We have this great grab bag of developer tools to pick from to integrate with Netweaver. In terms of capability or what I like to call the “possibility space” of opportunity, it’s almost unlimited. But therein lies the problem:
How do you choose?
This is a non-trivial problem, especially given the low signal/noise ratio provided by most developers (myself included). ABAPers will tout the great transport controls and ease of coding with ABAP/BSP. Java junkies like myself will extol the flexibility and interoperability of Java/JSP. Microsofties will rightly tell us that .NET development is much faster and cleaner than Java. PHP is now in the mix, and from personal experience it’s a great tool to bash out web pages quickly, especially with MySQL — my home web server has been running this combo with Apache for at least 5-6 years now.
Last time I checked, there’s no official word from SAP about how to choose. So what’s right? I say they all are. Before you architects send me nastygrams about how one shop can’t support them all, let me finish.
If you are modding or extending core R/3 functions and need little else, use ABAP/BSP (WebDynPro when you can). To me, this is the only solution that makes sense. A good ABAPer can bash this code out in a quarter of the time a good Java guy can.
If you have little R/3 integration but high integration with EP or KM, and possibly other back ends like Oracle then Java/JSP is the way to go. Use WebDynPro if you can. Nothing beats the flexibility and integration of Java into EP.
If it’s a straight web app presented in the Portal and doesn’t need extensive integration with R/3 or EP, go .NET with the .NET PDK and Connector from SAP. No question about it, and this is coming from an old-school Java guy. It’s quick, clean, and hands down faster than Java in terms of both development and performance. Benchmark it yourself and see, we did and I was surprised.
So that’s it, near as I can figure. Let me know what you guys think.