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Middleware and composite applications

Can middleware overcome the shortcomings of MDD tools? Should developers of composite applications study at the business process level? Expert Andre Truong answers.

With the limitations of enterprise services and orchestration of processes with MDD tools, can middleware like MDD and XI overcome the immediate shortcomings? Does it make sense for a composite developer to gather knowledge at the process modeling level as well as the middleware level in order to leverage his tool know-how and get a better overall composite application up and running?
What would be those limitations? I know some of them like technical limitations in consuming services with parameters with deep structures or with WSDL containing import statements. With such limitations, I would hope NetWeaver upcoming releases (Java and ABAP stacks, BPP and XI) will support those, as well as the ability to consume upcoming release of Web service standards like WSDL 2.0. Right now, to be on a safe side, we can assume that all services compliant with WSDL 1.1 and with simple and complex type parameters can be consumed with MDD tools.

The second part of your question seems to relate to the BPX role that SAP is trying to promote. I totally agree...

that a composite developer should engage in process modeling in order to better translate the business process requirement into a technical language that would be implement-able with the MDD tools. Process modeling can be expressed with a variety of notation languages like BPMN or ePC. There's no way in NetWeaver to directly translate such notations into SAP Visual Composer, Guided Procedures or XI for example. It's a manual translation effort requiring a lot of iterations, and for those reasons, somebody has to do such translation. That translation between business requirements and technical implementations in a world of composition would be the responsibility of a business process expert (www.bpx.sap.com) or the one you called composite developer.

This was last published in January 2007

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