Designed for Full Interoperability, Extensibility with Both Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere
New York, NY — SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced the launch of the next evolutionary step of its industry-leading integration and application platform designed to provide extensibility across heterogeneous IT landscapes. SAP® NetWeaver™ enables organizations to integrate people, information, and business processes across technologies and organizations. Additionally, SAP takes the technology high ground by designing SAP NetWeaver to be fully interoperable with Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere (J2EE), providing customers with flexibility to manage heterogeneous infrastructures, minimizing complexity, and reducing total cost of ownership.
SAP NetWeaver is the business-ready, services-oriented platform for all SAP solutions and the way SAP delivers on the new Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), an enterprise applications blueprint, introduced at a company event held today (see related press release). SAP was one of the first companies to deliver a technology platform to enable collaborative business when it introduced mySAP™ Technology in 2001. The advanced iteration of SAP’s proven technology stack, SAP NetWeaver now serves as the backbone for the SAP suite of solutions, delivering a complete, open, and flexible infrastructure that allows companies to realize additional value from existing IT investments.
“Microsoft and SAP are building on their long and successful partnership to ensure that any solution using NetWeaver can be enhanced with Microsoft .NET,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president, Developer and Platform Evangelism, Microsoft. “With full-fledged access to the NetWeaver Enterprise Services Architecture, customers can harness the productivity and power of Microsoft .NET to connect, customize and enhance solutions that improve their business agility.”
“We are delighted to offer support for and be a part of the unveiling of SAP NetWeaver today,” says Bruce Harreld, senior vice president of IBM strategy. “Helping our customers become on-demand businesses will require new kinds of collaboration and cooperation between the companies in the information technology industry. We look forward to building on our long-standing relationship with SAP to deliver not just technology expertise, but real business value to our customers.”
SAP, IBM, and Microsoft have recently established joint collaborative technology support centers which will staff and support the companies’ focus on customer projects around the usage of SAP NetWeaver and its integration with IBM WebSphere and Microsoft .Net.
“With the constraints on IT spending, the goal is to lower costs and increase productivity,” said Joshua Greenbaum, principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting, Daly City, Calif. “To do this, business managers need a flexible and comprehensive technology platform based on Web services and other standards that can drive innovation and support the integration of heterogeneous applications. SAP NetWeaver will allow customers to achieve their goals by creating and improving business processes across their IT ecosystem without changing the underlying technology foundation.”
A Comprehensive Integration and Application Platform
With NetWeaver, SAP introduces two enhanced capabilities — composite application framework and master data management — that extend the technology stack beyond the initial capabilities of mySAP Technology.
The new composite application framework built into SAP NetWeaver enables SAP and its partners to create new applications targeting cross-functional business processes through tools, frameworks, rules, and methodologies. These include, for instance, an object access layer that allows customers to abstract from the underlying heterogeneity and to create a unified development and deployment environment.
SAP NetWeaver also includes master data management (MDM) services. MDM is the first standardized offering designed to solve the widespread challenges of data integration from multiple systems, physical locations, and diverse vendors. MDM ensures information integrity across the business network by allowing companies to consolidate, harmonize, and centrally master data in heterogeneous IT environments.
In addition to these new capabilities, SAP NetWeaver is comprised of the following: multichannel access — Web and mobile access to business systems in connected and disconnected scenarios; enterprise portal — internal and external unified user interfaces through a Web browser in role-based fashion; collaboration — real-time and asynchronous communication between people, in either a moderated or free-form fashion; business intelligence — the infrastructure for extracting, aggregating and analyzing structured business information across the enterprise; knowledge management — unifies multiple sources of unstructured information, such as document management, file services, XML feeds, and so on for providing and managing knowledge; an integration broker — for internal and external process integration, based on XML messaging; business process management — design, development, execution, monitoring, and management of business processes across the extended enterprise; J2EE/ABAP — provisioning of native, highly secured Web services implemented and developed in JAVA or ABAP and extensibility through Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere; database and operating system independence — open and operable on all relevant platforms; and life-cycle management — development, composing and modeling, testing, deployment, and management of the entire software landscape.
“The SAP NetWeaver integration and application platform is a key to our success as it delivers prepackaged integration and business content,” said Bruce Decock, vice president and CIO, LSI Logic. “With the announcement of SAP NetWeaver, SAP is again providing thought leadership by delivering solutions that meet ever changing customer needs.”
SAP NetWeaver Drives Reduced TCO
It is widely accepted that a key cost driver for business today is the challenge of integration. In today’s heterogeneous environment, a customer choosing a best of breed approach for its integration technologies (for example, bringing together portal and business intelligence from different vendors) is faced with the daunting challenge of integrating disparate technologies. The customer must first make the technologies work with each other before any new business value can be realized. And, this integration challenge is faced not just at the outset, but must be managed over the life cycle of the solutions. An integrated platform, such as SAP NetWeaver, significantly reduces cost of ownership by avoiding custom integration.
Another cost factor is the need to integrate with the wide variety of technologies and formats of various independent software vendors. SAP NetWeaver is not only designed to be fully interoperable with .NET and WebSphere on all levels (people, information, and processes) in one platform, but also provides out-of-the-box integration with third-party applications through its open architecture and its platform partner network. Additionally, SAP NetWeaver permits customers to better leverage their existing personnel skill sets across the company, in all IT silos—driving down recruitment, retention, and training costs.
When shipping business solutions that are powered by SAP NetWeaver, SAP pre-configures those solutions with business content such as user roles, taxonomies, reports, queries, and business process templates. Therefore, customers are able to significantly accelerate their time to value.
SAP NetWeaver is built upon the full experience of the world’s leading enterprise applications solution provider, leveraging the collective experience that comes from helping more than 19,000 companies meet their business challenges. This includes experiences in areas such as: ease of use (usability); ease of change (adaptability and extensibility); and ease of scale (scalability). Individually and collectively, these factors weigh heavily on the cost equation—SAP NetWeaver is designed to drive down costs in each of these areas for customers.
“SAP NetWeaver turns IT assets into a strategic value driver for customers,” said Shai Agassi, member of the executive board, SAP. “Pure technology alone cannot support today’s complex business processes—customers need a complete integration and application platform that addresses their need to create new value from existing technology investments and skill sets. With SAP NetWeaver and the Enterprise Services Architecture, SAP has delivered the blueprint for turning Web services from a concept into business reality, while, at the same time, driving down the costs of operations.”
Business Solutions Powered by SAP NetWeaver
Going forward, all SAP solutions will be powered by SAP NetWeaver as SAP delivers on its vision of the Enterprise Services Architecture. New applications and solutions will be developed against the ESA blueprint, and SAP NetWeaver will provide the technology platform to enable that blueprint.
SAP has already begun to deliver on the promise of the Enterprise Services Architecture with shipments of SAP xApps™ cross-applications, a new breed of packaged composite applications that snap-on to existing IT environments. The first SAP xApp™ cross-application, Resource and Program Management (xRPM), was shipped globally to customers in December 2002, with many additional xApps scheduled for shipment in 2003.
Developed by SAP and partner companies, xApps target specific business process needs—such as advanced product portfolio management, plant maintenance management, and post-merger integration—by delivering new functionality that is driven by information and services that come from a variety of systems located both inside and outside the enterprise.
SAP NetWeaver and SAP xApps Developer Community
In order to drive adoption of SAP NetWeaver and support the development of new SAP xApps, SAP is working to foster and support a developer community that will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and information between developers inside and outside of SAP. SAP will support this group in providing technical articles, Web training, code samples, evaluation tools, special interest groups and developer-specific events, in addition to detailed technical reference materials.
Partners Confirm Value
Many different types of SAP partners have embraced the SAP Netweaver Platform, and today are announcing their own support for the platform and the Enterprise Services Architecture. SAP system integrators who will be dedicating significant resources from their integration, portals, business intelligence, and Java practice areas, and train them on SAP NetWeaver include: Accenture, BearingPoint, Bristlecone, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting (soon to become Braxton), EzCommerce Global Solutions, IDS Scheer, and IBM Business Consulting Services. Together, these SAP system integrators will commit to training over 6,000 consultants on SAP NetWeaver.
A multitude of SAP partners have announced their intent to build xApps, powered by SAP NetWeaver. The list includes Accenture, Bristlecone, Digital Fuel, IBM Business Consulting Services, EzCommerce Global Solutions, Lighthammer, NRX, TechniData, and Vedaris.
Independent software vendors who will also add support for the SAP NetWeaver platform include: Actional, Ascential Software Corp., Business Layers, Business Objects, Cognos, Crystal Decisions, Digital Fuel, Documentum, FileNET, FileTek, Interwoven, Mercury Interactive, Seeburger, SeeBeyond, Stellent, WebEx, and webMethods.
A significant number of partners have indicated their strong support for SAP NetWeaver and ESA. Further information concerning partner support can be found in the associated addendum to this press release.
SAP NetWeaver is Available Today
There are three ways for customers to take advantage of SAP NetWeaver. First, SAP is already delivering SAP NetWeaver to customers as the technology platform that powers the full suite of SAP business solutions. Secondly, customers can use SAP NetWeaver to solve specific integration needs (for example, mySAP™ Enterprise Portal and/or mySAP™ Business Intelligence). Finally, customers can leverage SAP NetWeaver as their strategic integration and application platform to drive new value from their existing heterogeneous systems (for example, a customer who wishes to integrate and extend a number of existing systems on all levels). Master data management services will begin customer shipments in the third quarter of 2003. SAP NetWeaver is shipping with SAP solutions today. For existing customers, SAP NetWeaver will come as part of new releases, and, as such, is not a replacement of technology, but rather part of a customer’s regular upgrade process.
Additional details on SAP NetWeaver can found in the associated SAP NetWeaver fact sheet, by linking to www.sap.com/company/press/factsheets.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of e-business software solutions. Through the mySAP.com® e-business platform, people in businesses around the globe are improving relationships with customers and partners, streamlining operations, and achieving significant efficiencies throughout their supply chains. Today, more than 18,800 companies in over 120 countries run more than 56,000 installations of SAP® software. With subsidiaries in over 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol “SAP.” (Additional information at http://www.sap.com)
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