SAP NetWeaver influence on development of
further SAP business solutions
Master thesis project
Prepared by: Diana Gold
Oguzhan Osman Erim
Academic supervisor: Prof. Mark Smith
Thesis work presented in this report is a joint work of two students of Royal Institute of
Technology (KTH) over a period of twenty weeks under the supervision of Prof. Mark Smith.
The main area of investigation is SAP NetWeaver and its influence on further development of
SAP applications. In order to find out the impact of SAP NetWeaver on SAP as a company and
as a system, SAP background and history as well as SAP NetWeaver background and
components are analyzed. Moreover, as SAP NetWeaver is based on SOA principles, this
framework is also presented in details. Lastly, SAP NetWeaver influence on architecture,
development, integration and implementation of SAP solutions is studied and a survey is
carried out in order to find out the impact of SAP NetWeaver on business actors (SAP
customers, developers and consultants). In the conclusions part, all the results are analyzed and
Table of contents
1. Introduction .............................................................................................................. 4
2. Introduction to SAP solutions.................................................................................. 6
2.1. SAP background and history........................................................................................ 6
2.2. SAP solutions ............................................................................................................. 11
2.3. SAP efficiency............................................................................................................ 16
3. SAP NetWeaver overview ....................................................................................... 18
3.1. SOA overview ............................................................................................................ 18
3.1.1. Evolution of IT architecture...................................................................................................18
3.1.2. SOA definition.......................................................................................................................19
3.1.3. Logical architecture model ....................................................................................................22
3.2. SAP NetWeaver definition......................................................................................... 25
3.2.1. SAP NetWeaver background.................................................................................................25
3.2.2. SAP NetWeaver components ................................................................................................27
3.2.3. Overview of SAP NetWeaver competitors............................................................................31
4. SAP NetWeaver impact on development of SAP solutions................................... 37
4.1. SAP NetWeaver impact on SAP architecture ............................................................ 37
4.2. SAP NetWeaver impact on integration of different applications............................... 40
4.3. SAP NetWeaver impact on development of new applications .................................. 43
4.4. SAP NetWeaver impact on SAP implementation ...................................................... 50
4.5. SAP NetWeaver influence on project actors.............................................................. 52
4.5.1. SAP customers.......................................................................................................................53
4.5.2. SAP developers......................................................................................................................55
4.5.3. SAP consultants.....................................................................................................................57
5. Conclusions............................................................................................................. 60
References ...................................................................................................................... 63
Appendix 1. SAP History from 1972 till now................................................................ 66
Appendix 2. Survey and interview questions ................................................................ 67
Appendix 3. Survey website ........................................................................................... 71
Appendix 4. The survey report....................................................................................... 72
There is no certain information about how many people are really coding SAP software, but
there is no doubt in efficiency of SAP solutions so far. Now SAP empowered its systems with
an additional platform to facilitate development and integration of SAP and non-SAP solutions
– SAP NetWeaver. However, it is not obvious what effects does this new platform brings. With
this thesis work, it is aimed to analyze what is NetWeaver influence on several areas: SAP
architecture, SAP development, integration and implementation, SAP as a company, SAP
customers, developers and consultants.
The main research question to be answered in this thesis is: how SAP NetWeaver
influences further development of SAP business solutions.
In order to answer this research question, some goals need to be achieved:
1. Study the background of SAP as a company and as a system.
2. Analyze service oriented architecture (SOA) concept as SAP NetWeaver is based
on its principles.
3. Analyze SAP NetWeaver integration platform, its background and main
4. Study the differences of pre-NetWeaver and NetWeaver-based SAP applications:
a. SAP architecture;
b. integration of SAP and non-SAP applications;
c. development of SAP applications;
d. implementation of SAP solutions.
5. Study the influence of SAP NetWeaver on SAP customers, consultants and
In accordance with the set goals, thesis is divided into three logical parts:
1. Introduction to SAP solutions. This part covers the background of SAP as a
system and as a company as well as describes main functionality of SAP systems.
2. SAP NetWeaver overview. Here SOA background and concepts as well as SAP
NetWeaver background and main components as presented.
3. SAP NetWeaver impact on development of SAP solutions. In this last part of the
thesis, the main changes to SAP architecture, development, integration and
implementation of SAP applications, as well as NetWeaver impact on business
actors (SAP consultants, developers and customers) is analyzed.
In order to complete the thesis, these research methods were used:
• Literature study was used in order to analyze SAP as a company and system
background, SOA concepts and NetWeaver components. It was also used in order
to research the main impact of SAP NetWeaver on SAP architecture,
development, integration and implementation.
• Interviews were used in order to find out the main changes of SAP after
NetWeaver was introduced.
• Survey was used in order to get a professional insight of NetWeaver specialists on
SAP NetWeaver impact on business actors (customers, developers, consultants).
2. Introduction to SAP solutions
SAP is the world’s leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other business solutions
provider. Over more than 35 years, the SAP company has developed different versions of the
software that suit large corporations as well as middle and small-sized businesses. The most
revenue company gets on solutions for enterprises, so the core SAP product is the family of
standard systems for large corporations. It is called mySAP Business Suite. This group of
systems covers such processes as accounting, product lifecycle management, supply chain
management, customer relationship management and others.
This chapter will analyze SAP solutions in more depth. Firstly, it will present the history
and background of SAP as a company and as an ERP system. Secondly, it will define mySAP
Business Suite components and their background. Lastly, some business benefits for the
companies implementing SAP solutions would be mentioned.
2.1. SAP background and history
SAP history is a long lasting success story that begun more than 35 years ago. In this
chapter main facts and figures of SAP development and growth would be mentioned and some
screen shots of different versions of the system would be provided. This would make a clearer
picture of SAP as a company and as a system.
Five former IBM employees founded SAP in 1972 in Mannheim, Germany, as Systems
Applications and Products in Data Processing. They wanted to create a standard enterprise
system, which would automate business processes. This idea was based on the fact that clients,
who ordered to develop financial accounting software, were searching for very similar
Over a little more than 35 years, SAP grew from a small German company into large
multi-cultural International Corporation. Today, SAP is the leader of collaborative enterprise
resource planning (ERP) as well as other business software solutions. SAP employs about
43000 people and has installations in majority of developed and developing countries. 
The development of hardware had a great impact on SAP growth and functionality. It all
begun with the main challenge of very limited storage capacity and slow processing time in
1972. Back then, the storage capacity of mainframes was only 500 KB. So, SAP was bounded
with extremely slow input and output as well as limited volume of data. However, with all
these hardware limitations SAP had signed its first contract. The first customer of SAP was
German ICI subsidiary in Östringen. At this point of time, SAP had nine employees and after
successful completion of the project posted DM 620000 profit on revenues. 
Second year was twice as successful as SAP earned two more customers – the tobacco
and cigarette manufacturer Roth-Händle and the pharmaceutical company Knoll.  These
companies bought SAP Financial Accounting (RF) system. After these successful contracts and
non-problematic installations, the system gained the reputation of a reliable standard solution.
As a result, number of installations expanded to 40. Despite these successes, SAP did not stop
to develop the software itself. RF module was followed by Material Management (RM) module
with functionality for purchasing, inventory management and invoice verification.  It is
important to note, that SAP was very concerned about integration of these two modules. So, the
data was easily transferred from one to another.
In 1977, SAP became a GmbH (a closely-held corporation). Revenues this year were
close to DM 4 million, number of employees grew to 25.  The same year SAP moved to its
present headquarters in Walldorf. SAP also signed its first foreign contracts with two
companies in Austria. After a year, SAP had a customer base of 100 and 50 employees. 
Development of the system was not stopped. SAP introduced a new module Asset Accounting
(RA) in the same year. At the same time, SAP made further steps towards international
development of the system while developing a French version of the RF module
By the beginning of 80s, new generation of hardware allowed SAP to improve the
solution further. The first version of two-tier architecture system was introduced in 1979. 
The system was called R/2 (R stands for “real time” and 2 – two-tier architecture). The user
interface was not very user friendly as seen from the screen shot provided on Figure 2.1.
However, it was the first step towards new technologies.
Figure 2.1. SAP R/2 initial screen 
Just before the new version was presented, in 1978 SAP for the first time reached DM 10
million of profit milestone.  Back then, SAP started building its first computer centre in
Walldorf. In 1980, the centre was complete and united all developers of SAP in one premises.
The same year SAP added new functionality of order history to the system, which made it even
more attractive. According to SAP by the end of 1980, “… 50 of 100 largest industrial
companies in Germany were SAP customers.” 
Close cooperation with customers led SAP to continuous improvements in system
functionality. As a result many new enhancements were made (such as new Cost Accounting
(RK) module). Moreover, with multi-language environment, in the beginning of 80s SAP R/2
was ready for international market. New cheaper and more powerful technologies made it
possible to expand customer base within Germany and abroad.
10th anniversary in 1982 SAP celebrated with sales increasing by % 48 to over DM 24
million comparing to previous year.  By the end of 1982, SAP had 236 customers in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Customers in these countries were using SAP standard
solutions. Next year, SAP revenues grew % 45 comparing to 1982. 
In 1984 SAP founded SAP AG (International) in Switzerland and focused on further
expansion to international markets.  SAP also continued developing new modules of the
standard solution. In 1984 Personnel Management and Plant Maintenance were started to
develop and Control System module was successfully installed for the first time.  By 1985,
SAP standard solution was used in most European countries and started penetration to other
continents, mainly focusing on South Africa, Kuwait, Canada and the US. 
By fifteenth anniversary of the company, it opened new offices in Munich and Hamburg
and established subsidiaries in The Netherlands, France, Spain and United Kingdom. By that
time SAP had 750 employees, 850 customers worldwide and revenue of DM 245 million. 
In 1987, the idea of new generation software was introduced and SAP R/3 was developed in
By its twentieth anniversary SAP had subsidiaries in Denmark, Sweden, Italy, US,
Canada, Singapore, Australia and other countries. It employed 3200 people and had 2800
customers in all parts of the world.  In 1992, almost half of SAP revenues were generated
from outside Germany. This was mainly due to the fact that SAP implemented 14 languages to
the software and it was highly adaptive to international market requirements.
The first version of SAP R/3 was released in the same year 1992. As in the previous
version, R stands for “real time” and 3 for “three tier architecture”. This version was a
revolution in SAP as a company and as a system history. After this release SAP started its
penetration towards midsized companies and the revenue growth was much faster than the
most optimistic forecasts. The screen shot of the SAP R/3 version 1.0 and 1.1 is presented on
Figure 2.2. SAP R/3 version 1.0 and 1.1 screen 
After successful launch of SAP R/3 version, in 1993 SAP gained the top position among
German software vendors. As to international arena, SAP took the seventh place among
software companies worldwide. That year for the first time SAP revenues reached important
DM 1 billion milestone. In 1993, SAP had 3500 customers worldwide.  Soon new releases
of SAP R/3 were introduced. SAP R/3 2.0 and 2.1 were much more functional (see figure 2.3.).
Figure 2.3. SAP R/3 version 2.0 and 2.1 screen 
By the end of 1994, SAP had a customer base of 4000 and employed 5000 people
worldwide.  Since the rollout of SAP R/3, the system was installed over 1000 times.  In
the same year SAP received ISO 9000 certificate. Moreover, SAP was showing good results in
project management: SAP R/3 version 2.2 was delivered on time. This version included more
functionality in Logistics. 
In 1995, one of the most important events for SAP was gaining Microsoft as a user of R/3
system. By that time, SAP already had 6000 companies, including IBM, using SAP R/3
worldwide.  Moreover in 1995 new version of SAP R/3 was released. SAP R/3 3.0 had more
production planning functionality. Print screen of R/3 version 3.0 is presented on figure 2.4.
Figure 2.4. SAP R/3 version 3.0 and 3.1 screen 
It is important to note, that SAP was further developing its international affairs by
founding subsidiaries in China, Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Poland, Russia and Thailand in 1995.
By that time SAP already had presence in more than 40 countries.  Moreover, the first
industry solution for process industry was introduced the same year 1995. 
Figure 2.5. SAP R/3 version 4.0 screen shot 
By the end of the century, SAP changed its strategy according to new technology trends.
SAP became interned-based. This helped the company to gain even more customers. By 2001,
SAP had a customer base of 15000 in approximately 120 countries and employed over 28000
people.  SAP did not stop the development of new versions either. So by the beginning of
first decade of 21st century SAP had released SAP R/3 versions 4.0, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7. Some of the
companies are still using SAP R/3 release 4.6 c or d and release 4.7. The screenshots of the
systems R/3 4.0 and 4.6 are presented on figures 2.5 – 2.6.
Figure 2.6. SAP R/3 version 4.6. screen shot 
Recently the brand name SAP R/3 was changed to SAP ECC (ERP Central Component)
and up till now the company released versions SAP ECC 5.0 and SAP ECC 6.0. Moreover,
SAP introduced solutions for small and medium sized businesses as well as solutions for
In 2004 SAP introduced SAP Netweaver – the infrastructure that helps to integrate
different SAP and non-SAP systems into company processes. This platform is being further
developed today and successfully used in businesses. After the introduction of Netweaver, SAP
gathered all best components into one and offered this group of solutions as a standard system
named mySAP Business Suite.
At the time SAP has more than 12 million users of the system worldwide.  More than
120000 installations, approximately 43000 customers (using standard and industry solutions)
and 1500 SAP partners in 120 countries makes SAP third largest independent software vendor
across the globe.  Graphical SAP history from 1972 till now is presented in Appendix 1.
2.2. SAP solutions
As mentioned above, SAP developed solutions for large and small companies in different
industries. It also has specific solutions for more than 20 industries (e.g. aerospace and defense,
automotive, high tech, etc.). The new core product of SAP that covers most of the business
processes and is implemented in large enterprises in cross-industries is a family of solutions
called mySAP Business Suite. Basically all the standard modules that were developed
throughout 35 years (e.g. FI – accounting, CO – controlling, SD – sales and distribution, MM –
material management, LE – logistics execution, etc.) are put into this family of systems. Except
for much more functionality than before, the difference this solution has is that modules have
been moved between systems. For example, SD was a function of SAP R/3 (or SAP ERP),
however in mySAP Business Suite most of it is placed in SAP SCM system.
SAP has developed all of the solutions using its own programming language ABAP
(Advanced Business Application Programming). However recently the company also started
using JAVA as the second programming language.
There are many discussions and misleading opinions about SAP main functions and
solutions and their placement in the systems. Therefore it is important to mention the main (not
all) solutions that SAP AG has today. So, SAP solutions range is presented in Table 2.1.
Table 2.1. SAP AG product range 
It is a family of business applications, including SAP
MySAP Business Suite
ERP, SAP SCM, SAP PLM, SAP CRM, SAP SRM.
A joint product of SAP and Microsoft, ensuring access
to SAP data via Microsoft interface.
SAP Manufacturing Specific solution for manufacturing companies.
Solution that is used for improving service delivery
SAP Services and Market Management
and asset accounting.
Different applications that could be used for various
SAP xApps Composite Applications business needs (cost and quotation, lean planning,
Includes corporate governance and oversight, risk
SAP Solutions for Governance, Risk and
management, and compliance management and
Enables information workers (salespeople, product
SAP Solutions for Information Workers managers, financial executives) to easier find and use
Empowers organizations to manage all financial and
SAP Solutions for Performance
operational strategy, planning, budgeting, forecasting,
reporting, and analytic requirements 
Enterprise-class solutions that support RFID (radio
SAP Solutions for RFID frequency identification), barcodes, and other Auto-ID
technologies, as well as serialization. 
Solution Extensions Cross-solutions and cross-industry functionality.
Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies
Adaptive business solution for midsize business
SAP Business All-in-One
(based on SAP ERP).
Complete on-demand business solution for midsize
SAP Business ByDesign
SAP Business One SAP solution for small businesses.
Except for these products, mentioned in the table, SAP has many other solutions for
different industries as well as services for business needs. However, the biggest and most
important product is the standard solution to automate business processes. As mentioned, today
SAP offers its main solution for enterprises – group of systems called mySAP Business Suite.
The evolution of SAP systems starting with R/3 is shown on Figure 2.7. The height of the
columns shows functionality of the system version. As seen, SAP R/3 Enterprise was a
foundation for mySAP ERP. Then, other solutions were introduced (SAP CRM, SAP SCM,
etc.). Lastly all the solutions were put together and formed mySAP Business Suite.
mySAP CRM, SCM
Enterprise SAP NeatWeaver
Figure 2.7. Evolution of SAP solution 
From figure 2.7 it is seen that latest versions of SAP are based on integration and
application platform SAP NetWeaver. This platform makes it possible to combine different
components and modules (SAP and non-SAP) into one adaptive business system. NetWeaver is
based on the latest technological trend – SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). According to
the definition SOA “… defines how two or more entities interact in such a way as to enable
one entity to perform a unit of work on behalf of another entity. The unit of work is referred to
as a service, and the service interactions are defined using a well-defined description
language.”  This would be analyzed in more depth in the next chapter.
SAP NetWeaver is a group of tools and components that form the infrastructure to
integrate SAP and non-SAP solutions into business processes of the company. As SAP
NetWeaver is the main research area of this thesis, it will be described in more depth in the
next chapters as well as SOA.
Except for presenting SAP solutions’ evolution, it is also important to define mySAP
Business Suite functionality. So, the architecture of this family of solutions is presented in
SAP Customer Services Network
mySAP SRM mySAP ERP mySAP CRM
Figure 2.8. mySAP Business Suite 
The core component of the Business Suite is SAP ERP (former SAP R/3), which has
accounting, logistics, inventory management and other basic functionality. This functionality is
enriched with SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), SAP SRM (Supplier Relationship
Management), SAP SCM (Supply Chain Management) and SAP CRM (Customer Relationship
Management) solutions. All these solutions are integrated on the SAP NetWeaver
infrastructure. This functionality could be further enriched by SAP xApps.
To make it easier to understand at least some of the functionality of SAP Business Suite,
sales and distribution process would be briefly described. Sales and Distribution functionality
could be found in SAP SCM component, so this solution is presented in Figure 2.9.
Supply chain performance management
Supply chain Design Demand Planning
External Manufacturing Order
Partner Procurement fulfillment Partner
Supply chain event management
Figure 2.9. mySAP SCM Solution 
MySAP SCM consists of several main processes: supply chain design (strategy), demand
planning, external procurement (goods are bought from the third party), manufacturing, and
order fulfillment (from inquiry to invoice). The later functionality is a component earlier called
SAP SD – Sales and Distribution. Further, mySAP SCM solution is collaborating with
customer, supplier and other partner systems.
To go further, order fulfillment (part of mySAP SCM) or earlier called Sales and
Distribution (SD – part of SAP R/3) has three main functions:
• sales order processing (inquiry, quotation, sales order creation and processing);
• shipping (creation of outbound deliveries, picking, packing, transportation
planning and posting goods issue);
• billing (creation/cancellation of invoices, credit and debit memos, transfer of
billing documents to accounting).
Company using SAP Customer buying goods
Inquiry document Inquiry (placed over the phone; fax, etc.)
Created with reference
Quotation document Quotation (received over mail, fax, etc.)
Created with reference
Sales order document Order (placed over the phone, fax, etc.)
Created with reference
Outbound delivery document
(packing, loading, etc.)
Created with reference
Transfer order document
(movement within warehouse)
Created with reference
Goods issue document Goods delivered
Created with reference
Invoice Invoice received
Return document Returning goods back to the supplier
Created with reference
Return delivery document and
Created with reference
Credit memo Credit memo received
Figure 2.10. Functionality of sales and distribution
Order Fulfillment also includes pricing functionality and different kinds of contracts
(scheduling agreements as well as value and quantity contracts) maintenance. Consultants of
this area are also responsible to maintain material master data on sales level as well as customer
master data and customer-material info records. Rebate agreements and pre-sales activities are
also a functionality of SD Each function of this component is covered by separate document
(e.g. customer inquiry – inquiry document, movement of goods – stock transfer order, etc.).
The basic functionality of SD process is presented in figure 2.10.
This is just a standard process that does not cover other possible scenarios (make-to-
order, which includes some manufacturing functionality, consignment process, invoice
correction, etc. that generate other document types). It also does not show very important SD
functionality – pricing. However, it creates a picture of what SD covers. In general, SD process
starts when searching for customer and ends when customer receives the invoice, and all
possible scenarios in between are functionality of SD module. This process could be changed
and customized according to the specific requirements of each company. The component is
highly adaptive to changes and many more document types with different functions could be
Except for SD, there are many more different processes that are covered by SAP, among
them: general ledger accounting, accounts receivable/accounts payable maintenance, material
management, production planning, demand planning, controlling, human resources
management and many others. There is noone in the world who would know the whole
functionality of SAP, so the consultants are focusing on these narrow areas.
2.3. SAP efficiency
As seen from the success story of SAP as a company and as an ERP system, it is obvious
companies are buying the product because it helps them to optimize the business processes in
some way. SAP claims, that when fully implemented, mySAP Business Suite would have these
benefits for the company :
• Operational excellence – by providing visibility across the enterprise. Companies
can transform customer requests into responses, both inside and outside the
company (via partners).
• Faster response to business change – by allowing companies to analyze
information recorded in day-to-day operations and gather structured and
unstructured information from across the enterprise. Companies can react faster to
business and market changes and gain competitive advantage.
• Seamless integration – by solving the integration challenge from a business and
technical perspective with the help of SAP NetWeaver. Companies benefit from
end-to-end process management and low TCO (total cost of ownership).
• Rapid time to benefit – by solving the implementation challenge - providing
specific for each industry best-practices solutions. The development of solutions
for industry is based on customer needs. As a result, the companies would
implement solutions much faster and improve their time to benefit.
• Global operations – by allowing companies to integrate their international
operations, using SAP experience in automating multi-cultural businesses.
Moreover, SAP supports more languages and regional versions than any other
• Reliable operations – influenced by the SAP NetWeaver platform.
• Adaptability – the group of solutions provides all necessary functionalities that
support innovations within companies and help to adapt to changes faster.
SAP implementations not always are successful and bring these benefits. However, the
majority of failures depend on the work of consultants and customer inability to change the
way they are working, not on the software itself. As SAP is highly adaptive, it could be
customized in any way the customer needs it (sometimes adding new functionality). So, it is
possible to say that SAP, if implemented in a right way, brings value to its customers. Of
course, sometimes companies implement SAP because there is no other software that could
handle that big amounts of data and processes, but that also means SAP is able to solve
problems of huge enterprises.
After a brief review of the SAP company and system background it would be much easier
to follow the main topic of this thesis. In the following chapter SAP NetWeaver infrastructure
and SOA concept would be analyzed in more depth.
3. SAP NetWeaver overview
In this section, SOA as the core of SAP NetWeaver and SAP NetWeaver itself would be
described in more details. The first subchapter would define SOA philosophy and the basic
components. The second subchapter would define SAP NetWeaver background and
3.1. SOA overview
The main focus of this chapter is to describe SAP NetWeaver infrastructure, its main
functions and components. However, it is important to describe the principles of this
infrastructure first. SAP NetWeaver is based on popular nowadays service oriented architecture
(SOA) concepts, defined in brief in the previous chapter. This subchapter would describe the
SOA background, main components in more details and present the possible logical
3.1.1. Evolution of IT architecture
According to many sources, service oriented architecture is not a revolution, rather an
evolution in the IT architecture area. The evolution of IT architectures from the perspective of
components (first – monolithic, then functions, objects, messages between objects, application
integration and lastly - services) is presented below on figure 3.1.
Pre 1950’s to 1970’s to 1980’s to Mid 1990’s to Late 1990’s Today
1960’s mid 1980’s mid 1990’s early 2000
routines / Remote Enterprise Service
Monolithic Remote object Message Application Oriented
Architectures procedure invocation processing Integration Architecture
Increasing modularity to achieve flexibility
Figure 3.1. Evolution of IT architecture 
When the software was started to develop in early 1950s, its structure was rather simple.
However, with years this structure was becoming more and more complex. So developers
together with IT architects were trying to make the IT architecture simpler and better
manageable. It all started with monolithic architectures, where processing, data and user
interface were connected in one system. As an example, DOS and some of the first versions of
Windows were implemented using this kind of architecture.  Early initiatives to make this
more usable were breaking monolithic applications into sub-routines or, in other words,
functions. Functions were parts of the code within a larger application that could perform
specific tasks and be more or less independent from one another.  Later, the main focus
was based on the concept of objects. These were discrete parts of program code that included
data and instructions of its behavior depending on the context.  Object oriented architecture
was based on the tight relationships between objects, so the next step was to loosely connect
object-oriented applications to each other. This was performed by message processing. Later,
various enterprise application integration techniques were developed to make the architecture
even more modular. The latest trend of the IT architecture is to use services as the basic
elements for building information systems. Service in this context should be understood as a set
of components (functions, objects, applications) that form a business service as understood by
the non-IT people. In this way business and information technologies communicate in the most
appropriate way than ever before.
3.1.2. SOA definition
SOA is a respectively new concept that was introduced in the beginning of the first
decade and became very popular among software vendors and business representatives. The
main idea of this architecture is that services, as business people understand them (e.g.
checking an online bank account or filling the electronic form), are used as the basic
components for building information systems. These services are independent and could be
reused in different business scenarios.
The main goal of SOA is to align business world with IT world in a way that both work
more effectively. According, to IBM, SOA is “… a bridge, that creates a symbiotic and
synergistic relationship between the two [business and IT] that is more powerful and valuable
than anything that we’ve experienced in the past.”  Further more, service oriented
architecture is focusing on business results that would improve after alignment of business and
Microsoft looks at SOA in even broader way. According to this company, SOA aims to
create “worldwide mesh of collaborating services” that could be accessible to anyone and
reusable in different business scenarios.  It is SOA that would assure the delivery of
business agility and IT flexibility.
Another IT corporation, Oracle, sees SOA as a facilitator of development of “modular
business services” , which could be integrated and reused. This would create a flexible and
adaptable IT infrastructure. Implementing an SOA approach, company could focus resources
on development of new services rather than support of all applications within organization.
In general, SOA details and basic components are still debatable. However, the basic
concept and benefits of this type of architecture are accepted and widely used in the industry.
Most of the IT companies see SOA as the future architecture style and are suggesting different
solutions based on SOA concept.
So, the definition that could be used to describe SOA is:
“SOA is a conceptual business architecture where business functionality, or application
logic, is made available to SOA users, or consumers, as shared, reusable services on an IT
network. "Services" in an SOA are modules of business or application functionality with
exposed interfaces, and are invoked by messages.” 
In other words, according to SOA, services could be gathered in various sets that form a
business process. Different sets of services in a business process are called service
orchestrations. Services could be shared and reused.
It is also important to note that SOA is not:
• a product,
• a solution,
• a technology,
• a quick fix of IT complexity and bugs,
• addressing all IT challenges that are present in the IT organization.
As a rule, SOA makes use of different methodologies and tools for definition of the
business design, and usage of this design to improve the business results. SOA also uses
software tools, programming models and techniques (e.g. Web Services) for implementation of
this business design within information systems. The host of this implementation is the
middleware infrastructure.  These infrastructures are developed by the software vendors.
SAP NetWeaver could be one of the examples.
SOA is not just an IT term. Different people in organization could interpret SOA in
different ways. For example, business people would see SOA as sets of services that can be
suggested to customers and business partners. IT architects would align SOA with an
architecture style, which requires service requestor, service provider and service itself.
Application developers would see SOA as a programming model with its own tools and
techniques. Operation people would interpret SOA as a set of agreements between service
requestors and service providers. All these people would be correct in a way, that SOA is a new
trend that helps to align business and IT. 
Despite SOA is a very broad and fuzzy term it has core principles that are defined further
• Service encapsulation, or usage of already created services (that were not
intended to be used under SOA).
• Service loose coupling, or minimization of the dependencies between services.
• Service contract, or adherence to communications agreements.
• Service abstraction, or hidden from outside world logic of services (except for
• Service reusability.
• Service composability, or as earlier mentioned service orchestration.
• Service autonomy, or control over the logic in every separate service.
• Service optimization.
• Service discoverability, or good description of each service.
Figure 3.2. Elements of SOA 
According to Eric A. Marks and Michael Bell , SOA consists of the elements,
presented in the figure (see figure 3.2.). As seen, SOA strategy is the background of the whole
model, which is then driving the governance model and policies.
Services are placed in the very centre, as they are the key assets and driving force of an
SOA. The enabling technology is surrounding the services to make an SOA possible. Authors
also address architecture process, metrics and behaviour and culture issues as influencing
factors of the business benefits gained after implementing SOA.
In many sources it is stated, that SOA is not a hype as many other “pills of all diseases”,
but the way to make a complex IT infrastructure simpler. This is also proved by the various
surveys. For example, the latest survey of Amber Point showed that only %1.5 of the
businesses that implemented SOA were referring to these implementations as “not successful”.
There were no businesses that described their SOA projects as “fiasco”.  Among the
benefits of SOA are :
• From a business perspective, SOA is about modelling the business design.
Business executives could gather valuable insights from this model, and identify
the problems and risks associated with it. This design could be improved by
simply adding/resorting/deleting services that are the main components of the
model. Further more, in the same way new business services could be developed
helping to respond fast to changes in the market. SOA also gives a much more
effective way of communication between business and IT, as is understood by
• From an IT perspective, SOA would help to structure software resources as a set
of services, which could be sorted in a way to form other services. SOA would
also establish a set of principles that should be followed. All these are thoroughly
described and created models and tools. They could be used to develop SOA
solutions for automating business design. The main value for IT is that created
services could be reused. This saves time of system development.
However, except the benefits, SOA as any other novelty carries challenges. The main
challenges of SOA implementation, is that it is difficult to implement, manage and control .
However, the main reason of these difficulties does not lie in the architecture itself, rather in
the organizational, cultural and behavioural aspects of each company . There are some
technical issues as well, as there are no standards and very few supporting tools and
development platforms present in the market at the moment. Of course these are not the reasons
to not implement SOA, but every business that shifts to this model should pay attention to these
concerns, as well as some others, like: security, support of long-running transactions and user
resistance to change.
3.1.3. Logical architecture model
To make it simpler to understand what SOA is all about it is important to present the
logical architecture model of SOA components (from the perspective of IT). As SOA is a new
trend in the IT and business area, there are no open standards yet. Every software vendor has its
own view on what should be under SOA platform and what should not. There are some models
of SOA components. However, IBM, a leader in this sphere , offers the most complete one.
SOA logical architecture model is presented on figure 3.3.
Business Innovation and Optimization Services
(Integrated environment for design and creation of solution assets) (Better decision making with real-time information)
(Manage and secure applications and resources)
Interaction Process Information
Services Services Services
(Enable (Orchestrate (Manage diverse
IT Service Management
collaboration) and automate data)
Enterprise Service Bus
Partner Business App Access Services
Services Services (Facilitate
(Connect with (Build on interaction
partners) service with assets)
(Optimizes availability and performance)
Figure 3.3. Logical architecture model 
This logical architecture intends to decompose the functional foundation of the
application design. The white spaces between the components are made on purpose, in order to
distinguish all parts of the architecture from one another. IBM stresses that this separation
helps to focus on skills for separate sections. The core of this model is the green squares:
interaction services, process services, information services, partner services, business
application services and access services. Other components exist in order to assist the main
ones to work properly. It is also very important to note, that all these services have the same
interface and the difference among them is the area of usage. All the components that are
presented in the design would be briefly described further :
• Enterprise service bus (ESB) is the fundamental component of the SOA . All
the present within organization services could be accessed via this component. It
simplifies the process of invoking the services and makes it possible to use the
services whenever they are needed and wherever they would be within the
enterprise. IBM calls Enterprise Service bus an “architectural pattern” that
facilitates the way of integration of loosely-coupled services. ESB is being
discussed in the industry all the time, according to some sources, it is the main
component of the SOA model; according to others it is not crucial to have it. 
• Interaction services are responsible for the presentation of the business design. In
other words, these are components that help applications and end-users to
communicate. It is also important to understand that end-users are not only
human, but could also be sensors, robots, RFID devices and others.
• Process services are responsible for compositional logic. The composition is the
set of services that makes a business process flow. And process services create the
• Information services are responsible for the logic of data. These services are
present at two levels: on a surface (provide access to the constant data of the
business) and inside (ensure the dataflow within organization).
• Partner services are responsible for gathering the information about partners (e.g.
policies and constraints) and use it in order to connect to them. These services are
in some way similar to interaction services and access services.
• Business application services are responsible for the core business logic. These
are services that are created specially for implementing the business model. They
represent basic building blocks for the design of business processes. These
services cannot be decomposed, rather connected with other services to form a
• Access services are responsible to connect applications and functions into service
oriented architecture. This means gathering already created functions and object
and use them to compose services.
• Business innovation and optimization services are responsible for providing tools
and metadata structures to represent the business design, including policies and
• Development services are sets of architecture, development, visual composition,
assemble and other kind of tools that facilitate the development process.
• IT service management is a set of management tools. These tools are used to
monitor the system.
• Infrastructure services are themselves created using SOA model. These services
are responsible to host the SOA applications and help to provide efficient
utilization of resources.
This was only brief overview of the main components of the logical architecture model.
As mentioned, other companies provide different view on the same thing. However, the main
principles remain the same. SOA is an architecture that is based on services, their
encapsulation, re-use and loose-coupling. It is services that create the business value and help
IT and business worlds to communicate in a proper way. Services could be accessed and used
from within the organization with help of the enterprise service bus.
3.2. SAP NetWeaver definition
As mentioned, the main purpose of this chapter is to describe SAP NetWeaver, it’s
background and basic components. The foundation and principles of this solution were briefly
described in the previous sub-chapter. In this sub-chapter SAP NetWeaver would be defined in
3.2.1. SAP NetWeaver background
SAP is considered a lead ERP software vendor and a third independent IT company
worldwide. It offers a wide range of business solutions for different industries as well as
standard solutions. However, with IT industry becoming more open, the need of integration
with other applications is getting more critical. Moreover, users are becoming more computer
literate and understand that they should only pay for the functionality they need and not for the
whole solution, % 80 of which is not used. Further more, SOA introduction made it possible to
connect business and IT in a much better way. These rising in the market trends pushed SAP
forward to develop an integration platform for SAP and non-SAP applications: SAP
SAP NetWeaver, as mentioned in the second chapter, was introduced in 2004 as a part of
mySAP product group forming an integration platform for mySAP Business Suite solutions. It
is a set of capabilities that allow applications work together, build new applications on top of
existing ones, and lower the applications’ TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).  SAP
NetWeaver is a SOA based middleware application and is built using open and accepted by the
industry standards. As it is open, it can further be extended with as well as cooperate with other
technologies, such as Microsoft .NET, Sun Java EE, and IBM WebSphere.
According to SAP, SAP NetWeaver “… provides a unified application development
platform that contains the tools, methodologies, rules, user interface patterns, and services that
allow SAP, its partners, and customers to build composite applications – either as products for
sale or custom applications for use by one company.”  The components and solution map
of the SAP NetWeaver would be described further in the next subchapter.
SAP did not only use, but extended the term SOA to ESA (Enterprise Service
Architecture) adding an enterprise as the main component for the architecture. So, as the
foundation for ESA, SAP NetWeaver helps to develop current IT landscape into a strategic
environment that drives business change of the enterprise. 
Three main benefits of SAP NetWeaver for the company implementing SAP Business
Suite solutions, according to SAP are as follows :
• Enhanced Adaptability. As SAP NetWeaver is an integration platform, it helps
SAP applications to be integrated with applications already present in the
company’s IT landscape. NetWeaver provides an environment to integrate various
applications; databases and makes open technologies like web services available
to the user.
• Lower Total Cost of Ownership. Instead of replacing the existing system with
SAP solutions, SAP NetWeaver can help using existing functionality in the new
information system. It helps the company to get the maximum from what it
already has and easily add other functionality to build the new unified system.
Moreover, SAP NetWeaver helps to reduce complexity and makes the system
more flexible to the changing processes. All these help to reduce the TCO.
• Better Return On Investment. According to SAP, SAP NetWeaver also helps to
increase the return on investment (ROI). By using SAP NetWeaver, company’s IT
strategies can be synchronized with mySAP Business Suite solutions. This makes
the information system more reliable and leads to better assessment services.
These in turn lead to financial benefits.
With SAP NetWeaver, organizations can meet business needs by implementing IT
practices in a flexible approach at low cost. These practices form a NetWeaver solution map,
described further in the next sub-chapter. SAP NetWeaver helps organizations to perform the
following IT practices :
• User productivity enablement. This practice is intended to help users and groups
improve productivity (by enhanced collaboration, optimized knowledge
management, and personalized access to critical applications and data).
• Data unification. Management and unification of master data for improved
• Business information management. This practice is intended to increase the
visibility and coherence of the business information.
• Business event management. This practice intends to place processes in the right
sequence managed by the right people.
• End-to-end process integration. Integrate different business applications to work
properly as one unified system.
• Custom development. This practice helps to rapidly create new applications.
• Unified life-cycle management. Automate application management and
processes to optimize an application life cycle.
• Application governance and security management.
• Consolidation. This practice helps to deploy a consolidated technology platform,
which is able to allocate computing power according to changing business needs.
• Enterprise SOA design and deployment.
In order to understand how popular is SAP NetWeaver and other SAP applications, key
figures are presented further :
• SAP NetWeaver base of customers is still rapidly growing. As of March 2007,
there were more than 13760 customer deployments.
• SAP has developed more than 1000 enterprise services for the SAP Business Suite
• More than 2000 independent software vendors are actively building applications
on SAP NetWeaver platform.
• There are more than 150 active members of the Enterprise Services Community
that develop services for SAP NetWeaver.
• Since the launch of SDN (SAP Developer Network) in September 2003, more
than 700000 members worldwide have joined it. They are actively working to
help the adoption of SAP NetWeaver.
• Since the launch of SAP NetWeaver, more than 10000 consultants have been
trained to support customers using it.
So, as seen, SAP NetWeaver is an integration platform that is used to integrate SAP and
non-SAP applications to form the new adaptable to business changes information system. The
popularity of SAP NetWeaver is growing as more and more companies are adopting it in their
3.2.2. SAP NetWeaver components
SAP NetWeaver is a middleware that has a set of components and tools. This subchapter
would describe the architectural structure, main tools as well as a solution map of SAP
NetWeaver. The architecture of the SAP NetWeaver solution according to SAP is defined in
the way presented on figure 3.4.
As seen, SAP NetWeaver is about integration of people, information and processes. It
also has an application platform, to make these integrations possible and two frameworks that
support the solution: composite application framework and life-cycle management. The
functions of the people integration are: multi-channel access (MI component), collaboration
and a portal (EP component). Information integration consists of business intelligence (BI
component), master data management (MDM component) and knowledge management (EP
component). Process integration is composed of integration broker and business process (XI
component) and application platform consists of J2EE and ABAP applications and DB and OS
abstraction (AS component).
Composite application framework
Master Data Management
DB and OS Abstraction
Figure 3.4. SAP NetWeaver conceptual architecture 
Further the main components of SAP NetWeaver are described:
• SAP NetWeaver Application Server (AS). This is a part of the application
platform (from the figure 3.4.). The main task of the application server is to enable
and support platform-independent Web services, business applications, and
standards-based development.  Application server is not a new component in
SAP solutions. It was referred as SAP Basis before release 4.6 D.
• SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure (XI). This is a part of the process
integration (from the figure). The main task of XI is to deliver open integration
technologies that enable process-based collaboration across the extended value
chain.  SAP XI is responsible to integrate SAP and non-SAP applications and
• SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management (MDM). This is a part of the
information integration. The target of this component is to ensure cross-system
data consistency. MDM, as XI, also helps to integrate business processes across
the extended value chain. 
• SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI). This, together with knowledge
management, is a part of the information integration. BI enables to integrate data
from across the enterprise and transform it into usable and up-to date business
information to speed-up the decision-making process.  BI is about very
• SAP NetWeaver Mobile Infrastructure (MI). This is a part of the people
integration, in particular multi-channel access. The goal of MI is to provide a
mobile environment, based on open technologies and standards. This environment
would facilitate the development of integrated mobile solutions. 
• SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal (EP). This is also a part of the people
integration as well as information integration (in particular knowledge
management). Enterprise portal combines business information and applications
to enable users to take advantage of all the information resources.  It unifies
heterogeneous system landscapes into one user interface.
• SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure. This component was introduced rather recently. It
gives the capabilities to integrate automated sensing devices (e.g. RFID readers
and printers, Bluetooth devices, embedded systems, and bar-code devices). 
• SAP NetWeaver Identity Management. This component is also rather new, it
addresses access and authorization issues. Identity Management enables to
integrate business processes and helps to integrate systems in a heterogeneous IT
Except for components, there are tool enabling to develop and maintain SAP solutions.
The tools that are used to maintain SAP NetWeaver and develop further SAP and non-SAP
applications are as follows :
• Adaptive Computing Controller (central point of control for assigning computing
resources and optimizing their use).
• SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment. Provides an environment for
development, deployment and maintenance of applications that comply with an
• SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio. This tool provides a convenient user interface
and quite rich functionality for developing J2EE applications to be used on the
SAP NetWeaver basis.
• SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer. This tool simplifies the development of the
portal content and analytics’ applications.
• SAP Solution Manager. This is a very important tool that is used in many areas,
including customization and support of SAP applications. As a rule, without this
tool being used, SAP is not providing any support for SAP ERP applications.
The latest SAP NetWeaver solution 2004s was presented in a form of the functionality
map. Although having the same architecture (described earlier in this chapter), solution was
“sliced” to form an understandable by the business people solution. This solution is presented
on Figure 3.5.
IT practices IT scenarios
User productivity Running an Enabling Business Mobilizing Enterprise Enterprise
enabler enterprise user task mngt business knowledge search
portal collaborat. processes mngt
Data unification Master data Master data Central master Enterprise data
harmonization consolidation data management warehousing
Business Reporting, Business Enterprise data Enterprise Enterprise
information mngt query and planning and warehousing knowledge search
analysis analytic serv. management
Business event Master data harmonization Master data harmonization
End-to-end Enable app-to- Enable Business process Enable platform Business
process integr. app processes business-to- management interoperability task
business proc. management
Custom Developing, configuring and adapting Enabling platform interoperability
Unified life-cycle Software life-cycle management SAP NetWeaver operations
App governance Authentication and single sign-on Integrated user and access management
and security mngt
Consolidation Enable SAP Master data Enterprise Enterprise
platform NetWeaver consolidation knowledge data
interoperab, operations management warehousing
ESA design and Enabling enterprise services
Figure 3.5. SAP NetWeaver solution map 
As seen from the figure, the solution was divided into IT practices (general IT issues) and
different IT scenarios according to SAP NetWeaver. IT practices were briefly described in the
previous sub-chapter. Each IT practice has several IT scenarios. This can also be seen from the
services perspective, where IT scenarios could be seen as services (as business people
understand them) for the general IT practices offered by SAP NetWeaver. As mentioned, the
components and SAP NetWeaver architecture did not change. It was just presented from
After describing the background and the architecture of SAP NetWeaver platform, it is
important to compare it to the similar products that are present in the market. So, in the next
sub-chapter main competitors of SAP NetWeaver would be described.
3.2.3. Overview of SAP NetWeaver competitors
Major software vendors (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP) see the potential of the new
architectural trend and offer their enterprise SOA solutions as a foundation for business
applications. These solutions as SAP NetWeaver could be called an SOA middleware. It is
quite hard to distinguish the main competitors of NetWeaver, as each software vendor
understands SOA in its own way, putting one or another concept forward. Some software
vendors have one solution that covers all enterprise SOA principals, while others have many
applications for different purposes. Moreover, the purpose of SAP NetWeaver is to integrate
SAP and non-SAP applications and should not be used standalone without SAP Business Suite,
while other enterprise SOA applications can be used standalone.
To make it easier in selecting the right software products to compare with SAP
NetWeaver two main criteria are defined. Firstly, a middleware should be based on SOA
concepts, and secondly, it should be or have as a component a platform to integrate and
develop different business applications.
According to these criteria, there are four main solutions in the market that can be
compared to SAP NetWeaver: IBM Websphere, Microsoft BizTalk, Oracle SOA Suite and
BEA AquaLogic. There are also some other small companies that offer similar solutions like:
Progress Sonic ESB, iWay Service Manager, TIBCO BusinessWorks, Iona Artix, but they
would not be described, as they are too small to be compared to SAP NetWeaver.
WebSphere is the integration software platform suggested by IBM. It lies in the center of
IBM's “On Demand” Business strategy. WebSphere includes the whole infrastructure of the
middleware: servers, services, and tools needed to manage and develop new applications, on
demand Web applications as well as cross-platform and cross-product solutions.  Unlike
NetWeaver, WebSphere does not integrate specific applications. Instead, it was designed “... as
a general-purpose infrastructural abstraction and integration layer to hardware, databases,
existing ERP systems and other enterprise applications.”  However, IBM WebSphere as
SAP NetWeaver also focuses on integration of people, processes and information. It also
provides tools for this integration. 
IBM WebSphere platform is composed of these (and some others) software tools  that
comply with the SOA architecture presented in the earlier sub-chapter:
• Application Servers provide a platform to run interoperable applications.
• Business Integration Servers provide an infrastructure for integrating
applications and automating business processes.
• Commerce Products provide basic marketing, sales and order processing
functionality in an integrated package.
• Data and Information Management Software provides storage, access and
analysis of data in any environment.
• Mobile, Speech and Enterprise Access Middleware provides support for
mobile, speech, and rich client access.
• Networking Software provides integrated directory, connectivity and security
between users and applications.
• Organizational Productivity, Portals and Collaboration Software provides
instant messaging, Web conferencing, and collaborative portals.
• Software Development Tools provide design and construct applications that
support the deployment process.
• Systems and Asset Management Software provides monitor, control and
optimization applications to facilitate the management of complex physical assets
and computing resources.
IBM does not promote a unified view onto all WebSphere product group members as
SAP does with the NetWeaver. Instead, most WebSphere products are compatible with open
standards. This allows combining IBM’s products with other standards-compliant products.
This can help creating a custom platform for enterprise IT systems.
To sum up, according to Gartner report 2007, IBM is the leader of SOA applications at
the moment , so WebSphere covers all of the SOA functionality and could be used as an
example. However, it has a different than SAP NetWeaver focus. IBM is focusing on support
of its customers in finding “best-of-breed solutions”  for enterprise IT challenges, using
WebSphere family products that comply with other applications based on open standards. IBM
does not have ERP software that could be integrated on the SOA middleware, so its
middleware is used as a background for other software components (among them could be SAP
Oracle Fusion Middleware is a portfolio of based on standards software products that
automate different services. It includes J2EE and developer tools, integration services, business
intelligence, collaboration, and content management systems.  Many of the products
included under the Oracle Fusion Middleware name are not themselves middleware products.
Fusion Middleware is generally a re-branding of many Oracle's products outside of core
database and applications software offerings. According to Oracle, Fusion Middleware is
designed to support development, deployment, and management of Service Oriented
Architecture. It includes what Oracle calls "Hot-Pluggable" architecture, which allows users to
integrate other applications and systems from different software vendors such as IBM,
Microsoft, and SAP AG.  Oracle Fusion Middleware includes applications, presented on
Table 3.1. 
Table 3.1. Oracle Fusion Middleware products
• Application Server • EDA Suite
• Business Integration • Identity Management
• Business Intelligence • Middleware for Fast-Growing Companies
• Business Process Management • Oracle Fusion Middleware for Applications
• Coherence In-Memory Data Grid • Portal
• Collaboration Suite • Service Delivery Platform
• Content Management • SOA Suite
• Data Integrator • WebCenter
• Developer Tools
The most important component of Oracle Fusion to compare with SAP NetWeaver
platform is, Oracle SOA Suite. This suite includes a complete set of service infrastructure
components, which could be used for building, deploying, and managing SOA. Oracle SOA
Suite enables creation as well as management ant orchestration of services into business
Oracle SOA Suite consists of :
• BPEL-based Process Manager that facilitates the composition of services into
• Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) solution provides a real-time visibility into
operation and performance of business processes and services.
• Business rules engine facilitates capture and automation of business policies.
• Multi-protocol Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) as mentioned before helps to
connect applications and route messages.
• Web services management and security solution helps to enforce authentication
• Services registry that helps discovering and managing the lifecycle of services.
• Integrated Service Environment (ISE) helps to develop and deploy services. 
Despite Oracle claims that Fusion Middleware is not a reaction to SAP NetWeaver and
position itself as a primary brand in the market,  it is obvious Oracle wants to strengthen its
position in Enterprise Applications market with the help of SOA architecture. Oracle wants to
establish a powerful base for its Oracle E-Business Suite that is a competitor of mySAP
Business Suite. 
Oracle made a big step towards SOA market by acquiring BEA as well. After acquiring
BEA, it is not clear if Oracle keeps BEA solutions (especially Aqualogic) as independent
software or puts it under Fusion Middleware brand. Whatever strategy they will choose, it is
very obvious that Oracle will strengthen it is position in SOA market and competition among
IBM, Oracle and SAP will become fierce.
BEA AquaLogic is a software suite developed by BEA Systems for managing SOA. BEA
AquaLogic sees business as SOA most important subject, giving the ability to affect changes
and facilitating flexibility to meet rapidly changing business needs. BEA reduces business
dependency on IT by introducing new software that facilitates the collaboration of business and
IT participants to meet strategic business needs and drives innovation. According to BEA
“…AquaLogic provides a unified, agile platform for creating and managing business
processes, portals, collaborative communities, and composite applications. It opens new
channels of collaboration within and across organizational boundaries, so business can grow
with the flow.” 
BEA AquaLogic suggests an open and independent platform for developing,
implementing and managing service-oriented architecture (SOA) in various computing
environments, including .NET, Java or legacy systems.  BEA AquaLogic enables software
services to respond faster to business changes . As it is independent, BEA AquaLogic lets
services built on almost any platform (J2EE, .NET, SAP, Oracle, IBM, and others) be found,
used and managed. 
BEA Aqualogic includes the following products: 
• BEA AquaLogic BPM suite is a set of tools for business process management
(BPM). This component combines workflow with enterprise application
integration functionality. The suite consists of tools for business and technical
people. With its help, business people can create business process models and IT
people can create business applications from these models. The outcome is
deployed on a production server. From there back-end applications can be
accessed via portal.
• BEA AquaLogic User Interaction is a set of tools that facilitates the creation of
portals, collaborative communities and composite applications. These could work
• BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Repository. This is an essential element for
effective SOA life cycle governance. It helps managing the metadata for any type
of software asset (starting from business processes and Web Services to patterns,
frameworks, applications, and components). Enterprise Repository maps the
relationships that connect assets to improve impact analysis, facilitate software
reuse, and measure the impact on the bottom line.
• BEA AquaLogic Service Bus
• BEA AquaLogic Service Registry provides a repository where services can be
registered and reused for services orchestration.
• BEA AquaLogic Data Services Platform (previously Liquid Data) provides
tools for creating and managing different data services.
• BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Security is a security infrastructure application for
distributed authentication and other security services.
Recently BEA was acquired by Oracle, so it is hard to say what would be the outcome of
this acquisition and how BEA solutions would be used in Oracle Fusion Middleware. It is
obvious though, that Oracle with BEA solutions might become a very strong player in the SOA
Microsoft does not have one specific solution for SOA. It needs an integration of several
Microsoft solutions to establish SOA. Companies can use some of these solutions with SAP
NetWeaver as well. So it is hard to compare Microsoft solutions with SAP NetWeaver.
These solutions could be treated are parts of Microsoft SOA solutions :
• .NET Framework. The .NET Framework is the managed code-programming
model for Microsoft Windows. Developers might use the .NET Framework to
build services and applications in an SOA.
• BizTalk Server. BizTalk Server 2006 R2 provides connectivity, messaging and
business process services to an organization's service oriented infrastructure.
• Visual Studio Team System. Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008 Team System is
an integrated Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution comprising
tools, processes and guidance to help everyone on the team improve their skills
and work more effectively.
• System Center. Center solutions are tuned to simplify management of the
systems and applications the company already has implemented. This includes
Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server,
Internet Information Services and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
• SharePoint. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is an integrated suite of
server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness. It provides
content management and enterprise search, accelerates shared business processes
and facilitates information sharing for better business insight.
• Oslo. This software product helps to easier design, develop, implement and
control different business applications. It is a composition of other products:
BizTalk Server, System Center, Visual Studio, BizTalk Services and .NET
As seen, Microsoft still does not offer comparable to NetWeaver solutions, although it
has an ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics). However, Microsoft is working towards SOA as
this is the future in the business and IT market.
So, this chapter described SOA as a foundation of the SAP NetWeaver integration
platform, described NetWeaver itself, mentioning the main components of this platform and
made a brief overview of the competitor solutions present in the market. Next chapter would
answer the main research question of the thesis – how did the development of further SAP
business solutions change after the introduction of SAP NetWeaver.
4. SAP NetWeaver impact on development of SAP solutions
After description of SOA architecture and SAP NetWeaver, it is crucial to answer the main
research question of the thesis, which is “how SAP NetWeaver influences further development
of SAP business solutions”. There are certain things that have changed after the introduction of
SAP NetWeaver and the most important of them are:
• change in SAP architecture;
• change in integration of the suite components;
• change in development of new applications;
• change in implementation methods.
So, these would be described in more depth in this chapter. The last subchapter would
discuss the results of the survey carried out in order to find out the advantages and
disadvantages of SAP NetWeaver to SAP customers, developers and consultants.
4.1. SAP NetWeaver impact on SAP architecture
As SAP NetWeaver is an integration platform, one of the things that have changed after
its introduction is of course SAP architecture. However, as was mentioned earlier when
analyzing the evolution of IT architectures, SAP architecture changed gradually and SOA, or in
this case its middleware NetWeaver, was rather an evolution than a revolution.
The architecture of the two-tier SAP, or SAP R/2, could be visualized as shown on figure
4.1. As this is two-tier it is a client - server architecture, where client is able to perform tasks
even without accessing the server for some time. It is seen, that clients can use few modules,
connected to each other (the modules are: accounting, material management, production
RF (Financial Accounting), RA (Assets Accounting),
RK (Cost Accounting), RK-P (Projects), RP (Human
Resources), RM-INST (Plant Maintenance), RM-QSS
Server (Quality Assurance), RM-MAT (Materials
Management), RM-PPS (Production Planning and
ABAP/4 Control), RV (Sales and Distribution)
Dynpro Client N
Interfaces RF (Financial Accounting), RA (Assets Accounting),
RK (Cost Accounting), RK-P (Projects), RP (Human
Resources), RM-INST (Plant Maintenance), RM-QSS
(Quality Assurance), RM-MAT (Materials
Management), RM-PPS (Production Planning and
Control), RV (Sales and Distribution)
Figure 4.1. SAP R/2 architecture 
In the next generation SAP R/3 as the name suggests, three-tier architecture is started to
be used. So the user is accessing application server and then database server via interface and
cannot work without this access. Moreover, the functionality and number of modules rises as
seen from figure 4.2. Now users can also automate workflow processing, use industry specific
and project systems functionality.
Presentation (SAP GUI)
BC (Basis), AM (Asset Management)
CO (Controlling), FI (Financial
Accounting), HR (Human Resources),
IS (Industry Specific Solutions), PM (Plant
Maintenance), PP (Production Planning),
PS (Project System), QM (Quality
Management), SD (Sales and
Distribution), MM (Materials
Management), WF (Business Work Flow)
Application Server 1
Application Server N
Presentation (SAP GUI)
BC (Basis), AM (Asset Management)
CO (Controlling), FI (Financial
Accounting), HR (Human Resources),
IS (Industry Specific Solutions), PM (Plant
Maintenance), PP (Production Planning),
PS (Project System), QM (Quality
Management), SD (Sales and
Distribution), MM (Materials
Management), WF (Business Work Flow)
Figure 4.2. R/3 three tier architecture 
The evolution of architectures did not stop on the three-tier architecture model, and the
next step is SOA. Starting from SAP ECC 5.0 (or mySAP ERP Edition 2004) NetWeaver is
started to be used and the architectures model changed. The architecture shift influenced by
SOA (or in SAP case SAP NetWeaver) is presented on figure 4.3.
It is seen that NetWeaver empowers different users to have different user-specific
interfaces and allows to access data from different databases based on what kind of data is to be
accessed. This architecture model also includes workflows connected to processes for every
DB1 ERP CRM interface
SRM … SAP NetWeaver
Figure 4.3. Transition from R/3 to ESA 
So, the general picture of the shift of architectures is presented on figure 4.4. It is seen,
that NetWeaver was just another step in the evolution, helping to simplify a very complex
architecture and make it easier for developers and consultants.
SAP R/3 4.6 C SAP R/3 Enterprise MySAP ERP MySAP ERP
Eddition 2004 Eddition 2005
Self-service procurement Internet sales
Internet sales Self-services
Self-services Strategic enterprise mngt
Industry solutions Strategic enterprise mngt SRM
Application Extensions set Composite applications Composite applications
SAP Basis SAP R/3 SAP ECC SAP ECC
SAP NetWeaver SAP NetWeaver 2004s
• People integration • IT practices
(multi-channel actions, • Scenarios
portal, collaboration) • Variants
• Information • Usage types
integration (BI, MDM, • Engines
Knowledge mngt) • User interfaces
• Process integration
business process mngt)
• Application platform
Figure 4.4. Evolution of SAP solutions 
The most important changes in the architecture made it possible to integrate SAP and
non-SAP solutions simpler and less costly that before. This is NetWeaver impact on the
integration of applications, which is explained in more details in the next subchapter.
4.2. SAP NetWeaver impact on integration of different applications
One of the most important goals of SAP NetWeaver is to integrate existing SAP solutions
as well as non-SAP applications into one information system. Before SAP NetWeaver was
introduced, applications were connected to each other with the help of point-to-point
integration. However, as more and more systems (ERP, CRM, SCM, PLM, etc.) with own
databases were being built this integration was becoming extremely difficult. For example,
searching for the information about a business partner meant that users would have to check in
ERP, CRM, SCM and SRM systems.
The main challenges of integration of various applications are as follows :
• Point-to-point integrations cannot pass big amount of data in short time. This
means that passing information from one source to another would take more time
than searching for the same information in one system.
• Difference in data. As each system has its own database with different tables,
fields and structure, the data to be transferred from one system to another is not
standardized and should be transformed in order to fit the requirements of another
• Hard to develop integration brokers:
o The structure of the integration brokers that ensure point-to-point integration
is very complex.
o Need for developers’ skills in both systems. In order to integrate two
different systems developer needs to know data structures of both systems.
• Usually integration takes place on data, but not process level (in other words,
In spite all these difficulties; point-to-point integration is still used in order to integrate
systems. Moreover, most of the software vendors claim, that this kind of integration is worth all
spent money. However, when analyzing the TCO of the information system it becomes obvious
that a very high percentage of the budget is spent on these integrations, since they are very
costly to create and maintain. First of all, it requires very skilled developers and good tools to
create integration brokers, and secondly, they should be changed whenever changes occur in
one of the systems. Integration brokers would cost even more if two systems from different
vendors need to be connected. So, in order to see what are the main components of TCO, figure
4.5 presents the general picture. As seen, TCO is calculated by summing up the cost of
applications, costs of integration platforms and costs of integrating applications and platforms
among each other. This TCO is counted for the developed information systems, not the ones
bought from the shelf.
Integration Portal Intelligence … Cost of
EAI Knowledge Mobile +
Management Cost of
Applications/ SAP R/3 +
Partner Cost of
SAP R/3 applications
SAP CRM Legacy
Figure 4.5. Total cost of ownership 
So, as mentioned in the beginning of this sub-chapter, NetWeaver can help companies to
integrate their systems cheaper. In other words, NetWeaver changes the way integration works.
It reduces the TCO of the whole information system and increases total investments on the
innovations. The next figure (figure 4.6.) shows how NetWeaver helps to create
interoperability between applications and platforms. This is possible due to out-of-the-box
integration of the systems without a need to develop this integration.
Use integration automation
products with pre- Lower
2 business content Enhanced workload
and connectors to productivity
Adaptability to hardware costs TCO
3 specific industry reduction
Reduced development Lower
4 integration costs costs costs
Use Web Services maintenance
5 and other open costs
of proprietary API
Figure 4.6. NetWeaver helps to reduce TCO 
The most important issue to be analyzed is whether this kind of integration can be sold as
a out-of-the-box product and SAP NetWeaver addresses this issue with the positive answer. It
consists of components of the suite designed to work together as one system and tools to
develop any missing integrations.
SAP NetWeaver has all the integration technologies that a company would need in order
to connect different system in one package:
• A portal to extract different data from various systems into one collaborative
• A data warehouse to store data from different systems in one place.
• A messaging system to send messages between different systems.
• A complex business process management enabler.
• An application server to run all these components.
So, having in mind that all these components created by the same vendor are actually
working as one system (having single sign-on, same functionality to identify users, same
administration functionalities, centralized master data management, etc.) the companies can
actually see that TCO is becoming smaller.
TCO is not the only benefit that SAP NetWeaver, as an integration platform, brings. The
expenditures on innovations could be cut down with its help as well. In order to understand
how SAP could cut down on these costs it brings the example of Microsoft Office , which
is actually a suite of different applications. Earlier all applications were separate products.
However with time these products started to share functionality (e.g. formatting text, spell
checking, inserting images, etc.). Nowadays, about % 70 of the functionality is shared.
Following the same pace, SAP is adopting NetWeaver in order to share the functionality of
different mySAP Business Suite components (ERP, CRM, SCM, etc.). It is believed that in
every next version of SAP NetWeaver more and more code would be shared and more
functionalities would come as a basics of NetWeaver.  For instance even now, SAP
Enterprise Portal is started to being used as a common user interface layer and SAP Web
Application Server - as a server for Business Suite components to operate.
However, NetWeaver cannot be bought from the shelf as an integration package for all
the systems the company should have. The systems cannot be installed and work properly from
the first day of the project. There still are some developments to the functionality and
integration brokers that need to be done in a long run. However, NetWeaver addresses this
issue as well and offers a wide range of development tools that would help to create the
missing applications. These development tools are described in more depth in the next sub-
4.3. SAP NetWeaver impact on development of new applications
SAP NetWeaver has rather traditional development environment for Java and ABAP.
However, the tools that are composing this environment are very effective and easy to use.
These were briefly described in the previous chapter, but here they are looked at from a
different perspective – how did NetWeaver changed existing SAP tools into the ones that can
be used now. So, the tools that would be analyzed are: Web Dynpro (environment to model
user interfaces and increase developer productivity), SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio,
Composite Application Framework (a tool to connect applications), SAP Solution Manager and
So, according to SAP, NetWeaver changes the way technology, architecture and customer
needs are dealt with. And an easy way to understand NetWeaver is as a collection of new and
improved tools and applications. These tools are developed with extra features in order to
address problems and use new opportunities. These tools are described further in more depth.
SAP Web Dynpro
Web Dynpro (as well as SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP Mobile Infrastructure) was
developed based on earlier solutions - Dynpro and SAP GUI. It is a tool that helps developers
to create different elements of user interface. Web Dynpro includes a layout for user interface
screen and labels, text fields, option radio buttons and check boxes, etc. Created dialog screen
could then be used on different terminals with or without customizations.
SAP GUI, as a predecessor of Web Dynpro, was developed in order to support clients,
using Unix and Microsoft Windows environments, interfaces. SAP GUI was used to log on to
SAP applications (e.g. SAP R/3).  Then it downloaded interface definitions that would
select and run the needed client. When user needed additional functionality to be performed,
request was sent from SAP GUI to BASIS and the task was then dispatched. The result of the
task was sent back to SAP GUI.
A user interface is now taken over by the standards: HTML and HTTP. These now
perform the same tasks for Web Dynpro and SAP EP as Dynpro and DIAG (transport protocol
for Dynpro) used to perform for SAP GUI.  Now, a browser performs the tasks performed
by SAP GUI.
SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) and Mobile Infrastructure (MI) are also developed from these
two solutions (Dynpro and SAP GUI). EP ensures the performance of tasks on the server side
as well as connects user interface to the system logic. The Enterprise Portal also ensures the
synchronization of data in real time. MI ensures the performance of tasks for mobile devices:
mobile phones, PDAs, others.
SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio
SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio was developed based on an earlier SAP solution -
ABAP Workbench. This tool provides a full development environment for Java and ABAP, as
ABAP Workbench provided for ABAP. ABAP Workbench had many advanced features, like
ability to build complex structures out of different smaller components. This is also brought to
the Developer’s Studio under the name: Java Development Infrastructure.
In general, SAP Developer Studio is the most important tool for development on SAP
NetWeaver. It is based on Eclipse framework, which is a toolkit developed by IBM and used to
building development tools.  This framework is shared and easy to use, so SAP decided to
build its development infrastructure based on Eclipse.
So, the Developer Studio has a development environment to build Java applications and
supports editing, managing the source code, building and debugging programs.  Further
more, it includes the development of Web Services features. SAP also claims that in future
Developer Studio would also support other programming languages, except for Java and
Nowadays, most of the developers who write applications for SAP use Developer Studio.
It is used for creation of different SAP and non-SAP products and also for development of
system integrations (integration brokers). As mentioned, the infrastructure that is used to put
various components into complex system is called Java Development Infrastructure (or JDI). It
supports the dictionary of data types and definitions as well as tracking the dependencies
between modules, automatic rebuilding of various libraries. These features were identified by
SAP as the most critical.  However, the most essential advantage of this tool is ability to
use it as an application modeler. Here is where Web Dynpro (mentioned earlier in this sub-
chapter) comes into picture. SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio supports Web Dynpro in order
to allow developers to specify how user interface should look like and act without a need to
code. The code (Java) is then generated automatically based on the view that developers
created. It can be further customized and improved with additional Java code if there is a need
Developer Studio also includes environment for creating user interfaces for mobile
devices (for SAP MI) and a special environment to develop Enterprise Portal (EP) interfaces.
In general, the code, written in SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio, helps to integrate people,
information and processes and makes the jobs of developers more productive and less complex.
 According to SAP, developers, using Developer Studio, spend much more time on adding
value than on coping with simple details. In other words, this tool helps to save money spent on
development and supports innovation.  The code, written in this tool, can be used at any
layer of the system and application that are created using this tool and are run on SAP Web
SAP Composite Application Framework
NetWeaver changed the way SAP applications are working together. Earlier, different
parts of mySAP Business Suite (ERP, CRM, PLM, etc.) were “monoliths”, each using different
functionalities. Now, all these solutions are built as a set of Web Services integrated on the top
of SAP NetWeaver. The most essential change is that user interface is no longer treated as the
central part of the application. This place is taken by reusable Web Services. User interface is
not disappearing, but becomes just a point from which Web Services are initiated. This kind of
architecture makes it possible to create different applications from already existing building
blocks. As an example of this kind of application, a sales order that is present in three different
systems (ERP, SCM and CRM) could be discussed. A sales order could be created in CRM
system and then should automatically appear in other two systems. In this case Web Services
would be used to put all the entered information in three systems, using just one user interface.
This example shows how composite applications work.
A new SAP framework – Composite Application Framework (or SAP CAF) is used as a
modeling and development environment in order to create this kind of composite applications.
In other words, these applications could be described as software that is built using services
provided by other applications.  CAF helps to define these using a role-based and process-
based modeling. It helps to model almost the whole application without the need of coding.
This is a very essential advantage, because when something in the process changes, it is only
the model that needs to be changed and there is no need to change the whole programming
code. That is why SAP NetWeaver is treated as an enabler of business agility.
SAP CAF contains a metadata repository that keeps information to describe objects,
roles, user interfaces and the relationships among these. The metadata is then used to generate
the code. This code is then run on SAP Web Application Server. This is another advantage of
CAF – allowing to create a long code based on few lines of metadata.
SAP CAF, as mentioned, is the tool for modeling, it uses all the components of SAP
NetWeaver as services. It also has built-in collaboration and communication features that allow
seeing and deploying all users’ roles in the composite application.  CAF also includes
special features for controlling different applications. These allow immediate customizations
and improvements. With SAP CAF help, developers can also create flexible processes and see
in the user interface what user is doing step by step in the process (these are called guided
procedures). SAP CAF is also used to create SAP xApps and build them on SAP NetWeaver,
SAP Business Suite or other non-SAP applications. SAP CAF then uses roles, guided
procedures and collaborative functions in order to enable cross-functional processes. 
SAP Solution Manager
SAP Solution Manager was developed based on an earlier solution of SAP - ABAP’s Life
Cycle Management. As SAP is a huge system having a lot of different functionalities, the
development of new features, implementation, installation, configuration, customization and
support are very complex processes. To make these processes easier, SAP developed plenty of
tools and templates. The main tool was – ABAP’s Life Cycle Management. It is now
transformed into SAP Solution Manager. This tool helps during implementation,
customization, monitoring and support projects.
Over 30 years of operations, SAP was supplying its customers the same tool as it used for
managing the lifecycle of its own applications. Now having all the experience in development
and system implementation, SAP provides its customers a tool that really makes a difference.
SAP Solution Manager is a “must have” for all new SAP customers, without it, SAP does not
provide the maintenance of the system services.
SAP Solution Manager enables users to keep track of different versions of the system,
separate various customizations from each other (e.g. FI settings of one country would be very
different from FI setting of another country), make customizations of the system within the tool
and then transport it to the development environment of the system, make use of the wide
SAP Solution Manager is also a framework that helps to configure and manage the
applications in high-availability environment.  It helps to monitor different suite solutions,
NetWeaver components, as well as non-SAP applications. With its help, companies can also
monitor the processes that are carried out inside all these applications. Solution Manager allows
upgrading any of the Business Suite components using the best practices templates that are
built-in. This tool can also be used in order to roll-out an already existing system to other
locations (e.g. a company has several plants and the same functionality should be distributed
into all of them). So having all these advantages in mind, Solution Manager actually helps to
make operations easier and by this minimizes the maintenance of the system costs.
SAP Solution Manager is not a development tool and developers cannot actually write
code in it, so from this perspective, it does not affect the development process itself. However,
the management of the development (as well as other) processes is actually improved when
using this tool. It is treated as one of the most important improvements after the introduction of
SAP NetWeaver. So, as it is a part of SAP NetWeaver and it has an influence on the further
development of SAP solutions, it had to be mentioned in this sub-chapter.
Some other changes in development environment after NetWeaver introduction
Other changes after SAP NetWeaver was introduced would include the changes to
ABAP, SAP Basis, RFCs, ABAP Business Workflow, ALE and Idocs, Report Writer and
Open SQL as used in SAP R/3 is continued to being used in SAP NetWeaver. The
purpose of Open SQL is to give the ability to write programs and run them on various
databases.  The only change to Open SQL in NetWeaver is that it is now available in both
programming languages: ABAP and Java.
What happened to ABAP and SAP Basis was their transformation into SAP Web
Application Server and Java environment. As mentioned before, ABAP is a programming
language invented by SAP and used in order to develop SAP applications. At first, SAP
solutions were written on assembler and abstractions were created using macros.  However,
later SAP identified the need to create a more user-friendly language. This language was
developed based on Cobol and later was transformed to have more object-oriented features
(like Java). SAP claims that the most business process friendly features of ABAP include the
standard functionality for converting currencies, calendar, internationalization features  and
others that are a must have in each enterprise application. According to SAP, while developing
this language they made sure that connections between user interface and application logic is
very easy to develop and maintain. Now, SAP puts its strengths in order to implement other
programming language – Java. So, as mentioned before, SAP applications can now be written
in Java as well.
SAP Basis could be treated as an operating system for SAP. This provides all the
necessary functionality that could be used by SAP applications in order to function properly:
create processes, display date and time, open files, send e-mails, etc. SAP Basis ability to
enable operating system activities is defined in an application server.  This server provides
a possibility to create applications and run them on many different operating systems. The
newest application server that is used by SAP is SAP Web Application Server – a component
of SAP NetWeaver. It is based on J2EE standards. The most important benefit of the new Web
Application Server is that it supports both languages – ABAP and Java (along with all the
features of both).
Remote Function Calls (or RFCs) that were used before are transformed into Web
Services. RFC enables other applications to invoke the functionality of the enterprise
application. In this case, RFCs used to allow external systems to use the functionality of SAP
Business Suite solutions.  These allow developers to create applications and let others to
However, SAP NetWeaver changed the way of invoking the functionality of SAP
Business Suite components. SAP NetWeaver, as mentioned before, works on the basis of Web
Services. As Web Services are easier to understand, this made lives of developers easier. In
order to use RFCs, developers needed to know what exactly this RFC was performing. So, they
were searching for these descriptions in the Business Object Repository of Business Suite
solutions. As Web Services are self-describing, there is no need to search for their definitions.
The descriptions of Web Services could be found in Web Services Description Language file.
Used earlier ABAP Business Workflow becomes a Workflow. ABAP’s Business Workflow
was used in order to define different steps in the process and enable user to automatically go
from one dialog screen to another and from one function module in ABAP program to another.
ABAP Business Workflow allows modelling different chains of business processes and relating
transactions to one another in a certain order, when a process involves one or several users. The
tasks that are assigned to a certain user could be seen in an inbox or a to do list structure. The
workflow is then monitoring the whole process and the correct assignment of tasks to different
users. When using the workflow functionality, developers do not need to write that much code
because it helps to form processes from different activities.
The importance of using this functionality is now understood on various levels of the
processes and is used in different NetWeaver components. For example, SAP Enterprise Portal
uses workflow in order to guide user through different screens, SAP Web Application Server
uses it to handle complex processes. But the most important new feature of the workflow
functionality is a Business Process Management (BPM) feature (SAP XI). This tool helps to
model the process that handles even asynchronous events. 
ALE and IDocs in SAP NetWeaver become Exchange Infrastructure, SAP Master Data
Management, and XML. Application Linking and Embedding (ALE) was used in order to
communicate between SAP R/3 components. From the beginning of SAP as a system,
customers used to have only one SAP R/3 solution. However, with years, SAP was growing
and many more solutions appeared on the market and were installed by SAP customers.
Moreover, SAP was sold to big enterprises that sometimes needed several installations of the
R/3 systems. So the need to connect these systems was a “must have” then. ALE enabled
different types of MD (master data) to be transferred from one SAP system to another. Master
data could be understood as a basic data that needs to be present in the system (data about
customers, materials, vendors, chart of account, etc.), These ALE were based on RFCs,
described earlier, and were solving the problems of transferring data from one application to
Idocs on the other hand, are the format for exchanging different types of information. So,
in SAP case ALE sent Idocs from one R/3 system to another. In general, Idocs are used to send
information between different RFCs. 
With the introduction of SAP NetWeaver this functionality was transformed into a very
complex architecture of information exchange. In the market this called Enterprise Application
Integration, but in SAP case it is an SAP Exchange Infrastructure (or SAP XI). It is a very
complex and functional way of sending and receiving messages between systems and
connecting message formats. Idoc message formats are now replaced with XMLs. Another
SAP NetWeaver component – Master Data Management (MDM) – is taking care of the
functionality that ALE was designed for. It ensures that master data is present in all the system
where it should be.
A very simple Report Writer and ABAP Query tools has now grown into the SAP
Business Intelligence component (SAP BI). In the beginning, report writer tool was meant to be
a very simple tool to create reports. They were a part of SAP R/3 controlling module. ABAP
Query was an interface to create queries in a user-friendly (at that time) manner. It worked on
the Open SQL layer. 
Later, the importance of information consolidation and different reports was understood
and this functionality was started to enhance. First module of the reporting and information
consolidation was called a Business Warehouse. It included complex reporting and information
analysis tools (like OLAP – Online Analytical Processing). The newest version of the
information analysis tools is the component of the SAP NetWeaver – SAP Business
Intelligence (SAP BI). This component allows collecting and consolidating the information
from different sources. SAP BI OLAP enables to analyze this information from different
So, summing these changes up, it is obvious that Enterprise SOA changed the way
systems are developed. In other words, SAP NetWeaver is a whole new toolkit for developing
SAP applications and these tools put together are bringing the new programming model to life.
With help of re-usable services developers can build different kinds of applications in shorter
time and all other tools are helping to make the development process easier.
In general, SAP NetWeaver brought many changes to the way SAP solutions are
developed, but these changes are more connected with the changing programming environment
as a whole than the revolutionary thinking of SAP. The development tools that form SAP
NetWeaver are not new, but enhanced old environments used to develop and integrate SAP
4.4. SAP NetWeaver impact on SAP implementation
Implementation of SAP solutions is a long lasting and costly process. So, in order to
standardize it, SAP came up with an implementation methodology. This methodology and
supporting software tools are being developed all the time. Before SAP NetWeaver was
introduced consulting companies used ASAP (Accelerated SAP) implementation methodology
and few tools that helped to make this process easier. These tools were: ValueSAP, which
contained all the roadmap descriptions and templates of different documents; Q&A database,
which could be used in order to keep the documentation connected with the current project.
However, with introduction of SAP NetWeaver, SAP Solution Manager replaced these tools.
The methodology used for SAP implementation did not change a lot and is presented on Figure
Phase 0 - Planning Phase 1 – Project preparation
1. Define project goals 1. Develop project plan
2. Develop SAP implementation strategy 2. Define business process re-engineering
3. Conceptualize the new system tasks
4. Budget, project schedule
Phase 2 – Business Blueprint
1. Design new business processes
2. Configure the system
3. Define add-on functionality to be developed
4. Approve the project plan
Phase 3.1 Realization Phase 3.1 Realization Phase 3.1 Realization
Baseline prototype Final Scope Integration testing
1. Define the main new 1. Complete testing of the 1. Final testing of the new
process new business process system
2. Complete system 2. Develop and conduct unit 2. Conduct a cutover
configuration testing rehearsal
3. Design add-on 3. Create a migration plan 3. Create operation manual
functionality 4. Create a training plan 4. Conduct user trainings
4. Prepare master data 5. Create a system operating 5. System and tolerance
5.Create overall migration plan testing
Phase 5 – Go live and support Phase 4 – Final preparation
1. Post go live support 1. User acceptance testing
2. Evaluate implementation benefits 2. End-user training
3. Close project 3. Complete migration preparation
4. Final migration
5. Project confirmation
Figure 4.7. ASAP implementation methodology 
As seen, the process of implementation starts with the planning and preparations for the
project phases and ends with the support project. The methodology had all the same steps
before NetWeaver as well. However, after NetWeaver was introduced (in particular its
component Solution Manager), it became much easier to carry out all the steps needed in order
to implement the system. As mentioned before, Solution Manager is a tool that helps to manage
different types of processes. It supports the whole lifecycle of the system, mainly focusing on
six areas – requirement analysis, design, development, deployment, operation and optimization.
The tool is running on the separate central system and all other SAP systems are connected to
SAP Solution Manager has this functionality that optimizes the implementation process
• It provides all kinds of document and functionality templates for implementation,
upgrade, maintenance, rollout projects.
• It is aligned to the ASAP methodology and provides roadmaps for different types
of projects (e.g. implementation roadmap covers the project management,
configuration of business processes, testing and trainings, and technical activities).
• It has Business Process Repository of SAP best practices.
• It offers an eLearning feature that enables online trainings of SAP functionality.
• It allows storing testing results in a special storage repository. This makes testing
results available all the time.
• It has a built in Helpdesk feature that is available either online or in the SAP
system itself. Helpdesk is connected to Change Request Management
functionality. This simplifies the process of changes transportation to the
• It has many built-in reports that help to monitor the implementation process.
• It has central documentation storage – Knowledge Warehouse – that allows
keeping any kinds of documents connected with the project.
• It is connected to SAP Service Market Place, an online repository, where all the
documentation about any of SAP solutions is stored.
As seen, SAP Solution Manager not only helps to manage the development process as
explained in the earlier chapter, but also optimizes the whole system implementation process. It
has a built-in functionality that helps to gather requirement for the system, facilitates the
customization and development process, enables an easier deployment and makes the support
and maintenance projects much easier. SAP Solution Manager is free of charge (when
implementing any of SAP solutions) and is a “must have” for all new SAP customers.
4.5. SAP NetWeaver influence on project actors
As SAP NetWeaver influence on project actors is not studied in the literature, this
information was gained by carrying out the survey of SAP NetWeaver consultants. The survey
aimed to get opinions and insights of SAP professionals about SAP NetWeaver effects on
different business actors. It consisted of 20 survey questions that were divided into 4 main parts
according to focus of questions: general introductory questions, SAP NetWeaver effects on
customers, SAP NetWeaver effects on developers, SAP NetWeaver effects on consultants.
Some optional open interview questions were added in the end of the survey (these were used
to structure the chapter). All the survey questions are provided in the Appendix 2.
The survey was published via an online survey site – www.surveygizmo.com (see
Appendix 3 for detailed view). 200 SAP consultants, architects and IT specialists were sent an
email with the link to the survey. All of the invitees were selected from the IBM SAP
NetWeaver specialist list.
The overall response ratio of the survey is % 21 with 42 responses in total. Geographic
distribution is very spread all around the world. There are responses from USA, Brazil, India,
UK, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and South Africa. SAP experience
of respondents ranges from 1 to 14 years with average of 3.85 years.
As mentioned, the first part of the survey had some general introductory questions about
SOA market growth and the importance of SAP NetWeaver to SAP as a company and as a
system. The first question aimed to measure the general growth rate of SOA market (SOA
customers, new middleware) in three years. The answers were ranging from 1 (very low) to 5
(very high) with average result of 3.8. This means that IT specialists believe that SOA is going
to grow quite rapidly in the next 3 years. None of the respondents answered that SOA is going
to grow very slowly (1) or slowly (2).
The next questions of this part had the same structure with the answers ranging from very
low to very high. Respondents were offered to measure general SAP market share growth,
evaluate the effect of NetWeaver as the competitive advantage on SAP as a system and as a
company. The average expected growth of SAP market share according to respondents is 3.5
out of 5. % 16.7 of participants expect very high (5), % 40.5 of participant expect high (4), %
33.3 of participants expect average (3), and % 4.8 participants expect low growth rate for SAP
market share in overall SOA market for the following three years. The expectation for SAP
growth is positive. However, it is a bit under the whole market growth.
Respondents feel that SAP NetWeaver is very important for SAP as a system in order to
compete in ERP market. The average score for the question “How important will be SAP
NetWeaver for SAP from the perspective of competition in ERP market” is 4.4 out of 5.
Similar result is gained for the question about NetWeaver influence on SAP as a company.
Average score is 4.3 out of 5. % 40.5 of participants think that NetWeaver has very high
importance (5) on success of SAP as a company, whereas % 50 of participants think the
importance is high (4).
After the general questions on SOA market growth as well as basic understanding of SAP
place in the SOA market and NetWeaver effects on SAP as a system and as a company, the
respondents were offered to answer the main questions of the survey about NetWeaver
influence on project actors.
4.5.1. SAP customers
Second part of the survey focused on research of SAP NetWeaver effects on customers. It
started with 1 to 5 scale questions as well as the first part. First question was evaluating the
difference between SAP NetWeaver-based and pre-NetWeaver solutions for SAP customers.
General opinion was there is a considerable difference between pre-NetWeaver and NetWeaver
based solutions for SAP customers with the 3.9 out 5.0 average score.
As SAP claims NetWeaver helps to spread the information all over enterprise, next
question aimed to measure to which extent SAP NetWeaver helps enterprises to solve their
information coherence and availability challenges. % 21.4 of participants rated NetWeaver as
totally solving this problem (5), % 54.8 of participants rated it as solving it to a higher extent
(4) and % 21.4 of participants rated it as solving the information availability problems to a
medium extent (3). Results show that SAP NetWeaver plays an important role for enterprises
to solve these particular problems.
Third question was about the level of benefits gained from common user interface
provided by SAP NetWeaver to SAP customers. Again, most of the respondents agreed on high
benefits of NetWeaver user interface for customers. The average score was 4.1 out of 5.0 and
the distribution of ratings is as follows: % 31 for very high, % 50 for high and % 19 for average
benefits. These results exhibit the essentiality of common user interfaces for applications as
well as effect on success of SAP NetWeaver.
Following question was investigating if it is worth for customers who have pre-
NetWeaver SAP versions to upgrade their systems to NetWeaver-based solutions. Majority of
respondents thinks that it is worth to make this change. % 23.8 of respondents think that this
change is very necessary (5) whereas % 57.1 of respondents agree that it is necessary (4). %
14.3 of respondents feel that this change is slightly important (3) and only one respondent
voted that this change is not really necessary.
Another question was measuring to what extent SAP NetWeaver can help enterprises to
have a better integration between SAP and non-SAP Systems. Results exhibit that SAP
NetWeaver has considerable benefits for integration issues as well. % 38.1 respondents gave
very high (5) and % 38.1 gave high (4) rating for the integration capabilities of NetWeaver. %
21.4 of respondents thinks that NetWeaver has only medium impact on integration between
SAP and non-SAP Systems (3), whereas one of respondents thinks that the impact is low (2).
The next question had a different structure. It was asking respondents to choose the most
valuable benefits of SAP NetWeaver to SAP customers. It was a multiple-choice question and
respondents could pick as much options as they want. Respondents were free to add their own
opinions about benefits of SAP NetWeaver that were not among options. “Ability to reuse
existing applications and integrate them on one platform” was selected as the most valuable
benefit by % 71.43 of the participants. The second popular answer was “Better user experience
with advanced common portal interface” with % 64.29 votes and “Improved reporting and
centralized master data management” was selected third by % 61.90 of respondents.
“Advanced integration with external partners for managing data” by % 59.52, “Ability to create
innovative business processes” by % 54.76 and “Ability to adapt to changes by rapidly re-
organizing business processes” selected as most valuable benefits of SAP NetWeaver by %
52.38 of respondents. The least two popular answers were “Access to any kind of information
from any source at any time” and “Reduced TCO” with % 42.86 and % 38.1 percent
respectively. More than this options participants added: “Same code base” and “Unicode
enablement” as another valuable benefits of SAP NetWeaver for customers. The answers of the
respondents are visualized on the figure 4.8.
Ability to reuse Better user Improved Advanced Ability to Ability to adapt Access to Reduced TCO Other
existing experience reporting and integration with create to changes inform ation
applications centralized external innovative
MDM partners business
Figure 4.8. SAP NetWeaver benefits to SAP customers
In order to be objective difficulties brought by SAP NetWeaver to customers were studied
as well as benefits. The most usual drawback was “Lack of skilled personnel” since NetWeaver
does not have a very long history. % 76.19 of participants thought it is the most difficult side of
SAP NetWeaver for customers. However, it is not a drawback of the technology itself. “Since it
is still quite new and changing infrastructure it might have some technical as well as logical
drawbacks” is selected as the following major difficulty by % 64.29 of the participants. So it
can be said that the most difficulties related with NetWeaver arise due to the problems of a new
solution (and each solution would have these). Other difficulties that would be brought by SAP
NetWeaver to SAP customers were “Need to change the way of thinking and culture” selected
by % 45.24, “Additional investment costs” by % 35.71 and “Difficulties to understand, so there
is a need to hire NetWeaver consultants” by % 35.71 of respondents. These answers could be
seen on figure 4.9.
Lack of T echnical as Need to Need to hire Additional Other
skilled well as logical change the NetWeaver investment
personnel drawbacks way of consultants costs
Figure 4.9. SAP NetWeaver drawbacks for SAP customers
More than those answers “Lack of exposure to NetWeaver products” was named as
another drawback of the NetWeaver technology.
4.5.2. SAP developers
The next survey part focused on NetWeaver influence on SAP developers. It also started
with 1 to 5 rating based questions. The first question asked to rate the difference between the
development of NetWeaver-based solutions and pre-NetWeaver SAP solutions. The average
rating was 3.4 out of 5 that can be described as slightly different. Half of the respondents think
that the difference between development of NetWeaver-based solutions and pre-NetWeaver
SAP solutions are high (4). % 7.1 of respondents think that this difference is very high (5),
whereas % 26.2 of respondents see it as average (3).
Following question was about the ability of SAP NetWeaver to attract more developers
thanks to its more open environment. Responses of participants were optimistic. % 11.9 of
respondents considered the possibility to be very high (5) and also % 45.2 of respondents
consider the possibility to be high (4). % 33.3 give 3 out of 5 for the possibility and % 4.8 do
not think that it is possible (2).
Next question was about the possibility of SAP NetWeaver to help developers in creating
better applications in a shorter time. Responses were quite similar to the previous question. %
45.2 of respondents consider the possibility high (4) and % 9.5 very high (5). % 38.1 rated this
possibility as average and % 5 of respondents evaluated the possibility as low.
For this part respondents were also able to select the main benefits and drawbacks of SAP
NetWeaver for SAP developers. The most popular benefit was “Better development
infrastructure” with selection of % 64.29 of respondents. “Ability to reuse services in different
processes” and “Common approach for different development processes” were other benefits
selected by % 59.52 and % 50 of the respondents respectively. % 45.24 selected “Extensible
best practices supported by NetWeaver” as another important benefit. “Easier development
processes” and “Less complex development environment” are the least selected benefits by %
30.95 and % 28.57 of survey respondents respectively. The respondent as another benefit of
SAP NetWeaver adds “Easy user interface for content development”. The answers are
visualized on figure 4.10.
Better developm ent Ability to reuse Com mon approach Extensible best Less com plex Easier developm ent Other
infrastructure services in different for different practices development processes
processes developm ent environm ent
Figure 4.10. SAP NetWeaver benefits for SAP developers
“Need to learn new technologies” is rated as the biggest challenge of SAP NetWeaver by
% 71.43 of respondents. “Need to learn new development methods” by % 69.05 and “More
complex system architecture” by % 61.9 of the respondents were second and third drawback.
Need to learn new Need to learn new More com plex sy stem Less docum entation Lack of educational Other
technologies developm ent m ethods architecture and sources and professional
Figure 4.11. SAP NetWeaver drawbacks for SAP developers
“Less documentation and sources” and “Lack of educational and professional support”
were the last options selected by participants with % 40.48 and % 30.95 of votes respectively.
One participant also mentioned “Missing old debugging like in ABAP” as another challenge
brought by SAP NetWeaver to developers.
4.5.3. SAP consultants
NetWeaver influence on SAP consultants was the last area to research on survey. First
question was how big is the difference between implementing SAP NetWeaver-based solutions
and pre-NetWeaver solutions for SAP consultants with ratings from 1 (very low) to 5 (very
high). % 38.1 of respondents evaluated this difference as high (4), whereas % 16.7 mentioned it
as very high (5). % 35.7 of respondents considered the difference as average and % 7.1 thinks
that the difference is low (2). So it can be said that there is quite a big difference for SAP
consultants to implement SAP based on SAP NetWeaver.
The next question was investigating if there is enough experienced SAP consultant to
meet the demand for SAP NetWeaver. This was the question with the most distributed answers.
The ratio of people who totally agree that there is enough experienced consultants is % 7.1 (5).
% 14.3 stated that they believe there is enough (4) experienced consultant for SAP NetWeaver.
% 35.7 of participants prefer to stay neutral (3). % 28.6 think that there are not enough (2)
experienced SAP NetWeaver consultants and also % 14.3 totally disagree (1) with the
sufficiency of NetWeaver consultants.
In this part, the multiple-choice questions were introduced again in order to find out the
benefits and drawbacks of SAP NetWeaver for SAP Consultants. “Ability to easier integrate
SAP and non-SAP applications” selected as the major benefit by % 64.29 of respondents. %
57.14 see “More specializations like MDM Consultants, BI consultants, etc.” as considerable
benefit and % 47.62 think that “Improved system governance” is very beneficial for
consultants. “Centralized master data management” is selected by % 38.1 and “Improved
change management” by % 35.71 of respondents as other benefits of SAP NetWeaver. The
benefits of SAP NetWeaver are also presented on figure 4.12. In this part, more IT specialists
added their own opinion about the main benefits of SAP NetWeaver for consultants. Among
• Ability create a greater impact to the business
• Availability of integrated technology and much better portal availability
• Common components
• Model Driven Approach
Ability to easier More specializations Im proved sy stem Centralized MDM Im proved change Other
integrate SAP and governance m anagem ent
Figure 4.12. SAP NetWeaver benefits for SAP consultants
As to drawbacks, “Need to learn new technologies” is the major problem recognized by
% 66.67 of the respondents. “Few recent projects to get experience” followed as a second
challenge with % 57.14 and “Need to explain the customers a more complex system
architecture” with % 54.76 rating. Also half of respondents voted for “Changed implementation
method” as a challenge for SAP consultants brought by SAP NetWeaver. One participant stated
“Needs to change the customer psychology as well as expectation from consultants” as another
big challenge waiting for SAP consultants. The drawbacks of SAP NetWeaver brought to SAP
consultants are presented in figure 4.13.
Need to learn Few recent Need to explain Changed Other
new projects to get the customers a implementation
technologies experience more complex method
Figure 4.12. SAP NetWeaver drawbacks for SAP consultants
These are the results of the survey. The whole report of the survey is presented in
appendix 4. The results of the survey are also discussed in the next section – Conclusions.
There are certain conclusions that can be made after analyzing SAP, SOA, SAP NetWeaver
literature and carrying out the survey in order to find out the impact of SAP NetWeaver on
1. SAP history shows the ability of this company to adapt quickly to changes in the
market, fulfil customer needs and achieve customer satisfaction. SAP is evolving
together with the technologies and does not give up the first position in the ERP
solutions market, extending its functionality further to CRM, SRM, PLM, SCM and
2. SOA is the new trend in the system architecture market, but could be seen as an
evolution rather than revolution in this sphere. It puts services, as business people
understand them (filling up an online form, making a money transfer), as a central
component of the architecture. Most of the IT companies admit SOA benefits and try to
adapt its main principles in their technologies.
3. SAP was one of the first software companies to adapt SOA principles introducing its
integration platform – SAP NetWeaver.
4. SAP NetWeaver is a brand name that covers well-known SAP development and
integration tools with enriched functionality. They form an integration platform for SAP
and non-SAP application. SAP NetWeaver is divided into six main components (EP,
BI, XI, MDM, MI, AS) that ensure better people, information and processes integration.
In order to make it easier to understand for the customers SAP also presents NetWeaver
as a set of IT practices and scenarios.
5. Other IT companies also offer some SOA-based solutions, however, it is quite difficult
to compare them to SAP NetWeaver as every company has its own view on what
should be under SOA and what should not. The main solutions that could be compared
to SAP NetWeaver are: IBM WebSphere, Oracle Fusion, BEA AquaLogic, and
6. It is obvious that SAP NetWeaver changed three-tier SAP architecture to SOA-based
SAP architecture allowing users to perform user-specific functions and workflows and
re-use existing non-SAP system functions.
7. SAP NetWeaver helped to ensure a better integration of SAP solutions forming mySAP
Business Suite. Now all the systems use shared authorization and authentication as well
as other functionality. SAP NetWeaver also provides tools to develop missing
integrations with other non-SAP systems.
8. SAP NetWeaver, as mentioned, is formed from various enriched tools that help to
develop further SAP applications. In this sense SAP NetWeaver makes the development
process faster and easier, ensuring the re-use of existing functions.
9. Implementation of SAP solutions method did not change after the introduction of SAP
NetWeaver. However, SAP Solution Manager is a tool that helps to monitor and control
the implementation process much better than before.
10. According to SAP NetWeaver specialists, SOA market (new customers, new software
solutions) is going to grow rapidly in the following three years. However, the growth
rate of SAP is believed to be slower than the overall growth of the market.
11. SAP NetWeaver specialists also claim that SAP NetWeaver is an important competitive
advantage of SAP as a company as well as a system in the ERP market.
12. The impact of SAP NetWeaver on SAP customers is believed to be high, with the main
benefits being: the ability to re-use existing applications and a better user experience
thanks to common user interface. The main drawbacks brought by SAP NetWeaver to
SAP customers are: lack of skilled personnel and possible logical and technical
drawbacks, as it is still a new solution. It is also noticed that NetWeaver brings more
benefits than drawbacks, with latter being quite little.
13. SAP NetWeaver effects on SAP developers are smaller than on customers as the tools
used for the development of new applications are the same just with enriched
functionality. However, NetWeaver specialists admit that it brings a much better
development infrastructure than before. Moreover, ability to re-use processes is also
very beneficial. However, there are also some drawbacks brought by SAP Net Weaver
to developers: need to learn new technologies and development methods. These
drawbacks are more connected with NetWeaver being a new, rather than bad
14. According to SAP specialists the impact of SAP NetWeaver on SAP consultants is the
least among the three analyzed business partners. It is believed that the main benefits of
SAP NetWeaver are: ability to integrate SAP and non-SAP applications and more
specializations for SAP consultants. The drawbacks are: need to learn new technologies
and lack of experience. So, according to that, with more ongoing project SAP
NetWeaver would bring more benefits.
We would like to appreciate the impact of people, who helped to make this thesis possible. Our
interviewees and respondents at various positions: Edas Kazlauskas (SAP BI/MDM
Consultant) and Norbert Oberndorfer (SAP ABAP Consultant). Our appreciation also goes to
all the respondents to our online survey from all over the world, who gave us a very important
input for our research and great inspiration. We are also grateful to IBM company for
allowance to use valuable resources. Our special thank goes to supervisor of this thesis Mark
Smith for his time and energy put on this research for guiding us and evaluating our works. We
also appreciate our classmates for their support in various ways.
Appendix 1. SAP History from 1972 till now
MySAP.com – one software
Full solution provider
platform multi SAP provider for worldwide
7341 mln services; SAP employees
Internet EUR revenue Netweaver
multi-product 28400 29 000 customers in
vendor employees employees 120 countries
1892 mln 15000 20 500
EUR revenue customers in customers in
120 countries 120 countries
R/3 – Client/Server
424 mln EUR 70 countries
R/2 - Mainframe 3200
5.1 mln EUR
R/1 revenue 2800
60 employees customers in
0.3 mln EUR 50 customers
revenue in 2 countries
1972 1979 …. 1992 1996 2001 2003 Today
Figure 1. SAP development1
Sources: http://www7.sap.com/about/investor/pdf/SAP_Cheuvreux_19_Jan_2004.pdf (2007 10 24); and
http://www.sap.com/about/index.epx (2007 11 06)
Appendix 2. Survey and interview questions
General - SOA
What is your expectation of growth rate of overall SOA market (SOA
customers, new middleware) in three years?
No growth 1 2 3 4 5 Huge growth
What is your expectation of growth rate of SAP market share in SOA
Market in three years?
No growth 1 2 3 4 5 Huge growth
How important will be SAP NetWeaver for SAP from the perspective of
competition in ERP market?
Not important 1 2 3 4 5 Very Important
How important do you think is the influence of SAP NetWeaver on success
of SAP overall as a company?
Not important 1 2 3 4 5 Very Important
Effects on customers
How big do you think is the difference between SAP NetWeaver-based
solutions comparing to pre-NetWeaver solutions for SAP customers?
Not Big 1 2 3 4 5 Very Big
How do you think SAP NetWeaver helps enterprises to solve information
(spread all over enterprise) coherence and availability challenges?
Does not help 1 2 3 4 5 Helps a lot
What do you think about the benefits of improved common user interface
provided by SAP NetWeaver to SAP customers?
Not Beneficial 1 2 3 4 5 Very Beneficial
How important do you think would be the benefits for SAP customers who
would upgrade their pre-NetWeaver SAP solution to NetWeaver based
Not Beneficial 1 2 3 4 5 Very Beneficial
To what extent do you think SAP NetWeaver helps enterprises to have
better integration between SAP and non SAP Systems?
Not Beneficial 1 2 3 4 5 Very Beneficial
What do you think are the most valuable benefits for customers?
a. Ability to reuse existing applications and integrate them on one
b. Ability to adapt to changes by rapidly re-organizing business
c. Ability to create innovative business processes
d. Better user experience with advanced common portal interface
e. Access to any kind of information from any source at any time
f. Advanced integration with external partners for managing data
g. Improved reporting and centralized master data management
h. Reduced TCO
i. Other _________________________
What do you think are the difficulties brought by SAP NetWeaver to SAP
a. Since it is still quite new and changing infrastructure it might have
some technical as well as logical drawbacks
b. It is difficult to understand, so there is a need to hire NetWeaver
c. Need to change the way of thinking and culture
d. Lack of skilled personnel
e. Additional investment costs
f. Other __________________________
Effects on developers
How big do you think is the difference between the development of
NetWeaver-based solutions and pre-NetWeaver SAP solutions?
Not Big 1 2 3 4 5 Very Big
What is the possibility that open environment of SAP NetWeaver would
attract more developers to build applications for SAP?
Not Big 1 2 3 4 5 Very Big
What is the possibility that SAP Netweaver would help developers to create better applications
in a shorter time?
Not Big 1 2 3 4 5 Very Big
What do you think are most valuable benefits for developers?
a. Ability to reuse services in different processes
b. Better development infrastructure
c. Extensible best practices supported by NetWeaver
d. Easier development processes
e. Less complex development environment
f. Common approach for different development processes
What do you think are the most important challenges brought by SAP
NetWeaver to developers?
a. Need to learn new technologies
b. Need to learn new development methods
c. More complex system architecture
d. Less documentation and sources
e. Lack of educational and professional support
f. Other _________________________
Effects on consultants
How big do you think is the difference between implementing SAP
NetWeaver-based solutions and pre-NetWeaver solutions for SAP
Not Big 1 2 3 4 5 Very Big
To what extent do you agree that there is enough experienced SAP
consultant to meet the demand for SAP NetWeaver ("Very high" meaning
Not Big 1 2 3 4 5 Very Big
What do you think are the most valuable benefits for SAP Consultants
implementing SAP NetWeaver based solutions?
a. More specializations (MDM Consultants, BI consultants, etc.)
b. Centralized master data management
c. Improved system governance
d. Improved change management
e. Ability to easier integrate SAP and non-SAP applications
f. Other _________________________
What do you think are the biggest challenges brought by SAP NetWeaver to
a. Changed implementation method
b. Need to explain the customers a more complex system
c. Need to learn new technologies
d. Few recent projects to get experience (or lack of experience)
e. Other _____________________________
What are the benefits of SAP NetWeaver from perspectives of:
- SAP as a company (to compete in ERP market)
- SAP Partners (Consultants, Hardware suppliers, Other Software partners)
Why SAP needed to have a platform like NetWeaver? What are the reasons
that made SAP to come up with NetWeaver?
What was the process of developing new SAP solutions before NetWeaver?
What were the problems, difficulties or restrictions? How NetWeaver helped
to overcome these issues?
What kind of vulnerabilities there could be due to more open development
environment of SAP NetWeaver?
What would be your suggestions for the next versions of SAP NetWeaver?
Which parts should be developed and enhanced more?
Appendix 3. Survey website
Figure 1. SAP NetWeaver survey
Figure 2. SAP NetWeaver survey (continued)
Appendix 4. The survey report
1. What is your occupation?
Value Count Percent %
Consultant 6 14.29%
SAP Netweaver Consultant 3 7.14%
IT Architect 2 4.76%
SAP BI Consultant 2 4.76%
SAP Consulting 2 4.76%
Application Architect (SAP Netweaver Composite Appliation & eSOA) 1 2.38%
consultant/system administrator 1 2.38%
Consulting Manager SAP NW 1 2.38%
Developer 1 2.38%
I/T Architect 1 2.38%
IBM SAP ABAP Consultant 1 2.38%
IT Specialist 1 2.38%
MBA 1 2.38%
Netweaver administrator consultant 1 2.38%
Netweaver Consultant 1 2.38%
S/w Engineer 1 2.38%
SAP Basis Consult 1 2.38%
SAP Business Consultant 1 2.38%
SAP BW & SEM-BPS Consultant 1 2.38%
SAP NetWeaver 2004 BI Consultant 1 2.38%
SAP Netweaver architect 1 2.38%
SAP Netweaver BI consultant 1 2.38%
SAP Netweaver Portal Sr. Consultant 1 2.38%
SAP NW Basis 1 2.38%
SAP security consultant 1 2.38%
SAP Senior Consultant 1 2.38%
SAP XI Consultant 1 2.38%
Senior Consultant 1 2.38%
Senior IT Consultant SAP 1 2.38%
Senior Manager 1 2.38%
Software Consultant 1 2.38%
Technology Consultant 1 2.38%
2. How much experience do you have with SAP NetWeaver (in years):
Value Count Percent %
2 11 26.19%
3 8 19.05%
1 5 11.90%
4 5 11.90%
5 4 9.52%
0 1 2.38%
10 1 2.38%
14 1 2.38%
15 1 2.38%
2+ 1 2.38%
2.5 1 2.38%
4.5 1 2.38%
8 1 2.38%
9 1 2.38%
3. GENERAL SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) QUESTIONS
Very Very Not
Item High Normal Low Total
High Low Applicable
What is your expectation of
growth rate of overall SOA
19.0%8 59.5%25 16.7%7 - - 4.8%2 42
market (SOA customers, new
middleware) in three years?
What is your expectation of
growth rate of SAP market
16.7%7 40.5%17 33.3%14 4.8%2 - 4.8%2 42
share in SOA Market in three
How important will be SAP
NetWeaver for SAP from the
47.6%20 45.2%19 7.1%3 - - - 42
perspective of competition in
How important do you think is
the influence of SAP
40.5%17 50.0%21 9.5%4 - - - 42
NetWeaver on success of SAP
overall as a company?
Average %: 31.0% 48.8% 16.7% 1.2% 0.0% 2.4%
4. EFFECTS ON CUSTOMERS
Very Very Not
Item High Average Low Total
High Low Applicable
How big do you think is the 19.0%8 59.5%25 16.7%7 2.4%1 - 2.4%1 42
difference between SAP
comparing to pre-NetWeaver
solutions for SAP customers?
How do you think SAP
NetWeaver helps enterprises to
solve information (spread all 21.4%9 54.8%23 21.4%9 2.4%1 - - 42
over enterprise) coherence and
What do you think about the
benefits of improved common
31.0%13 50.0%21 19.0%8 - - - 42
user interface provided by SAP
Netweaver to SAP customers?
How important do you think
would be the benefits for SAP
customers who would upgrade
23.8%10 57.1%24 14.3%6 2.4%1 - 2.4%1 42
their pre-Netweaver SAP
solution to NetWeaver based
To what extent do you think
SAP NetWeaver helps
enterprises to have better 38.1%16 38.1%16 21.4%9 2.4%1 - - 42
integration between SAP and
non SAP Systems?
Average %: 26.7% 51.9% 18.6% 1.9% 0.0% 1.0%
5. What do you think are the most valuable benefits for customers?
Value Count Percent %
Ability to reuse existing applications and integrate them on one platform 30 71.43%
Better user experience with advanced common portal interface 27 64.29%
Improved reporting and centralized master data management 26 61.90%
Advanced integration with external partners for managing data 25 59.52%
Ability to create innovative business processes 23 54.76%
Ability to adapt to changes by rapidly re-organizing business processes 22 52.38%
Access to any kind of information from any source at any time 18 42.86%
Reduced TCO 16 38.10%
same code base 1 2.38%
unicode enablemant 1 2.38%
6. What do you think are the difficulties brought by SAP NetWeaver to SAP customer?
Lack of skilled personnel 32 76.19%
Since it is still quite new and changing infrastructure it might have some
technical as well as logical drawbacks
Need to change the way of thinking and culture 19 45.24%
It is difficult to understand, so there is a need to hire NetWeaver consultants 15 35.71%
Additional investment costs 15 35.71%
lack of exposure to Netweaver products 1 2.38%
Other than the Java bits the technology is the same. A big problem is the
constant product renames.
7. EFFECTS ON DEVELOPERS
Very Very Not
Item High Average Low Total
High Low Applicable
How big do you think is the
difference between the
development of NetWeaver- 7.1%3 52.4%22 26.2%11 9.5%4 - 4.8%2 42
based solutions and pre-
NetWeaver SAP solutions?
What is the possibility that open
environment of SAP Netweaver
11.9%5 45.2%19 33.3%14 4.8%2 - 4.8%2 42
would attract more developers
to build applications for SAP?
What is the possibility that SAP
Netweaver would help
9.5%4 45.2%19 38.1%16 4.8%2 - 2.4%1 42
developers to create better
applications in a shorter time?
Average %: 9.5% 47.6% 32.5% 6.3% 0.0% 4.0%
8. What do you think are most valuable benefits for developers?
Value Count Percent %
Better development infrastructure 27 64.29%
Ability to reuse services in different processes 25 59.52%
Common approach for different development processes 21 50.00%
Extensible best practices supported by NetWeaver 19 45.24%
Less complex development environment 13 30.95%
Easier development processes 12 28.57%
Easy and SAP are mutually exclusive terms 1 2.38%
Easy UI's for content development 1 2.38%
9. What do you think are the most important challenges brought by SAP NetWeaver to
Value Count Percent %
Need to learn new technologies 30 71.43%
Need to learn new development methods 29 69.05%
More complex system architecture 26 61.90%
Less documentation and sources 17 40.48%
Lack of educational and professional support 13 30.95%
Missing old debugging like in ABAP 1 2.38%
10. EFFECTS ON CONSULTANTS
Very Very Not
Item High Normal Low Total
High Low Applicable
How big do you think is the
NetWeaver-based solutions 16.7%7 38.1%16 35.7%15 7.1%3 - 2.4%1 42
solutions for SAP
To what extent do you agree
that there is enough
experienced SAP consultant
7.1%3 14.3%6 35.7%15 28.6%12 14.3%6 - 42
to meet the demand for SAP
Netweaver ("Very high"
meaning totaly agree)?
Average %: 11.9% 26.2% 35.7% 17.9% 7.1% 1.2%
11. What do you think are the most valuable benefits for SAP Consultants implementing
SAP NetWeaver based solutions?
Ability to easier integrate SAP and non-SAP applications 27 64.29%
More specializations (MDM Consultants, BI consultants, etc.) 24 57.14%
Improved system governance 20 47.62%
Centralized master data management 16 38.10%
Improved change management 15 35.71%
Ability create a greater impact to the business 1 2.38%
Availability of integrated technology and Much better Portal avaulablility
starting from EP6 SR1
Collaboration 1 2.38%
common components 1 2.38%
don´t under stand question 1 2.38%
Model Driven Approach 1 2.38%
12. What do you think are the biggest challenges brought by SAP NetWeaver to SAP
Need to learn new technologies 28 66.67%
Few recent projects to get experience 24 57.14%
Need to explain the customers a more complex system architecture 23 54.76%
Changed implementation method 21 50.00%
Customer psychology needs to change as well as expectation from
What are the benefits of SAP NetWeaver from perspectives of:
- SAP as a company (to compete in ERP market)
- SAP Partners (Consultants, Hardware suppliers, Other Software partners)
6013707 Consultants: SAP is niche, but a big challenge to master and keep up-to-date
-SAP as a company - It can get more market share as it allows custiomer to reduce
6012958 TCO, ease of administration -SAP Partners - They have to trained more consultants
for netweaver technologies has to gear up to meet the challenges
For SAP it's a great idea once they are forecasting the step ahead on what would be
needed / what is needed for an Enterprise once they have implemented the full
ERP(like the business one). What usually is needed is a more integrated scenario plus
a better user interface and SAP NetWeaver technology family comes with this
purpose. For Consultants and Suppliers it's "next step" and at same time a new
"world"(not totally known), they must explored it.
SAP has to move to SOA to compete in the ERP market. It is not an option. At the
same time, they are challenged on how to expose themselves via services and be able
to make money. The re-tooling of skills, hardware, and software is disruptive. This
disruption offers opportunities.
Allowed open development and introduced JAVA applications which helps in
integrating NON SAP applications without third party solutions. Allows Partners to
6020480 work with ramp-up releases and help them to design solutions before actual release
which helps in understanding the issues in the pre-release and by the time actual
release available SAP will have much better solution.
Many large companies have already implemented SAP, so there's a customer base to
work from (at some release level).
SAP: enlarge software spectrum Partners: develop new services, new processes on
Highly beneficial for SAP because it is integrated and there is no need for 3rd party
A more or less common platform helps, as the base tech is reused by most
components. This lowers the cost for SAP development, documentation and delivery
for SAP as a company. Consultants will benefit by seeing a more consistent
landscape to work in.
SAP has tried its level best to give the customers best it can provide as far as industry
solutions are concerned . SAP has to work more aggresively with Partners like IBM
and promote database DB2 UDB which as far my experience goes has more to offer
SAP As a company - competitiveness, upper hand at ERP. SAP Partners - more
project & consulting opportunities
Common platform, common standards. It's easier to integrate different solutions.
Means bigger competition among suppliers.
Netweaver is a stepping stone towards SOA .. SAP's core business is ERP and SAP
as an ERP is quite good -- but contradicting to SOA ERP is tightly integtrated with
complex dependencies with proprietory closed products. With Netweaver SAP can
utilise the open systems and agile software development.
Why SAP needed to have a platform like NetWeaver? What are the reasons that made
SAP to come up with NetWeaver?
6012888 Strategy that one system covers all is not longer viable
It's very much needed to integrate all OLTP/OLAP systems, it also helps to exchange
data with Non-SAP system.
it was answered on first question. But I believe SAP saw what was in fact missing to
support full ERP cycle, and that is the reason why NetWeaver exists.
SAP has to have single unifying technology. As the functionality mushrooms, the
6015334 only place to bind the solutions is at the technical level. In addition, BI, Portal, XI/PI,
and MDM provide foundational elements for SOA.
To have a common platform for all the applications to introduce and make customers
6020480 understand the integration technology and allow customers know how netweaver
applications and tools interact SAP and Non SAP applications. It is a great idea.
6026307 Better interoperability, more consistent technology layer across components.
needs up to date architecture. needs to reuse development even inhouse. needs a story
for growth (capital market)
They had to many development paths, each needing a separate support stack. Very
Probably the R/3 was not suffient to capture new markets like the retail business and
integration with other non-SAP products.
For Openness in business solutions, To have a platform where all applications can
integrate and communicate.
Just a next step in IT evolution. JAVA has common platform, Microsoft created .NET
6157855 framework. Market requires much higher level of integration between different
system and at higher speed. Common platform as mentioned above and common data
exchange protocols (XML) allows that.
What was the process of developing new SAP solutions before Netweaver? What were the
problems, difficulties or restrictions? How Netweaver helped to overcome these issues?
Integration, I guess this was the main problem we faced before NetWeaver family.
6013380 There were several developments to create a interface between SAP system(ABAP)
and non-SAP systems. Today XI comes with a better idea on this case.
SDN is a big chage which helps lot of developers now and earlier we never had this.
6020480 SAP tools help developers understand the issues better now by providing developers
with lot of troubleshooting techniques. Traces and Logs etc.
it was different ABAP instead of Java. All in one system instead several. People were
6036182 trained and used to over several years. With NetWeaver there is a separation between
ABAP developers and Java/Portal/XI developers
Still a mess. ABAP is mature, but still requires business knowledge combined with
data knowledge. Java based SOA is an accident that is not just waiting to happen, it is
6094356 happening. Debugging is a bear, too many black box calls without good programming
fundamentals i.e. error reporting, status reporting, success and failure reporting are
6156207 Can't elaborate
Before NW it was different programs which could be integrated at data base levels.
6157855 No programs are created as part of overall system so to say. They are integrated at
Application/Business process level.
What kind of vulnerabilities there could be due to more open development environment
of SAP NetWeaver?
Perhaps on web technologies(like Portal) there might be a high risk to a
6013380 company(security issue). On this case should be in focus a research regarding
vulnerabilities x open developments.
SAP has exposed themselves via services. In theory, any platform can consume
6015334 services. The real battle for the next few years will be over who owns the repositories
for business processes and services.
Open Development allow developers to build corss platform and cross technology
solutions. It makes solutions affordable. Open sources is a better option.
by opening SAP to a wider user spectrum (via portal acces, via B2B or B2C
6036182 connections) there are general security questions like in every other e-Business or
Depends on where the server lives. Separation of function by DMZ is well
documented by SAP. There are backend issues with security that exist will systems.
6156207 Can't elaborate
What would be your suggestions for the next versions of SAP Netweaver? Which parts
should be developed and enhanced more
Development standards and more available test cases(not only documentation at
The key to NW is the ability to map the business process. They also will need to
develop their ability to do SaaS.
JAVA based solutions needs more enhancement and even change management. These
solutions have to be simple for implementation. SAP support needs to be improved.
Better Basis tools for management! E.g. Allow searching of fax and email output by
6026307 document/PO #. Summary reporting of client copy times. Extended selection criteria
for BI jobs, where all related jobs can be linked to single process chain.
already announced and on the way. SAP NW CE and Process Server are the products
that make SAP NW a SOA environment
6094196 BI Content should be upgraded to BI 7.0
BI Java is entirely too complex as are many of the Abap to Jave comms. Improve
documentation, find a way to remove or modify OSS notes that conflict with each
other. Explain the relationships between products better. Provide more examples.
Give the kernel folks a raise...that is some piece of work.
6094700 Mobile infrasturucture and Master Data Management
6094297 I think more of web enablement of products would better suite customers ,
6156207 Should be much documentation inputs for solutions!!