The Newest Release of the Technology Platform SAP NetWeaver

SAP NetWeaver 2004 synchronizes the release of all of its technology components and delivers new functional enhancements to help customers execute flexible business strategies and drive business change and innovation while reducing IT costs and complexities. Moving forward, SAP plans to synchronize all enhanced components and their new capabilities in future releases of SAP NetWeaver, which will also serve as the foundation for new releases of mySAP Business Suite solutions. Customers will benefit from a homogeneous platform that avoids the integration costs customers face with heterogeneous technology strategies.
First introduced in January 2003, SAP NetWeaver has quickly gained momentum around the world through customer installations, partner adoption, analyst support and a growing developer community. Created as an open and neutral platform for SAP solutions, SAP NetWeaver supports open industry standards and interoperability, allowing for ease of integration with SAP and non-SAP systems.
“Most companies today have spent a lot of money on software and say, ‘if I have to rip out my entire infrastructure and replace it with this new stuff, forget it – I don’t have the money to do that.’ Gartner recommends to customers to put in place a strategy to work with vendors who offer a vision for delivering an integrated platform that supports a service-oriented architecture that will allow them to accomplish the change in a slow, evolutionary manner while leveraging existing investments. This strategy supports customer demands as the platform can be changed and built onto fairly easily once it’s established,” says Yvonne Genovese, vice president and research director at Gartner Research.
In addition to detailing the technology platform’s latest enhancements, SAP also reported continuing customer and partner success with SAP NetWeaver. For more information please see the announcement, “Strong Customer Adoption, Partner Momentum and Developer Community Participation Define First Year’s Success for SAP NetWeaver.”

New functionality to drive the real-time enterprise

The 2004 release of SAP NetWeaver provides a single product offering with all platform components fully synchronized, including SAP Mobile Infrastructure, SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Intelligence, SAP Master Data Management, SAP Exchange Infrastructure, SAP Web Application Server, SAP Composite Application Framework and SAP Solution Manager.
Enhancements include:

  • SAP EP was enhanced to meet the needs of global portal deployments through flexible distributed administration, operation in over 20 languages using Unicode and support for both Windows and UNIX operating systems. Bundled knowledge management capabilities provide content management with integrated search, classification and publishing which allows users to seamlessly navigate across diverse document repositories. Tightly integrated collaboration rooms and real time collaboration capabilities are enhanced by increased ease of configuration and deployment. New ad hoc workflow and universal worklist features allow end users to efficiently coordinate projects.
  • Customers can now integrate RFID data into SAP solutions, utilizing the SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure to automate communication to and from hardware devices, to drive real-time business processes and enable faster and smarter business decisions.
  • SAP XI helps SAP NetWeaver deliver on the promise of Business Process Management (BPM) with a new embedded business process engine that orchestrates message flows between systems, enabling the automation of system and business processes that span beyond enterprise boundaries. This design becomes imperative when it comes to running B2B integration and industry standard-based integration like RosettaNet at sustainable costs. SAP XI also offers a J2EE Connector Architecture-based adapter framework which allows for easy deployment of resource adapters that adhere to standards provided by SAP and its partners or by any certified adapter partner, to support true connectivity.
  • SAP Web AS provides a true enterprise class application engine, supporting the creation of highly scalable transactional forms through the release of WebDynpro, robust cluster management capabilities, database abstraction support, and next generation Java development tools geared towards development in large groups. It is the best application server to support access and extension of SAP-based systems, as it creates a seamless link between ABAP and Java for continuous improvement and development. Full support for Web services-based provision and consumption is added to the Web application server, supporting all established industry standards. SAP Web AS is the foundation of all SAP NetWeaver components.
  • SAP MI has been significantly enhanced to provide reliable mobility with authorization updates, centralized alert infrastructure and improved development and debugging capabilities.
  • SAP MDM is the next generation master data hub, for all key objects in the business. It supports the synchronization, harmonization and syndication of data from any application, into any other application. Through this hub, companies can accelerate the execution of business processes through enhanced cross-system data consistency.
  • SAP Composite Application Framework enables the rapid development of composite applications, through SAP NetWeaver, utilizing guided procedures, dashboards, and composite services.

SAP and Visa driving down costs of financial management

SAP today also announced a new relationship with Visa International to help customers improve operational efficiencies and lower the cost financial management. The two companies have initiated efforts to integrate SAP NetWeaver and the Visa Commercial Format (VCF), a standard data set containing enhanced spending data from all Visa Commercial payment products, to provide unprecedented levels of data delivery to corporations that use Visa with SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The transparent delivery and open technology of SAP NetWeaver will give shared clients better utilization of spending data without significant integration investments resulting in process improvements and lower operational costs on a variety of business processes. For more information, please see today’s announcement, “Visa and SAP Announce Plans to Drive Down The Costs of Corporate Financial Management.”

Delivering on the promise of the services-oriented architecture

SAP NetWeaver enables the Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), SAP’s blueprint for service-oriented architectures. mySAP Business Suite solutions, SAP xApps composite applications and selected partner solutions are powered by SAP NetWeaver, helping companies move closer to a services-oriented architecture and its promise of adaptability, flexibility and openness to achieve lower total cost of ownership.
SAP NetWeaver was first put in place as the foundation for mySAP Supplier Relationship Management (mySAP SRM) and shortly after as the driving platform for mySAP ERP, the successor to SAP R/3. With SAP NetWeaver in place, mySAP ERP drives new business efficiencies and cost reduction through people-centric usability, ease of integration, and transparency and analytic insight allowing world-class corporate governance. The latest version of mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM), launched in June 2003, also incorporates SAP NetWeaver as its foundation. In a separate press release today at CeBIT, SAP has announced new enhancements to mySAP CRM that utilize advances in SAP NetWeaver technology to increase the speed of running analyses with a new high-speed search engine and to expand the reach of analytics applications with role-based portals and automated software agents. For more information, please see today’s announcement, “SAP Unleashes Business Potential of Real-Time CRM Analytics with Intelligent Software Agents and High-Speed Search Engine.”
Building on its success with comprehensive enterprise resource planning solution mySAP ERP, mySAP SRM, and mySAP CRM, SAP will use SAP NetWeaver to innovate new releases of mySAP Business Suite solutions. In doing so, SAP will move closer to completing the transformation of its solutions from its 3-tier client server architecture toward a new era of solution architecture built upon a services-oriented approach.
“Opportunities for business growth will be driven by new efficiencies across business processes and tighter collaboration across the extended business ecosystem—for SAP customers, this evolution will be powered by SAP NetWeaver,” said Shai Agassi, member of the executive board, SAP. “SAP NetWeaver 2004 breaks new ground in the industry as it provides one completely integrated platform as a packaged solution, not a set of disconnected components, that every customer needs to combine in support of lengthy projects. SAP NetWeaver adds value across all levels of the organization as a business enabler that makes innovation and growth sustainable by containing IT costs and reducing integration complexity. Many of our customers are just beginning to recognize the platform’s potential, and SAP is committed to helping customers fully understand and easily achieve the benefits of SAP’s comprehensive solution to power business innovation.”

SAP NetWeaver 50-City World Tour

In response to the growing demand for information on SAP NetWeaver and the opportunities it presents to customers and partners, SAP is launching a 50-city worldwide tour that will take place throughout 2004. The tour will bring SAP executives, including SAP executive board member Shai Agassi, customers, prospects, partners and industry analysts in direct contact with IT and business executives across five continents. Next tour stops include San Francisco, New York City, Lisbon and Istanbul. For more information about the SAP NetWeaver tour, locations and dates.

Source: SAP AG