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Abstract: This document is about a software known as SAP software used in marketing to share networks so that the products could be easily distributed with proper record in several parts. Some well-known techniques such as cloud computing are used in it.
HISTORY AND INTRODUCTION.
SAP, started in 1972 by five former IBM employees in Mannheim, Germany, states that it is the world's third-largest independent software vendor. The original name for SAP was German: Systeme, Anwendungen, Produkte. It means "Systems Applications and Products." The goal of the company was to provide large enterprise customers with the ability to interact with a corporate database in real-time. Today, the company states that its goal is "to offer the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of business performance and optimization solutions for companies of all sizes."
SAP's first software application was a financial accounting software suite that ran on a mainframe and was known for its stability. It eventually became known as the R/1 system. The "R" stands for real-time. During the 1980s, the company went international, and the second iteration of the R system (R/2) accommodated different languages and currencies. In the 1990s, the third iteration (R/3) moved from the mainframe to a client/server three-tier architecture composed of a database, software applications and a common graphical user interface (GUI). SAP used the name R/3 until the 5.0 release. At that time the name was changed from R/version to ERP Central Component (ECC). The most current version as of November 2009 is ECC 6.0.
When the Internet became pervasive, SAP responded by providing companies with the software they needed to sell goods and services online. Their product portfolio got a Web interface and was rebranded MySAP.com. MySAP was designed to be a corporate Web portal with role-based permissions for employees . The company promoted how SAP "solutions" could link commerce conducted over the Internet (e-commerce) with traditional bricks and mortar commerce to provide one seamless view of the business. Next came
NetWeaver, the company's development and integration platform and middleware component, and Business Suite, a bundling of SAP's enterprise resource planning(ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), product lifecycle management (PLM) and supplier relationship management (SRM) applications. In 2008, SAP purchased Business Objects, a French enterprise software company that specializes in business intelligence (BI), which marked a major change in the company's BI strategy, which was previously focused around SAP's Business Explorer tools.
Current products include:
â€¢ SAP NetWeaver - service-oriented technology platform (SOA) for integrating information and business processes across diverse technologies and organizational structures. NetWeaver provides the foundation for other SAP software bundles.
â€¢ SAP Business Suite - software applications for large organizations and international corporations. The applications support core business operations such as supply chain managment, warehouse management, sales, customer relationship management and administrative functions. SAP offers software for 25 vertical industries, including banking, insurance, chemicals, healthcare, retail and consumer products.
â€¢ SAP Business All-in-One solutions, SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One - software products that address the needs of small and mid-market companies.
WORKING WITH BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE APPLICATIONS
Business Intelligence applications (BI applications) enable portal users to evaluate and analyze current and historical company data at various levels of detail and from different viewpoints.
BI application----Application that displays the relevant business data to the employees of a company, particularly members of management. The data can be produced as formatted reports or as analytical applications that allow detailed data analysis.
iView ------ Program that retrieves data from content sources within your company (such as from the BI system) or from the Internet, and displays the data in the content area of the portal.
Portal page ----- A portal page consists of layout and assigned content.
Portal role ----- A role defined in the portal. A role is a collection of tasks, services, and information available to groups of users. The role determines which services can be accessed. The role also provides the visualization of the content and the navigation structure.
KM folder ---- Container for documents and folders in Knowledge Management. Knowledge Management enables unstructured information from various sources in the portal to be integrated, provided in an organized way, and managed uniformly.
Collaboration Room ---Portal-based room that enables users to organize themselves in teams and projects regardless of their physical location.
It supports teamwork through shared use of project-related applications and information that only room members have access to. If required, you can publish information gathered or created for public access.
Customer relationship management
No matter how hard you work, you can't succeed in the small-business world if you don't put your customers first. But making the most of customer relationships isn't easy. Keeping your clientele engaged and coming back for more requires flexibility, a great memory, and creative thinking. Today, customer relationship management (CRM) software is a must-have for companies that want to keep in touch with their clients. And for very small companies, the most compelling CRM products live in the cloud. So, to understand the concept of customer relationship management, we need to understand the pros and cons of cloud computing.
Cloud computing----Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service. The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.
A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic -- a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access). Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet and a weak economy, have accelerated interest in cloud computing.
Working of cloud computing.
Let's say a person is an executive of a large corporation. His particular responsibilities include making sure that all of your employees have the right hardware and software they need to do their jobs. Buying computers for everyone isn't enough -- he also have to purchase software or software licenses to give employees the tools they require. Whenever he have a new hire, he have to buy more software or make sure your current software license allows another user. It's so stressful that you find it difficult to go to sleep on your huge pile of money every night.
Soon, there may be an alternative for executives like you. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, you'd only have to load one application. That application would allow workers to log into a Web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for his or her job. Remote machines owned by another company would run everything from e-mail to word processing to complex data analysis programs. It's called cloud computing, and it could change the entire computer industry.
In a cloud computing system, there's a significant workload shift. Local computers no longer have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles them instead. Hardware and software demands on the user's side decrease. The only thing the user's computer needs to be able to run is the cloud computing system's interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser, and the cloud's network takes care of the rest.
The on-demand, self-service, pay-by-use model
The on-demand, self-service, pay-by-use nature of cloud computing is also an extension of established trends. From an enterprise perspective, the on-demand nature of cloud computing helps to support the performance and capacity aspects of service-level objectives. The self-service nature of cloud computing allows organizations to create elastic environments that expand and contract based on the
workload and target performance parameters. And the pay-by-use nature of cloud computing may take the form of equipment leases that guarantee a minimum level of service from a cloud provider.
Virtualization is a key feature of this model. IT organizations have understood for years that virtualization allows them to quickly and easily create copies of existing environments -sometimes involving multiple virtual machines - to support test, development, and staging activities. The cost of these environments is minimal because they can coexist on the same servers as production environments because
they use few resources. Likewise, new applications can be developed and deployed in new virtual machines on existing servers, opened up for use on the Internet, and scaled if the application is successful in the marketplace. This lightweight deployment model has already led to a "Darwinistic" approach to business development where beta versions of software are made public and the market decides which applications deserve to be scaled and developed further or quietly retired. Cloud computing extends this trend through automation. Instead of negotiating with an IT organization for resources on which to deploy an application, a compute cloud is a self-service proposition where a credit card can purchase compute cycles and a Web interface or API is used to create virtual machines and establish network relationships between them. Instead of requiring a long-term contract for services
with an IT organization or a service provider, clouds work on a pay-by-use, or pay-by-the-sip model where an application may exist to run a job for a few minutes or hours, or it may exist to provide services to customers on a long-term basis. Compute clouds are built as if applications are temporary, and billing is based on resource consumption: CPU hours used, volumes of data moved, or gigabytes of data stored.
The ability to use and pay for only the resources used shifts the risk of how much infrastructure to purchase from the organization developing the application to the cloud provider. It also shifts the responsibility for architectural decisions from application architects to developers. This shift can increase risk, risk that must be managed by enterprises that have processes in place for a reason, and of system,
network, and storage architects that needs to factor in to cloud computing designs.
In the present era, where companies are struggling to unite various heterogeneous environments in their organizations and maintain a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) NetWeaver comes as a solution to all their problems. SAP NetWeaver is the latest advancement in the mySAP Technology, which was developed as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) shell that accepts standard comments, literally as they are spoken, by domain experts.
Another unique feature of NetWeaver that makes it stand out amongst other software technologies is its modularity. The knowledge engineer can more easily create "digestible chunks" of modules or sub-dependency networks, which help to keep the overarching dependency network from becoming potentially incomprehensible because of apparent complexity. SAP NetWeaver architecture and its interoperability is with Microsoft.NET and IBM WebSphere. In addition it aims at bringing out all the advantages that are associated with SAP NetWeaver.
Net Weaver in simple words is an application and Integration platform in which Web Services play a major role and which is open for Non-SAP applications and platform. It is used by organizations to improve productivity and enhance efficiency by making all the resources that are available in an enterprise to work collectively. The SAP customers to bring heterogeneous environments at one platform use SAP NetWeaver. In addition, it enables customers to use the already existing systems without putting in much investment. Further in the near future, the various corporate sectors and Organizations have to take a decision for some common platform; could be Microsoft .NET, IBM Websphere or SAP NetWeaver. Irrespective of the choice that they make, SAP NetWeaver is the one that integrates with all the three technologies.
SAP NetWeaver attains the process of integration by integrating all the available heterogeneous resources of the existing system and unifying them into a homogeneous form. This integrated information forms the basis of total, comprehendible, focused solution as desired in an enterprise.
NetWeaver Object Model and Enterprises Architecture
This section focuses on overview of the object model of NetWeaver. This basic knowledge facilitates the organizations in constructing an apprehensible knowledge base. The various components that are present in NetWeaver Object Model are Data Links, Dependency Networks, Nodes and in some cases, evaluation groups. Each of these components and their function in the NetWeaver Object Model is described below:
Data Links: These objects of the NetWeaver function to request data about the real-world objects. They can also be defined as the objects that have one-to-one relation with the real-life objects and can be logically and mathematically manipulated. Thus, making the knowledge representation in NetWeaver simple as well as insightful. Moreover, these objects are reusable and can be referred as and when required.
Dependency Networks: The dependency networks in NetWeaver play the central role in formulating the representation of the problem. These dependency networks are used to interconnect different objects in the object model. Therefore, they are considered to be the most important factor in the object model of NetWeaver. Using the "New Network" that is present in the network window can create a new dependency network. Also, new dependency networks can be added in the object model in the later stages without creating any interference with the already existing knowledge base.
Nodes: Nodes function to form the relation between data links and dependency networks. Nodes are classified into logical nodes and functional nodes. The logical nodes define the dependencies of the network on its antecedents and the functional nodes are used to construct the mathematical relation in the data links.
Evaluation Group: An evaluation group is a user-defined collection of networks. An evaluation group specifies a collection of networks that are conceptually relevant to one another and that the knowledge base designer wants to see evaluated as a set.
B. Advantages of SAP NetWeaver
1). Enhanced Adaptability: Enhanced adaptability actually refers towards the adaptability of SAP NetWeaver towards the existing Business System in any organization. It provides a heterogeneous environment, integrating the various applications; databases and making available open technologies like web services readily available to the user. It saves money on unnecessary customization of the existing business System.
2) Lower TCO: SAP NetWeaver instead of replacing the existing system interweaves the various resources like databases, legacy systems; Internet based Information and provides a heterogeneous Environment for the user to get the maximum from the new unified system. It also prevents unnecessary customization of the entire system. Moreover, it reduces complexity and makes the system more comprehendible and flexible to the rapidly changing business processes. All of these lead to reduced the total cost of ownership.
3) Better ROI: SAP NetWeaver increases the return on investment. As mentioned earlier, by using this technology IT strategies can be synchronized with SAP solutions. This synchronization makes the system more reliable leading to better assessment services, which in turn lead to financial benefits.
NetWeaver uses a very transparent process to provide the ability to trace the logic structure right from the raw data to information, which can be used for analysis. It helps in developing portal content on your preferred platform. Interoperability of SAP NetWeaver both with Microsoft .NET and IBM Hemisphere takes at People, Information and process level. For Microsoft .NET, Sap's .NET connector provides a highly scalable and reliable communication infrastructure, as well as a Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Add-In to simplify development. Further, Sap's new Java middleware, the SAP Java Connector (JCO) allows customers and partners to easily build SAP-enabled components in Java. Thus, helping decision makers interpret and manipulate the output of the decision model that provides mathematically robust knowledge about complex problems. Hence, making SAP NetWeaver a Complete Solution for the Integration with various applications and platforms that are used in various organizations.
Creating an ASP .NET Web Application Using the SAP .NET Connector
SAP.NET Connector along with Microsoft.NET can be used to create Web Applications. The following example illustrates creating .NET project using Microsoft Visual Studio. NET. Here, a client application reads and displays customer data from an SAP System using a search value and then displays it in a data grid.
The example uses the function module RFC_CUSTOMER_GET, which requires that customer data exist in the target SAP System, for example, in IDES. Although it is possible to rename all development objects and generated proxy classes, default names are used in this example. This example is provided as part of the connector sample code (DNCWebApp).
E. Procedure of Creating an ASP .NET Web Application Using the SAP .NET Connector:
1) Open Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.
2) Create a new C# Web form project:
Choose New. New Project. Visual C# Projects. ASP .NET Web Application.
You can also create a project in any other common programming language for .NET, for example, in Visual Basic .NET. In this case, you must add the SAP .NET proxy classes as a separate project in the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET solution.
3) Rename the form Webform1.aspx to Default.aspx.
4) Add Web controls to your Web form.
5) Add proxy classes to connect the Web applications to your SAP server.
In the Solution Explorer, right-click on your project.
Choose Add. Add new item.
Select Web Project Items.
SAP Connector Class and choose Open.
The SAP .NET Connector Wizard opens.
Decide from where you want to generate the proxy classes.
Proxies can be created from
Web Services Description Language (WSDL) files that originate in an SAP interface repository (IFR)
A SAP server
Standard WSDL files
Select the client proxy object type and select beautify names option.
Select the Remote Function Modules (RFM) you want to use in your proxy object.
You can use search filters to look for the Remote Function Modules. In the example, enter the search argument RFC_CUST* in Name-Filter and select RFC_CUSTOMER_GET.
Add the modules to your proxy object and choose NEXT.
The proxy classes for the referenced table and structure types are automatically created and added to the project.
6) Build the solution with Build. Build Solution.
7) Create an SAP Login page to support user name and password authentication
In the Solution Explorer, right-click on your project.
Choose Add. Add new item.
Select Web Project Items. SAP Login Form
Leave the name as SAPLogin1.aspx.
8) Set the system connection information in the destination object of the SAPLogin1.aspx page:
In the Solution Explorer window find the item SAPLogin1.aspx and double-click on it to bring it up in the designer.
Look for the component destination1 on the bottom of the form.
Click on the destination component and set the properties for connecting to your SAP system (for example AppServerHost and System Number). The other properties like client, Password and username will be set from the login page.
9) Data bind the data grid to BRFCKNA1Table:
BRFCKNA1Table is the parameter of RFC_CUSTOMER_GET that contains the list of customers.
Select SAP Table Wizard from the SAP proxy toolbox and Drag Drop it to your working area. In the dialog box, select BRFCKNA1Table.
Select the data grid, and under Properties change Data Source to BRFCKNA1Table using the drop down list.
Customize the list of columns displayed on the data grid by modifying the Columns collection property.
10) On the default.aspx page, double-click the Button control you added earlier to create an event handler for the control.
11) Add the connect code to your project:
Select Connect code from the SAP proxy toolbox.
Drag Drop it in the source code of your event handler. A fragment of sample code is then inserted. It connects to the SAP server using the authorization settings from the Proxy Wizard. Normally, you must change these settings.
F .Interoperability of SAP NetWeaver with IBM WebSphere
Interoperability of SAP NetWeaver with IBM WebSphere takes at People, Information and process level. This interoperability helps in developing portal content on your preferred platform thus saving investments. SAP NetWeaver supports groupware and collaboration products such as Lotus. It helps in accessing and gathering Information consistently. This is done by integration of SAP Knowledge Management and data management tools such as IBM Content Manager. It also centralizes the Knowledge base and helps in coordination of processes, which cover various Technologies e.g., SAP NetWeaver supports an environment in which SAP Exchange Infrastructure and IBM WebSphere Business Integration can exchange information. As mentioned earlier, SAP Web Application Server, a component of SAP NetWeaver, supports platform-independent Web services and other primary technology standards including J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) and Java Message Service (JMS). SAP Java Connector is a toolkit that allows a Java application to communicate with any SAP system. It combines an easy-to-use API with extraordinary flexibility and performance. The package supports both, Java-to-SAP, as well as SAP-to-Java calls. Customers using IBM WebSphere can easily access existing business objects and integrate their applications with any SAP application.