Evaluating SAP’s approach to SOA-based process integration


For a number of years now, SAP has been building integration functionality into its suite of offerings through its SAP NetWeaver product line. The SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) product was the main focus for this activity. In 2005, however, SAP updated its offerings and brought all this functionality into NetWeaver, delivering one codebase that is capable of sustaining a range of functional capabilities, or usage types in SAP terms. A key usage type supported by NetWeaver is Process Integration.

SAP’s integration approach is designed with a number of key objectives in mind:

  • Deliver the full range of integration options within a single platform
  • Embrace and adopt industry standards wherever possible
  • Place a particular focus on providing added value for SAP application users

So, SAP NetWeaver supports application to application (A2A), business to business (B2B), process-based, consumer-based and service-oriented (SOA) integration models. Integration is all XML-based, with support for standards such as WSDL, UDDI, BPEL and JCA. And for users of the SAP suite of applications, there are a range of powerful options to speed up integration efforts and improve productivity, such as the provision of a library of process templates that can be used and customised as required rather than having to be built from scratch. The SAP NetWeaver software is designed to be robust and scalable, offering an integration solution for both SAP and non-SAP users that provides an ideal base for service oriented architecture (SOA) projects and initiatives.

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Taking a look at how SAP utilizes SOA principles to meet the challenges of integration

This paper looks at how SAP addresses integration through the adoption of SOA principles, leveraging Netweaver.