SAP pushes SOA program

Looking to help customers more easily use service-oriented architecture (SOA) technology, SAP is formally launching a program to provide services and tools that it said will yield practical business results.

The business applications vendor Wednesday announced its Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA) Adoption Program. First rolled out in 2003, ESA is SAP's answer for SOA. It uses Web services and SAP's own NetWeaver middleware platform to enable the crafting of business processes over heterogeneous applications. The ESA Adoption Program is designed for users looking to evolve their IT infrastructure without completely taking down their existing installations.

The program provides customers with products and support services, including workshops, templates and tools, from SAP and its partners from the planning stages to the go-live date. Until now, there was no formalised program to help connect the ESA to a company's specific business goals, according to Ori Inbar, vice president of product marketing for NetWeaver.

Inbar said the program will help companies define main events and roles and create a process map. It will also help them decide what they will use out of the box from SAP or third-party software vendors and what they will have to custom-write themselves.

"It's a pretty pragmatic approach," he said. "It's not a big bang, but rather takes it step by step." Ultimately, said Inbar, exploiting SOA is a "never-ending process."

The ESA Adoption Program will be available in April.

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