SAP Drives Open Standards to Simplify Enterprise SOA

SAP’s comprehensive strategy is focused on driving open standards that simplify organizations’ evolution to enterprise SOA and address both technology and business requirements. SAP takes leadership roles in standards organizations and committees to move from specifications to ratified standards, works with customers and partners on developing enterprise services, and catalyzes communities to drive interoperability best practices. The announcement was made at SAP TechEd ’06, being held in Amsterdam, Oct. 18 – 20, 2006.

Technology Standards

SAP has been a driving force in technology standards creation and adoption since the launch of the SAP NetWeaver platform in 2003. For example, SAP recently announced that it is far ahead of competitors in achieving Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5 compatibility. SAP leads and co-authors specification development efforts around key technologies and participates in many technical committees and working groups. The following is a selection of activities:

  • SAP is an Advisory Board member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international organization which sets the technical standards for the Web. Important W3C recommendations and submissions – including HTML, XML, and core Web Services specifications SOAP, WSDL, WS-Addressing, and WS-Policy – represent the core Internet connectivity and Web services interoperability of SAP NetWeaver.
  • SAP is a board member of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), home of many security and extended Web services standards. SAP NetWeaver supports OASIS Standards, including WS-Security and UDDI that represent important features in the implementation of enterprise SOA – just to name a few.
  • SAP is chairman and board member of the Web Services – Interoperability Organization (WS I), which promotes consistent and reliable interoperability among Web services across platforms, operating systems and programming languages. SAP NetWeaver is compliant with the WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 and WS-I Basic Security Profile 1.0.
  • SAP is a member of the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors and played an instrumental role in launching the Eclipse Foundation. SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio is built on the Eclipse 3.2 platform and offers support of Java EE 5 based on the Eclipse Web Tools Project.
  • SAP is an active contributor to the Java Community Process (JCP) and a member of the JCP SE/EE Executive Committee. SAP contributes to over 50 Java Specification Requests (JSRs) focused on a broad range of topics that increase the business value of the Java platform.
  • SAP is a leading member of the Open SOA Collaboration, providing developers with a simpler and more powerful way to construct composite applications. The collaboration defines a language-neutral model that meets the needs of enterprise developers who are developing software that exploits SOA characteristics and benefits. Currently, the collaboration is working on two specifications: SCA (service component architecture) and SCO (service data objects).
  • SAP is a key driver of the BPEL4People specification, which provides missing process definition capabilities for human-user interactions as one of the key building blocks of SOA. This specification closes an important gap in the existing BPEL specification and, combined with the existing BPEL features, will allow designing business processes that range from fully automated processes to processes that support different user interactions patterns.
  • SAP is a key contributor to EPCglobal specifications, focused on defining global EPC/RFID standards. SAP has made significant contributions to the Software Action Group and co-chaired the Reader Protocol Working Group.

“The contributions SAP makes to open standards through its support of OASIS are considerable,” noted Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. “As a Foundational Sponsor, SAP provides resources that enable us to fulfill our mission. SAP representatives serve on the OASIS Board of Directors and more than 27 OASIS technical committees developing standards for Web services and eBusiness.”
“As a strategic member, SAP’s support of the Eclipse Foundation has been instrumental to its success,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “We are excited to see SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio release on the Eclipse 3.2 and Web Tools Project platform. We look forward to SAP’s growing involvement and support of the Eclipse community.”

Business standards

SAP has been building leading business applications for 30 years and an integral part of that success is its unique focus on developing and driving business standards jointly with its ecosystem of customers, partners and SAP experts. As part of this strategy, SAP is leveraging community input to drive the key standards for enterprise SOA – from service creation and enablement through the SAP Developer Network (SDN) site and the Enterprise Services Community program for developers and enterprise architects, to service composition from the Business Process Expert Community for the composers and process experts. Today, SDN is nearly 600,000 members strong and the newly launched Business Process Expert Community has grown rapidly to more than 50,000 members in just five months. SAP is also focused on creating collaborative industry value networks (IVN) of customers, partners and infrastructure vendors to meet industry-specific business requirements.
SAP recognizes that technology standards are not enough, and that the business semantics around business processes and within specific industries are critical to optimizing technology. SAP’s goal is to embrace and drive extensions of standards that facilitate business process interoperability and innovation. For example:

  • SAP designs enterprise services to fully integrate semantic interoperability standards such as the UN/CEFACT Core Component Technical Specification and XML Schema Naming and Design Rules Specification. SAP chairs the UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Group, Applied Technologies Group, and a number of individual UN/CEFACT standards development project teams.
  • SAP is a member of the Board of Governors and chairs both the Solution Provider Council as well as the Architecture Advisory Committee of RosettaNet, a consortium of computer makers, resellers and users creating e-commerce standards for transaction-centered data exchanges using a standardized set of terms for product, partner and transaction properties.
  • With the launch of the Business Process Expert Community, SAP introduced an online knowledge center, providing a collection of information and tools for the consumer products (CP) industry, see “CP Knowledge Center”. In the CP industry, SAP has a comprehensive standards strategy that includes specifications from GS1 eCOM, EPCglobal (EPC/RFID), VICS, GCI and ARTS. Each of these organizations addresses critical business processes in the consumer products and trade industries.

“SAP is highly focused on open standards and is driving and supporting technology and business standards to help reduce customer TCO and to deliver business value to its ecosystem,” said Michael Bechauf, vice president of industry standards, SAP. “A recent example is SAP’s achievement of Java EE 5 compatibility ahead of all the other major business software vendors. SAP continues to invest heavily in delivering an open standards-based composition platform to ease adoption of enterprise SOA and drive business process innovation for customers and partners.”

Source: SAP AG