Microsoft and SAP Enhance .NET Development, Promise Cloud Integration

At SAP's SAPPHIRE conference, SAP and Microsoft announced enhanced support for .NET development of SAP apps, and plans to deliver tighter integration of SAP apps with the Windows Azure cloud.

SAP AG and Microsoft have announced plans to better enable .NET developers to build applications for SAP environments, as well as new plans to improve integration between SAP software and Microsoft virtualization and cloud software.

The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE NOW, being held in Orlando, Fla., May 15-18, where Microsoft was also named "SAP Global Technology Partner of the Year."

The companies plan to make business processes from SAP software more easily consumed and extended by .NET developers, simplifying the overall application development process. This level of access will help redefine the SAP/Microsoft developer landscape with shorter development cycles, lower costs and openness into core applications, the companies said. Microsoft and SAP are also planning to provide integration between upcoming landscape management software from SAP, Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V technology, bringing greater agility for cloud management and deployments.

The Microsoft announcement with SAP comes on the same day that SAP announced a partnership with AWS (Amazon Web Services) to run a healthy portion of SAP's enterprise software applications in the cloud on the AWS platform. SAP and Amazon teamed to certify that SAP's software will run on the AWS cloud. The first wave of supported SAP products on AWS includes the entire suite of SAP BusinessObjects solutions and SAP Rapid Deployment solutions supported on Linux platforms.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's announcement is more developer-focused and includes no enterprise software running on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud. Instead, Microsoft officials speak of plans and eventualities for SAP apps running on Windows Azure.

"Building on the successful partnership with Duet Enterprise, SAP and Microsoft plan to offer interoperability and a native development experience, so that a .NET developer can easily build applications in visual studio that run across the SAP and Microsoft platforms," said Vishal Sikka, member of the Executive Board, Technology and Innovation, SAP. "Interoperability is a core advantage that SAP and Microsoft can deliver to the customers we both share."

SAP and Microsoft recently launched Duet Enterprise software, a joint product for SAP applications and Microsoft SharePoint development. Enhancing their support across a variety of application models and scenarios, SAP and Microsoft now plan to interconnect their development platforms, extending development capabilities for developers within the Microsoft ecosystem. This plan includes using software development accelerators to enable connectivity between the development platforms, integrating Microsoft development tools with the business functionality of SAP solutions across a variety of application models and scenarios. Microsoft and SAP's goal is to simplify access to SAP applications for millions of .NET developers using SAP NetWeaver Gateway technology, in a manner that does not require any specialized knowledge of SAP business software. Tighter integration will bring new innovations to the forefront, helping drive a plethora of new .NET applications that consume and extend SAP Business Suite applications.

The anticipated new interoperability layers include:

"Visual Studio integration: Microsoft and SAP will be partnering to dramatically increase developer productivity and lower cost through deeper integration of SAP systems and future versions of Visual Studio and the .NET FrameworkWindows Azure SDK for SAP NetWeaver Gateway: Extend SAP NetWeaver Gateway with a new software development kit (SDK) for Windows Azure so that .NET developers are able to create private or public cloud-based applications for Windows Azure that connect to on-premise SAP systems without leaving their existing development environment"