ESA Overview

By : |September 26, 2005 0



Enterprise Services Architecture and Service-Oriented
Architecture

Facts Sheet

General Facts

  • Enterprise Services Architecture (introduced in January 2003) is SAP’s
    services-oriented architecture (SOA) or blueprint for complete, services-based
    business solutions. Enterprise Services Architecture provides companies with a
    sound technology strategy to guide their deployment of Web services at a
    business process level and drive additional business value from existing
    technology investments by unifying both SAP and non-SAP systems in one
    architecture.
  • Enterprise Services Architecture is not a product, but rather describes
    SAP’s approach to service-enablement which is physically delivered to
    customers through SAP NetWeaverâ„¢, the service-enablement platform of mySAPâ„¢
    Business Suite, SAP Industry Solutions and SAP xAppsâ„¢ composite
    applications. By building its software on Enterprise Services Architecture,
    SAP helps companies reduce the costs of creating and maintaining interfaces
    and enabling enterprise-scale usage of Web services.
  • SAP has established a three year timeframe for service-enabling its
    solutions suite.
  • The mySAP solution releases for 2004 offer the first service-enabled
    scenarios, mainly to promote user productivity and business collaboration.
  • An enterprise services inventory (a “library” of SAP enterprise
    services) has begun and will be published in 2005 in the SAP NetWeaver ’05
    Enterprise Services Repository. It helps customers plan their own Enterprise
    Service Architecture, by letting them know which services are and will be
    available from SAP. Customers can use SAP’s enterprise services in the
    repository to build their own composite applications.
  • There will be more service-enabled scenarios (composite applications)
    available in 2005. These will focus on business process flexibility as well
    as serving the needs of new composite applications.
  • In 2006, customers and partners can use the services in the Repository to
    build their own composites on top of SAP’s infrastructure. SAP will also
    offer end-to-end industry scenarios (industry-specific composite
    applications) built on this new architecture.
  • In 2007, SAP applications, including mySAP Business Suite, will be fully
    service-enabled.
  • SAP is the only enterprise applications software vendor that is both
    building service-orientation directly into its solutions and
    providing a technology platform (SAP NetWeaver) and guidance to support
    companies in the development of their own service-oriented architectures
    spanning both SAP and non-SAP solutions.
  • SAP NetWeaver (launched in January 2003) is the business-ready,
    services-oriented platform for integrating people, processes, information
    and SAP and non-SAP solutions, enabling business growth through innovation.
    The platform enables SAP customers and partners to extend the functionality
    provided by SAP solutions to meet their specific business needs. It also
    allows SAP customers and partners to create their service-based applications
    from scratch.
  • SAP NetWeaver is the platform that enables the development, deployment and
    administration of Web services (and therefore also enterprise services,
    since these are collections of Web services that are combined to execute a
    business task). SAP NetWeaver provides everything organizations need to make
    applications work together (integration) and enables developers to build new
    applications on top of existing applications (leveraging and extending
    existing IT infrastructure).
  • Integration is consistently listed in IT and financial analyst surveys as
    one of the top two or three challenges CIOs are struggling to overcome (e.g
    Credit Suisse/First Boston Europe Software and Services Sector review, 30th
    April 2004 lists integration as the second spending priority for CIOs, based
    on a survey of 100 CIOs from Fortune 1000 firms).

  • SAP is already actively driving the adoption of various industry standards
    and supports industry data exchange standards including RosettaNet (high
    tech), the Chem eStandards, UCCNet (consumer products and retail industries),
    papiNet (paper industry), HL7 (healthcare) and PIDX (oil and gas industries)
    and is helping to drive enhanced compatibility of applications and business
    processes in close cooperation with vertical- and cross-industry standards
    initiatives such as ACORD (insurance), AIAG (automotive), CWM (business
    intelligence), GCI (consumer products and retail), HR-XML (human resources),
    OPC (process industries), SPEC2000 (aerospace and defense), S.W.I.F.T.
    (banking), TWIST (treasury), VICS (supply chain management) and XBRL
    (accounting).

 

Benefits of Enterprise Service Architecture

  • Solves the integration headache while leveraging existing IT investments.
    Enterprise services architecture allows for the development of applications
    that bridge between existing applications. A key benefit of an
    enterprise-service-based application is that it is isolated from changes in
    the underlying applications and systems. In the past, when an individual piece
    of application functionality was changed, all interfaces and applications that
    touched this component would have to be changed as well. For B2B solutions
    that crossed enterprise boundaries and touched systems and processes from
    customers and partners, the complexity increased exponentially. In the world
    of Web services (and therefore enterprise services) the business functionality
    of the application — i.e what it does — is separated from the technical
    execution – i.e how it does – it, which means that a change in the business
    functionality does not require changes in the technical execution and, in
    reverse, changes in the technical execution, such as the move to a new
    platform, do not impact the business functionality. This is why an Enterprise
    Services Architecture allows a company to leverage and extend its existing IT
    Infrastructure without the cost of integrating or replacing existing systems.

  • Reduces the overall cost of IT by allowing companies to extend their
    existing IT infrastructure.
    Enterprise services allow companies to build
    new applications on top of existing ones, rather than, as in the past, having
    to either replace existing applications once a new business process is put in
    place, or spend a lot of time, effort and therefore money in building
    connections between existing applications. SAP helps companies fill such
    functional gaps with SAP xAppsâ„¢ composite applications.

  • Supports innovation by enabling companies to execute new business
    strategies faster, giving competitive advantage.
    Enterprise services
    allow companies to put together the applications needed to support new
    business processes in literally days rather than months. This enables them to
    save costs internally, but, more importantly — in a world where most product
    innovations are rapidly commoditized — it enables them to gain advantage
    over their competitors by providing a product or service their customers want
    faster than the competition.

 

 

Analysts’ Voices on Service-Oriented Architecture and Web
Services

 

  • In a research paper looking at the value of service-orientated
    architectures, Forrester analyst Randy Heffner describes service orientation
    as a critical design strategy for the future of enterprise applications in
    which functions within applications and business processes are treated as
    services that operate independently of each other. A service-oriented
    architecture enables flexible systems that are easier to integrate and
    change.
    Source: Lightweight
    middleware can bring hefty savings
    ,
    ComputerWeekly, May 25 2004

  • Meta Group’s Asia Pacific research director Kevin McIsaac urged caution over
    supplier interpretations of what an adaptive enterprise means. “Things
    will become more modular and IT will move away from integrated applications to
    components and service-oriented architectures. The service-oriented
    architecture is going to be a key part of being adaptive.” Meta’s
    executive vice-president Karen Rubenstrunk said IT must move towards
    service-oriented architecture if the promised benefits of an adaptive
    enterprise are to be realised. “Chief information officers are not chief
    process operators and the CIO is the one person that has an enterprise-wide
    view to understand the business changes,” Rubenstrunk said.
    Source:
    Service-oriented architecture key to adaptive enterprise, says Meta,
    ComputerWeekly, April 5 2004

  • Companies should invest in emerging technologies such as web services to
    become “adaptive organisations” capable of responding to
    opportunities and threats more quickly.
    Analyst firms have urged
    companies to become more agile “real-time enterprises” by using a
    service-oriented architecture. Herb Van Hook, senior vice-president and director
    of research and fulfilment at Meta cited the automotive industry as an example
    of an adaptive organisation using innovative technology and business processes.
    Source:
    Businesses must adapt to survive, warns Meta, ComputerWeekly, March 2nd
    2004

 

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