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In How To Tackle an Upgrade: Implementing Functional Enhancements of this series, I focused on the second step of the upgrade approach – the implementation of functional enhancements and how crucial project management is for this phase. Today, I will explain how an upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 provides the perfect basis for enabling your IT landscape for enterprise service oriented architecture (SOA).

This third stage of the upgrade roadmap focuses on business innovation. Typically, you would start it after having successfully completed the first two stages (technical upgrade, functional upgrade). Companies implement the planned new and optimized business processes and scenarios that offer the desired new ERP functionality and enable enterprise SOA. You don’t have to focus solely on ERP – further systems or system components may also be implemented during this phase, depending on the business needs of your organization. However, in this stage your previous investments begin to really shape the future of your business processes, allowing previously unavailable flexibility and agility for even greater business value.

Establishing the Foundation

The optimum technical prerequisite for enterprise SOA is the upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0, which is based on the SAP NetWeaver 7.0 technology platform and is the foundation on which all the enterprise services (ES) bundles are constructed. You can use the Enterprise Services Repository, as well as the development, application integration, business intelligence, and composition functionalities provided by the platform. SAP ERP 6.0 enables you to install enhancement packages that include enterprise services bundles. They are grouped by main SAP business scenarios and processes. Each ES bundle provides a new set of enterprise services along with documentation on how you use the services to extend and reconfigure processes in a specific business scenario, for example, sales order management. Furthermore, each ES bundle includes explanations of the relevant processes, business scenario, and roles involved, together with descriptions of business objects and tips on how to implement the services.

With ES bundles, for example, you can:

  • Build new applications and composite applications on top of existing SAP processes and
  • Scenarios;
  • Enrich existing processes to safeguard higher process efficiency;
  • Provide connectivity to third-party applications enabling new process definitions;
  • Improve readability and reuse of application interfaces;
  • Increase process openness, flexibility, and efficiency;
  • Accelerate process adaptability.

The ES Wiki describes each of the ES bundles and related business-use cases in great detail and shows how to put them to work. It is accessible for all SAP partners and customers after registration at https://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/x/LQ0.

To discover enterprise services that are available in your own SAP ERP 6.0 system, simply call transaction WSADMIN in your SAP system and expand the folder SOAP Application for XI Proxies. This displays the technical names of all enterprise services that are available in the Enterprise Services Repository of your system.

Did you know that, to speed the implementation of enterprise SOA, companies can actually deploy ES Repository even before an upgrade is complete? This means that solutions based on enterprise services can be designed immediately. While an upgrade is being planned and executed, you can gain experience, begin planning, and actually create applications right away using SAP Discovery system, fully functional SAP ERP 6.0 software, and development tools that come preinstalled on one computer.

The Enterprise Services Workplace (ES Workplace) provides partners, developers, and customers with access to the latest versions of all enterprise services available for the SAP Business Suite in a hosted environment. For more information about the ES Workplace, visit http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/explore-es.

Read more about how to tackle an upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 in the next installment of this blog series and in our guide Getting Started with an Upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0.

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