SAP AG and Cisco Systems Inc will launch the SAP’s low-end Business One application on an Application-Oriented Networking blade for Cisco’s Integrated Services Router during 2006.
On one level, the offering, which was unveiled this week at the Cisco Networkers event in Cannes, simply solves a logistics problem if the customer is running ISRs. When a company has to implement Business One at dozens or even hundreds of branches, some of them in other countries, it’s cheaper to ship it on the AON blade to plug into the ISRs than to fly people around to carry out the integration work, said Neil Walker, head of EMEA product marketing at the San Jose, California-based networking vendor.
We automate the integration of Business One, added Sam Boonin, head of field and solutions marketing for AON. This is a potentially valuable service because Business One is built with a different code base and data model to SAP’s mainstream suite because it is based on an acquired product.
Beyond that, however, there is the XML messaging capability of AON and what it enables for the SAP small business and branch office offering. The way Business One talks to R3 running back at head office is with XML, which people in the application space like to think of as a Layer-6 protocol, said Boonin. By having the XML acceleration and optimization in AON, it saves the app vendors from having to embed those functions in the apps themselves.
SAP’s NetWeaver [J2EE app server] is designed to give companies the ability to build and execute business process on the fly, he said, so it needs an infrastructure that can instrument the appropriate network components to support that process, which is AON. Today, the network speaks IP, and in the long term it will talk XML.