Ever wonder how SAP defines the business objects in Business Suite 7? Well, the answer is really quite simple –
we leverage existing international semantic standards. SAP Business Objects (a set of entities with common characteristics and common behavior that represent a specific view of business content such as a purchase order, sales order) and Enterprise Services (A service structured according to a harmonized enterprise model based on process components, business objects and global data types) use SAP Global Data Types (SAP-wide normed and reconciled data types). The global data types (GDTs) are defined by SAP business experts following the United Nations Centre For Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) semantic data modeling common methodology standards stack. The individual standards consist of the Core Components Technical Specification, Data Type Catalogue, XML Naming and Design Rules specification, and the forthcoming context methodology specification. As part of the GDT development process, SAP employs a rigorous governance process to ensure consistency with SAP architecture principles and the underlying standards.
Why Use Semantic Standards?
Why does SAP rely on a set of external semantic standards rather than defining our own data type standards? The answer is really quite simple – total cost of ownership for our customers. A typical IT organization may spend over a third of its budget on integration issues. By basing Business Suite 7 SAP defined enterprise services, business objects, and GDTs on a core set of semantic standards, we are ensuring that they can be easily understood, used, and contextualized by our customers. More importantly, the use of these standards facilitates understanding and processing of the information that will be exchanged to meet business requirements. As a result, both Business Suite 7 users and their business network partners -SAP and non SAP – will have a common frame of reference for processing information. This translates into direct reduction in the cost of integration of business information exchanges throughout the business network, with positive impacts on the bottom line.
Furthermore, by using common methodology standards that are also being adopted by a wide range of standards development organizations, governments, and private sector companies, the resource requirements for the cost of integration for information exchanges are even lower – since the integration mechanism such as SAP Process Integration (PI) will only need to deal with a single canonical methodology. The net effect is that SAP is leveraging standards in Business Suite 7 to create true cross-industry interoperability with a significantly reduced cost of integration for our customers.
Other members of the Standards Management and Strategy Team (Business Networks: Powered by Business Suite 7 and Standards, Responsive Supply Networks and Barcode Standards, International Financial Reporting (IFRS) Community Overview) are also writing blogs related to standards and Business Suite 7. Make sure to follow along (Search on Business Suite 7″ and “Standards”) as we explain the use of standards and the positive impact to customer bottom line they are having.