for Java on Netweaver

At its TechEd conference in San Diego this month, SAP announced a host of Netweaver enhancements, including improved Java support...

SAP has made enhancements to Netweaver, its application platform for developing, testing, deploying and managing web applications and web services based on Java or SAP's Abap programming language.

Users at the annual TechEd user conference in San Diego at the start of the month were presented with the software supplier's product strategy, which featured stronger support for enterprise Java. The enhancements aim to limit the impact of Java application crashes, which can be costly for businesses.

SAP has added Java virtual machine technology to run critical Java applications, so that errors will effectively remain isolated.

Errors might result in screen freezes, loss of data and re-keying information. Containing the errors will reduce time and costs for Java systems administrators in writing and testing Java applications and improve customer satisfaction and retention, said SAP.

Shai Agassi, member of the executive board at SAP, said, "Netweaver brings to Java a level of supportability, quality, robustness and mission-critical stability that customers have come to expect from SAP applications and technology."

SAP is not alone in adding such a feature to its application platform. Last week IBM announced a new version of its Websphere Application Server software, Websphere 6.0, which is also designed to protect applications from server downtime.

Websphere 6.0 competes with SAP's Netweaver and is also a Java-based platform. It can detect server outages as they occur and save and process internet transactions on another failover server in less than 10 seconds, according to IBM.

As with the SAP system, this will benefit companies that rely on continuous running of their applications, such as brokerage firms and online banks and retailers.

Michael Barnes, vice-president at analyst firm Meta Group, welcomed the new J2EE standards-based tools. "Although Java is one of the primary technologies for large-scale application development, no major software implementation is free of errors and the robustness of Java applications remains a real issue," he said.

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