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Positioning of SAP xMII , XI and SAP Netweaver UI tools

I am new to SAP xMII and I have started exploring the features of xMII. Some time back,I got a chance to interact with one of my friend about SAP XMII and SAP Netweaver user interface development tools. My question to him was very simple. Where does XMII sit in the SAP’s Netweaver architecture? Why can’t we use netweaver user interface development tools along with XI and Portal to integrate manufacturing applications without using xMII?  I invite my SDN colleagues to express their thoughts in this bog.   I believe that new user interfaces for any industry can be developed using various tools like Webdynpro, Visual Composer and Adobe Forms etc in conjunction with SAP Portal, XI and other SAP Java APIs. Visual composer can also be used to develop state of the art dynamic user interfaces using Adobe’s Flexi UI.    My friend’s argument is that, xMII provides connectors to connect to manufacturing applications/systems and databases. My argument was: SAP XI can be used to connect to a database or other applications/systems using adapters. So my question here to SAP colleagues is: what is preventing the customer from using XI to integrate manufacturing related systems or applications?  The document, , underlines the differences between XI & xMII,   “xMII and XI – XI is recommended for ERP-Plant integration because of its message routing, queuing, store and forward services. xMII is designed as a ERP-Shop Floor integration tool that provides real time displays. They are complementary.”  But can’t we use Flex UI to provide real time displays using Portal & VC Models?.
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    • Hi,

      The biggest gain of xMII is the out of the box data connectors that it provides to various plant floor systems. These systems are often proprietary based data containers that store the data in a very unstructured format. If XI were to do all this then we need to write adapters to talk to the end systems. More over xMII comes with a ton of taq queries and prebuild queries that have to be build when using XI.

      Can XI do the things as xMII, simple answer is yes but the amount of work involved is huge.

      As for using various visualizations tools like VC , Adobe, Dynpro, SAP is currenly planning  on migrating xMII visualizations from applet to one of this own UI flavours. Its just a matter of time.


      • By the same logic of "can XI do what xMII does", I would say "so can Visual Basic and Java".  The point is that it is often inefficient and not cost effective to do so.

        You'll also find that xMII includes the ability to synthesize new "services" very quickly and easily, and at a degree of detail/granularity that would typically require Java or ABAP programming to extend XI to perform the same functionality.

      • Hi Naveen,
        Thanks for you opinion. i am looking forward to the future versions of XMII which will enable customers to utilize SAP's UI flavours or Flex instead of Applets!