In this article, you’ll learn what the SAP NetWeaver is.
SAP NetWeaver is the technical foundation and solution stack for almost all SAP applications.
Get or update your fundamental SAP knowledge here.
Let’s dive right in.
SAP NetWeaver Basics
SAP NetWeaver is a development and runtime environment that serves as a platform for SAP business applications.
It forms the infrastructure on which almost all SAP applications run.
SAP NetWeaver sits between the business applications themselves and the database they access.
It integrates a variety of processes and databases in order to make them accessible to SAP applications.
SAP NetWeaver is an open, Web-based platform that uses an SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) to connect various systems.
It can be used to develop both SAP applications and applications that utilize third-party systems.
A major benefit of SOA is that developers can integrate information and processes from distributed locations that are running on different technologies, such as
- .NET (Microsoft),
- WebSphere (IBM), or
- Java (Sun/Oracle).
SAP NetWeaver consists of the
- SAP NetWeaver Application Server,
- SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence,
- SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment,
- SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal,
- SAP NetWeaver Identity Management,
- SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management,
- SAP NetWeaver Mobile, and
- SAP NetWeaver Process Integration.
The SAP NetWeaver Application Server serves as the basis for all applications on NetWeaver.
It divides into two parts:
- ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) application server, and
- Java EE (Java Enterprise Edition) application server.
Each of these parts is its own stack, and they can be installed on their own or together.
The SAP JCo (Java Connector) is used for communication connections between the two stacks.
The SAP JCo is a development library that connects a Java application with on-premise SAP systems via SAP’s RFC (Remote Function Call) protocol.
The History of SAP NetWeaver
The history of SAP NetWeaver begins in the early 90s when SAP took over the Israeli company TopTier Software.
SAP developed its application platform based TopTier Software’s portal technology.
The first version, NetWeaver 2004, was introduced on March 31, 2003, and version 7.0 was released in October 2005.
As SAP NetWeaver development continued, SAP has increasingly focused on the
- personalization, and
As the environment has matured, they have been able to move away from pure process integration.
Release 7.3 represents a special milestone in this development and was the first fundamental revision since 2006.
Previous versions only had the basic essential functions for collaboration and Web 2.0. Starting with version 7.3, users are able to configure their start page with personalized content and applications.
They could also integrate third-party applications for the first time, in addition to SAP content, via the “Enterprise Workspaces” add-on.
Many companies use both SAP and Microsoft software applications, and so NetWeaver release 7.3 also had improved interaction with Microsoft SharePoint.
Release 7.4 added new improvements as well:
- in-memory database,
- cloud computing,
- mobile, and
- social media.
In the 7.4 version, the ABAP stack was SAP HANA-capable.
The SAP NetWeaver 7.4 formed the basis for the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.
This allows the HANA database to be exploited optimally with the ABAP stack.
With a cloud-based system, Release 7.4 saves on development costs.
This makes it possible to test new developments in a secure environment without intervening with existing on-premise systems.
New technologies in the mobile area were added as well:
- SAP UI5,
- SAP HANA Cloud, and
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway.
SAP NetWeaver 7.5 SP04 is the current version, and it offers developers additional programming options for SAP Business Suite and S/4 HANA.
Developers can now program with Java 8 and use ABAP CDS (Core Data Services).
Companies are using more and more hybrid solutions that consist of on-premise and cloud computing deployments.
In keeping with this trend, SAP has also improved NetWeaver’s connection to the HANA Cloud Platform.
Why SAP NetWeaver?
The SAP NetWeaver combines the most important components for enterprise applications, such as
- ERP process integration,
- business intelligence,
- a portal, and
- multiple application servers.
The SAP NetWeaver is an open platform, which is a feature that developers appreciate.
The openness enables SAP and any third-party systems to be connected with its SOA.
In SAP terminology, this is referred to as an ESOA (Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture).
SAP NetWeaver enables businesses to work with their existing systems easily in an integrated environment.