SAP AG is looking to integrate its NetWeaver tool set into a more cohesive environment where business and IT users can more easily create composite applications.
Tools that were traditionally separate are going to become part of a single environment geared toward developers and business analysts, which SAP refers to as business process experts. By having tools for these groups more tightly integrated into a single environment, users can rely on a shared repository of enterprise Web services, SAP officials said.
"With IT, analysts and architects all part of the same environment ... enterprise services will have more of a business meaning than what technical Web services mean [today]," said Ori Inbar, a vice president at SAP, in Palo Alto, Calif.
The integrated environment—to be unveiled with the next release of NetWeaver, which is scheduled for sometime next year—should help partners better create composite applications for their customers.
Mark Feldman, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Versa Systems Ltd., demonstrated at SAPs TechEd conference in Boston late last month a compliance-based composite application Versa built using NetWeavers Composite Application Framework tool set.
The response from attendees was overwhelming, according to Feldman.
"We showed how you could literally model a new process—all the Java code is written in the background—that combined data and functionality from several different applications into a single role-based interface. People wanted to know, Does this really work? This isnt just the Kool Aid? Im surprised we made it out of there alive," said Feldman in Toronto.
Feldman and other partners said there were two things that became clear at TechEd: The promise of the Composite Application Framework is moving closer to reality, and SAP has seriously changed its attitude toward partners, to a degree some observers refer to as remarkable. "Our relationship with SAP is much better than it used to be. ... It has been very competitive and is now transforming itself as we focus on NetWeaver," said John Kopcke, chief technology officer at Hyperion Solutions Corp., in Santa Clara, Calif.