SAP plans to unveil version 4.0 of its R/3 enterprise resource planning software at its Sapphire user conference in Amsterdam on 11 June.
As part of the application supplier?s attempt to open up its currently monolithic software suite, the new release will separate application logic from business logic, and make the interfaces available to developers in the form of business application programming interfaces (BAPIs).
The aim is to enable programmers to be able to alter the underlying business processes of their add-on R/3 applications without needing to alter the underlying data.
David Hughes-Solomon, SAP?s marketing and technical director, said: ?The logic and process were in one BAPI in the past, but we?ve now taken it a layer down, and split them out. You can see inside the object to the process and assemble your own processes without needing to fiddle around with the data.?
He added that version 4.0 would also support any metadata repository that complied with Rational?s Unified Modelling Language (UML).
This means that any UML-based repository can store R/3 metadata, which is useful to developers wanting to use the application suite as the backbone of other development projects.
* SAP has started shipping a new R/3 module to enable workflow over the Web. The product conforms to Workflow Management Coalition standards and can interface with third party workflow engines such as Microsoft Exchange and IBM?s Lotus Notes.
Users can initiate their workflow processes from a Web browser either on a PC or laptop, from Exchange, Notes or custom applications.
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