Adobe Targets the Enterprise with SAP, Salesforce Integration

Adobe announces extended collaboration with SAP to help SAP developers build rich applications using Adobe's tools. Meanwhile, a executive states that Salesforce does much the same thing using Adobe's front-end design and development tools. The enterprise is a key target for Adobe, said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Adobe's Creative Solutions Business Unit.

SAN FRANCISCO-Adobe Systems, long the darling of consumer-oriented developers, is beefing up its presence in the enterprise with moves such as the extended collaboration the company announced with SAP to help enterprises build richer business applications.

Indeed, at the Adobe MAX 2008 developer conference here, SAP officials said that in the latest enhancement to the SAP NetWeaver technology platform the company plans to enable developers to use Adobe Flash and Adobe Flex components with the SAP NetWeaver Web Dynpro programming model for user interfaces. Such a move will add data visualization within SAP applications, helping customers maximize business agility.

Web Dynpro is the user interface development standard for all SAP internal development to create and extend enterprise applications, the company said. Using Adobe Flash and Flex components with Web Dynpro enables SAP developers to enhance applications either with prebuilt Flex components or with their own components developed using Adobe Flex Builder. The results are rich and engaging Web-based experiences, where information is easily understood and content is dynamically displayed, Adobe officials said.

Adobe's Flash Player 10 comes to smart phones. Read more here.

"Enabling SAP developers to utilize the Adobe Flash platform opens up enormous possibilities for the future of today's core enterprise business applications," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe. "We are excited to be working with SAP to enable companies around the globe to improve the user experience and accelerate decision making based on critical business data."

"By integrating Adobe's well-established tools for developing application interfaces with the power of Web Dynpro, SAP will be taking a leading role in creating business applications that maximize business agility and empower workers to effectively navigate processes and information," said Sanjay Katyal, vice president of the Global Ecosystem & Partner Group at SAP.

Adobe officials said the company's expanded collaboration with SAP builds on Adobe's reach to enterprise developers and customers. Moreover, Adobe's SAP Interactive Forms software has been acquired by more than 1,000 SAP customers to accelerate adoption and improve productivity of forms-based processes in SAP applications. Further, Adobe Flex is integrated with the SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer tool, used to create rich and engaging user experiences.

Also at the conference, Steve Fisher, senior vice president of the platform division at, emphasizing the emerging impact Adobe is having in the enterprise, said in the opening keynote, "For the last 20 years enterprise software has been where innovation has gone to die." Yet, giving credit to Adobe, Fisher said, "But a new model has emerged powered by fantastic experiences at the front end and platform delivered as a service on the back end."

Moreover, "to have a Flex control embedded in an application will deliver a much more intuitive user interface," Fisher said. "Or if you want to take the application entirely out of the browser, you can leverage [Adobe] AIR."

Adobe has been able to penetrate the enterprise with its LiveCycle Enterprise Suite and Adobe Connect, said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Adobe's Creative Solutions Business Unit.

"In addition, Acrobat is often sold as an enterprise-class sale," Loiacono said. "We sell tens of thousands of seats to enterprise customers."