Ask the Expert

SAP XI performance: What is it lacking?

We're considering opportunities for usage of XI. We've read a great number of technical docs and we're having difficulty in picking up on the core features of that product.

Is it possible to get a comparative analysis of XI and its main rivals? Where? I mean architecture, functionality and so on. Maybe you can provide brief distinctions.

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Actually, I did a presentation on exactly this topic -- at the SearchSAP Application Integration Forum in Chicago on July 21, 2005. I will be presenting at the forums in Houston on Nov. 30, 2005 and Baltimore on Dec. 8, 2005. Check out http://searchsapconference.techtarget.com to apply for free registration. There are also three white papers I wrote on this topic that appeared on SAPtips.com.

Currently SAP XI is trying to conquer its share of the middleware market. SAP XI provides an integrated workflow engine that allows you to define adapters to non-XML-protocols and mappings to convert data content from source to target.

A fully mature middleware provides three layers: An independent Message Queue, a data consolidator and mapping engine and a workflow processor. XI is missing the Message Queue.

Currently, SAP XI does not have the features of the old players in the market, like IBM Websphere, Mercator, Seeburger or TIBCO. But SAP is doing its homework and the next releases of XI will be visionary and a quantum leap ahead in middleware technology. This will not happen before 2007.

This was first published in November 2005

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