SAP offers smooth SOA transition

Software giant’s Discovery System aims to ease adoption of tech

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By  Published  September 22, 2006

SAP has announced a raft of products designed to make the path to a service-orientated architecture (SOA) smoother for its customers.

Shai Agassi, president of SAP’s Product and Technology Group, launched the SAP Discovery System, at the firm’s TechEd conference in Las Vegas, US.

It is a collection of different software components designed to be a starting point for the take up of SOA — a system SAP believes will make its applications more modular and flexible.

The firm’s latest applications suite, MySAP ERP 2005, is based on SOA. According to SAP, customers using it will be able to more easily add new applications to their systems and adapt the applications to their business needs.

SAP Discovery System is engineered to make the adoption of this technology easier and includes NetWeaver infrastructure software, Java-based tools for creating services and a set of sample applications.

SAP will also change its product release method to make the upgrades to the SOA applications faster. More narrowly-defined product packages will be released every quarter or so, rather than released as large-scale updates of closelyinterlinked components.

The packages will focus on different aspects of SAP applications such as human resources (HR) or travel management and customers will be able to decide whether to install them or not.

“You will have a stable core you can build on and continue to enhance,” said Agassi.

“It drives the ability to flexibly innovate at your pace. When you get services from us, you can decide how to use them in ways we didn’t think about.”

At the event SAP executives also gave details of products that are currently under development, including a new search engine called SAP Enterprise Search.

This software is due for release next year and has been built so that it can be embedded in applications such as HR or as a front-end user interface screen.

Agassi also revealed that a group of SAP customers and partners have formed a community of experts to share technology information and consumer products techniques as part of SAP’s partnership programme.
SAP’s goal is to create such expert communities in all of the 26 industries that its applications support.

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