Saturday, February 05, 2005

fyi SAP plans new platform as competitive weapon


Pointer to article:,10801,99400,00.html?source=NLT_EB&nid=99400

Kobielus kommentary:
I find this story misleading, but not deliberately. It's the sort of cockeyed spin that sometimes gets placed on an important vendor roadmap direction when filtered through CEOs, marketing communications people, and semi-informed reporters.

For starters, SAP does not plan a "new platform." SAP's platform--now and through the remainder of this decade and beyond--is NetWeaver, which is not a single product but an application, integration, orchestration, and development suite. SAP has not changed its direction at all. NetWeaver is the platform.

Next off, SAP does not plan a "new system" by 2007 on which all of its apps and NetWeaver components will run. Rather, it's continuing to enhance the componentry within NetWeaver and all NetWeaver-based SAP apps (mySAP apps, xApps, etc.). The "new system" to which the article alludes is simply continued aggressive enhancement of the SOA, composite app development, and orchestration features of NetWeaver and NetWeaver-based apps. And to be even more painfully specific, SAP will continue to decompose its NetWeaver and mySAP functionality as reusable, recomposable service primitives, which will have their fine-grained APIs exposed via WSDL service contracts in NetWeaver's UDDI registry. This is something SAP has been working on for a while, and have discussed in public for well over a year, including at the recent SAP Analyst Summit in Scottsdale AZ (attended by yours truly and many others).

And this is a great strategy, targeted both at existing SAP customers as well as channel partners who are screaming for SAP's platform/apps to become ever less monolithic and ever more flexibly reusable. But it's not a new strategy, new platform, new component, or new development paradigm for SAP. It's simply a sign of how seriously SAP is implementing SOA throughout their architecture.

I don't doubt they'll make significant progress toward this goal by 2007. But I wish that articles like this would clarify rather than cloud what this important platform/app vendor is doing.