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Composite applications combine various existing functions into a new application, typically managed using a business process or orchestration as the framework. SAP talks about core business processes, those built into the enterprise application backbone,and composite business processes that integrate and extend these processes by reusing the services within them. Specifically a composite application contains:

  • Workcenter    
    Where users can initiate processes
  • Composite Process    
    Where the process is defined
  • User Interfaces    
    For those services that need human interaction
  • Business Entities and Services    
    Where new and existing entities and services are exposed
  • ESB and underlying Services/Systems

Netweaver BPM and Business Rules are used together with the Composite Application Framework, Developer Studio and Visual Development Environment. In addition this session will use the new SAP Discovery Systems (v4). SAP Discovery System is a pre-configured environment or SAP sandbox (hardware, software and content). It allows you to test drive the software and get hands on experience. This also has demos and other content to show case the various components such as a supplier risk assessment, sales order tracking, trade promotion effectiveness etc.

The session was mostly a hands on working session so a few thoughts from a rules perspective:

  • I like the ruleflow editor, the use of BPMN like artifacts is nicely done
  • The overall design environment supports a developer working on rules very nicely (I have not worked with the rule manager web interface yet)
  • The testing environment allowed for some rapid testing and generated a nice log for review – lots of detail and very readable. This, of course, is good for compliance and decision analysis not just for testing and debugging.
  • Editing simple rules in the standard rule script was straightforward
  • The decision table creation wizard and basic editing worked nicely

I haven’t spent enough time to form an opinion of the product for developing complex decisions but so far so good.

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