SAP Outlines NetWeaver Road Map

Upgrades, which will be made incrementally starting this year, include a new user experience through Web 2.0 and AJAX capabilities.

ATLANTA—During the second day of Sapphire, SAPs annual user conference being held here April 22-25, SAP outlined its road map for NetWeaver, the integration platform announced several years ago thats been the underpinning for the companys move to a service-oriented architecture.

The road map is broken down into four "pillars" outlined by the company: improved user access and productivity, accelerated application and business process composition, streamlined access to relevant and reliable information, and automated governance.

The platform enhancements will be made incrementally to support the core NetWeaver platform, according to SAP officials, with the first functional upgrades due sometime this year.

While SAP has been light on details around NetWeaver—particularly in the area of a new composition environment—the functional upgrades include a new user experience, or user interface in common parlance, through Web 2.0 and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) capabilities; new enterprise service bus capabilities based on Web service standards; and embedded SOA governance through SAPs NetWeaver Enterprise Services Repository and UDDI 3.0 registry.

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Likely the most compelling—and the least understood—is SAPs plans to offer new functionality through its NetWeaver Composition Environment and NetWeaver Process Integration tools. Apparently the composition environment is a set of Java EE5-based tools used for the composition and deployment of composite applications—what the NetWeaver platform has been developed for in the first place.

NetWeaver Process Integration, on the other hand, is an evolution of SAPs Exchange Infrastructure, better known as XI, and will include a service bus connecting composite applications with services, along with the Enterprise Services Repository and UDDI registry. Also included will be capabilities for business activity monitoring to help users manage business events.

In addition, SAP plans to better integrate its NetWeaver BI (business intelligence) and Master Data Management platforms to help users better manage information and events. The next iteration of NetWeaver BI will also have a self-service component, better access to search, and go deeper in adding intelligence to business processes, officials said. Updates to MDM will include a new security model for better governance and audit tracking, and new data synchronization and distribution capacities.

SAP said that more than 13,000 customers use NetWeaver.

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