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

  • by Robert Heidasch, Chief Innovation and Technology Lead, 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 is the chief innovation and technology lead in the global Accenture Technology Platform, which is responsible for SAP Leonardo and the new digital technology defining business value and driving the digital transformation of complex enterprise solution for Accenture diamond and strategic clients. Before that he was responsible as innovation and solution lead for the design and architecture of new business applications developed jointly by Accenture and SAP based on the newest SAP and non-SAP technology. Robert is the Accenture certified Senior Digital Architect and Senior Technology Architect. He is coauthor and trainer of a couple of SAP technology-related trainings for the in-memory platform and architecture of new business applications (e.g., SAP HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Leonardo applications for solution architects and technical architects, all of which were provided by Accenture in Europe, the US, and Asia). Robert has more than 23 years’ experience designing and developing IT systems. He published several technical and business articles about SOA, SAP NetWeaver and its integration with non-SAP systems (e.g. Microsoft, Oracle, etc.), and SAP HANA technology. He is also an inventor of 38 patents in the US in the area of in-memory technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, security, semantics, and SOA. He is a frequent speaker in international business conferences and SAP Forum. He is a subject matter expert in customer projects worldwide and has extended experience in team leadership in Europe, the US, and India.

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