Use SAP ES Explorer to Streamline Integration of Microsoft .NET Applications and SAP Business Applications

  • by Robert Heidasch, Senior Manager/Senior Principal, Accenture
  • June 1, 2009
Building new service-oriented business applications requires the integration of applications written in different languages running on different platforms. SAP Enterprise Services Explorer allows the discovery and consumption of enterprise services in any type of Microsoft application and programming language supported by Microsoft Visual Studio .NET — e.g., Windows Forms application, Windows Web application (ASP.NET), Windows smart client applications, and Microsoft Office applications.
Key Concept

Web services are self-contained, modularized, executable encapsulations of functions that can be published, searched for, and accessed across a network. Enterprise services are collections of closely-related Web services combined with defined business logic that together support a particular business process. An enterprise service provided by SAP is based on a Web service standard and combined with business data that is defined using global data types to support business processes.

The service-oriented architecture (SOA) employs process components, business objects, and enterprise services to encapsulate and decouple the individual pieces of functionality in a business application. Therefore, as a project manager, application integration specialist, or consultant, you probably recognize that building new service-enabled business applications requires the integration of applications written in different languages running on different platforms: for example, the integration of SAP business applications with third-party business applications based on a Microsoft environment.

To simplify the integration task, SAP provides a set of tools that is part of SOA-enabled solutions and allows for the discovery and consumption of enterprise services from various development environments: for example, ABAP and Java. In this article, I will concentrate on SAP Enterprise Services Explorer tool for Microsoft .NET (SAP ES Explorer) — an add-in for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 that allows you to:

  • Connect to the Services Registry from Microsoft Visual Studio .NET

  • Discover and consume enterprise services from (i.e., call an enterprise service from service client application, e.g., .NET application)

  • Publish custom-defined Web services into the Services Registry

SAP ES Explorer will also support discovering and consuming of enterprise services in the next release of Visual Studio.

Robert Heidasch

Robert Heidasch is senior manager/senior principal in the Accenture & SAP Business Solution Group, which designs and develops new business solutions and applications provided jointly by Accenture and SAP based on the newest SAP technology. He is co-author and trainer of a couple of SAP technology-related areas (e.g., SAP HANA solution architect, SAP HANA technical architect, Business Suite on SAP HANA, and SAP HANA as a development platform delivered in Europe, US, and Asia). Robert has more than 21 years’ experience designing and developing IT systems. He has published several technical and business articles about SOA, SAP NetWeaver and its integration with non-SAP systems (e.g., Microsoft and Oracle), and SAP HANA technology. Robert is also an inventor of 18 patents granted in the US--for example, Ranking in Cascading Learning Systems, Learnable Contextual Network, Machine Learning for a Memory-Based Database, Modular Secure Data Transfer, Managing Software Component Versions within a Service Oriented Architecture, Machine Learning for a Memory-based Database, Adaptive and Secure Modular Connection, and Asynchrony Debugging Using Web Services Interface.

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