The mainstream architectural strategy used by SAP customers for integrating SAP and Non-SAP systems is known as SAP SOA. But the guidelines of using this strategy for creating and developing the model and design of the web services for enterprises are not very clear. For this purpose some information about SOA and the web services provided by SAP SOA is provided hereunder.
A software design strategy that comprises a service provider and several customers is known as SOA or Service Oriented Architecture. It works on the principle of distributed computing on which loosely connected architectures work. In terms of distributing the functionality over loose coupling through independent business objects, durable interface contracts and promoting reuse of functionality through a loosely coupled architecture and separate business objects exposed through service interfaces, SOA differs from the traditional architecture of client server.
The interfaces normally used for technical implementation of the industry standard based protocol of SOAP, WSDL and HTTP to represent the functionality to their consumers are known as Web Services. The enterprise integration has experienced wonderful rise with the use of web services. Most of the integration applications including SAP RFC from SAP, BAPI and IDOC etc. provided elementary or proprietary systems of integration till few years back. In order to provide integration with SAP they needed to use middleware adapters. The present SAP business suite allows a direct integration between various applications by using web services.
Thus for all integration initiated web services are recommended to be used as a central integration strategy. The introduction of web services for integrating applications had adversely affected the use of catalog and management of other similar services in an enterprise. So in order to manage the usage of services in an enterprise a strong toolset of SOA is provided by the SAP.
SAP Enterprise Services
The technical web services that are based on web service standards of SOAP and WSDL and the global data types of SAP are known as SAP enterprise services. The process components, the SAP enterprise models and business objects are used within SAP ESR to design these services. These services are registered in the Service Registry of the SAP. These services guarantee to affect the business positively if their functionality is correctly implemented.
Precautions to Use Web Services as Enterprise Services
Sometimes web service interface remains only a technical interface instead of being properly exposed by an enterprise application for improving the functionality of a local business. In such cases the effect of these services and their IT applications remain limited few departments of the organization. Services of this type are normally not considered as enterprise services but they can be managed and cataloged for the organization through SAP SOA tools. In order to catalog and manage all such services SAP SR provides capabilities of rich taxonomy.
Thus though the SAP SOA toolset is used as a central integration strategy to integrate standard applications for enterprise level web services but it can also be used for cataloging and managing all service in the enterprise even if they are not upto this level.