BSP vs Java

Current activities by SAP AG indicate that mySAP.com e-Business platform will support both the ABAP and Java worlds. This was seen with the introduction of Web Application Server 6.2, where we have more options available to Web-enable SAP applications (Business Server pages and Java) as compared to Internet Transaction Server (ITS). Using these technologies not only gives better performance and power over the Inside-out approach, but it also allows the flexibility of an open Web environment for future development. Although the Web Application Server market is still maturing and is very competitive, the movement towards standards has forced all application server vendors to build their products to the J2EE specification. Though the future direction of SAP applications leans heavily in favor of Java and XML, is SAP ready with it's Java development environment? I personally think that there are certain things one would want to consider before planning to move their SAP applications to Web using Java. For example, one of SAP's main strengths has been the "Transport and Version Management" system. Using Java, development would be done on a different environment which would not be able to take advantage of SAP's above mentioned Management systems. It will then be difficult to keep a track of the development done in Java, followed by the changes as compared to development done with BSPs. The files created using BSPs are stored in SAP and this would be easier to move across environments

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(DEV > QA > PROD). All said and done, it again drills down to the comfort ability level and those who wish to leverage on their existing SAP skill sets & avoid the costs associated with locating or migrating skills to Java will likely opt for the ABAP platform using BSPs whereas those looking to establish a foundation for future growth, increase their software choices, and have ultimate flexibility, the decision will likely be Java.

This was first published in March 2003

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