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Enterprise SOA adoption in SAP customer base is gaining momentum. Many of our customers are exploring eSOA via various pilot/prototyping projects. Putting a simple prototyping environment in place becomes a programatic first step in their eSOA roadmap. This blog introduces three white papers that provide details for setting up an eSOA prototyping landscape where the SAP Discovery System is used as the backend, SAP Composition Environment (CE) provides the J2EE engine, and NetWeaver Developer Studio (NWDS) is used as the IDE.

For a typical SOA prototype development project, you will need access to a backend system such as SAP R3, a composition environment which provides you a J2EE engine and all the composition tools, and a developer tool that gives you the IDE for development. As described in the following diagram, this blog covers a landscape where the SAP Discovery System is used as the backend, SAP Composition Environment (CE) provides the J2EE engine, and NetWeaver Developer Studio (NWDS) is used as the IDE. However, keep in mind that it’s not a prerequisite that you only use SAP tools for a SOA prototype. Tools from other vendors can be easily included, but you need to get guidance from the individual vendor about how to integrate them into your prototyping landscape.

esoa landscape

There can be various options to set the above landscape up. For example, you may have a dedicated server for CE and the DB (supported DB includes MaxDB, SQL Server), a few servers for the R3 instances, and have the NWDS installed in developer’s laptops.  Another example might have the CE and NWDS in one box and developers can remotely access the server for development. In my exercise to prepare the quick guides refrenced below, the Composition Environment (CE) 710 is installed in the same box as a version 3 Discovery System, Enterprise Services Repository (ESR) 7.10 is installed as an add-on to the CE system. NetWeaver Developer Studio is installed on my own laptop and is configured to connect to the CE+ESR instance.

As experienced SAP consultants all know, the most challenging part of setting up the landscape is not really the installation process itself. It is more about knowing what are needed, what to do, and where to get the information you need before the installation starts. There are so many documents and guides out there and it is overwhelming for a busy developer to find all the right information for planning and conducting the installation and to figure out how to make use of CE, ESR, NWDS, and Discovery Server in a SOA development environment.  The quick guides are intended to save you all the research time, so you can get started right away.  

Here is my recommendation for the steps to take to bring up the complete SOA development environment. For each step, I have written a detail guide for the installation which you can access from the links provided below: 

  1. Install CE 7.10 (Java AS, MaxDB, and Services Registry are included in the CE installation) –  A Quick guide for CE 7.10 installation is available here 
  2. Install the ESR add-on for CE 7.10 (need separate download and separate installation)  – A Quick guide for ESR add-on for CE installation is available here
  3. Install NWDS and configure it to use the CE instance – A Quick guide for NWDS installation is available from here 
  4. If you don’t have the Discovery System yet, consider to get one. Details for the DS can be found here The good thing about the DS V3 is that it provides all you need pre-delivered in one box (NW 7.0 and ERP 6.0 with Enhancement Package 3). Of course, you don’t have to use a DS for SOA development. If you already have the latest SAP NetWeaver and Business Suite in your development environment, you can always leverage what you already have.
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  1. Gert Schneider
    Hi Kevin,

    thanks for this guide! For me it is the optimal balance between deep content and good overview. Do you know a similiar guide which describes the update from SP03 to SP05?

    Kind regards, Gert

    1. Kevin Liu
      Post author
      Hi Gert,

      Unfortunately I am not aware of a quick guide for the upgrade. Hope some of my colleagues who has done th upgrade can step forward to provide such a quick guide.

      Best Regards,

  2. Former Member
    Good Doc.
    I would like to know, if we have PI 7.1, whether it will take care of CE and ESR functionality mentioned in your blog.

    Ravi Siddam

    1. Kevin Liu
      Post author
      Hi Ravi,

      PI covers a different set of requirements than CE. While CE is a environment for building composite applications leverage services from different sources, PI is a messaging middleware/enterprise service bus.

      The ESR is delivered with both CE and PI 7.10.

      Best Regards,

  3. Former Member

    We are installing an xApp which requires CE 7.1.  We need to use the ESR. We can use MicroSoft biztalk as a message server and most development is to be done in .NET.  I’m concerned because in older 7.0 SOA 400 classes we always used PI.  Would I be losing security if I break away from using the PI message server?  What would I gain if I use PI 7.1 along with CE 7.1?  Instead of CE 7.1 with biztalk?  I’ll be in the PI CAP for teched Vegas on 7.1.1 and can follow up further on this version.  I would like to get your opinion.  

    Eric Barfield


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