INTRODUCTION

1.1 Overview

A Successive business environment always want to have some innovative business process models designed in a way that can enhance their business and operational performance with maintaining uniqueness from their business competitors. Business process improvements demands for an adaptive information and software architecture with a business process platform (BPP) that brings the required innovation and uniqueness with a guaranteed performance improvement in daily business operations.

The demand for a more flexible and agile platform for a business oriented sector is dealt through services oriented architecture (SOA), where the IT solutions and techniques are congregated to meet the constantly shifting needs of industry. SOA starts with services, which are group of components mainly involve in a business process execution. The use of these loosely coupled web- services at an enterprise level, with well defined and platform independent re-useable interfaces has emerged with enterprise services and a higher level of SOA based platform. that has proved to be an industry standard, specifically focusing on business processes. The emergence of web services developments and standards in support of automated business execution has driven a major technological advancement, most notably the service oriented architecture. (SOA approach tech and research issue (2007).

SAP as a market giant in providing the business solutions is combining the technology with its deep business processes and industry knowledge and has evolved using enterprise SOA terminology, a step ahead from standard SOA technology. SAP offer the enterprise SOA in terms of using the SOA technology to deliver business solutions with well defined set of enterprise services models and SOA enabled SAP NetWeaver platform. SAP delivers business process platform by offering the SAP NetWeaver platform as a technological basis and its latest release of mySAP ERP applications (SAP ERP6.0) as a functional core of it. (Campbell and Mohun, 2007, pp 97-98)

Enterprise SOA as being business driven software architecture needs to be presented with more exploration of its business driven features, covers business aspects of SOA such as its adopted methodologies, strategic and governance aspects etc. Some additional views and research study on SOA in context of its impact on BPP also emphasize to take SOA as a business driven approach only, which considers both sides of it, the technical infrastructure and the business driven approach. ( some research reference…forget find it out plsssss )

“SOA as presented in the trade literature, is not in the form of business architecture, nor is it presented from a business perspective. By and large the literature addresses the technical aspects of services-orchestration not the business aspects. This lack of a business view is what distinguishes a SOA from an enterprise SOA” (Gulledge T, 2007). The above statement clearly mark the enterprise SOA with an eminent status of business oriented platform and insist the research community to divert more towards its business aspect rather than having the technical perspective of it.

Considering the above two statements by (Gartner and Gulledge), the research area of this thesis is to explore the business aspect of an enterprise services oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) in context of enterprise business solutions and applications presented in the form of a business process platform (BPP), SPECIFICALLY the approach and business logic presented by software vendor SAP in this field.

In order to make this research more logically accepted towards the business processes transformation on a enterprise SOA oriented business process platform, a technological view on the features and capabilities of enterprise SOA will also be discussed with its current and future role in evolution of SAP NetWeaver as an application, integration, composition and finally as a business process platform.

Business process management, Composite applications, building blocks, web services, Model driven approach.

Designing SOA architecture is extremely considered with the awareness of business processes and same will form the core of operational and functional platform for the business processes in the future. This research thesis is to empirically analyze the impact of the eSOA on the future of SAP Business processes platform along with the identification of the central requirements that are not yet satisfied by this architecture in an enterprise environment. In addition this thesis introduces/demonstrates the emerging SOA methodologies and methods being used in developing the composite application, as well as the limitations in the business process platform for SAP products and solutions.

********implements dynamic services, composing and binding of services and the functionality of a business process platform with possible applications (supported) are also described.*********

First we provide an introduction to Web Services and the place they can play inenterprise systems. The aim is to provide an overall understanding of the technologyrather than a tutorial on its detailed application. A high-level model of our enterprisesystem context is also presented to aid the discussion. Second, we examine the extentto which web services can be used within an enterprise system, and conclude that theycan. This means that a single worldwide standard for services can be used not onlybetween enterprises, but also within them, even within a single address space! All partsof an enterprise system can be provided with the same standard technology, frontinglegacy systems, message buses, new systems, business processes, and workflow

Page 14….

. An SOA is a component model comprises mainly on web services that interrelates functional units of an application called services. Through well defined interfaces and contracts betwen by using an approach of web services, Enterprise SOA and the wide-ranging opportunities offered by thebusiness process platform fundamentally change the developmentof business processes. They make it possible to model and combinebusiness workfl ows in virtually any way, using enterprise services..This paper outlines the various aspects of SOA adoption from a technical and business viewpoint, discusses theresearch efforts in these areas, highlights the dearth of critical research into the business and organizational factorsinfluencing the adoption of SOA, and discusses potential approaches to study these factors and their impact. Indoing so, this paper sets an agenda for researchers interested in the practical ramifications of the populararchitectural approach to systems development and business process transformation.

The following section provides a brief background on the concept of service-oriented computing. Section 3 covers adiscussion of the potential challenges beyond technology in the road to an enterprise SOA rollout, summarizing thestate of affairs in current published literature and highlighting the need for empirical investigation of SOA in practice.Section 4 outlines a research agenda for studying the real-world impacts of SOA adoption discussing possible areasof investigation and potential approaches for research. The final section, Section 5, summarizes the analysis andprovides some concluding remarks on future research.SOA is a logical way of designinga software system to provide services to either end-user applications or to otherservices distributed in a network, via published and discoverable interfaces. A wellconstructed,standards-based Service Oriented Architecture can empower a business environmentwith a flexible infrastructure and processing environment. SOA achieves this byprovisioning independent, reusable automated business process and systems functions asservices and providing a robust and secure foundation for leveraging these services. Efficienciesin the design, implementation, and operation of SOA-based systems can allow organizationsto adapt far more readily to a changing environment

1.2 Aim and Objective

The Aim of the research is to analyze the various aspects of enterprise-SOA adoption in evolving a business process platform from a technical and business viewpoint, highlight the influencing technologies and their future impact on adoption of enterprise SOA enabled platform (SAP NetWeaver) as a reusable building and composing paradigm for business processes.

To pursue with the Aim, following are the objectives devised,

To provide an overview of Service oriented architecture in context of SAP enterprise-SOA based Business process platform and its impact on future developments within SAP’s provided business solutions.

  1. To provide a technical exposition, highlighting the usage and interaction of enterprise services on SAP enterprise SOA enabled BPP and its composition environment.

  2. To provide a clear explanation of the importance of STANDARDS to enterprise SOA to explore its expected flexibility and uniformity in operating the business applications on an enterprise SOA oriented BPP.

  3. To explore the BPP at all levels of its lifecycle in order to have an exact relationship and features it perseveres from enterprise SOA and enterprise services as its core ingredient of services enriched structure.

  4. To highlight the real change, an enterprise SOA would be bringing in to specific industries as an individual business application platform and also as commonly available platform for different business natures e.g. ERP, CRM, and SCM etc.

1.3 Approach


1.4 Dissertation Outline

Thesis has been divided in four main chapters, covering most of the aspects of the topic.

In this introduction chapter 1, the introduction on the topic is given, with highlighting the subject importance and the reason on categorizing the subject area in technical and business perspective. Aims and Objectives of thesis are also described here with a brief overview of the intended findings of this thesis. Chapter 2 presents a literature review, dedicated to provide explanation on the key concepts of enterprise SOA and Business process platform, along with the other relevant and interrelated issues, terminologies and methodologies, affecting the research area directly or indirectly. The purpose of the next chapter 3 is to present the research method applied to reach on an answer to the research question. The subsequent chapter 4 is all about the results and summary of the Qualitative/Qualitative/Empirical data finding of online survey with an analysis of the data collection and personal findings. Chapter 5 summarizes the analysis outcome and present a conclusion, in addition with areas of interest for future research.

CHAPTER 2: LITRATURE REVIEW

2.1 Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture (enterprise SOA)

Enterprise Service-oriented Architecture (Enterprise SOA) is a business driven software Architecture based on the capabilities and qualities of enterprise services. Enterprise SOA mainly transforms the IT Architecture such as a business process platform (BPP) for an organization with more compliance to the real-time technical and business requirements by elevating the web services to enterprise level. Walker L (2007). Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become the governing architecture for the future versions of SAP business process platform and SAP business applications. “Service-oriented architecture is a blueprint for an adaptable, flexible, and open IT architecture for developing services-based, enterprise-scale business solutions. With the SAP NetWeaver technology” SAP Research (2009)

A forecast on a view on Business 2010 by the Economist back in 2005 concluded 82 percent of the decision maker’s survey as “a company’s potential for success depends on its ability to flexibly harness IT for process innovation and integration. The best-placed companies are those that turn requirements and ideas from departments and management into IT-based business processes as fast as possible” Business 2010. With the same view of Business 2010 and beyond, SAP has developed the enterprise SOA where the main core of the architecture, the enterprise services can be reused in business processes. New functionalities can easily be activated in the response of a workflow change which helps redesigning the business processes rapidly and efficiently on the base of new business ideas and models.

Enterprise-SOA is a flexibly adopted and strategically recognized architecture now by a huge number of existing IT platforms and business processes across the enterprise sector. The architecture demands more research and developments at a further phase for enterprise-SOA adoption heading towards more substantial processes improvement across Business platforms, developed by many major vendors by spending huge resource in order to refine the business processes running on the business platforms. Before exploring the more details on SOA’s current and future technological incorporated business platform, the base and core technology paving such a platform will be discussed first, generally known as WEB SERVICES.

Enterprise SOA’s relationship and its link with its base web services and role in Business process management and BPP is discussed further in next sections in an appropriate manner.


2.1.1 Enterprise SOA – A Derivation from Web Services

Enterprise Services, working as a core of enterprise-SOA are technically based on web services technology. Working through interfaces channels, these services are transformed with additional features of many business related contents and processes and introduced as enterprise services within an enterprise environment such as SAP’s enterprise-SOA. Woods et al (2004)

Web services in general are potentially new generation software based technologies, introduced to deal with business enhancements and complexities within the dynamically integrated business environments with in and across the organizations. Web services are comprises of applications that provide different internet based interfaces normally required at an enterprise level and also participate in delivering a service-oriented architecture (SOA.

Although web services may not be the only requirement to implement an enterprise-SOA, but they are becoming the most preferred in an enterprise environment because of their technical interoperability features relying on open standardized web technologies as mentioned by Purao and Umapathy (2007).

SOA work as a platform and represent a framework that manages web services transformation in to enterprise and application services to make them a useful and effective mechanism for a business activity or process running on a SOA enabled platform, similarly an enterprise-SOA is a SAP terminology, developed to present an SOA environment to fully enriched their business process platform with the technical and business processes features inherited by enterprise web services technology. This inherited web technology architecture interacts and integrate the business functionalities to provide a more flexible and valuable business and technology integrated platform, called as a business process platform.

2.1.2 Web Services – Technologies and standards

Grham et al (2002) technically describes the web services as an interface which provides a collection of integrated operations, accessible thorough standardized Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) protocol messaging. A Web Service functions using a standard XML notation, called its service description, that provides all of the details necessary during interaction with the service, including message formats, transport protocol, and location. These web services descriptions, performing a specific or a set of tasks are expressed in Web Services description languages WSDL. Web services business-oriented platform has a wide acceptance in today’s internet based business environment. Built on standard internet based technologies and standards briefly mentioned below, makes it more favorite towards web services based business processes. Maamar et al (2006). These web services technologies are driven by three research communities a) The standard group of the W3C, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and the Global Grid Forum (GGF) b) Middleware vendor adoption and c) The open-source community. Cesare et al (2007).

Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) is a text based core central component of web Services architecture, used for expressing data.

Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) is a standard approach function as a business application towards registering web services definitions in to a repository.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is an XML based transport mechanism protocol that defines the structure of the message used for the communication in between web services. It also defines the message processing method, encoding of exchanged data in between services and how to represent remote procedures and responses.

Web Services description languages (WSDL) defines the input and output parameters in the form of user interfaces for web service. Paar (2003).

ebXML is used to exchange the business profile information between the web service provider and the web services requester.


Enterprise SOA and Business Process Platform (A Meeting of Disciplines)

2.2 Business Process Platform

2.2.1 What is a Business Process Platform?

Adopting Enterprise SOA for a company require an appropriate platform to accommodate the new architecture and its services enabled solutions. A Business Process Platform performs as a prerequisite for the deployment and integration of enterprise services, centrally located with the enterprise services Repository (ESR) containing enterprise services definitions, unified with business and information technology and business intelligence features provide more operational excellence for the business processes dependant and running on this technology platform. The reason behind to build a business process platform was to provide an appropriate technology platform equipped with applications to deliver the business processes in a flexible way from the customer point of view and to adjust and customize the business processes in to something appropriate with its clients business needs. A Business Process Platform (BPP) formally known as NetWeaver in SAP’s domain brings more business consistency and innovation through the Enterprise SOA.

****BPP Changes Infrastructure and the Business Application Vendor Landscape (LOOK FOR this research/journal mentioned in gartner.pdf

2.2.2 SAP approach to deliver the Business Process Platform.

SAP’s approach on delivering the Business Process platform is entirely influenced by SAP ERP software, which was mainly built by using an approach of a combination of SAP own technology, the ABAP programming language, enabled integrated business processes within companies and implemented standard software with an easy to install attribute to customer sites.

SAP has built its Business process platform on top of the Service oriented Architecture (SOA) design. Using the already existing SOA terminology SAP has extended the technology to enterprise SOA, adding all the business processes development and management knowledge they had previously as being serving the business community for last many years. SAP’s business process platform has been enhanced with many built in features that makes it a pre-defined, pre-delivered and pre-developed with web services, business processes features, components and contents that allow a user to compose and deliver new application by using its built in set of services.

The current business process platform has SAP NetWeaver as a technological ground and SAP ERP 2005 with all the business functionalities and other SAP business applications act as a functional core of the platform. Web services enablement with all the definitions of enterprise web services and the wide ranging opportunities delivered with business process platform fundamentally change the development of business processes.

SAP has described a clear roadmap for enterprise-SOA based business process platform and most of the developments are in place and utilized by the business industry.

In the next sections, a summary of the major elements of the enterprise-SOA with a detailed review of the usefulness of current SAP adopted technologies and features to develop its BPP is discussed, which at a later stage can help to predict how SAP’s future version of BPP will continue to evolve based upon the current SOA strategy and other industry developments.

Model Driven Approach

Moving away from coding towards a modelling approach SAP utilized business processes expert community to model its existing Business processes running in its business applications. These models are developed in a semantic way, completely different the way as used by the business applications (ERP, CRM etc) replacing the coding with business process perspective. They make it possible to model and combine the business workflows using the enterprise services.

***************SEE BOOK Requirement Modeling and specification for SOA)

3. Business Process Management


Business Process Management initially developed from a business perspective to improve the business processes and got associated with a number of business improvement methodologies such as total quality management (TQM), Six Sigma, and business process re-engineering (BPR). The emergence of enterprise-SOA and web services technology in the context of business process platform revolutionizes the transformation of business processes running on the platform.

A successful business functionality of the SOA require a clear focus on the business processes, pre-designed and pre-deployed on a business process platform for composing and delivering new business applications. Enterprise SOA repeatedly joins the services with business processes to awake the features of complete business process management architecture within the business process platform. BPM in other words, refers to the business process platform ability that automates the management of business processes.

Business process Management (BPM) is a concept of management discipline has been referred to as the third wave of process management by Howared Smith and Peter Finar Fingar (Smith and Fingar, 2003). The first wave of processes management where the processes were standardized but not automated and the second wave where the processes were automated using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are now better improved with third wave of BPM where the business processes are the central focus and building block of automation and business. The entire value chain of the ability to change processes is continuously improved and optimized using the agile BPM and emerged with a category of software system called Business Process Management System (BPMS). The functionality of the BPMS has been a seamless part of the SAP NetWeaver Business platform now.

***********SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management builds on industry-standard technology, including Web services, XML-based messaging, Java, and Java Enterprise Edition****** from SAP research Ad

3.1 Enterprise SOA and BPM

Enterprise SOA is said to be an enabler of BPM and at same time Business process Management provides sustainable value on top of the service-enabled platform like Business process transparency, flexibility and transformation (methodology) with SOA as technology enabler. SOA and BPM work hand in hand to deliver value. (SAP PRESS, BPM)

GARTNER ” From an organizational standpoint, SOA as a concept usually resides in the IT units and – depending on the process orientation in the companies – reaches out to business process management”

Enterprise SOA enhance a business process platform with the business strategy of service composition and with ability to crate and modify the business processes where an enterprise make sure that the right processes and building blocks are being created to respond to the competitive pressure of a frequent business change. The SOA is intended to perform as a reusable building and composing paradigm in which we can build new processes by using the existing processes. SAP’s current enterprise SOA provide applications fully derived by web services features and exposing the complete business functionality for every business process and act as a toolbox of pre-built contents, mapping and routing rules for both SAP and Non-SAP applications.

(source: Enterprise SOA , designing business for IT innovation)

3.2 SAP’s BPM Strategy

SAP as being the world leading process automation technology supplier in the form of SAP Business Suite like ERP and CRM, with over half of the world’s business transaction involving 12 Million users in 120 countries. Currently SAP has put a lot of work in to defining the BPM capabilities within its SAP NetWeaver platform and SAP Business Suite. Majority of the SAP Business applications already automate the core process but BPM as a new arena in SAP is mainly diverted on business-IT alignment, linking strategy to execution and governance to business integration.

SAP differentiates the business processes in to further sub-processes, which help to accommodate different business scenario in a seamless unified platform.

Application Core Processes: These packaged processes jare designed as an integral part of a business process platform, represent the core business practices, delivered by SAP business applications such as SAP ERP, CRM etc. Their function is to provide added business value and the customization nature of these core processes has a sustainable process improvement impact on BPM.

Composite Business Process: Enables the business process composition on the edge of application core processes, adopting characteristics from an executable business process model, which enables a quick responding nature in case of a critical business change request. These processes are delivered through the building block of BPM capability discussed in details below.

Technical Integration Process such as system to system (S2S) and system to human (S2H) are implemented to define the management of complex integration scenarios created during A2A and B2B interactions. The nature of integration processes is to enable message flow automation.

SAP’s diversion to BPM approach is recognized by offering a set of mutually reinforcing BPM building blocks in respond to the frequent business changes. (SAP BPM White Paper)

 

3.2.1 SAP Business Process Platform and Building Blocks.

A good platform must hold the underlying capabilities and feature of quickly construct the business processes from constant and precise building blocks. These building blocks need to be sufficiently interoperable and independent that can be quickly and easily combined and re combined in to different business services and business processes. SAP facilitates this innovation and enables business transformation by providing business services as the building blocks of business processes. Building block organisation in SAP building block architecture ensures the following, (Source: book Applied SOA)

  1. All SAP existing applications are web service enabled, having all the definitions stored in the ESR to provide comprehensive SOA governance and management around the platform.

  2. A Composition Environment that contains the building blocks for composition and adaptation of new services, events and applications. modeling of business processes with SAP NetWeaver developer studio, connecting the web services and generate the user interfaces. SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (CE) 7.1 enables the composite environment feature for enterprise SOA.

  1. Process Integration comprises of Provisioning and SOA Middleware provides Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) that has a technical connectivity capability and B2B integration through SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) 7.1 with external business partners with a possibility to do the intelligent routing and management of web Services as well.

(Source ESOA intro 4m technology point of view 2008)

BPM in the NetWeaver Platform

Page 8 on SAP BPM white paper

19 Composite applications


3.3 Enterprise SOA and Environment

SAP as a Composite Environment

SAP’s Application Composition Environment (SAP NetWeaver CE) is a key milestone, emerged as a dedicated platform to create more advanced SOA based composite applications. Composite Application within the enterprise SOA are built with the services in an SOA landscape comprising of both SAP’s enterprise services and other web services. These applications allow the implementation of the business processes on top of the other available services either with their existing business logic or with completely new business logic for adapting the previously defined services to the new application oriented requirements.

(Source: Gulledge T (2007) or Enterprise SOA development hand book (SAP2008)

“A best-of—breed composition environment must offer, a effective and flexible reuse of existing applications and services, a Productive development environment and a business process orientation to align IT operations with business activities”
(SAP accelerate your roi in service oriented architecture (2009)

A merger of the existing applications with new applications on SAP business process platform enabled by SOA reduces the integration challenges normally experienced in a general application environment, that enhance the business processes automation. These composite applications specially deliver the process definitions by using one or several application modules of the existing application, and the resulted processes definitions or new applications support a new business process which has not been supported by the existing application.

SAP NetWeaver development and modeling tools speed up this process. IT operations with business activities

[

Business flexibility and innovation are enhanced as companies establish a business process

platform (BPP) specific to their needs to enable process creation, deployment and monitoring. A

business service repository is an essential ingredient in a BPP. The emerging generation of

business applications and enabling software architecture marks a shift in the boundary between

application functionality and supporting infrastructure (Gartner 2009 – from gartner.pdf )

3.4 SOA Services Repository

In a typical SOA environment, a repository is a significant mechanism to manage the services and reuse of services for certain business processes running with in that environment. woods and mattern (2006) mentioned that SOA repository is a central storage place where an organization store the services information that enable the reuse of services elements . SOA repository designs the services that reuse the data types and services interfaces. A modeling process even can look up in the repository for reuse or adaption of any services element. Hence, presence of all services components and objects at a common place avoid the re-invention mechanism and maximize the reuse of services components.

3.4.1 Enterprise Services Repository

Enterprise Services Repository (ESR) is a well step beyond the SOA Services repository embedded on SAP’s business process platform. ESR is a SAP’s first enterprise services storage that exposes the business functionalities of a BPP in an SOA manner using web services capabilities. In addition to a typical SOA repository an ESR encompasses some newly designed semantic definition models, centrally stored in the (ESR). In SAP environment an ESR serve as a common repository for SAP customers and partners and contain all the necessary business processes, components of each business processes and the enterprise web services required by any SAP or non-SAP domain. These business components and web services can be reused as enterprise web services just by recalling the services definitions during the application building process with in the development environment where applications are built more rapidly with a lot of more business functionality. (ESR Reference SAAAAAAAAAAP one)

    1. SOA METHODOLOGIES

(Methodology for Accelerated transformation to SOA)

Enterprise Services orientation in business processes has also introduced a lot of challenges along with the opportunities. The increased trend in the deployment of Service-Oriented Architecture towards business processes transformations required a need for a matured methodology at every phase of the ESOA involvement either in a business or technological phase. SAP is currently emerging with the SAP methodology “The Methodology for Accelerated Transformation to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)” built with the characteristics to meet the challenges and activities required by SAP business process platform in order to transform the IT system landscapes with the service oriented architectures. The Methodology for Accelerated Transformation carries the features to act as a SOA adoption roadmap in the context of SAP business applications and technology components. The aim of this section is to present a state of the art analysis of SAP’s existing SOA Methodology by analysing its activities, usage and differentiation between its approaches at different built in phases like the Methodology development, adoption and implementations phases during the business transformation on SAP business process platform.

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The methodology for accelerated transformation to service-oriented architecture (SOA) describes the typical activities required to:

  • transform to an SOA-based system landscape using the SAP Business Process Platform as a key building block.

  • use the SAP Business Process Platform and build service-based solutions on top of it.


The methodology focuses on the SOA-by-evolution concept and related SAP products, services, and concepts. The target audience is people who drive, plan or execute a company's evolution toward a service-oriented architecture.

The methodology can also be considered as an SOA adoption roadmap in the context of SAP products (business applications and technology components, which form together a business process platform).

It is important to note that "SOA-based system landscape" does not mean that each and every business process of a company runs as a service-based solution (for example, as composite application). Instead, it means that there is a platform in place which:

  • incorporates SOA principles

  • offers companies the option to address certain requirements through individual service-based solutions.


HOW TO USE THE METHODOLOGY

The methodology distinguishes between SOA adoption initiatives at enterprise level and business solution implementations at project level. The enterprise level initiatives are mainly related to long term IT strategy planning and infrastructure setup activities. The solution implementation part is structured along the plan, build, and run cycle. The "Plan" phase describes a general business process management methodology and is actually not only relevant in the context of a SOA transformation. Instead it can be used for planning solutions in general and independent from the later technical implementation option. The "Build" phase is SOA-focused and describes a methodology for implementing user centric composite applications on top of a business process platform.

These methodology sections are not necessarily processed in a strict sequence. Companies can parallelize activities, set different emphases or even choose different entry points (different adoption patterns). For instance, some companies may have the required platform basis or infrastructure already in place and may start directly with the implementation of service-based solutions (for example, based on SAP's Enterprise Service Bundles). Other companies may not see a need to invest heavily in a long-term enterprise architecture planning, because this issue is already settled for them, and start directly with the modernization of their system landscape (for example, ERP upgrade).


METHODOLOGY ASSUMPTION

The methodology is based on the assumption that companies want and need to establish an SOA at an affordable cost. This is recognized by two aspects of the methodology: the service provisioning side, and the service consumption side.

On the service provisioning side, SAP ships a business process platform which includes a huge amount of ready-to-run enterprise services. This means that companies do not necessarily need to build their own custom enterprise services. They can leverage the services of the business process platform (and the included SAP Business Suite) and immediately start building innovative solutions on top of it.

On the service consumption side, the methodology supports a gradual (evolutionary) approach towards service-based solutions. This means that best-practice processes (for example, core processes which require a certain semantic consistency that is certified by a vendor and compliant with regulations) can stay within packaged business applications like the SAP Business Suite and run as "platform processes". At the same time, companies can build innovative processes and solutions as service-based solutions (for example, as composite applications). Typically, it makes sense to focus on areas where the advantages of service-based architectures and highly standardized interfaces can be leveraged to the largest extent: These are processes that span across functions, applications, and enterprise boundaries. Another driving force for service-based solutions can be the need for custom-tailored user interface

3.6.1 SOA Strategies/Lifecycle


Developing SOA based platform always needs to go through certain processing phases, known
as SOA lifecycle
[Ziff Davis. Strategies for SOA Success, Ziff Davis Media Custom Publishing December 2005]

3.6.2 SOA Governance

SOA Governance Cycle

Another important feature a BPP has its built in Governance cycle that creates the collaboration with external partners and industry specific business processes that help SAP to transform its services required on business process platform as appropriate as the industry demand. The governance cycle also help SAP in making these services definition fully compatible with the Service oriented architecture. These web services defined by SAP are built on open standards which enable a BPP not only to deliver the business process contents but also present it as a platform to plan new applications and flexible business processes along with the composing, delivering, running and monitoring the new business applications developed by SAP and other external business communities, therefore the platform not only serves as a tool to build new applications but also serves as an application server to run applications on it.But what does the concept of governance infer when talking about SOA? Well,explanations aiming at describing the features of SOA governance are many. Mehling(2008) states that SOA governance refers to activities and procedures related toexercising control over services in an SOA environment. It features everything acompany uses to ensure SOA is done in accordance with best practices, architecturalprinciples, government regulations and pertinent laws. Likewise, Woods & Mattern(2006) assert that SOA governance and policies provide a management structure,processes, and policies to oversee operations and management of services. In addition,Carter (2007) states that the task of SOA governance is to assist in establishing a processfor shared services, facilitating communications, as well as enforcing standards,platforms, and policies. (Thesis : Success factors of SOA page: 33)

[SOA and WbServices Thesis - refer 22)

Governance

Implementing a solution requires the definition of enterprise policies and establishment of strong auditing and conformance mechanisms to ensure that enterprise policies are being adhered to. Governance enforces compliance with the architecture and common semantics, and it facilitates managing the enterprise-wide development and evolution of services [22]. Governance consists of a set of policies that services and applications must conform to, a set of practices for implementing those policies, and a set of processes for ensuring that the policies are implemented correctly. An organizational structure should be in place to define and implement governance. Governance of SOA should achieve the following:

· Include policies regulating service definition and enhancement, including ownership, roles, criteria, review guidelines e.t.c.

· Specify identification of roles, responsibilities, and owners.

· Enforce policies that are integrated directly into the service repository where appropriate.

· Include guidelines, templates, checklist, and examples that make it easy to conform to governance requirements.

· Involve a review of service interface definitions for new services enhancements to existing services. It ensures that the service definition conforms to standards and aligns with the business and info0rmation models. This is typically done by a service review board or the unit responsible for the service.

· Include an architectural review of applications and services to ensure that they conform to the SOA and enterprise architecture, typically done by the architecture review board.

Governance might also support processes that allow different organizations to make changes to shared services. It should not be seen primarily as a review activity but must follow a carrot-and –stick approach with an emphasis on enabling developers to build conforming applications and automating governance activities and policies [22]. The failure to manage the evolving SOA can result in financial loss in costly service redesigns, maintenance, and project delays. More damaging are the potential loss of revenue and the business liabilities.]

3. Enterprise SOA and BPP

Adopting Enterprise SOA for a company require an appropriate platform to accommodate the new architecture and its services. A Business Process Platform is the prerequisite for the deployment of enterprise SOA. BPP provides an extensible repository of enterprise services definitions and a technology platform to integrate and deploy enterprise services to enhance the business processes within an enterprise SOA.


The Enterprise SOA Business Case approaches

As said by Gartner Research Lab that SOA is an application terminology contains the data and business logic of an application in the form of modules or services, this business logic is encapsulated in modular business components that identify a Business driven approach of the SOA. Another joint research study done by Institute of Information management at University of St Gallen in cooperation with SAP has shown the following two different SOA business case approaches from the customer viewpoint.

Situation as of Today

Observation: in the market: many SOA Projects start without a Business Case

Focus mostly on “learning” the new technology / addressing specific but isolated pain point

BUT: Need for proving value increases rapidly along further SOA adoption

Assumption: There is a difference regarding methodology, structure and tools for SOA

business cases compared to traditional business cases for IT projects

One of the two SOA approaches is business driven approach

IT Centric Approach: This IT-centric approach mainly focuses the SOA IT Infrastructure related business case and the IT organization itself. This approach value the IT related improvements brought in through adopting the SOA within an organization such as one of the most relevant key driver identified in this aspect is the “reuse of services” which focus on more improved IT efficiency through reducing software development cost and time involved. This services orientation feature of SOA IT-Centric approach significantly improves the reusability of software functionality. . “In mature organizations, we found an average reuse rate of four, which leads to considerable IT consolidation and cost-saving potential. However, strict governance is absolutely vital.” says Prof. Dr. Robert Winter, Institute of Information Management, University of St. Gallen.

Business Driven Approach:

The business driven approach of SOA is an enhancement of the first SOA IT-Centric approach and mainly identified as the business process platform business case, where the IT-Centric approach participate as a component in a more comprehensive way, making the business driven approach more valuable and effective on IT and business side.

“SOA is not an IT-Lead initiative driven by technology, it is a business driven architectural approach that helps IT organizations work with their business counterparts to realize a flexible BPP. Therefore, the business case is not only a SOA infrastructure but a BPP business case comprises of business process benefits strategic business benefits, and IT benefits

[ See from where has taken and where to put seems important if you closely align your IT with the business and design services along process needs. SAP’s concept of built-in business semantics in enterprise services

is exactly the way to guarantee this.” ]

“Burda Digital Systems GmbH, for example, approaches SOA from an enterprise standpoint, as an open architecture for adaptive business solutions. “SOA is a powerful concept that allows us to increase our productivity dramatically,” says Gerhard Thomas, CEO of Burda Digital Systems. “We achieve 10% to 20% savings in operations cost and 20% to 30% shorter project durations across our IT landscape. Sometimes it’s even more. However, the major benefit

of SOA unfolds on the business-process side. We achieve increased process efficiency of between 10% and 30% and also benefit from improved process quality due to consistent data and role-specific process design.”

According to Gartner, SOA is “an application topology in which the business logic of the application is organized in modules (services) with clear identity, purpose and programmatic access interfaces. Services behave as "black boxes": Their internal design is independent of the nature and purpose of the requestor. In SOA, data and business logic are encapsulated in modular business components with documented interfaces. This clarifies design and facilitates incremental development and future extensions. An SOA application can also be integrated with heterogeneous, external legacy and purchased applications more easily than a monolithic, non-SOA application can.” (Gartner IT Glossary)

As service-oriented architecture (SOA) undergoes mass adoption and establishes itself as a de facto technology standard for implementing software architectures for increased flexibility, efficiency, and insight, organizations are looking for more economic justification for their SOA projects. This study focuses on the quantifiable SOA business-value proof points that organizations are using to convey the benefits of an SOA strategy to decision makers.

To enable best-practices sharing, SAP cooperated in this research with the University of St. Gallen, Institute of Information Management (IWI-HSG), interacting with SAP and non-SAP customers in industries such as financial services, telecommunications, media, and the public sector. Key findings from the study show that customers approach making the business case for SOA in two different ways.

]

Chapter 4: Methodology

LITERATURE REVIEW

Research Papers written on enterprise SOA, Business process platform and Web services Documentation.

RESEARCH ANALYSIS AND ECOSYSTEM PLATFORM:

SAP WEB based research forums and communities in addition SAP provided documentation on enterprise SOA and Business Process Platform.

COMPARATIVE STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF DATA COLLECTION:

Distinct developments of major market vendors like Microsoft, Oracle and PeopleSoft is also considered to derive a comparative analysis and recommendation for SAP platform on better improving the business processes.

ONLINE SURVEY:

An online Survey to have an analysis and feedback on the research questions raised in thesis writing on a leading survey site is done,

METHOD

  1. Conclusion

      1. Comparison with other platforms

[ I2 Agile Business Process Platform
Document: i2 Agile BPP

Document i2 BPP - A Platform for the Future or
http://www.i2.com/supplychainleader/issue1/html/SCL1_aplatform_forthefuture.cfm ]

IBM WEbShpere Business integration primer (eBood)


INTRODUCTOIN

The Aim of this research is to analyze and explore the enterprise Services Oriented architecture (eSOA) and highlight eSOA’s impact on the business process platform with both business and technology aspect with in SAP boundaries, eSOA features and provided methodologies for further development of business processes and platform (SAP NetWeaver) would be mainly focused.

Main areas to be addressed

***[(Enterprise Services Architecture)] based strategy

To provide a clear explanation of the importance of STANDARDS to enterprise SOA to explore its expected flexibility and uniformity in operating the business applications on an enterprise SOA oriented BPP.

To explore the BPP at all levels of its lifecycle in order to have an exact relationship and features it perseveres from enterprise SOA and enterprise services as its core ingredient of services enriched structure.

To analyse different phases of SAP methodology for accelerated transformation to SOA and its impact on SOA business transformation processes.

To highlight the real change, an enterprise SOA would be bringing in to specific industries as an individual business application platform and also as commonly available platform for different business natures e.g. ERP, CRM, and SCM etc.


  1. SAP Business Process Platform (NatWeaver) Overview

Document: Transform Your Organization with Enterprise Service oriented Architecture


SAP Solutions


WEB SERVICES and SOA


Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA)

ESA is far more than “SAP’s approach to SOA and Web Services” it is far more than the technologies inside SAP NetWeaver. It is far more than xApps and Web Interfaces. And, it is about far more than simply implementing mySAP ERP or other Business Suite Applications. (Cambell et al (2007)

Chapter 5: Conclusion, Future Research and Recommendations

  1. The Future of BPM Modeling (Page 220-221 Mastering Book)

  2. Identified Challenge for Future MDE Research
    (Journal: Towards Utilising Model-Driven Engineering of composite applications for performance Analysis.

  3. Enterprise SOA and end to end Business Process Execution (Journal – Page 273)
    ***SOA Architecture solution from SAP AG & SOA Architecture Solution from Oracle (Oracle Fusion)

  4. SAP BPM Galaxy Choclate – SAP Paper 2009
    Future Management Business Process Management (Slide 25) &
    Next Generating (BPM Slide 12)

  5. Business Processes excellence – Springer 2009 (e-book)

Chapter 5:

No two companies will have same SOA impact on their adapted BPP. Some companies are just initially motivated to look at a platform by their plans to upgrade to mySAP ERP or any other Business Suite Application that introduce SAP NetWeaver in their infrastructure. Other have a stronger interest in how SOA can improve the efficiency and effectiveness within IT And there are those who find that adopting a business process platform offers the best opportunity to solve a high ROI business Problem. No matter what they get started, the organization will have a unique impact an SOA platform brings in to the organization. (Mastering BOOK s 265 – No reference required just for info)

  • The Future impact on BPP’s Business Systems Integration

  • The future impact on BPP’s Architecture Design

  • The Future Impact on ERP Application (Implementation and development) ( Methodology discussion )

  • A point taken from Mastering Book (page 262)
    ( SOA, Business process Management, Model driven architecture and user centric computing are major themes that are converging. All of them have a big impact on a Business Process Platform

Conclusion:

The goal is to extend that effort by building a larger vision between business and IT though a shared understanding of new ESA-Enabled capabilities in SAP business applications and NetWeaver platform. Part of your ESA adoption program will include digitally modeling these key processes and identifying the underlying services needed to support them. You can then work with SAP and its ecosystem partners to determine the nes you can acquire, and those that you need to create or exend to enable differentiation (Mastering BOOK s 284 – No reference required just for info)


REFERENCES:

Cambell. S, Mohun. V. (2007). Mastering Enterprise SOA with SAP NetWeaver and mySAP ERP, Wiley Publishing, Inc p. xxii.

Cesare, D.S. Bell, D. Iacovelli, N. Lycett, M. Merico, A. (2007).A Framework for Deriving Semantic Web Services Dept. of Information Systems and Computing, BURA, Brunel University.

Maamar. Z, Benslimane. D, Narendra. C (2006), what can context does for web services? ACM communication vol. 49, no. 12

Paar, A. (2003). Semantic software engineering tools In Companion of the 18th annual ACM SIGPLAN conference on Object-oriented programming, systems, languages, and applications (pp. 90-91). Anaheim, CA, USA ACM Press

Dan Woods, Jeffrey Word, 2004

SAP NetWeaver for Dummies

Wiley Publishing, USA, Indianapolis (Indiana), ISBN-13: 978-0-7645-6883-3

K. Umapathy and S. Purao, A theoretical investigation of the emerging standards for web services, Information

Systems Frontier, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 119-134, 2007.