This blog covers everything about SAP Netweaver definitions, architecture, purpose, capabilities and benefits of it.
SAP Netweaver is not:
Before we learn about what is SAP Netweaver it is important to understand what it is not. This will clear most of your assumptions if you have any about Netweaver.
- It is not a programming language to write program. Like Java, C, Python etc.
- This is not a software application like excel or product like Microsoft Office.
- It is not a collection to libraries or APIs that can used to write program or build applications. Not a JDK or .Net Libraries
- Finally, don’t assume this is as Server, Hardware, Database or OS.
Well, Did I break any of your assumptions? If yes, then share in the comment what was your assumption previously. I would be happy to hear it from you.
Well, If it is not all above I said then what is SAP Netweaver?
What is SAP Netweaver?
The simplest definition to remember about Netweaver, that it is a Technology Platform.
I will give you 2 Definitions that you can remember and use it to define Netweaver.
“SAP Netweaver is a collection of components put together to addresses specific challenge”
“SAP Netweaver is a Technology Platform.”
What is Technology Platform?
Technology Platform is an echo system in which we can solve specific problems with the components in that echo system.
When I say eco system that means it can include various applications, development tools, servers, manages security, uses industry standards and manages the application life cycle. (Installation, upgrade, patches, restarts, monitoring etc)
I will rephrase the definition that I used earlier in this context.
“Technology Platform could be a collection of technologies capabilities to address specific business needs.”
SAP Netweaver is a Technology Platform which is a
- Collection of Software Applications that provides the
- Tools to build web applications (Portal Capabilities)
- It has applications that manages Analytics and Reporting Capabilities
- Tools to Integrate systems to exchange the message
- Applications to build mobile applications
- Manages security and Identity (User Roles, ID & Single Sign-on)
- Provide tools to develop the applications.
- Uses Industry standards technologies like Webservices, XML, BPMN and many others.
- Provides underlying server to deploy applications which supports ABAP and JAVA programs.
- Manages complete application lifecycle.
Purpose of SAP Netweaver?
SAP Netweaver is a technology platform right then how can it help? What is the purpose of it? What challenges does it solve? How SAP uses it?
Think for a second – How does SAP makes money? Hmm….Interesting question right
What are the products of SAP? Do you know?
SAP sells wide range of products, applications and services to enterprise of different size (Small, medium and large companies)
One of the core product suite in the SAP product catalog is SAP Business Suite.
SAP Business suite is a collection of SAP software applications and industry specific solutions that helps companies to manage their business.
SAP Business suite is a collection of 5 things together – ERP, CRM, SRM, SCM and PLM.
SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) helps to manages the companies Enterprise process like material master, sales, finance and etc.
SAP CRM (Customer Relation Management) tool helps to records the information during the sales, services and marketing. It supports customer focused business areas. Example when customer calls to helpdesk, all the conversation and ticket management can be done using CRM.
SAP SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) software helps to coordinate the business processes with your key suppliers. It helps to manage the buy and selling process with the supplier.
SAP SCM (Supply Chain Management) software manages the process of production planning, business forecasting and demand planning. It helps to take care of procure-to-pay process.
SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software manages the process of product idea, build, and service.
So, all these individual applications address various business operations and solve different business challenges i.e SAP combines then into one product ie. Business Suite.
SAP Netweaver provides a technology platform for these application to run. All the required tools, server, security and maintenance of applications are managed by Netweaver.
Whereas Business suite concentrate on mapping companies business process with the solution to run the business.
So, What’s the purpose?
Purpose of Netweaver is to provide a platform to run these products.
Global Trends & Technology Demands
Lets step back and I would like you to think about challenges that is evolving in technology market. Just to get a feel of challenges.
If you look at the global trends like cloud, in-memory computing, mobile devices, social media they heavily impact the way traditional IT business runs.
Imagine we own an ecommerce company and we sell products via web portal. Suddenly with the increase use of mobile devices we will have a new demand of launching our portal via the mobile app.
Also with increasing cost on the hardware maintenance in premise we may need to look for cloud based infrastructure.
If our competitor is on the latest technology with faster cache, SEO, responsive design and other cool features then we need to switch our approach faster too.
So, it is really challenging for any business to stay on top of the global trends and technology demands.
To really move with the speed, customer request easy-to-use innovations that do not corrupt their existing core business processes.
Customer really expect these things:
- Easily to adopt changes
- Short innovation cycles
- Ability to respond to new technologies
SAP Netweaver embrace those challenges and move with the evolving technology.
SAP Netweaver Capabilities
So, the diagram you are seeing is the simplest form of SAP Netweaver architecture diagram you can remember.
Please remember this picture in your mind as this can answer many of your questions about how Netweaver is aligned.
But Before we jump into every component of it, think for a while?
Why it is categories into People, Process and Information?
It actual means that Netweaver platform has components that will resolve the challenges around people, process and information.
All the software’s inside Netweaver are around these 3 areas – People, Process and Information
People means applications that helps to connect to people like web portal, mobile applications. Like a user interface that connects people.
Process means applications that helps to exchange the data to complete a process. If you are doing an online payment then flow of information from website to bank and then back to website is a good example of data exchange between two application.
Information means applications that collects the data and use it for generating reports, provide meaningful insights on the behavior.
Remember this one more definition of SAP Netweaver:
SAP Netweaver has applications and tools that connects people, process and information together.
SAP Netweaver provides this technology platform to address the challenges to engage the people, integrate the systems and study the information.
When all the applications under people, process and information developed where do they get deployed and executed.
Well, Application Foundation layer helps to provide the server that can used to deploy the applications developed by the tools under the people, process and information.
Lifecycle Management helps to manage lifecycle of the product or applications used under the people, process and information.
What is lifecycle management? It’s like Upgrading, patching, restarting, monitoring etc.
Security & Identity management take cares of security for the applications.
Composite Environment is used to develop composite applications that uses the existing services. Some of the tools in composite environment are Composite Application Framework, Guided Procedures, Visual Composer, Voice, Portal Content Modeling, Portal, and the Universal Worklist, SAP NW BPM, BRM. We probably go in details in about this in another podcast.
Want to read more? Then watch the PODCAST above which covers more than what you read above.