Resarch firm Illuminata has given the thumbs up to a shift in architectural thinking by SAP which it says shows the company is moving into a new phase of openness and modularity.
“Listening to SAP describe its strategy, it becomes clear that the company fully understands how webService directories and new methods of business object description and invocation will change computing infrastructures,” said James Governor, analyst with Illuminata. “ Rather than paying lip service to change, SAP is embracing it wholeheartedly. “
Governor argues that by focusing on flexible, service-oriented integration, SAP is escaping R/3's roots as a legacy replacement and taking a position as a major force in the web services space. He cites as an example the decision to bring SAP Portals and SAP Markets under the SAP corporate umbrella, a move of which he approves, as well as renewed efforts to bring Java developers into the SAP fold.
“For a company known for it's "not-invented-here" mentality, this must have been a tough decision,” he notes. “But for SAP to really drive sales in the US, it needs to attract a new generation of customers and developers, including commercial developers who can build new functions and generate revenues SAP once would have reserved for itself.”
Governor’s conclusion is that SAP is clearly committed to extending its infrastructure with serious Java support, although he questions whether the company is as fully committed to Java as a language for building and using business objects. “If SAP truly wants to attract support from Java developers, then it has to persuade them that it's sincere with its Java work,” he warns.