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Author's profile photo Matthias Steiner

Announcing: Project River

As promised in my last blog post about SAP HANA I take it as my obligation to not only talk about the big topics, but also shine the light on the runner-ups when it comes to Technology Innovation at SAPPHIRE NOW. As my fellow ambassadors Clemens and Timo cover mobility and business analytics respectively, the only remaining big pillar is on demand. So, let’s take a closer look at that…

Personally, the cloud is the one new dimension that fascinates me the most as it acts as a catalyst for the others. Allow me to explain why: let’s take mobility for example, the reason why mobility has become so important in the last few years is simply the fact that it allows us to access our data in the cloud from anywhere. Same with in-memory computing… right now, given the investment one would have to make to install a SAP HANA box in an on-premise landscape it’s the SAP HANA application cloud that allows the masses to experience it firsthand and see it’s real!

As such, the cloud may just be the most important dimension in regards to our vision of reaching our 1 billion users . Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) no longer have to  do big upfront investments in order to setup the required infrastructure for their businesses, but can choose from several cloud scenarios ranging from software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) up to platform-as-a-service (PaaS.) Plus, given the elasticity of the cloud companies no longer have to worry about scaling as the costs proportionally increase with the business growth. Yet the cloud is not only interesting to SMEs, but also frees large companies to evolve more rapidly and dynamically, by enabling lines of business (LoB) to act more independently from corporate-wide IT strategies and maintenance cycles e.g. by leveraging  line-of-business solutions such as SAP Sales OnDemand, SAP Career OnDemand etc.

Björn Görke announcing project River
Image courtesy by Gregor Wolf

So far, most people probably associate our SaaS offering – SAP Business ByDesign – with the term on demand. Some may also have heard about project “River,” our form-building capabilities that makes it very simple to build applications that are data-centric and do not rely on complex business logic. For those who have been following up-close it may have been a little confusing hearing Björn Görke speak about Project “River” in today’s keynote.

So let me try to help in setting this straight – we extended the meaning of the project name to include the whole spectrum of capabilities based on this on-demand platform to include all supported programming models. Courtney Bjorlin touched upon this already some time back in her excellent blog on the ASUG news website: SAP Preps Platform-as-a-Service Product: NetWeaver OnDemand.

In a nutshell, the Java capabilities provide you with a completely OpenSource-based environment to build Java applications and deploy and run them on our cloud infrastructure. Here are the key characteristics:

  • Built-in support for SAP HANA, allowing you to fully leverage the in-memory computing capabilities
  • Secure on-demand to on-premise connectivity
  • Single sign-on (SSO) integration powered by the central identity-management-as-a-service (IDMaaS) service
  • Eclipse-based development studio (IDE)

If you’re interested in more technical details please allow me to refer you to my recent SAP NetWeaver OnDemand at TechEd, which provides a complete overview about all the SAP TechEd sessions on the topic. If you’d like to test-drive it for yourself, then make sure to register for the beta program here:

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      So did the name change from River to Neo?
      Author's profile photo Matthias Steiner
      Matthias Steiner
      Blog Post Author
      Well, actually it was the other way round... the project name Neo has been dropped and now the definition of Project River, which is just one of multiple capabilities such as Java, has been extended to include them all. And then, I guess the 'Project' part of it suggest that the final name may not have been decided upon yet...

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I played with it at the Innojam in LV.  Easy to learn and quick to use.   I'm with Tammy I thought it was changed to Neo.  But SAP and naming / renaming things is beyond me 🙂