I had the opportunity to participate in a very interesting event this week; I gave a presentation about NetWeaver, ESA, and SAP Exchange Infrastructure to a group of software partners who are engaged in the process of creating Industry Standards content for SAP XI.
A basic constituent of the XI architecture is the partner ecosystem; one of the strengths that XI offers is pre-built content that saves the effort of building integration scenarios. This “buy, don’t build” philosophy helps customers avoid the TCO trap of home grown solutions. For this strategy to work, however, we need a wide variety of vendors providing integration content for XI. That’s because SAP simply cannot provide all of the potential content on its own; there is simply too much potential content. One example of partner content would be the adapters that come from iWay and other parnters. Another example of content would be Industry Standards support, such as the RosettaNet Business Package from SAP.
RosettaNet is a consortium of major High Tech companies working to create and implement industry-wide, open e-business process standards. SAP provides a business package for RosettaNet that helps customers quickly and easily implement RosettaNet Partner Interface Processes (PIP) through SAP XI. The package includes the RosettaNet document structures (imported DTD); The integration scenarios (swimlane diagrams) and Business Processes for the supported processes; the mappings between the RosettaNet structures and the corresponding IDOCs (these mappings are done in the graphical mapping tool so that customers can easily modify them if necessary for their specific implementation); and adapter templates for the various processes so that the RNIF (Rosettanet Implementation Framework) adapter (delivered by SAP) can be easily configured for each supported process.
Of course, RosettaNet is just one of many industry-specific e-business standards; others include: PIDX (petroleum); STAR, AIAG (Automotive); RAPID (Agriculture); UCCNet, ARTS (Retail); papiNet (Paper and Mill products), and many, many others. Supporting such a proliferation of standards is where the partner ecosystem comes in.
To support this effort and encourage more parthers to participate, SAP has launched the Certification Initiative for Industry Standards. The idea is that an ISV that is willing to write Industry Standards content for SAP XI can get certification for their solution from SAP as part of the “Powered by NetWeaver” initiative. Furthermore, SAP can provide support for partners who want to develop this content, including development systems and XI-specific workshops to get you started.
Well, I’m not a software partner, but this seems like a great opportunity to develop and sell products for the XI integration platform. Would you like to participate? If so, you can find more information about this initiative at this link.