I am sure most of you have read of SAP NetWeaver in some way, shape or form by now, and I bet that you are no closer to understanding what it exactly means for all of us. Some experts have said that NetWeaver (NW) is the next Holy Grail for SAP; some have suggested that NW will revolutionize the way business is done across the world; some have even suggested that it is just way of generating extra cash for SAP.
I am sure that you have read a lot on NW within Accenture Portal, SDN and SAP Marketplace, you must have viewed the various NW related webinars that are available on the Accenture Learning website, but honestly after viewing all of those webinars where are you in terms of truly understanding NW. I bet that you have more questions like what does Java have to do with SAP? What does Enterprise Portal do? What is this XI/PI? What is the difference between Business Intelligence and Business Warehouse? What am I doing here? What is my purpose in life? Etc etc.
Well, ladies and gentlemen your prayers have been answered. This blog will briefly explain what NW exactly is; well actually it will explain what I think NW is. The thing is that there is lots of information related NW on the internet (I Googled NetWeaver and I got 2,870,000 hits back). Well, you could either view all of those WebPages or just read this and hopefully some of your questions and/or misconceptions will be answered.
The best way to describe NW is to think of it as your bricks and mortar, with these two items you can either build yourself a humble house, a palatial palace or a colossal castle. So, essentially whenever you hear the word NetWeaver, it means that the SAP system is based either on 640 (NW 04) release or 700 (NW 7.0/04s) release architecture. NW comprises of two sides: ABAP and JAVA. Some components are purely ABAP based and some are purely JAVA based and some share both sides. This also allows you to integrate the JAVA engine into an ABAP system. So, for example I could integrate AS JAVA into ECC and use some of the JAVA functionality to expand ECC’s core functionalities.
NW comprises of lots of components that are shared across different SAP systems and this has allowed SAP to offer a degree of commonality across all her platforms. Therefore, as businesses start to grow and expand, SAP can offer them a truly integrated solution comprised of multiple SAP systems able to interact with each other, share data and information between each other without a lot of customization or third party integrators.
The entire SAP business suite (ECC, CRM, SRM, and SCM) has already been upgraded to NW architecture and is now currently being offered to both current and perspective customers. I am sure that some of you have already noticed that all new SAP implementations or upgrades are happening on an NW04s based system. You must have also noticed that some things look different compared with previous releases but generally it still works and acts the same way. However, there is extra functionality in these newer systems that need to be explored.
Now, I am sure some of have been wondering how to switch into this “NetWeaver”, because from what I can read this thing is here to stay. Well, if you are already working in the SAP field then you will start to get more and more exposure into this. However, if you are not in SAP, then first you need to figure out where to focus. For example there is a lot of scope for Java language within Enterprise Portal, consider this just the tip of the iceberg.
Well, now that you have read this, I bet one of two things has happened, either you have had a Matrix moment and all your questions have been answered, or you now have more questions and no closer to understanding NW. Well, I will be more than willing to answer all your questions. You are more than welcome to post a reply on this blog. One thing that I would like to clarify here is that I have discussed NW at a high level, I feel that blog is not enough to discuss this in length. Please let me know if you would like to learn about a specific area within NW.
Imran H. Khan