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Today, I was exploring the recent articles section on SCN and I found a intriguing article entitled “Technical User Guide Enterprise Micro Applications SAP NetWeaver 7.1”. The description for the article was:

This guide serves as user’s guide for IT professionals and developers, and provides guidelines on how to setup the Micro Application run-time environment and how to develop and deploy Micro Applications.

There was also a similar article for SAP NetWeaver 7.0.

I admit I was perturbed. I’d heard of SAP Widgets but MicroApps?

Note: I always find the most interesting articles in the queue. Usually, they are precursor for some blog but sometimes they just disappear without anyone taking notice of them. I didn’t want this to happen with “MicroApps”, so this quick blog is the result.

But back to the details of MicroApps – I just love that name.

Here is the overview from the article:

MicroApps are small applications designed to extend a defined set of enterprise application functionality and transactions that is specific to a users role and requirements. Developers of Enterprise MicroApps leverage SAPNetWeaver e nterprise and web services to securely deliver enterprise system functionality on desktops, within browsers, or mobile devices, and within cloud environments using gadgets, widgets, mobile applications, and other.

In order to consume MicroApps, business users simply pick and select MicroApps from a MicroApp gallery space and add them on any container supported by the IT department. For example, a portal in the browser, a widget engine on the desktop, or a application container on the mobile device. MicroApp gallery spaces are managed by the IT administrator; therefore the permission and usage of MicroApps is completely under the control of IT department.

MicroApps can be built using any language of choice by any developer, consuming either newly developed backend data services or already existing services, for example, enterprise services registered in SAP Enterprise Service Repository (SAP ESR).

There are few interesting tidbits in this short description:

  • The ability to create a managed environment in which these apps exist – which should please IT departments
  • The use of the ESR to access Enterprise Services
  • The multiple platforms in which these apps can exist (including the cloud!)
  • The use of a gallery space sort of reminds me of mash-ups

There are also a number of interesting containers that are supported:

  • SAP Portal
  • OpenSocial container, such as Google Apps
  • Web browser iFrame-based container, such as Netvibes
  • Third-party specific containers, such as Yahoo Widget Engine or iPhone

There are tons of other cool details (SSO, development tools, info regarding firewall traversal, etc in the article.)

It turns out that MicroApps is a project from SAP Imagineering, so expect more details soon.

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1 Comment

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  1. Markus Kohler
    Well done!
    I also like the name 🙂
    To really take off IMHO one would benefit from an architecture similiar to Eclipse. In Eclipse everything is a plugin and new plugins can be written that extend the behaviour of existing plugins.
    Same with microapps. It woudl be really powerful if a microapp would be able to extend the menu of an existing (micro)app for example.

    Note that this just came to my mind, and I haven’t read the whole page you linked. It’s also only my personal opinion and not SAP’s position 🙂

    Markus (kohlerm)


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