Thesis Report: SAP NetWeaver influence on development of further SAP business solutions
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