SAP is expected to announced that several big-name companies, including Adobe Systems, Cisco Systems and Intel, have agreed to embrace its new service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform. The deals follow separate agreements reached last month with IBM, Macromedia and Microsoft.
In 2003, the German business applications vendor launched its own SOA technology called Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA). The technology uses Web services and SAP's own NetWeaver middleware and integration platform to enable users to craft business processes over heterogeneous applications.
The new ESA partners, including other companies such as Computer Associates, EMC, Mercury Interactive, Symantec and Veritas, will license the technology to optimise their products to run SAP applications.
"By aligning with various players in the IT ecosystem, we aim to move applications right down the technology stack," SAP spokesman, Bill Wohl, said. "We want to make their systems - whether networking or data management systems or whatever - more application aware."
One example of the way the technology partnership could work was with a Cisco router, Wohl said. The router could be designed to recognise certain functions in SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, such as the financial function "order to cash", and automatically track or route sensitive financial data to and from designated locations.
Last month in Copenhagen, SAP announced an ESA-related deal with Microsoft. Under the deal, the two companies plan to deliver a jointly developed product later this year that links SAP's ERP software and Microsoft's Office products. The product, code-named Mendocino, is the first joint product from SAP and Microsoft and will be demonstrated at the Boston user event.
IBM unveiled also a version of its DB2 Universal Database that is optimised for customers running SAP applications. The two companies have integrated new features into the latest version of DB2, 8.2.2, to make configuration easier and improve overall performance.
By agreeing to license ESA, SAP partners receive early access to the software vendor's catalog of technical information on enterprise services, as well as the tools and the capabilities to work such development information as data schemes, user interfaces, application models and security features necessary for the automation of business processes.