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What does an automotive diagnostics port have in common with the SAP NetWeaver Gateway integration platform?  More than you might think!
 
I’m a bit of a car enthusiast, and one aspect of cars that I enjoy is enhancing their capabilities.  When upgrading or even working on vehicles, it can involve both external changes such as suspension upgrades, or internal changes such as changing the power characteristics of a diesel engine.  Some changes require both external and internal changes – adding a supercharger requires that the engine and powertrain be tuned in order to handle and optimize the new hardware.OBD.png
I’m fairly adept at making the external changes, but it’s a different story when it comes to the internal changes.  I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to program transmission shift points or engine fuel/air ratios without the support of tools designed to perform this task. 
 
The good news is that auto manufacturers created a solution to this challenge many years ago – the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port.  This powerful little connector provides a single and simple interface that enables a wide range to devices to communicate with the vehicle, including diagnostics tools, gas mileage analyzers, safety system reporting, performance tuning, and much more.  This port is bi-directional, allowing you to clear an error code that caused your “Check Engine” light to illuminate, or modify a plethora of vehicle settings to accommodate that new high-performance mod.
 
Interestingly, the challenges solved by this automotive innovation provide insights into the world of enterprise business applications.  Today’s information workers need instant access to critical business information and processes no matter where they are or what device they are using.  Yet we live in a world of rapidly growing and changing user experience options including tablets and phones of every conceivable form factor.  Can you capitalize on this opportunity while managing the risk?
 
For many years, even decades, trying to extract and utilize key data from core business systems for usage in user-centric scenarios has presented a number of challenges as well.  Sure, many different approaches were taken along these lines, including using the heavy SOAP protocol and the development of different custom interfaces depending on the application accessed and the data utilized.  This resulted in multiple, disparate point-to-point interfaces that were difficult to monitor and maintain.
 
As the OBD port changed the way the people can easily interface with vehicles, I believe SAP has developed a simplified solution based on open-standards that opens a world of opportunities for using business data quickly and securely across multiple user-centric scenarios.  SAP NetWeaver Gateway is that solution, and why I like to call it the OBD port for SAP.  SAP NetWeaver Gateway enables you to increase the reach of high-value business information locked inside your SAP systems.  Bring the power of SAP into new experiences such as social and collaboration environments, mobile and tablet devices, and rich Internet applications.
 
NetWeaver Gateway provides a lightweight, RESTful interface to SAP solutions that utilizes the OData protocol.  This approach allows developers with no SAP knowledge to develop user-centric applications quickly and easily without having to develop custom security or management infrastructure.  Using their development platform, language, tools and methodology of choice, developers are immediately productive and can dramatically reduce the time and effort traditionally required to create solutions.
 
The enterprise OBD port is now available.  Open up the throttle of innovation around your SAP investment with SAP NetWeaver Gateway.
 
Reach out to me if you’d like to know more about NetWeaver Gateway, or just talk about cars!
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4 Comments

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  1. Jason Cao

    Hi Dwayne, I don’t know much about cars and NetWeaver Gateway, so I’m glad I read your post and gained some more knowledge about both today! 🙂

    My first encounter with my car’s OBD was when the “check engine” light came on. After replacing my thermostat, I was able to connect to turn off the light with some basic OBD port adapter and software. Funny how I just shared everything I know about cars in a couple of sentences. 😛 (Oh yah, I know about tires as well, will save that for your next auto+SAP post).

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Former Member

    Awesome post, Dwayne! I love the car and Netweaver analogy. It was a perfect way to explain how SAP can help people access their critical data much more efficiently and quickly!

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