I see on the Community Calendar that the SAP Technology Tour is making a number of global stops in the next couple months. As a fairly new employee, I attended Tech Tour: Philadelphia (Newtown Square) in July 2007. The event provided a great overview of SAP’s corporate vision and current initiatives, and provided a terrific look at our new and emerging technologies.
I am re-/cross-posting the recap from my internal blog in order to share with a larger audience and offer a sneak peak to those who may be thinking about attending. The Tour is making two stops in North America within the month: Toronto, Oct 30 and Calgary, Nov 2. If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out!
Semi-live notes from SAP TechTour, Newtown Square – July 25, 2007
- SAP Welcome with Chakib Bouhdary, SVP ISG and Value Engineering
- Keynote: “Realizing the Value of Enterprise SOA” with Robert Lehman, Director, NetWeaver Solutions
- Benefits of the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework with Franck Lopez, Global Director, Enterprise Architecture & Enterprise SOA Portfolio
- “Creation & Consumption of an ES with .Net” with Ingo Sauerzapf, Solution Architect, SAP Market Development Engineering Team
- “The Importance of Standards in IT Architectures” with Ingo Sauerzapf
- “Support of Struts, Spring, Hibernate, Ant” with Wilson Ramos, Solution Architect, SAP Market Development Engineering Group
- “Communities” (mini-session) with Marilyn Pratt, Community Evangelist
- “Ajax client and SAP NetWeaver” with Ingo Sauerzapf
- “Migration Kit for Java Applications” with Wilson Ramos
Opening Welcome – Chakib Bouhdary, SVP ISG and Value Engineering
The SAP goal: to provide customers with one single view of the enterprise.
Changes in products and approach are driven by changes in technology. With the rise of PCs and enterprise networking, the R/3 apps took off. Now, 20 years later another change in technology has enabled another major product shift. Business applications were built on demand, but no one connected them all. SAP was one of the first to build an integrated product.
What has changed specifically? Three things:
1. Power has shifted toward users.
The Internet is a major innovation driven by consumers, not by corporations. This is the reverse of rise of the PC which was driven by corporations. The Internet brought a new architecture, which SAP is leveraging in the next generation of products.
2. Business leaders are making IT decisions.
SAP is giving business customers what they want by providing one solution for the enterprise, decomposed into web services and one set of master data.
This is innovation. Web services will change our world – customers will no longer buy software in a box. Customers need an architecture in which the master data is not touched, architecture is not touched, and services are flexible, allowing users to get what they want.
Web services allow for flexible business processes, enabling business users to reinvent their applications every 2 weeks (not every 6 or more months). Businesses need to be able to export and import master data in other places – this is interoperability with other vendor systems.
In this new model, IT specialists will not do all the work of system configuration and platform decision-making. Rather, technologists work closely with business users who make critical IT decisions.
3. More innovation through networking and interoperability with other vendor systems. SAP, Oracle, Accenture, etc working together.
Interoperability holds the promise of the business process platform. SAP has invested $2B in this innovation.
SAP has already launched over 1000 new web services, bundled under business process. We are buliding a business process platform for the future, allowing users to develop their own systems.
Realizing the Value of Enterprise SOA – Robert Lehman, Director, NetWeaver Solutions
Modernizing the Core
The CIO Dilemma: Core processes can only be touched (very carefully) every 5 years, but the CEO wants innovation every quarter.
Requirement: stabilize the core, but still innovate.
SAP is delivering business processes as enterprise services, that you can use out of the box.
- Core services + NetWeaver = your enterprise services
- Enterprise services repository is index of all your enterprise services
- Business Process platform allows users and partners to build composite applications
Natively integrated industry processes on one platform
Four elements of BP Platform:
1. Build, run and integrate applications and process components
2. Implement reusable services
3. Discover, use and extend enterprise services definitions
4. Consume and orchestrate services
Deliver innovation without disrupting core. ERP 6.0 is the go-to version for the next 4 years. New functionality delivered via Enhancement Packages, including new enterprise services, industry-specific enhancements, cross-industry functional enhancements, process and user interface simplification.
Connecting the dots between enterprise services:
- Business Scenarios – processes that are usable out of the box
- Collaborative Wiki – collaboration platform for SAP and customers
- Bulit-In Governance – for compliance
- Prioritization – enterprise services community communicates priorities to SAP
The SAP Discovery Server bundles SAP ERP6.0 with NetWeaver, allowing customers to buy it, plug it in, and immediately start playing with enterprise services.
Why choose SAP for SOA?
- Pre-packaged SOA
- Integrated Platform
- Trusted Ecosystem
Benefits of the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework – Franck Lopez, Global Director, Enterprise Architecture & Enterprise SOA Portfolio
1. Why Enterprise Architecture?
Business is part of daily life. Enterprise architecture (EA) is here to support the business.
Benefits to the business:
- Compliance (internal and external)
- BP and information consistency
- Faster time-to-market
- More reliability and security, less risk
Benefits to IT
- Lower IT costs
- Better traceability of IT costs
- More manageable complexity
- Less IT Risk
ESOA enables great benefit, but in order to work, it needs to be aligned to the business. Otherwise there is risk of disconnect.
What happens when architecture doesn’t drive decision-making? “Unexplained oddities” as in the Winchester House. Doors that open into walls, dead-end hallways, staircases to nowhere…
2. The Platform
EAInitiative addresses need in the marketplace for SOA + ERP Packages
What are we doing to achieve this?
New skills and resources : hub of enterprise architects
New methodology : EA framework for ESOA
New tools & products : EA services
New communicty : user groups, customers, partners
SAP EA Framework is a methodology and toolset designed to support the effective addition of enterprise SOA. It is based on an extension of the TOGAF Framework specifically designed for packaged solutions and ESOA.
Why not just use one of the standard EA frameworks, like TOGAF or Zachman? Traditional EA frameworks do not include (1) packaged apps, and (2) ESOA. Eg, TOGAF is not a complete delivery tool. No practical advice. No map from enterprise architecture to solution architecture and delivery.
EA Framework Overview:
TOGAF Foundation + SAP Extensions + SAP EA Framework Extensions + Resource Base Extensions
- The new SAP EA Framework is based on open standards and can be used for free by customers and partners
- It is specifically designed to support the effective adoption of packaged solutions in an ESOA environment
- The new SAP EA Framework is holistic, practical and agile
- Education materials, certification and service offerings are available
Creation and Consumption of an Enterprise Service in .NET – Ingo Sauerzapf, Solution Architect, SAP Market Development Engineering Team
SDN Members: Browse, Test-Drive and Use SAP Enterprise Services in the ES Workplace
www.sdn.sap.com -> Enterprise SOA -> Explore Enterprise Services
:Download WebService Definition (WSDL) from ES Workplace
:Create C# project
:Add Service References to ES Proxy
:Generate proxy class for the WSDL and import the class into VS.Net 2005 project
:Build little C# program that consumes added SAP web services
–> (build query, execute against customer database in ERP system via WS, display results, return to db for more details)
Cool! It works!
The Importance of Standards in IT Architecture – Ingo Sauerzapf
Business Drivers for Standards
- Invest in differentiating features
- Do not invest in non-differentiating features
- Approach new markets
Standards are the foundation of enterprise SOA
Achieve cost-effective and efficient consumption, composition, and maintenance of services
Business standards, enterprise requirements, technology standards
success = technical standards + business standards
SAP is driving standards with key corp alliances (development phase) eg, Services Component Architect, BPEL4People.
Driving and influencing technology standards (implementation phase)
Combine open source, commercial software and open standards for max benefit.
Enterprise Service Repsository (part of PI, part of NW from 7.10 on) built on established standards (SOAP, MTOM, WS-*, etc).
Lots is happening in the push for interoperability.
: Deploy JSR168-compliant portlet inside NetWeaver
: Build little app using JavaServer Faces and deploy on Java Runtime
Support of Struts, Spring, Hibernate, Ant – Wilson Ramos, Solution Architect, SAP Market Development Engineering Group
SAP customers are now able to develop applications in Open Source, port to and run the apps on the SAP platform.
Demo how to use some OS Dev Frameworks and Products with NetWeaver.
Openness at SAP means:
Support of all major open source frameworks
Support of all major standards
Communities – Marilyn Pratt, Community Evangelist,
Business Process Expert (BPX) Community Network
History of community tools on SDN:
Communities started as a means for proliferating information. Most posts were like good, short articles. Unfortunately the platform got bogged down by ego boosting and point mongering. So SDN turned to a new model, requiring a simple application process for blogs. BPX monitors want expert bloggers with expert knowledge to share. Trying to move most contributors toward wikis.
Moderators are drying to map blog topics, wiki spaces and forums to a managed set of categories. Specifically trying to build out specific categories.
Where there is heavy activity, BPX monitors are trying to supply a wiki space, a forum, and some content pages. Monitor activity via subscriptions, recently updated feeds, notification watch.
What’s the difference between SDN and the BPX Community?
SDN was geared toward the technical audience; the BPX Community is geared toward a business audience.
SDN is hosting close to 2000 concurrent users at any given time.
SDN now supports media content! (Video) content can be uploaded to SDN media server and then referenced from within community posts.
AJAX and SAP NetWeaver – Ingo Sauerzapf
In a nutshell…
The AJAX technique has a lot of pros and cons.
Now you can build and run AJAX applications on the NetWeaver platform!
:AJAX-ify a little webapp and run it on NW.