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Join the “Heterogeneous Enterprise Service Consumption” Use Case Identification Group

  
Where?

At the TechEd 07 in Munich.
ICC – International Congress Center – room Eibsee.
For more details please visit SDN and the ES Community Sessions at SAP TechEd ’07 (http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/webcontent/uuid/d047bbfa-0d01-0010-0ab8-ac6575ae7e7d)

 

When?

Wednesday, October 17, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm CET (Munich local time).

 

What is it all about?

In this 4-hour, highly interactive workshop, we will explore the use of non-SAP tools to create composites that consume SAP’s Enterprise Services. Together we strive for an improved Enterprise Service consumption support for non-SAP (composition) tools. To do so, we will start top-down, finding the top use cases for non-SAP tools to interface with Enterprise Services (e.g. .net/XAML, scripting languages like Ruby and PHP, mashups, etc). With your knowledge and experiences imparted, we will examine the hurdles (e.g. in the area of security, federated identities, SOAP frameworks, etc) that hinder the use of Enterprise Services in such environments.The results of this workshop will be the basis of the upcoming ES Community Advisory Group which is geared towards influencing the SAP development and the communities alike by providing joint prototype implementations and other artifacts that will be used for feedback and co-innovation with the SAP development to improve the existing toolset and platform.

Solutions for collaborative environments can only be tackled collaboratively – join in! Note: The members of this Use Case Identification Group are NOT obliged to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Note: You do not to have a TechEd ticket in order to participate in the work of this group.

 

The recent rise of scripting languages

If you ask programmers around the globe about their opinion on scripting languages, you would probably get various answers. All these answers reflect their attitude and personal philosophical view of software development, which can be divided into basically two camps thus splitting the developer’s community. There is the fraction vowing the clarity and power of traditional programming languages like Java, C/C++, VB, C# etc. On the other hand, there is the emerging community of those, who pledge allegiance to the simplicity of development – especially web development – and thus prefer the usage of scripting languages like PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby.

 

SAP and its Ecosystem

SAP has defined its future product strategy around enterprise SOA. But the way SAP understands the philosophy of service oriented architectures implies the existence of a thriving ecosystem where all its members benefit from each other. There is a dedicated organization within SAP whose responsibility is to service the ecosystem – the so called Global Ecosystem and Partner Group. This organization makes sure that the services SAP provides towards the other members of the community are meaningful and effective.

On of the activities of this group is a setup of so called Advisory or Definition Groups. These groups are topic oriented and provide the organizational framework for experts from the whole community to exchange experience and feedback on that certain topic. The topics are derived from business scenarios in specific industries or technologies. The advisory groups are a clear roll-in channel for direct customer and partner feedback to SAP’s product definition and development. This process is being managed and governed by the Enterprise Service Community group – a subgroup of the previously mentioned Global Ecosystem and Partner Group.

 

Use Case Identification Groups and Advisory Groups

A Use Case Identification Group tries to identify the most common use cases for a given business scenario. In this case the business scenario is the “Consumption of Enterprise Services in heterogeneous (meaning non-SAP) Environments”. The deliverable assets of such an identification group are documents in form of best practices and how-to-guides but also prototypes and proof of concepts about the use cases involved. Such an identification group has often been extended to an Advisory or Definition Group.

Here is an overview of the lifecycle and the work of such Use Case Identification and Advisory Groups:

  
Step 1 – registration/application

You register/apply for a membership in a Use Case Identification Group.

  
Step 2 – Kick-Off

You get together with other experts and identify the use cases. SAP is the organizer and moderator of this kick-off meeting. The assets of this phase are the identified use cases.

  
Step 3 – Kick-Off Advisory Group

Optionally the Use Case Identification Group continues its work in an advisory group. This is the kick-off phase for such a group. The organizer and moderator is SAP.

  
Step 4 – Collaborative work

The collaborative work of an advisory group results with

  • Prototypes
  • Best Practices
  • Proof of Concepts
  • How-To-Guides
Step 5 – Roll-In into SAP development organizations

This is the phase where the results of advisory group’s dedicated work really get implemented. You may finish this phase with spreading the big news.

 

Use Case Identification Groups and their value proposition

The mission statement of such “Community Groups” is to provide SAP and its ecosystem with a program that drives the co-innovation in the community. These are the benefits from the participation in the work of these groups 

Value for members
  • Clear roll-in channel for steering SAP development with innovative ideas and prioritization
  • Opportunity to define SAP’s product specifications in detail
Value for SAP
  • Qualified and innovative ideas for service enablement committed by customers and partners
  • Direct engagement on service specifications to increase quality of further releases
  • Clear position within the market as the leader in collaborative innovation with customers and partners

Enterprise Service consumption in heterogeneous environments

The essentials of enterprise SOA are the Enterprise Services, which expose business functionalities from SAP systems like ERP, CRM, SCM but also from third party components provided for example by an Independent Software Vendor (ISV). These Enterprise Services are stored in a repository called Enterprise Service Repository (ESR) which can be browsed by different tools in order to enable the consumption of the services.Yes, it is true that the motivation for SOA is driven by the business and its demand. It is also true that the concepts of enterprise SOA abstract from the underlying technologies. But that does not mean that the SOA operations are completely independent from the underlying technology. SOA operations solve business needs. But SOA operations also require software to implement those needs. And software is bound to technology. At some point you will face the decision, which software to use – whether it is an out-of-the-box product, a best-of-breed or a custom developed solution.

Dependent on the technology platform you are using, you will have a better or a worse tools or framework support for your SOA operations. Think about Java as a platform and the power of its tools – i.e. the Eclipse framework – when it comes to development and deployment of portable and scalable solutions. The same holds true for .NET and the Visual Studio. On the other hand, the emerge of Rails and similar frameworks gave the web developers community powerful tools for rapid development of web applications.

 All platforms have their pros and cons. But SAP has a substantial interest to be a provider open for enterprise service consumption from various technological environments.

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