- Note: SAP NetWeaver 2004s was renamed SAP NetWeaver 7.0 in April 2007. mySAP ERP 2005 was renamed to SAP ERP 6.0 too! (Blog updated accordingly!)
So what is SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (2004s)?
First of the all I have to explain what the little ‘s’ is all about? Well, the primary focus of the new features and deltas delivered in the SAP NetWeaver 2004s release are focused on the specific needs of the mySAP Business Suite applications. Therefore it is not considered a major SAP NetWeaver release but a minor special ‘s’uite release - specific suite features made to the SAP NetWeaver ’04 release. Don’t stop reading here… some of the new features and deltas are quite major when viewed alone and you can definitely leverage nearly all the features in your own SAP NetWeaver implementations.
When is SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) supported until? SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (2004s) is supported under the 5-1-2 maintenance model so the end of mainstream maintenance is scheduled for March 31, 2011
Update: Mainstream Maintenance has been extended for SAP NetWeaver. Extension of mainstream maintenance to the end of March 2013. Extended maintenance will be offered from 2013 to March 31, 2016
How do I get SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s)? There are a couple of ways to get the SAP NetWeaver 2004s software. First of all it should be clear that it is not automatically shipped to customers, it has to be ordered. You can order SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (2004s) install or upgrade software from your SAP Account Executive or from the SAP Service Marketplace (downloadable from there too if you have such a contract!). In addition all the SAP NetWeaver 2004s software will automatically ship with software kits for the latest mySAP business suite applications (SAP ERP 6.0(2005), SAP CRM 2005, etc). Finally if you purchase SAP xApps based on SAP NetWeaver 2004s, you will get the software that way too! All the SAP NetWeaver software shipped in the next months will be based on SR1 so you'll start with have some reduced patching benefits. For some SAP Customers, you will end up with many copies of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (2004s) in the near future! Maybe time to consider using the CD recycling option that the kits offer! :-)
What are the major changes in SAP NetWeaver 2004s? There are three main groupings of what’s new:
1. New Concepts:
For a minor release the concept changes in SAP NetWeaver 2004s are quite radical and will take some thought, head scratching, and in all honesty, some time to get your head around. There is more information the concepts uploaded to the SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) page on SDN. ‘No More Components’ Yes! The component view of SAP NetWeaver has gone as of the SAP NetWeaver 2004s release. SAP will no longer use components to segregate SAP NetWeaver functionality, or use it for Sales licensing view, the installation view, or the implementation view. The removing of the components completes the roadmap of delivering a single SAP NetWeaver platform at SAP. This has been a little controversial when covered in a prior weblog. I have seen the classic 5 phases of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance) expressed directly or indirectly but unfortunately they are gone and there’s not much we can do about it … Change is always a challenge for everyone (SAP included) and it is good, in my opinion, that SAP introduces such radical changes in a minor release but I digress. So this leads to the what has replaced them topic:
Functionality and Implementation view:
The introduction of the IT Practice and IT Scenario concept. This is a very easy to understand concept for assigning the features and functions with the tasks that IT actually do. You will see that SDN is already changing in this direction with their IT Practice and IT Scenario pages: https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/developerareas/itpractices IT Scenarios are further broken down into manageable and implementation units call IT Scenario variants. You can see a holistic view of all delivered IT Scenarios from the SAP NetWeaver technology map
With SAP NetWeaver 2004s we install and deploy parts or all of SAP NetWeaver based on installable units. There are 3 installable units used in SAP NetWeaver or applications based on SAP NetWeaver 2004s onwards – they are technical ‘Usage types’, ‘Standalone Engines’ and ‘clients’. You can probably guess that ‘Usage types’ are the largest units you can install and represent large building blocks that can then be used to implement IT Scenario variants. For more information on the installable units, please consult the SAP NetWeaver 2004s Master guide located in the SAP Service Marketplace (https://service.sap.com/~form/sapnet?_SHORTKEY=01100035870000626763&_SCENARIO=01100035870000000202&)
Sales licensing view:
You will see SAP NetWeaver platform licensing, engine licensing, and user licensing. I’m not a expert in this area so I would suggest you contact your SAP NetWeaver Account Executive or SAP VAR for more information.
2. Platform for first shipments of Enterprise services:
SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) is the platform powering the first Enterprise Services that SAP is shipping in Q3 2006. This basically means that SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) provides the core technology for delivery, enablement, and consumption of Enterprise Services. Enterprise Services(ES) are the key building blocks for implementation of SAP’s vision of Enterprise SOA. I will not dive into this topic further as there is ample knowledge on SDN already on ES and even hosted systems to preview and play with the services (if you can’t wait for the SAP Discovery System for Enterprise SOA)
3. New features and deltas to existing functionality:
Now we get to the most interesting part of the new release. What does it do? In this section I will give an outline of the major changes and links to other weblogs from other colleagues on their specific IT Scenarios. Remember there is more detailed information in PDF on the SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) page on SDN. Further very detailed information is available in the online help for SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) – just remember that there are no more components and therefore the release notes are organized by IT Scenario! Don’t say you were not warned! :-)
Major changes: Even though SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s) is billed as a minor release, there are a number of areas where there are significant new features and deltas. Please note that some (not all!) of the features are back-ported to SAP NetWeaver ’04 (these are highlighted in the documents on the SDN page above):
- Enhanced query, analysis, and reporting with integration of the BEx frontend into Portal capabilities. Exciting additional new features include the BI Kit for SAP Visual Composer and the new Excel features such as drag and drop. This is definitely not your old BEx from the 3.x days!
- A new integrated business planning feature has been delivered. This new feature is seamlessly integrated with exist data warehouse objects and query tools.
- Enhanced Enterprise Data Warehousing features include new objects for modeling and implementing EDW layers, the new administration cockpit for managing the data flows in your EDW, and lastly the new BI Accelerator feature enables ridiculously fast and high performance analytics
- A new feature called Federated portal networks enables you to manage distributed portals as a single local unit. This feature is a godsend for those who will have multiple installations of the Portal capabilities of SAP NetWeaver and most likely on differing releases.
- External facing portals enable you to reuse your existing SAP NetWeaver based portal investments for delivering extranets and servicing occasional low touch users.
- Web Dynpro for ABAP. Yes, by popular request the previously available WebDynpro for Java feature has been delivered on the ABAP stack. So if you have major ABAP investments, you can now deliver WebDynpro applications with minimal investments in J2EE.
- There is a new “Switch Framework” feature delivered that helps to deliver support for multiple industry solutions in a system faster – nearly all the IS solutions are available for SAP ERP 6.0(2005) from the day it was released. In addition this gives the developer access to more business functions via the ‘Enhancement Framework’.
As I mentioned previously, my colleagues have written weblogs on the new features and deltas in their respective IT Scenarios.
You can find them as follows (if one is missing – it is coming soon!)
IT Practice: User Productivity Enablement
IT Practice: Data Unification
IT Practice: Business Information Management
IT Practice: Business Event Management
IT Practice: End to End Process Integration
IT Practice: Unified Life Cycle Management
IT Practice: Consolidation
And so there you have it, a somewhat brief introduction to what's new with SAP NetWeaver 7.0(2004s).
I hope this weblog was worthwhile and enjoy the 7.0 release.