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A BPX’s First Impressions of the Composition Environment Trial Version

As I saw the blog concerning the availability of the trial version of the Composition Environment (CE) , I downloaded the file immediately – and that was on a Friday.  I installed it on Saturday and I tested it immediately. I examined the CE not from the perspective of a Java / WebDynPro Developer but as a BPX who is looking for a composition tool for Enterprise SOA-related work.

A Caveat:  I looked at the CE trial version from the perspective of a BPX.  There are a series of CE Web Dynpro News Part I: Debugging on WebDynPro usage of the CE.


The installation was a snap.  I used the typical installation and was finished within an hour.  



The only real necessary input was the Master Password. 


After finishing, I followed the instructions and logged on http://localhost:50100.  There I get the usual Web Application Server start page.



I thought to myself  “Looks good but let’s get to Visual Composer (VC) and Guided Procedures (GP).” I looked and didn’t see anything. Then I tried the old http://localhost:50100/irj to start the portal.  No luck. Then I reread the installation materials and discovered to my chagrin the following paragraph:

This package contains all you need to work with Composition and Java tools of SAP NetWeaver. The following components are included:

         SAP NetWeaver Application Server, Java(TM) EE 5 Edition

         MaxDB 7.6 database

         SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio (with Java EE support)

Another paragraph had more details:

This DVD contains the SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment Trial Version which consists of

         SAP NetWeaver Application Server Java

         Service Registry (SR)

         SAP NetWeaver Administrator (NWA)

         SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio (NWDS

At this point, I was a little confused. I had assumed that the CE contained the entire composite environment.


No portal. No Guided Procedures.  If you look at this PR material for the CE , GP and VC are always mentioned.


So, I am assuming that the phrase “This package contains all you need to work with Composition and Java tools of SAP NetWeaver” in the installation is just a little misleading and future versions will allow all users of SAP composite tools to use the CE:


After discovering that GP and VC were not part of this version, I started to explore the components that were present.   I examined those components that might be relevant to the BPX.  I thought the UUDI Registry might be a good choice inasmuch as some BPXs might wish to search for existing services to include in their processes.



Unfortunately, I feel that current User Interface (UI) for the UDDI is just a little too complicated for your average BPX.

Furthermore, there are still so many unanswered questions regarding CE mostly regarding the interaction of the Enterprise Service Repository (ESR) and various CE components. For example, will GP Process elements be stored in the ESR or will web-services available in VC just be restricted to those in the ESR to maintain SOA-related governance concerns.

I guess I will just have to wait until the next version of the CE appears to get the answers to these questions.  I think the CE is quite important inasmuch as it will have a separate release schedule that will hopefully allow it be more innovative that ERP 2005 Basis.

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  • …for the evaluation Richard.

    am I corrrect in drawing the conclusion that currently the Composition Environment is an environment with very limited capability to compose on a reasonably abstract level(i.e., apart from ‘composing a java program’)?


  • I unfortunately sent a link to the software out to my traditional Functional Architects (future BPX’es) thinking the CE environment contained VC and the new GP; only to realise that this was the first “developer” package. 
    Since installing it myself and realising my mistake, I posted a comment on the CE blog and the response was that the next release would come out in 45 days or so with some of this functionality (only VC and Portal I’m guessing).
    This will be very interesting as I believe it pushes the BPX’er into NWDS for config in the future.
    • I agree completely that CE will be very interesting as it develops.  I think CE provides SAP the ability to pull a lot of different technologies (VC, GP, portal, ESR, etc.) together into one integrated package.  I am hoping that CE enables SAP to deal with the various gaps (process design -> implementation, GP -> ESR, etc) that currently exist in the BPX-relevant environment.

      Thanks for your comment.