Dr. Franz J. Fritz,
January 2003, SAP NetWeaver emerged on
the scene. This integration and application
platform encompassed the very best of SAP
technology — SAP
Web Application Server, SAP Enterprise
Portal, SAP Business Information Warehouse,
and SAP Exchange Infrastructure. In the ensuing
months, we added SAP Mobile Infrastructure
and SAP Master Data Management. These are each
very powerful solutions in their own right.
But they offer unprecedented capabilities when
used in concert with one another.
With this in mind, we now offer SAP NetWeaver solutions and components1
in a synchronized release cycle, whereby all SAP NetWeaver components
are delivered in a single package.2 The first
such release is SAP NetWeaver '04, which delivers:
- SAP Web Application Server 6.40
- SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) 6.0
- SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) 3.0
- SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW) 3.5
- SAP Mobile Infrastructure (MI) 2.5
Take note! There are numerous administrative, TCO, and QA benefits to
this synchronized approach:
of these NetWeaver components are now based on the same version of SAP
Web Application Server (Release 6.40) and therefore share a common technical
foundation. This simplifies a wide range of infrastructure activities,
including administration, monitoring, and user and security management.
Everything can use the same operating system release, as well as the same
DBMS release. Reduce complexity in an IT landscape, and you reduce TCO.
parts of NetWeaver can be run within a single physical server if a small
configuration is sufficient, thus reducing the number of systems and databases
to be administered.
parts of NetWeaver can be run within one management entity, the SAP Web
Application Server (SAP Web AS) system, with its shared database, shared
central services, common external IP address, administration, etc. An
SAP Web AS system can be a single small box running just one instance
of the SAP Web AS, but it can also scale up to multiple big computers
with many instances of the SAP Web AS that run together as one logical
unit. (See Figure 1.)
|Examples of SAP Web AS System Architecture
whole set of NetWeaver '04 components has been tested and validated together
by SAP — something that is simply not possible for all
the potential combinations that could occur when you’re dealing
with arbitrary releases of different components.
is a joint Ramp-Up program for all NetWeaver components. This means that
SAP not only takes care of the individual components, but that documentation,
consulting, training, partner enabling, and so on, are all targeted to
support the NetWeaver platform as a whole and help to exploit the synergies
between NetWeaver components.
In 2004, the following SAP applications are built upon and ship with
the synchronized NetWeaver '04 technology base: mySAP Enterprise Resource
Planning (mySAP ERP), mySAP Supply Chain Management (mySAP SCM), and mySAP
Supplier Relationship Management (mySAP SRM), among others. In 2005, all
SAP applications will ship on the NetWeaver '05 platform.
The result? Reduced complexity. The synchronizing of, for example, SAP
BW and your mySAP SCM solutions, or your mySAP CRM and portal solutions,
or your mySAP SRM solutions and the Exchange Infrastructure will be streamlined.
The need for different sets of adapters and plugs-ins simply goes away.
A Short Look Back at the Evolution of Technology
Of course, SAP R/3 has always contained a technology layer (Basis),
which included an application server, a development environment,
a generic user interface (SAP GUI), and a workflow engine, among
others. SAP BW, SAP APO, and all the newer products also contain
the same technology layer. But back in the early days, you could
not get this technology without the application on top of it.
This changed in 2000, when SAP introduced the Web Application
Server. The SAP Web AS was still an extension of Basis, but for
the first time, it could be used on its own to develop Web-based
applications (see Figure 2).
Other technology components followed, including SAP Enterprise
Portal and SAP Exchange Infrastructure. Together, these were called
mySAP Technology. Here again, each of these components was used
for some applications, but could also be used standalone for the
integration of non-SAP applications or for developing custom solutions.
In January 2003, SAP introduced NetWeaver as the successor and
significant extension of the former mySAP Technology layer. Now,
SAP NetWeaver has all its components in a synchronized release.
SAP NetWeaver '04 is the first of these synchronized releases.
|The Evolution from Basis to
SAP NetWeaver '04
Upgrading to NetWeaver '04
With all the advantages and flexibility of NetWeaver '04, there are
basically two main reasons to upgrade:
to a more unified infrastructure in terms of operating system, database
system, application server release, etc., with the goal of reducing TCO.
the new integration capabilities to extend the reach of services and processes.
BW 3.5, for example, can integrate with virtually any data source —
from Excel and Access databases to all relational data sources, other
data warehouses, and even Web services, which provide access to analytical
data inside or outside the company.
And XI 3.0 comes with a very strong adapter framework and a much larger
set of adapters. It can transfer data to and from file systems, message
queues, legacy applications, database systems, etc. It provides the needed
queuing, routing, and mapping services, as well as advanced process management
for features such as message synchronization, splitting and joining messages,
and many more.
All customers have the option to perform their own synchronized upgrade
for all of their NetWeaver pieces. Customers can upgrade to NetWeaver
'04 all at once, if they choose, and then have the option to go from NetWeaver
'04 to a future synchronized release like NetWeaver '05 or NetWeaver '06,
and so on, as needed — something that can be especially important
to those with smaller installations.
On the other hand, it will still be possible
for a larger company, with components spread
out across multiple systems, to upgrade components
separately, each with its own life cycle.
(Note that in this case, compatibility rules
and restrictions are somewhat more complex.)
For more on installation of SAP NetWeaver
'04, see the FAQ sidebar below.
Ultimately, along with the benefits of a synchronized release, you have
the flexibility to upgrade and install NetWeaver components incrementally
and as needed.
For more information on SAP NetWeaver '04,
SAP NetWeaver '04 FAQ
Is SAP NetWeaver '04 shipped as one product?
The answer is “yes.” All parts of SAP NetWeaver '04
come together in one shipment, can be installed in one installation
procedure, and can be run together in one system.3
However, for greater flexibility, there will also be installation
scenarios that activate only a subset of NetWeaver components.4
So for performance, throughput, stability, or other reasons, it
will still be possible to:
only XI 3.0 in one system
only BW 3.5 in one system
only EP 6.0 in one system
just Web AS 6.40 and the development infrastructure for your homegrown
Is SAP NetWeaver '04 sold as one product?
Yes. But in addition, you can still buy the individual components.
Can I upgrade NetWeaver '04 components individually, as
The answer is a clear “yes.” NetWeaver '04 does not
force you to upgrade and run everything simultaneously. You can
gradually bring your current components to the NetWeaver '04 level
in order to make use of the new features of a component or to reach
the common IT infrastructure in several steps. For example, you
XI 2.0 to XI 3.0
BW 3.0 to BW 3.5
EP 5.0 to EP 6.0
a standalone Web AS 6.20 to Web AS 6.40
What is SAP’s maintenance strategy for NetWeaver
Not only will NetWeaver '04 be a synchronized release when it
comes to its components, but it will also be aligned regarding maintenance
rules and regulations. There will be a synchronized standard maintenance
period for NetWeaver '04, which will be aligned with the maintenance
statements for the applications sitting on top of NetWeaver '04.
Please note that SAP has significantly expanded its maintenance
strategy. Beyond standard maintenance, SAP offers extended and customer-specific
maintenance — so in principle, maintenance never ends.
When does it ship?
The Ramp-Up program of NetWeaver '04 is planned to start in Q1
1 SAP implements all capabilities and
features of its solutions using a number of components. Components can
be installed and upgraded separately, and each component has its own release
2 The exception is SAP Master Data Management
(MDM), the newest member of the NetWeaver family. MDM 2.0 will be able
to use NetWeaver '04 (in particular Exchange Infrastructure 3.0), but
will still be based on SAP Web Application Server 6.20.
3 Again, the exception here is MDM 2.0.
4 These scenarios will be documented in the
NetWeaver Master Guide and the NetWeaver Solution Management Guide.
Franz J. Fritz has a Ph.D. in mathematics and 30 years of experience
in all areas of IT. Workflow and business process management have been
particular areas of interest for much of his life. He has worked for SAP
since 1993 as Program Director and Vice President with responsibility
for the Business Process Technology and Internet-Business Framework departments.
Recently, he took over responsibility for SAP NetWeaver product management
within SAP AG as Vice President of NetWeaver Product Management and Standards.