Nobody ever said it will be easy. The change to NetWeaver is a shift in paradigm and those are the once that give you the biggest headache. It’s just human how many people try to solve to adjust the model in their head to pictures, speeches and articles issued on them by SAP, and still are not satisfied. OK, so let’s do something about it!
lang=”en-us”>One of the first steps for techies to react on big changes usually is to state: “It’s a marketing gag!”. And I clearly remember that this was the most heard statement in the tech departments of SAP too, when NetWeaver arrived. Well, one of marketing’s jobs is it to find words for things that had no names before to start communication about them or even make communication about them possible at all. This way the invention of NetWeaver was a marketing job.
lang=”en-us”>A couple of days back I once again tried to make the point clear in one internet forum and tried to do so by analyzing the wording for NetWeaver’s definition: It’s a technology platform.
lang=”en-us”>There are two words in there to watch, ‘technology’ and ‘platform’.
lang=”en-us”>Technology in general is something that is used by non-end-users (techies like us?) and if you check with theNetWeaver stack you definitely see that none of it’s contents is something your end users would be usually confronted with. OK, the portal is part of NetWeaver too (and end users sit right in front of it), but here we are not talking about the content part but more about portal development.
lang=”en-us”>Platform is the real challenge here. Up to now everybody who was talking about platform meant an operating system or a database or- in case of SAP- a combination of both (Something that gave *me* a headache when I entered this company). Once upon a time a graphical GUI was an additional program running under DOS. In many cases this is called a platform today. Why be so small-minded? If we can define a platform by adding more and more technology into one pod, why not doing it in one big shot? This is exactly what happened.
lang=”en-us”>One argument I heard also was: “Well everything in NetWeaver runs on Web Application Server, so this should be the platform, shouldn’t it?” If we go back to the database-operating system platforms, where did those DB’s run? On the operating systems they built a platform with. And if you watch closely, you even can see that SAP Web Application Server is called ‘application platform’ insideNetWeaver.