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Duet Enterprise 2.0 General Available: improvements on service development and deployment options

After successful completion of Duet Enterprise 2.0 Ramp-Up and with SharePoint 2013 reaching RTM state, SAP and Microsoft have made the new version of Duet Enterprise General Available. Customers can download the software from SAP Market Place (Installations and Upgrades \ Duet Enterprise \ Duet Enterprise 2.0). Duet Enterprise 2.0 documentation can also be found on SAP Market Place, and also on MSDN.

Most significant of the new Duet Enterprise version is that it connects with the latest capabilities of the underlying platforms, respectively SAP Gateway 2.0 and Microsoft SharePoint 2013. In both these platforms a move is made to support cloud and lightweight usage scenarios – typically but not limited to mobility use cases.

Duet Enterprise 2.0 in overview

Key topics:
  • Mobility 
    • Duet Enterprise now fully supports OData protocol; which is THE protocol for mobility because is it light-weight and self-describing, and supported by all mobile platforms
  • Cloud 
    • Connect to SharePoint Online 
      • Only support for Odata channel; not for SOAP / Generic channel
      • Requires a ‘light’ on premisse SharePoint installation, as intermediate layer (‘broker’) from internal SAP Gateway to SharePoint online. Includes SSO Generator, via reverse proxy connection with SharePoint Online
      • Remark: Duet Enterprise cloud stuff is not yet GA; this will follow in a few month
Facilitate custom Duet Enterprise development
  • Design Time improved
  • 2 design time approaches supported 
    • Inside-Out: via the SAP NetWeaver Gateway generators
    • Outside-In: start from SharePoint UI –> visually sketch / specify a screen in Visual Studio; export the .EDMX file and import into SAP Gateway (Service Builder) for constructing the Gateway data models
    • Both approaches are restricted to flat SAP data entities 
      • Complex data structures still requires hand-crafting on SAP Gateway side
      • Via OData service providers; the handcrafting work is far simpler as with Duet Enterprise 1.0 (FP1).
  • Improve the development story: 
    • Reference architecture guidance
    • Setting up local development landscape –> facilitate individual SharePoint developers to quickly start with Duet Enterprise development
Consumption of OData services
  • Consequence: drop SAML, as OData does not support SAML. Use oAuth instead
  • Generic Channel will still be supported; OData is extra channel possibility
Aligned with SharePoint 2013
  • Duet Enterprise 2.0 REQUIRES SharePoint 2013 
    • SharePoint 2013 BCS supports Odata consumption; earlier version not
    • SharePoint Online.
Duet Enterprise 2.0 deliberaty remains a SAP / Microsoft interoperability + development framework

In the philosophy of SAP and Microsoft, also Duet Enterprise 2.0 does not include end-user functionality, e.g. order-to-cash. Duet Enterprise remains a customization + development framework for SAP / Microsoft interoperability, that enables end-organizations and partners to compose concrete scenarios and build upon. Primary reason for the Duet Enterprise product team to not include end-user functionality is that partners and end-organizations know best what diverse scenarios are requested, and are therefore better suited to construct the optimal solution. Also, even SAP plus Microsoft simple do not have the development resources to realize and support a total set of end-user capabilities for which there is market demand.

Growing Duet Enterprise eco-system

It is left to the market / Duet Enterprise eco-system to deliver standard / common-of-the-shelf end-user functionalities. Well-known example is the Cordis Suite; for self-service HCM and purchase requisition solutions. More examples can be found on Duet Enterprise Unite Partner Connection. And more partners are known to be developing on additional scenarios.

With Duet Enterprise 2.0 General Availability, it is expected that more companies will find it benefial to develop end-user solutions. This is due the combination of Duet Enterprise 2.0 development improvements, out-of-the-box plus customization capabilities of SharePoint 2013 and Office 365, and deployment extended to cloud and mobile platforms resulting in a larger market. Partners will develop solutions for horizontal and vertical markets; for local to international markets, and from small/partial solutions to complete end-2-end scenarios.

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  • These are great new developments, particularly the link to SharePoint Online giving native Microsoft users a cloud option on the Microsoft side.  Still not convinced the protocols used for Gateway to extend services to mobile beyond a limited number of department users.  Generally though that is the need and the capability can fit the need without developing corporate mobile apps using SUP/SAP Mobile Platform and Afaria at least to get started.