If SAP (news, site) has given the impression in recent years that it is slow in getting to market or responding to change, the announcements that it will be moving some of its products to the Amazon EC2 cloud and that it is facilitating deeper integration between SAP and Microsoft cloud computing technologies should go some way to improving that image.
Like many other companies, it has been forced to respond to the rapid rise of cloud computing and has responded with these two announcements that will make its products more accessible to a wider audience.
With the Amazon announcement, SAP has become a certified global technology partner, with the result that a number of solutions can be run on the EC2 computing cloud, including SAP Rapid Deployment solutions and SAP BusinessObjects solutions, with more to follow in the future.
For clients, this means they can deploy their solutions on SAP-certified Amazon Web Services in the knowledge that they have been tested and the performance verified so SAP solution deployments on AWS meet the same standards of on-premise SAP solutions.
In practical terms, SAP says, users will be able to take advantage of the Amazon Web Services pay-per-use model as well as scale quickly and cheaply according to needs.There will also be a number of unidentified third-party providers that will offer services ranging from planning to deployment and migration for users that want to use SAP solutions in the cloud.
The first wave of supported SAP products that have been announced includes the suite of SAP BusinessObjects solutions and SAP Rapid Deployment solutions supported on Linux platforms. Other products on the way include support for enterprise resource planning (ERP) landscapes from SAP and Windows instances.
The other recent cloud-related announcement from SAP will mean tighter application integration by making it easier for .NET developers to gain access to SAP software , as well as helping users, who want to move to the cloud, get there with minimal disruption to business.
Until this announcement, Microsoft developers had to translate applications into the Oracle-owned Java if they wanted to write applications for SAP software, or into SAP’s own development language, which complicated things and made development cycles considerably longer.
However, with this announcement, things will get simpler. Ultimately, by giving .NET developer’s access to SAP, SAP is hoping to make data inside its business software easier to retrieve and use in collaboration software -- particularly SharePoint, cloud computing applications and mobile devices.
This is not the first time that SAP and SharePoint have got together. Earlier this year, it launched Duet Enterprise software that enabled SharePoint users to pull data from SAP applications. It seems to have worked, too, as what the company is proposing here is much wider and far-reaching.
Following this announcement, it will be upgrading support across a number of application models that will result in interconnected development platforms, and extended capabilities for developers within the Microsoft ecosystem.
It will do this using SAP NetWeaver Gateway technology in a way that does not require any specialized knowledge of SAP business software, and will include software development accelerators to enable connectivity between the development platforms, as well as integrating Microsoft development tools with the business functionality of SAP solutions.
The anticipated new interoperability layers include:
- Visual Studio integration: Deeper integration of SAP systems and future versions of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework
- Windows Azure SDK for SAP NetWeaver Gateway: Extend SAP NetWeaver Gateway with a new SDK for Azure so developers are able to create private or public cloud-based applications for Azure that connect to on-premise SAP systems without leaving their existing development environment
In addition, both plan to integrate upcoming landscape management software from SAP with Windows Server Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.
With them, users will be able to scale deployments in their own data centers or through private clouds, with further work promised here in the future, too.