SAP XI will replace the SAP Business Connector (BC) in the long run, but right now there is still some functionality that BC offers and XI doesn't. Even if SAP does not prolong life for BC, you still have many years of BC ahead of you. BC will be supported for at least as long as SAP Web Application Server 6.40. Considering that 6.30 is released this year, it seems to be safe to assume that 6.40 will not appear any earlier than 2004. Support for it will certainly last for quite a few years after that. My personal prediction is that you will be in good shape with BC for at least 5 years from now. Also consider that SAP invested a lot of effort in the latest (and presumably last) BC release, 4.7. They wouldn't have done that if they didn't believe in the product, right?
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