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Microsoft developer hoping to break into SAP NetWeaver

Is NetWeaver the right fit for a MS developer with experience in Web services? Expert Jon Reed comments.

I am a Microsoft developer with seven years of experience in technologies like BizTalk Server (a middleware product from Microsoft), ASP.NET, Web services, C#, IIS, SharePoint, SQL Server 2005 business intelligence, etc.

I wanted to get into SAP NetWeaver. Can you advise me where I can fit in my skills, either in SAP BI or SAP XI, or can I get into SAP NetWaver administration? I have worked a lot on Web services and Web technologies also.

There are a lot of technical consultants trying to get into NetWeaver. In truth, there are probably many ways into NetWeaver. You're correct that Web services skills are a helpful skill to have heading into NetWeaver work. An important part of NetWeaver is Web-enabling various business processes using SAP's Enterprise Services Repository and ESA (Enterprise Services Architecture).

One thing to remember is that NetWeaver includes a range of products, from XI to BI to Portals. So, there's a variety of "entry points" to consider. With all the interest in NetWeaver, it's important to figure out how to "leverage" the strengths of your technical background. Since you've done a lot of work in Microsoft development environments, I would recommend that you pursue work with companies that are using Microsoft's .NET environment within the NetWeaver solution. There are not that many SAP customers using .NET and NetWeaver, but there are some. And those companies would have a much greater interest in your .NET skills than companies not using the .NET environment.

Of course, you might be able to find another route into SAP, but I always advise starting with the one that draws the most on your existing skills.

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