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Lately, I’ve been reminiscing about the old NetWeaver Fridge which was a single image that depicted the whole NetWeaver Stack.

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A lot has happened since the Fridge was seen at every SAP event (TechEds, Sapphires, etc). One broader development is the emergence of the Cloud and one manifestation of this evolution is the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) – which is SAP’s PaaS.

I’d like to take a quick look at HCP and compare it to that old Fridge concept in order to better understand how things have changed but, in some way, remained the same as well.

Note: I’ve added a few other Netweaver elements to spice things up a bit.

Netweaver Fridge

HANA Cloud Platform

Multi-Channel access

SAPUI5, Mobile Platform

Portal

HANA Cloud Portal

Collaboration

SAP JAM Integration (via HANA Cloud Portal widgets)

Business Intelligence

Lumira in the Cloud

Knowledge Management

Document Service

Master Data Management (MDM)

Integration Broker

HANA Cloud Integration

Business Process Management (BPM)

J2EE

Included

ABAP

Not available

DB and OS Abstraction

Persistence Service

Composite Application Framework

Lifecycle Management (NWDI)

Identity

SAP ID Service

Discussion

SAP JAM

Full-featured collaboration usually takes place within the JAM environment- usually HCP-based applications just display feeds from this environment.

Lifecycle Management

In the old Fridge, this was largely covered by NetWeaver Development Infrastructure (NWDI) which provided the following fundamental features:

  • Design Time Repository (DTR)
  • Component Build Service (CBS)
  • Change Management Service (CMS)


The question is whether such functionality is still present in this form today.  As Jan Penninkhof tweeted, today’s developer has different tools / attitude today

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Composite Application Framework (CAF)

What is CAF:

SAP Composite Application Framework provides a robust environment for the design and use of SAP xApps and composite applications that comply with Enterprise Services Architecture. SAP Composite Application Framework comprises design tools, methodologies, services and processes, an abstraction layer for objects, and user interface and process pattern libraries. [SOURCE ]

I have difficulty mapping this functionality to anything that is currently available in HCP.  Perhaps, Gateway as a Service combined with oData.

Master Data Management (MDM)

I find it strange that this functionality isn’t present in the HCP. Although there are various similar SAP products which exist (Master Data Services, Master Data Governance, etc), these products are currently not available in the HCP.  These products may use data from assets in the cloud but these MDM offerings don’t exist in the cloud themselves.  Such functionality is a perfect fit for scenarios involving HANA Cloud Integration.

Conclusion

I was surprised to see so much overlap between the old and new worlds. The relevance of the items in the old NetWeaver Fridge is still valid today – their technological manifestation in the enterprise software world may be different in the HCP but the role itself (collaboration, portal, etc) is still present. 

The gaps between Fridge and HCP provide some indication of what we might expect in the near future. MDM in HCP would be my best guess. BPM might come at some point but the recent announcement of work patterns in JAM suggests that some activities might be realized in this environment rather than HCP.

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3 Comments

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  1. Jan Penninkhof

    I believe that fridge is almost 10 years old now. So, out with the old fridge, in with a new one! 🙂

    But actually, it’s very nice to see the old fridge back and how it has evolved from something so proprietary to a way more open approach. A lot has happened in that 10 years!

    I agree with your mapping of CAF to Netweaver Gateway. Much of the service consumption and transformation has been included in Gateway now.

    I miss the CAF componentization and pluggability part at bit though. The HCP folks may say that’s now OSGi or EJB, but it used to be so much more “visible”.

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      But actually, it’s very nice to see the old fridge back and how it has evolved from something so proprietary to a way more open approach.

      That is an excellent point which I hadn’t considered.  That is definitely one of the more important distinctions between the old and new worlds.

      D.

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