It follows a surprise October 2001 decision by SAP to base future versions of its software on the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) development environment in preference to Microsoft’s .Net alternative.
SAP and Microsoft have long been close partners, an arrangement that has been mutually profitable. SAP ported its software early to Microsoft’s Windows NT platform, which helped to give Microsoft’s first server operating system some credibility at a crucial time.
However, analysts point out that while the pact between SAP and Microsoft is important for both companies, the new announcement falls far short of matching SAP’s commitment to provide tight integration for the Java platform.
The agreement, unveiled at the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover, Germany, only covers integration with .Net at the interface and portal level. MySAP will not be deployed on .Net servers and will continue to be based on SAP’s ABAP proprietary technology and, increasingly, Java.
SAP is also planning to release a developers’ kit that will enable enterprises with .Net-based applications to integrate them closely with mySAP Portal. This will ship in 2003. The Walldorf, Germany-based software vendor added that it will also extend support for its Web DynPro high-end interface design environment to .Net.