SAP eyes the cloud with NetWeaver 7.3

The company has announced the latest version of its enterprise application platform NetWeaver, with new features that in future will centre around the cloud, mobility and in-memory computing
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

SAP has announced the latest iteration of its NetWeaver platform, version 7.3, with a focus on future cloud integration, mobility and in-memory computing tasks.

NetWeaver is the company’s enterprise application platform, supporting process integration, business intelligence, a portal and multiple application servers.

"People are looking for solutions, not stacks... We have to cross the divide of what already exists and bring innovation without disruption to systems that are already in place," said Vishal Sikka, SAP's chief technology officer, during the announcement of NetWeaver 7.3 at the SAP TechEd event in Berlin on Tuesday.

"In order to provide innovation without disruption to business customers... SAP will provide tailored content to provide easy adoption of the NetWeaver 7.3 release," added Bjoern Goerke, SAP's senior vice president of technology and innovation platform core.

Among the new features of SAP's core platform are extended Java support, which will add Java EE5 certification and Java-only ESB and JMS capabilities. In addition, there will be enhanced standards support and improved identity management tools using SAML 2.0 for identity federation and web-based single sign-on.

The company also says that features such as "near-zero" downtime when applying service packs and reusable business rule sets — which offer Excel integration — can result in time and financial savings for businesses using the platform.

"[An] Enterprise Portal service pack which would have taken several hours to deploy in the past we can now deploy in around five minutes," said Bjoern Goerke.

The new release — which is available to download now from the SAP marketplace in beta form — is expected to launch before the end of the year.

In August SAP outlined its intention to offer its whole portfolio of products on a variety of different mobile devices. Currently, SAP's mobile integration plans are called Project Gateway, and are underpinned by Sybase's Unwired Platform, which was obtained in SAP's $5.8bn (£3.7bn) acquisition of Sybase in July.

The company has already started offering some in-memory computing options to its customers, although it is currently restricted to largely analytical functions.

"The core in-memory computing engine powering the SAP Hana (high performance analytic appliance) software will also power SAP NetWeaver and deliver this innovation to SAP NetWeaver developers and partners," said an SAP spokesperson.

SAP's other major area of development is the cloud, where it says it will build more on-demand applications in areas such as collaboration and analytics.

"The platform is expected to leverage SAP NetWeaver capabilities to manage cloud operations and shared tools for building and deploying applications on premise, on demand or on device," added the spokesperson.

The company has not said when the full integration of its planned cloud, mobility or in-memory computing developments will happen.

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