Enterprise Geeks Podcast – NetWeaver Gateway: Bridge, Toll, or Both?

Will NetWeaver Gateway become the bridge between systems or the Troll under the bridge collecting tolls?

Season 4 Episode 4
This week’s lively discussion centered around NetWeaver Gateway was sparked by the excellent blog by Graham Robinson


Running Time: 1:06:17

If you have questions, suggestions, or topic ideas for future episodes, give us a shout here.

4 responses to “Enterprise Geeks Podcast – NetWeaver Gateway: Bridge, Toll, or Both?”

  1. Graham Robbo says :

    Thanks for covering the ongoing NetWeaver Gateway conversation guys. I hope your podcast draws out more people who want to discuss this topic.

    Graham Robbo

  2. Chris Paine says :

    Hey Guys,

    complete agree with Thomas’ 2cents opinion on how to improve Gateway – would love to replace OData with a simpler solution – or at least be allowed to do this and still stay licensed for external users.

    On the point of why I don’t like OData – there are some other things – for example about how the client can and is expected to create queries dynamically – asking for all parts of collection, or just parts, filtering it, etc. It’s really not HATEOAS – it’s not REST. Any time that a client has to create something without just following a link it is going to cause breakages. Another point – it does appear that it is not very obvious for Gateway “resources” to reference each other – i.e. have one resource return a reference to another (perhaps it is and I just don’t know – but didn’t seem that obvious to me how this would work. perhaps I should ask someone 😀 )

    Otherwise – where is the Android representation! – you know that whole cloud sync thing, notification, Google Talk/Google+ (messaging) has been happening on Android for a little while now. Now let’s talk about Ice Cream Sandwich 😉

    Thanks for the hints on a $25 per year backup for my photos! with 75Gb of images that makes huge sense(comparing the prices of other online storage options – one wonders how they are so much cheaper!) (just have to choose a month where I want to blow my bandwidth allowance to uploaded them all!) Have been using Picassa to share images as it means automatic sync to all my mobile devices which works really nicely – but is only storing a 1600×1280 version of the images, not the full version – fine for showing on PC/TV/tablet/phone but not really a backup.

    Anyway – great to hear you guys again, and thanks for continuing the Gateway debate – feel like you want to tackle mobile app pricing and SUP next time too? 🙂


    Chris – @wombling

  3. Jon Reed says :

    Guys – first of all, sorry I have fallen off the tradition of the podcast blog comment, my only excuse is my own project juggling. I’m enjoying the series reboot and will try to chime in a bit more often.

    Thanks for this discussion, a few questions/points:

    1. Question – I believe Gateway will be offering JSON support in the next feature pack. I realize that’s likely not the same as building a tool ground up on JSON standards but I’m curious if this upcoming support changes any of the views on Gateway and Odata etc.

    2. In terms of pricing models for Gateway that are financially viable for SAP, Dennis Howlett already crunched some numbers that I thought were very interesting in terms of SAP deriving some very significant shared revenues from apps built on ERP systems (either via Gateway or other web services. The enterprise apps store model. I was there when he personally went over these numbers with Bill McDermott and other SAP execs and he has blogged out some of these figures also. This doesn’t mean that the debate over Gateway pricing is over, but there’s definitely an alternative to the current models which seems to have something to do with amount of consumption. I’ll try to dig out the link to the ZDNet blog where Dennis fleshed this out, here’s a JD-OD video that gets into it at the 2:00 mark http://www.jd-od.com/2011/05/24/sap-mobile-and-wrap-with-appleby-and-vijayasankar/

    3. I believe if SAP sticks with the current Gateway pricing models that they seem to be leaning towards, it will have two negative ramifications: a. seasoned developers like Graham Robbo will simply use other interface standards and will also shy away from building significant SAP apps for apps store monetization. b. creative developers outside the SAP ecosystem will have less incentive to contribute as they would likely find non-Gateway integration alternatives cumbersom and “less RESTful.” The end result of this I believe is not good at all for SAP, you can check my post-TechEd blog on EnterpriseIrregulars.com for quite a bit of detail on my views there if you want. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be challenges with giving Gateway away and supporting an apps store revenue model (some of which you guys noted in the podcast), but I believe those challenges should not turn SAP away from making Gateway freely (and affordably) available to developers. I realize it won’t be easy but the stakes of not doing so are high. In my opinion there is huge goodwill to customers in making such technology affordable on their side as well, but that’s another discussion.

    Having said that I do think SAP is listening hard to this debate internally and I remain hopeful that imaginative developer-friendly solutions will come out of this.

    – Jon

  4. Chris Paine says :

    Btw – after checking I find Google at $20 a year for 80GB – slightly cheaper than Flickr, but I’m only 5GB from going over that with photos – Christmas will take me past that easily, 14Mpixel images are slightly larger than the 2048×2048 (3MP equiv) free upload limit.

    @Jon – I enjoy the thought of a “less RESTful” comparison – am I too much of an idealist when I think that either you have REST or you don’t and that there is no grey area in-between? Probably! On the same vein – something I was trying to push at TechEd was the idea that in order to teach non-SAP developers about the interface that Gateway now offers to their mobile development teams, we need to consider building example Gateway “resources” that mimic the way a resource based design would expose SAP data – rather than just recycling existing service based design of standard SAP RFCs.

    I heard a price for Gateway usage the other day – I had to say I was pleasantly surprised – for occasional non-licensed user access – it seemed quite low. Certainly if the average ESS user’s access to the system was quantified (payslip once a month, leave 10 times a year, other stuff say 50 times a year) then a Gateway pricing compares very favourably to ESS user pricing. Still, paying for already licensed users is nuts. On the other hand – the SUP platform licence cost blew me away – to just install the platform and allow development of your own apps is completely off the table for most of the customers I deal with. An alternate package where SAP bundles the framework licence with some apps looks more attractive, but still not cheap. The incentive for people to use a platform other than Sybase looks (based on the numbers I heard) to be quite large.



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