Composite Designer and SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management Minimize Composite Application Development Efforts

  • by Dr. Volker Stiehl, Professor, Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences
  • October 8, 2009
With the introduction of the Composite Designer as part of SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.1, a composite is treated as one entity for the first time. Learn how to work with the Composite Designer as your central cockpit for developing composite applications. See how to start with a skeleton of a business process that you are going to sketch with SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management.
Key Concept

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is a graphical notation for describing business processes. It bridges the gap between business process experts and IT experts. The BPMN-based process models should be understandable for all involved parties — from the business analyst creating the first process drafts to the technical expert who has to implement the process and to the business people maintaining and monitoring the processes.

Developing composite applications is a real challenge. There are many artifacts involved: business processes, user interfaces (UIs), services for persisting business objects, services encapsulating new composite-specific business logic, services accessing back-end systems, or services that themselves make use of several other services to accomplish a certain business task. To complicate things even more, they are themselves heavily interconnected, hindering the analysis of dependencies significantly. What really would help is a visualization of all composite application artifacts including their relationships. In addition, it would be beneficial for developers if one integrated development environment supports them in navigating through all parts of the composite.

I will give you an overview of how to get hold of all these challenges using the new Composite Designer, your central cockpit for composite application development. I begin with the development of a new composite application from scratch, starting with the model of a business process. As a modeling environment, I use the new SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management (SAP NetWeaver BPM).

With SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (SAP NetWeaver CE) 7.1, the composite’s layers were represented by different tools, which were not tightly integrated. The process layer, for example, was implemented using the Guided Procedures (GP) framework, which is a Web-based application implemented using Web Dynpro technology. The UIs that were needed to implement a new business process were implemented using either SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer (another Web-based application requiring a Scalable Vector Graphics [SVG] plug-in in your browser to run it) or Web Dynpro.

Dr. Volker Stiehl

Prof. Dr. Volker Stiehl studied computer science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. After 12 years as a developer and senior system architect at Siemens, he joined SAP in 2004. As chief product expert, Volker was responsible for the success of the products SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Process Integration, and SAP HANA Cloud Integration (now SAP HANA Cloud Platform, integration service). He left SAP in 2016 and accepted a position as professor at the Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences where he is currently teaching business information systems. In September 2011, Volker received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Technology Darmstadt. His thesis was on the systematic design and implementation of applications using BPMN. Volker is also the author of Process-Driven Applications with BPMN as well as the co-author of SAP HANA Cloud Integration and a regular speaker at various national and international conferences.

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