Jumpstart Your Enterprise SOA Project
New from SAP: Download the Starter Kit for Enterprise SOA
Global Enterprise SOA
The best time to begin your first enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) project is now. SAP has more than 2,000 enterprise services and composite applications available, and the number is growing every day. SAP now provides a comprehensive toolset, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.1 and SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.1, as well as validated methodology and governance solutions.
But SAP customers regularly ask, “How do I get started with enterprise SOA?” SAP provided the answer to this question this spring at SAPPHIRE 2008 whe
n it unveiled its starter kit for enterprise SOA. This starter kit provides step-by-step guidance for initial enterprise SOA projects with knowledge-building content focused on value and benefits, architecture, governance, composition of services, and ongoing operations. In addition, the kit contains a methodology for project managers and hands-on developer guidance. It also includes references and customer cases to learn from other user experiences.
According to Carsten Linz, head of the Global Enterprise SOA Adoption Program, the starter kit is a pivotal element of a comprehensive enterprise SOA adoption approach at SAP. The starter kit provides a portfolio of SOA offerings, methodologies, and tools, and it supports the most effective SOA customer engagements across SAP’s lines of business. In this Q&A, Michael Zimpel, director of the Global Enterprise SOA Adoption Program, provides a tour of the starter kit, illuminating how customers can approach their own enterprise SOA roadmaps. Zimpel states that the starter kit is an important step toward an overarching end-to-end SOA methodology that delivers the right information at the right time to SAP customers and partners according to their role-specific needs and maturity levels.
More than 80 SAP employees across all divisions collaborated to create the first version of the starter kit, which is available at no cost to SAP customers and partners (https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/enterprisesoa-starterkit). With the kit, Zimpel explains, customers can pinpoint their own starting points and identify quick wins that will reduce TCO and help transform IT into a nimble enabler of business opportunity.
Q. How would you explain what the starter kit offers to SAP customers who are unfamiliar with it?
A. The starter kit explains exactly what enterprise SOA is, how a company can benefit from its implementation, and how companies can get their enterprise SOA projects right on the first try. It contains the most relevant information around value and benefits, architecture, governance, composition, and operations, as well as a methodology for implementing enterprise SOA so that anyone can plan, build, run, and manage an enterprise SOA project.
Not only is the starter kit a step-by-step guide, but it also contains a developer handbook on how to build enterprise services and other supporting information, such as guidelines, case studies, and requirements. Think of it as a one-stop shop where all the relevant information is bundled in a useful way.
|The opening screen of SAP’s starter kit for enterprise SOA
Q. How did you build a starter kit complete with all the information required to answer customer questions?
A. We came up with the structure and content based on the feedback we received during the development process. Because of the wide range of material collected, the starter kit has a very robust structure.
Before the starter kit went live during SAPPHIRE 2008, we tested it internally at SAP with customers through ASUG (Americas’ SAP Users’ Group) and SUGEN (SAP User Group Executive Network), which is the over-arching SAP user community. We received a lot of great feedback that helped us close several important gaps.
Q. What has been the customer reaction to the starter kit so far?
A. More than 1,200 SAP customers and partners have already requested the starter kit, either on CD or via download. That’s a great number in only about one month, and so far the response has been very positive.
We’ve also received a lot of suggestions on how to improve the starter kit, so we’re already planning version 2.0 in time for SAP TechEd in the fall.
Q. When customers download the starter kit, what will they get?
A. They should immediately get answers to most of their initial questions, such as: What topics do I need to be aware of before kicking off enterprise SOA projects? How do I get guidelines, and what does a methodology for enterprise SOA projects look like? What are the key aspects related to architecture and governance?
During the creation of the starter kit and after some deep dives with customers, we came up with the most relevant information currently available from different channels like SDN, BPX, and SAP.com. Much of the information is already out there; it’s just fragmented or located in various repositories. The starter kit aggregates all that information according to an overarching role-specific methodology and presents a holistic view of what is available and how customers can kick off their own enterprise SOA projects.
Q. What do you suggest as the best way to move into enterprise SOA?
A. SAP has always recommended that customers start with a smaller project (a pilot) rather than a large and heavily customized project. This gives enterprises a chance to begin building the skills and experience required to move to enterprise SOA.
From a holistic viewpoint, the starter kit employs a four-phased approach in which everyone — from executives to business owners, from developers to business process architects, from CIOs to project managers — can find what they need to get started with enterprise SOA.
Q. What are the phases of the starter kit approach?
A. We call these four phases Learn and Discover, Plan and Experience, Build and Deploy, and Operate and Improve. Here’s how I would describe them:
- Learn and Discover. In this phase, customers come to understand the general concepts behind enterprise SOA, as well as the assets they need to bring enterprise SOA into reality within the right business context. There’s also a jumpstart option with the enterprise SOA Discovery Server, which provides a complete learning environment for enterprise SOA and the requisite SAP components, SAP ERP 6.0, SAP NetWeaver, and SAP development tools.
- Plan and Experience. Here, customers can learn how to reconstruct their IT organizations and plan their future IT architectures. They see how to plan an initial landscape and attain the skills to pursue enterprise SOA using a governed, proven approach.
- Build and Deploy. The starter kit contains hands-on guidance and tools for modeling, provisioning, and consuming enterprise services, as well as the accompanying governance, architecture, and composition environment.
- Operate and Improve. This phase explains how customers can keep their businesses running and take advantage of SAP support features. It contains information on how to build a unique business process platform with read-to-execute software, all designed to reduce complexity and TCO.
|The four-phase approach of the starter kit for enterprise SOA
Q. How will users find the starter kit organized as they’re moving through each phase?
A. We’ve built into the starter kit three major knowledge building blocks: Topics, Guidance, and Experience. Each block contains several accelerators to speed learning and absorption of the material. In the Topics building block, we underlined various subjects with available consulting services, training, and education. We approached it this way because customers asked us to specifically explain the value and benefits, the drivers in the architecture area, as well as information on how they can set up appropriate enterprise SOA architectures.
Developers in particular will be most interested in the Guidance building block, as it contains the development handbook for enterprise SOA. Project managers will find a detailed methodology that explains how they can launch and track their own enterprise SOA projects.
In the last Experience building block, we highlighted a lot of use cases and references so that customers — now that they understand the technology — can get direction on how other customers or industries get value out of that technology.
Q. How do customers obtain a copy of the starter kit? How do they get started?
A. You can download the starter kit or request a copy of it on CD at https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/enterprisesoa-starterkit. The starter kit contains more than 280 megabytes of information. We believe it’s quite comprehensive.
As for how to begin, I recommend that users opening the starter kit for the first time click on the link on the home page; this presents a short movie that explains the most relevant topics and demonstrates the overarching methodology.
By providing a one-stop shop of integrated information, the starter kit offers customers the value of transparency and step-by-step guidance needed for an efficient and successful start with enterprise SOA.
Excerpt from the Starter Kit: “Enterprise SOA in a Nutshell”
“Enterprise SOA revolutionizes the design of business applications, enabling the rapid composition of business solutions. With enterprise SOA, you can encapsulate business logic and expose it as enterprise services — smaller functionality components that can be reassembled quickly to form new, innovative business solutions that meet changing business requirements. Based on SAP NetWeaver’s SOA platform, enterprise SOA provides you with business- and industry-specific context views through enterprise services and safeguards scalability, robustness, and governance for your IT. Enterprise SOA is therefore your blueprint for an adaptable, flexible, and open IT architecture for developing services-based, enterprise-scale business solutions.”
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Make B2B E-Commerce Even Easier
Seamless Enterprise SOA Integration with EDI/EDIFACT
Automated e-commerce solutions have allowed companies to move away from time-consuming manual processes to perform key business-to-business (B2B) transactions. Yet many organizations still struggle to integrate their ERP systems with diverse data formats such as X12 EDI, EDIFACT, XML, IDoc, and flat files, and with communication protocols such as VAN, AS2, and FTP — all of which their business partners use.
This integration process often requires employees to develop and support several processes to transform data formats, meaning that companies are still pouring both time and money into synchronizing front-end e-commerce with back-end processing.
To combat this, Task Performance Group, Inc. provides MegaXML/ESA to automate various communication protocols, map different data structures, and seamlessly integrate EDI with SAP systems using enterprise services.
Fully Automate Your B2B Process
Task Performance Group’s MegaXML system accepts any type of input and delivers output in the desired format. MegaXML/ESA is designed on an open, standards-based platform and is built specifically to integrate with SAP NetWeaver and enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA).
MegaXML/ESA is SAP Certified for Integration via Enterprise Services and provides seamless B2B e-commerce integration between SAP and non-SAP systems. Its functionality enables:
- Translations: MegaXML/ESA translates trading partners’ documents — such as purchase orders, order confirmations, or invoices — into XML. The system then marshals the documents between MegaXML/ESA and SAP systems.
- Flexibility: MegaXML/ESA’s loosely coupled architecture allows it to be placed anywhere within the LAN, f?irewall, or WAN across the globe, achieving a high level of flexibility. For example, if a MegaXML/ESA solution is located in a Chicago data center, it can successfully receive an EDI purchase order from a non-SAP system and then translate, map, and — using SAP enterprise services — deposit it as a sales order in a globally located SAP system. The solution can then retrieve invoices and shipping data from the globally located SAP system using SAP’s Enterprise Services Repository and return the data to the non-SAP system in EDI data format.
- Scalability: Leveraging the powers of enterprise SOA and Microsoft .NET 3.5 WCF (Windows Communication Foundation), the adapter uses the latest frameworks in integration technologies and scales up to very high transaction volumes through its stateless parallel services architecture, eliminating single points of failure and resource bottlenecks.
- Interoperability: MegaXML/ESA communicates with enterprise SOA to exchange business documents between partners. In addition, the solution uses open-standards protocols — such as SOAP, WSDL, and XSD — which act as the backbone of enterprise SOA.
Many companies use adapter systems for B2B automation of sales and distribution (SD) systems, but MegaXML/ESA can also consume and initiate enterprise services for materials management, financials, customer relationship management, and supplier relationship management.
Take Advantage of Enterprise Services
MegaXML/ESA uses business object type-checking at every level to conform to SAP Global Data Type (GDT), DISA EDI, and UN/EDIFACT B2B standard requirements. Additionally, user-specific data validation layers and business-specific lookups further filter out any imperfections in the documents to achieve reliable and fully automated B2B data transfers.
Using SAP’s Enterprise Services Repository to gain access to these enterprise services, MegaXML/ESA enables enterprise users to meet their B2B e-commerce integration goals and allows employees to focus on what matters most: the business at hand. For more information, visit www.megaXML.com/sapesoa.
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Secure Payment Card Processing Across an Enterprise SOA with Paymetric’s XiPayNet
Accepting and processing customer payment cards is fundamental to many businesses — everything from retail stores that accept credit cards to call centers and other companies that process electronic commerce transactions. And the convenience these cards offer to customers has made them a top payment method.
Of course, with this growth comes increased security risks and greater responsibilities for businesses to keep their customers’ payment information secure. With the advent of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and so many stories of credit card data breaches in the news, it is clear that a secure and flexible interface for payment card processing is critical.
To this end, SAP has developed several tools with functionality to help with payment card processing (see sidebar). Paymetric is dedicated to helping ensure the security of these transactions with its XiPayNet service.
SAP’s Tools for Payment Card Processing
- The Cross Application Payment Card Interface (CA-PCI) was introduced in SAP R/3 4.0B, along with business logic to accept payment cards. Since then, SAP has added the CA-PCI and card processing business logic to many of its other products.
- Enhancement package 1 of SAP ERP 6.0 came with an enterprise service interface for payment card processing.
- As the enterprise SOA ecosystem continued to expand, and with the introduction of SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI, formerly SAP NetWeaver XI), SAP introduced an enterprise service interface for payment card processing, which provided an XML-based interface between SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver PI to allow for greater flexibility and security.
Take Advantage of XiPayNet
Using Paymetric’s XiPayNet software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, customers can securely take advantage of enterprise SOA’s flexibility. By integrating SAP ERP directly with XiPayNet through SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI), customers can eliminate the need for an internal, on-premise credit card middleware solution, thereby ensuring the security of their transactions.
Also, customers need not install additional third-party components; SAP NetWeaver PI consumes the secure XiPayNet service without requiring extra on-premise middleware. This reduces the expense of hardware and software licenses, as well as the amount of internal IT resource time needed to maintain that third-party solution.
XiPayNet offers features to help securely store payment card data in enterprise applications by tokenizing sensitive information. The service extracts payment card numbers from internal systems via an interface and places them into a PCI-compliant data vault.
From here, the credit card data is encrypted, assigned a token, and replaced by that token in the source system. Storing tokens in your system significantly mitigates the PCI compliance risk as it allows you to pass tokens — rather than unencrypted card numbers — between systems.
With XiPayNet, Paymetric helps you take advantage of the new enterprise service interface in SAP ERP 6.0. Customers using this offering can fully eliminate the need to have an on-premise middleware solution while taking advantage of a more flexible and secure solution for processing payment cards. For more information, visit www.paymetric.com.
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Get the Most Business Value Out of Your Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture
HP’s Peter Gibbels Shares Tips for a Successful Enterprise SOA Initiative
Everyone in IT management has heard of the promised advantages of agility and flexibility that come with an enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). But while the business benefits are powerful, some companies are wondering where to start with their SOA initiative. They’re unsure of how to find services in the IT landscape, introduce enterprise SOA techniques and principles, effectively govern services, and test reusable service components. Other challenges include defining and enforcing service level agreements, providing visibility into overall business service health, and sustaining the enterprise SOA environment.
Here, Peter Gibbels of HP shares his insights into how HP customers have successfully overcome their concerns and begun to take advantage of enterprise SOA to help drive better business results.
Q: What do you see as the key reasons companies should make the transition to enterprise SOA?
A: First, let’s define enterprise SOA so that we have a common reference point. Very simply, it is an approach to delivering IT systems as a set of reusable services. Users can easily assemble these services to create a composite application that automates a business process, such as procure-to-pay.
There are many advantages to approaching service delivery from this angle. For one, it reduces not only IT costs, but also the time required to deliver new applications or modifications to existing business processes. Consequently, faster time to market helps companies more rapidly seize new business opportunities. Flexible applications allow companies to adapt more easily to changing business or regulatory requirements, while reusing services reduces IT cost.
In this context, it’s easy to see the reasons behind transitioning to enterprise SOA from both an IT perspective and a business perspective. It comes down to business agility, IT cost, application flexibility, and ultimately, greater competitive advantage.
Q: How can customers best execute a successful enterprise SOA initiative?
A: HP recommends that customers take an integrated approach to their initiative. By “integrated” I mean an approach that aligns the stakeholders involved — the providers of the service, the consumers of the service, and the office of the CTO — and covers the entire application/service life cycle. This integrated approach should combine governance, quality, and management.
The right governance model enables you to deploy a controlled yet flexible service-oriented environment. It should act as a system of record and provide a set of enterprise SOA governance capabilities, including an SOA repository and a registry that forms the basis of information management — one of the key requirements for SOA governance.
Additionally, governance requires policy management, lifecycle management, and contract management. Interoperability among different tools and processes is also key, as SAP’s own Enterprise Services Repository is often only one repository within an enterprise environment.
There are a number of governance capabilities that affect your ability to control your enterprise SOA environment:Information management includes collecting and organizing service definitions, metadata, artifacts, and their relationships, as well as the ability to easily advertise and discover services meant for reuse.
Policy management helps to create and enforce rules that specify standards for compliance and best practices.
Lifecycle management is simply the specification of the stages that a service goes through (for example, from design to code to test to production) and the criteria that must be followed when moving from one stage to the next.
Contract management helps formalize provider/consumer relationships, including the specification of service levels, change processes, costs, and so forth.
To reduce the time and cost of your enterprise SOA initiative, we also recommend taking a thorough quality management approach that encompasses all aspects of the quality assurance life cycle.
In addition, we recommend leveraging SAP Solution Manager, which will allow you to more easily track and share data. Also, automated test creation based on service definitions, a fully functional testing of services, performance validation, and the ability to diagnose and correct any problems before services are introduced will also increase the chances that your enterprise SOA projects are successful.1
The management factor involves ensuring that you are achieving the expected values from your enterprise SOA-based applications after they are deployed in production. To do so, we recommend taking both a bottom-up and a top-down approach. Such a dual approach allows you to manage the end-to-end business process — regardless of how many different composite applications or services are involved — in both SAP and non-SAP environments.
Success depends on a service dependency map that includes relationships and the underlying infrastructure supporting them. It also relies on strong processes and integrated tools that cover runtime policy management, service-level management, availability and performance management, and problem isolation.2
|Succesful enterprise SOA initiatives should address governance, quality, and management
Q: What do you recommend as the best way for companies to get started?
A: It really comes down to the role enterprise SOA will play in your business.
Naturally, upgrading to the SAP NetWeaver platform is a prerequisite, but it is also imperative that you understand how your organization wants to leverage the platform and what your business objectives are. Is it for service provisioning or for service consumption?
We also recommend that customers pick a service with business value that is used in many different situations — for a manufacturing company, this could be the “AvailableToPromise” service, for example. After you select a single service, you should focus on governance issues. This method allows you to establish basic frameworks for development and execution, as well as the processes required to ensure continued enterprise SOA success.
Q: How does HP help companies realize the promise of enterprise SOA?
A: HP, working with SAP, has built a solid portfolio to help customers at any juncture of the enterprise SOA journey. Our HP Services organization can help customers with planning and strategy or with service enablement and deployment. We have created comprehensive methodologies and tools to help customers modernize their environments. Together with SAP, we also provide an appliance called the SAP Discovery system for enterprise SOA, which is ideal for building an enterprise SOA proof of concept and laying the foundation for future SOA-based landscapes.
On the software side, we provide an integrated solution called HP Business Technology Optimization for enterprise SOA. This solution includes enterprise-scale governance through HP SOA Systinet and HP SOA Policy Enforcer, complete testing and validation through HP SOA quality products, and end-to-end operational management through HP SOA management products. These offerings support a complete lifecycle approach for managing enterprise SOA implementations.
Visit www.hp.com/go/soa or email us at SOA@hp.com for more details.
1 For more information, see “Mitigate and Control the Risks of Application Upgrades” in the Spring 2008 issue of SAP NetWeaver Magazine (www.NetWeaverMagazine.com). [back]
2 For more information, see “Optimizing the Links Between Applications and Operations” in the July-September 2008 issue of SAP Insider (www.SAPinsideronline.com). [back]
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