SAN DIEGO—SAP AG is readying new capabilities for developers that use the enterprise software companys NetWeaver integration platform with the goal of easing worries in several key areas, including Java development, radio-frequency identification, logistics integration and analytics.
A centerpiece of the SAP TechEd developer conference here this week was the unveiling of SAPs Java virtual machine container. Two years in the making, the JVM container is essentially a porting of SAPs R/3 kernel technology to Java—a move that should provide developers with the stability of R/3 in Java, said officials of the Waldorf, Germany, company.
The container, due next year as part of NetWeaver 2005, enables standard Java code to run on a framework around the Java virtual machine itself, which helps to improve application stability and reduce overall memory consumption. It also enables administrators and developers to quickly isolate and resolve errors—something that users were not able to do in previous renditions of SAP applications in Java. That deficit caused some reticence in developers looking to program SAP applications in Java.
"This is absolutely valuable," said Rob Crawford, business analyst with Menasha Corp., in Neenah, Wis. "When a virtual machine crashes it kills all the processes running under it and users are kicked out of using it. The container will, in theory, just get rid of [that issue] as each person will only be able to screw up in their container."
At the same time, processes are able to move in and out of the container, and share power for better distribution, according to Crawford.
The JVM container could help SAP move customers using its older R/3 suite of applications over to its latest suite, mySAP ERP, because it provides more stability for developers working in Java.
SAP worked in conjunction with Infineon Technologies AG to ease the stress level of manufacturers, retailers, and high-tech and aerospace companies implementing disparate and fast-changing RFID hardware and software systems by easing associated risks.
The combined technology from both companies includes SAPs Auto-ID infrastructure, which helps users to incrementally implement RFID-enabled business processes and automate those implementations, and Infineons You-R Open software, which is an operating platform for linking existing non-RFID-based logistics systems to (newly installed) RFID-supported logistics infrastructures. You-R Open also supports all manner of RFID-associated hardware: smart labels, readers, programmable logic control, automation devices, PCs, servers, hardware and IT networks.
Available now, the SAP RFID platform includes SAPs Event Management capability, preconfigured EPC (Electronic Product Code) reports in SAPs Business Information Warehouse, and integration into supply chain execution and asset management applications.
Finally, SAP announced a very quick search capability that will enable users to get business intelligence information on the fly. The new capability combines something called in-memory computing and new search capabilities to enable users to query large data stores of structured data and gather near real-time information.
The search capability, new for SAP, leverages distributed attribute search technology, vertical decomposition, horizontal partitioning, smart compression and in-memory processing for quick query results and better load balancing.
The new capability will be available next year, with SAPs 2005 version of NetWeaver.