SAP’s SOA-based Process Integration (2008)


For a number of years now, SAP has been building integration functionality into its suite of offerings through its SAP NetWeaver product line. Initially, the SAP NetWeaver 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. Since then, SAP has continued to update NetWeaver to enhance its capabilities, and particularly its Process Integration usage type. 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 Process Integration 7.1 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 customized 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. The following table provides a quick summary of the strengths of the SOA and process integration capabilities offered by SAP NetWeaver, and the remaining challenges it faces.

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An updated (2008) assessment of SAP’s SOA middleware platform

This paper is intended as a guide for decision makers to aid in the selection process for process integration software. It is a 2008 update of an earlier Lustratus Report, which was very well received, and has been produced in response to considerable user demand. This update includes a range of new functionality rolled out by SAP since the original paper was written.


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