SAP NetWeaver Configuration and Customization
Learning More About SAP NetWeaver
One reason that NetWeaver exists is in order to allow you to configure and customize your SAP solutions with greater ease. Take advantage of NetWeaver configuration features to make your SAP and non-SAP applications more agile and interactive, and you could derive a number of technology- and business-related benefits. Remember that, if you configure NetWeaver in certain ways, you can achieve SAP customization more easily than in the past.
SAP NetWeaver Development Tips
NetWeaver is now standard SAP technology. In other words, it's what SAP uses to build SAP applications. However, there are two NetWeaver development environments: One is powered by ABAP, which is SAP's own development language, and the other is powered by Java. Java is more heavily emphasized in some NetWeaver contexts, such as the NetWeaver portal, certain types of Web Dynpro applications and NetWeaver Developer Studio, whereas ABAP predominates in other areas, such as NetWeaver PI. One of the raging debates in SAP circles is whether the SAP Java commitment will outweigh ABAP. SAP says that ABAP is alive and well -- and, indeed, the flagship SAP ERP is still built on ABAP -- but some observers believe that SAP Java is the way of the future. This is just a sampling of NetWeaver development tips that can be answered by our NetWeaver expert, Axel Angeli.
NetWeaver can be used to extend SAP solutions with custom components. This is an important development because, for much of its existence, SAP won a reputation as a software system that is highly resistant to easy customization. SOA is changing that, as the example of the recent SAP spell checker demonstrates. Thus, the development capability of NetWeaver should be actively approached as a way to tweak and customize SAP solutions.
The SAP Enterprise Service (ES) community is a marketplace for end users to buy and sell SOA- and NetWeaver-architected functionality. Before investing in in-house development of NetWeaver-powered applications and customizations, it's worth checking the ES marketplace to see whether what you need has already been posted by a community member.
SAP has targeted co-innovation and Web 2.0 as a higher priority in the years to come, and ES is just one of many ways that you can tap into the expertise of the SAP developer community to extend SAP value with NetWeaver.
SAP NetWeaver in Action: Case Studies of NetWeaver Users
NetWeaver has a number of enthusiastic end users. For example, Whirlpool used NetWeaver to good effect back in 2004.
Some general practices of SAP customers can be particularly helpful to NetWeaver adopters. For example, SAP end user Rosenthal USA achieved a successful SAP implementation by avoiding common pitfalls and adopting best practices. As a smaller company, Rosenthal USA offers helpful tips for negotiating with VARs and other strategies for driving down the price of an SAP implementation or upgrade.
There are also NetWeaver-pertinent lessons to be learned from Rubbermaid's user of SAP master data management and McKesson's focus on streamlining business processes as part of an SAP implementation. Remember, using or planning to use SAP products is always an opportunity to revisit and improve your business processes.
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This was first published in October 2008