SAP, Oracle Tackle Web Services With New Stacks

While SAP AG rolled out a new technology stack for delivering integrated applications as Web services last week, Oracle Corp. was planning this week's unveiling of new composite applications.

While SAP AG rolled out a new technology stack for delivering integrated applications as Web services last week, Oracle Corp. was planning this weeks unveiling of new composite applications.

SAPs NetWeaver extends the Walldorf, Germany, companys MySAP Technology platform and streamlines the development of Web services.

The stack falls under SAPs new blueprint, dubbed ESA (Enterprise Services Architecture), and is based on a messaging format instead of the companys proprietary BAPIs (Business APIs).

Separately, Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., this week will roll out at its AppsWorld conference in San Diego its Business Flow Accelerators. These so-called composite applications take a specific business process and provide the applications, support, implementation, training and curriculum needed to get it up and running without buying the whole Oracle E-Business Suite.

SAP is incorporating its MySAP Technology platform into the NetWeaver stack, which includes the Exchange Infrastructure, Portal and Web application server that combines Java 2 Enterprise Edition and SAP ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) programming languages. The stack also includes SAPs Cross Application framework.

NetWeaver provides a Composite Application Framework akin to a messaging bus architecture. Rather than using one of SAPs old proprietary BAPIs to present SAP data in an integrated Web services setting, the data is presented in an XML-enabled message format, officials said. The concept is that information is presented in a standard connector format rather than a proprietary format, allowing users to share information across components.

"Thats the real difference," said Bruce Decock, vice president and CIO at LSI Logic Corp., in Milpitas, Calif. "In the past, theres been this translation feature if you wanted to get data out of SAP. You would use ABAP and translate that into XML and be able to interface into standard XML. With this change, it really drives that translation down into the Web app server so you can use it much more natively than in the past."

Another NetWeaver component, the Master Data Management services component, allows companies to harmonize and centrally manage master data to support collaboration.

Both IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., and Microsoft Corp., of Redmond, Wash., will support the NetWeaver stack by providing integration points between SAPs solutions and any WebSphere or .Net application, officials said.

Meanwhile, Oracles Business Flow Accelerators build on the companys e-Business Flows services, which provide fixed-price application implementations, to help users improve business processes, officials said.

Oracle will make available an initial library of about 20 composite applications that automate business processes in all areas of the E-Business Suite, including sales, service, manufacturing, marketing, supply chain and distribution. Oracle will also offer several Accelerators that are horizontally aligned, focusing first on the federal government and telecommunications.