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|ITKnowledge Exchange member "glengoldman" asked:
We are in the process of identifying a content management solution for our SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) running on NetWeaver 04 SR1. The GUI and XML form builder that SAP provides in not robust enough for our requirements. Has anyone implemented a third-party solution for this or customized SAP's EP tools for content management of structure/unstructured content?
My exact task was to research and provide a content management system. Our major goal was to allow reusability, open source framework and a means to efficiently print a paper catalog. We chose APSIVA, ONESource. If you're really looking for a workflow content management solution this may not be the answer. However, we also took a look at A2i (which I understand SAP purchased).
I work mostly in the federal IT industry, and our most recent approach for forms and Web-based processes was to use an XML schema generator that manages the content as nodes and relationships (I can go from paper-documented process to automated tools with embedded forms in days). We are presently using it for compliance of security policies and Sar-Box. It's all Microsoft-based. Interfaces to SAP or other external apps are handled through BizTalk, but you can use any EAI. The reason we chose Microsoft was that the .NET/Web services ability to manage XML files via SharePoint was very affordable and quick to stand up. Plus you leverage your desktop apps by making calls from the XML to launch XML Forms (InfoPath), documents (Word), spreadsheets (Excel) and so on. Since our customers have most of these products already, there are no bolt-on apps required and no additional SA support required.
Are you looking for a development environment to add transaction features (that perhaps grow into xApps)? If so,.NET is probably a good choice. If you want portal content management, products like Interwoven might be the choice. If you want to implement something bordering on change management/versioning of content, perhaps Documentum. All of those products have worthy competitors.