As you look ahead to the changes “under the hood” of SAP systems
— the introduction of the exchange and portals infrastructures, the
focus on Internet standards and interoperability, and the emphasis on
message-based integration, among others — one of the key building
blocks of mySAP Technology is the SAP Web Application Server.
As an environment for application components
that provide Web services based on open standards, the SAP Web Application
Server acts as both an application server and a web development and deployment
platform, and is the basis for almost every mySAP.com solution. Now, with
the new capabilities in Release 6.20, the advantages of SAP’s proven
infrastructure — reliability, scalability, software logistics and
change management, platform independence, and business knowledge —
are brought to the J2EE world.
This article highlights some of the features
available with the newest release of the SAP Web Application Server —
and the benefits that it offers for both development and system
Coupling the Java and ABAP Personalities Simplifies
Administration and Management
With the SAP Web Application Server 6.20, a J2EE standards-based application
engine will be shipped and supported by SAP as a runtime environment for
the Java-based components of mySAP.com.
As an integral part of the SAP Web Application
Server 6.20, the J2EE Engine will deliver a proven e-business environment
with native Java support for easy deployment, straightforward installation
and administration, and full life-cycle support for Java-based e-business
components (see Figure 1).
||An Overview of the SAP Web Application Server 6.20
While this approach clearly benefits your
developers — with a single infrastructure that leverages the advantages
of both development environments — it also offers support and system
administration advantages that your IT team will appreciate, from installation
to monitoring and security.
Management and Support for Both “Personalities” on a Single
By having both the ABAP and Java personalities housed in a single infrastructure,
the Web Application Server minimizes administration and maintenance. The
homogeneous infrastructure for the J2EE and ABAP environments in the SAP
Web Application Server 6.20 guarantees centralized and unified installation,
configuration, monitoring, security, and load balancing for both programming
Common Installation and Configuration
As of Release 6.20, the installation of the SAP J2EE engine and the ABAP
stack are integrated in one procedure. Thus it easily allows you to set
up an environment that runs both Java- and ABAP-based applications. Tools
such as the proven configuration tool SAPInst will manage all necessary
configuration steps during installation — whether ABAP or Java —
and help you avoid potential traps and pitfalls, setting the stage for
a stable and solid system, right from the start.
System Maintenance and Change Management
SAP’s Software Delivery Manager (SDM) is a new tool that handles
the delivery of software packages to customers, including bundling, maintenance
at customer site, modification support, and distribution methods. This
significantly reduces the complexity of maintaining the system landscape
during operation, no matter which technology is affected.
Integrated User Management and Security
By using a JAAS-compliant1 login module, the built-in J2EE Engine is
able to authenticate the user against SAP User Management. Basic authentication,
certificates, and single sign-on are supported by both the Java and the
ABAP personalities in the same way. This simplifies the user-management
process and helps to reduce maintenance and administration costs.
New Central Monitoring Features
The SAP Web Application Server 6.20 includes new central monitoring capabilities
that provide a comprehensive view of all application servers in the environment
(see Figure 2). Regardless of which type of application server
is monitored, a drilldown to the local monitoring tools is possible. A
common starting point, which provides a view of the state of all the monitored
components, helps administrators to quickly react to various types of
alerts, and thus maintain stable and reliable operations.
||Monitoring Capabilities in the SAP Web Application Server
Central Dispatching and Caching of Requests
The core Internet Communication Manager (ICM) shown in Figure 1 provides
a generic framework for handling requests. Modules for HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP,
and FastCGI are currently available. All requests are transparently dispatched
to the Java or ABAP personality.
ICM’s caching technologies complement
the proven database caching concepts of the SAP Web Application Server.
ICM includes sophisticated HTTP request caching that significantly enhances
the performance and scalability of Web applications through static, dynamic,
and active-content caching.
Clustering and Load Balancing
The Java personality is fully integrated into the proven SAP load-balancing
architecture, which means that the SAP Message Server is able to redirect
all requests to the best-running machine, whether the request is processed
by the Java or the ABAP runtime. On the machine level, the J2EE Engine
can be configured to scale over processes controlled by the J2EE dispatcher
(which is tightly coupled with the ABAP dispatcher) to achieve the best
performance and a high level of robustness.
An Even More Powerful Development Environment for Creating
The integration of the ABAP and Java personalities allows companies to
extend their solutions according to their available development skills
and needs. You may find that a data-driven business solution demands the
strength of ABAP, or that a business process involving several business
partners over various systems requires the openness of Java. Perhaps your
development team is heavily weighted toward ABAP programmers who are experts
at working with SAP tools, or you have a number of Java developers who
need a quick in-road to your SAP systems. In either case, this integrated
development environment can support either — and both — to give
you optimal flexibility.
The Web Application Server supports native
Internet technology, such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Extensible
Markup Language (XML), and it includes the benefits derived from SAP’s
proven and scalable data, system, and software management capabilities.
Inside the SAP Web Application Server, seamless communication between
the Java and ABAP environments can be achieved by integrating the technology
of the SAP Java Connector (JCo) with several optimizations to ensure high
performance and stable communication.2 This enables, for example, a bi-directional
coupling between the presentation logic, written in Java, and the business
logic, written in ABAP.
Thus the SAP Web Application Server 6.20
provides a scalable and reliable Web application infrastructure that delivers
high-performing Web services, ensures an e-business solution is always
online, and supports Web access via a Web browser and a range of mobile
Web and Internet Enabling
The SAP Web Application Server supports Java Server Pages (JSPs) and
Java Servlets, allowing dynamic content generation in a portable, cross-platform
manner. The latest specifications of Java Servlets 2.3 and Java Server
Pages 1.2, which are already the major parts of the J2EE 1.3 specification,
are implemented in Release 6.20.
In addition, the Business Server Pages
(BSP) model — the proven programming model introduced with SAP Web
Application Server 6.10 — is also available.3 In Release 6.20, this
model is now enhanced by BSP Extensions, which allow you to modularize
and encapsulate source code segments on dynamic BSP application pages
and, in turn, improve reusability.
For developers already familiar with ABAP
editing and development tools, the BSP model is integrated with the standardized
ABAP Workbench infrastructure and methods to simplify the development
By supporting these two models, the SAP
Web Application Server allows you to create and deploy highly dynamic
Web services and applications, with functions fully integrated into an
easy-to-use, robust, and productive development environment.
The SAP Web Application Server’s comprehensive XML capabilities
provide support for Web services. An XML parser and XSLT processor were
integrated in the previously released Web Application Server, and enhanced
versions of these XML tools are now available. XML is integrated right
into the development environment of the SAP Web Application Server 6.20,
so developers can easily work with XML for collaborative application development.
For the ABAP personality, the XSLT Engine
adds new transformation capabilities and improves the performance of processing
transformations. The Java personality is enhanced with XML schema support
and validation, support of XSLT 1.1 extensions and SOAP standards, and
an implementation of the Java API for XML messaging.
Thus, throughout the SAP Web Application
Server a common and state-of-the-art XML infrastructure helps develop
and deploy Web services as well as support integration with XML-based
By passing the Java2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Compatibility
Test Suite for J2EE 1.2 from Sun Microsystems, the SAP Web Application
Server has proven to be a J2EE technology-based and compliant application
server. This ensures compatibility, platform independence, and interoperability
with J2EE-compliant applications.
Enterprise Java Beans (EJB)
Based on the standardized Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) programming model,
the Java stack supports the development of forward-looking, easy-to-maintain
Java applications, which helps improve development speed and reduce costs.
System-level business logic and services are hosted in the EJB layer.
The Java personality of SAP Web Application Server supports the EJB 1.1
specification as part of J2EE 1.2, as well as the message-driven beans
specified in EJB 2.0.
Connectivity, Transaction Management, and Interface Management
The Java platform enabled by the SAP Web Application Server includes
a number of standardized APIs to ensure connectivity to other systems.
These APIs help developers to solve problems like accessing relational
databases, connecting to enterprise information systems, and dealing with
name and directory services.4 Other supported APIs simplify the implementation
of a transaction management system and help to coordinate transactions
across diverse enterprise information systems.5 In addition, the Remote
Method Invocation (RMI) concept is supported to enable developers to build
distributed applications in the Java programming language.
But That’s Not All...
We’ve covered only some of the highlights of the new tools and features
in the SAP Web Application Server 6.20. For more information about the
SAP Web Application Server, visit mySAP Technology at www.sap.com/technology
or the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/technology.
The Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) is a set of packages
that enable services to authenticate users and enforce access controls.
It implements a Java version of the standard Pluggable Authentication
Module (PAM) framework, and supports user-based authorization.
2 For more
information on JCo, visit the SAP Insider Article Archives.
more on the introduction of Business Server
Pages SAP Web Application Server 6.10, see “From ‘SAP Basis’ to ‘SAP Web Application
Server’ — It’s Much More Than Just a Name Change!” by
Franz-Josef Fritz in the July-September 2001
of SAP Insider,
and in the Article Archives.
JDBC accesses relational data from Java. Java Naming and Directory
Interface (JNDI) supports the accessing of information access in enterprise
name and directory services. J2EE Connectors Architecture is used
for connecting the J2EE platform to diverse enterprise information systems.
Java Transaction API (JTA) manages and coordinates transactions across
diverse enterprise information systems. Java Transaction Service (JTS)
specifies the implementation of a transaction manager that supports JTA
and implements the Java mapping of the Object Management Group Object
Transaction Service 1.1 specification.
Martin Huvar joined SAP about nine years ago. After some years of
development and consulting in different technology areas, he worked as
Product Manager for the SAP Business Connector. Since 2000 he has been
Product Manager in mySAP Technology Product Management, mainly responsible
for XML Technology and integration of the ABAP and Java personalities.