Forrester: SAP customers should not simply rely on NetWeaver for middleware

SAP customers shouldn't rely on the vendor's NetWeaver technology stack for all of their middleware needs in the future, according to Forrester Research.

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SAP customers shouldn't rely on the vendor's NetWeaver technology stack for all of their middleware needs in the future, according to Forrester Research.

"The fact is for the last several years SAP has been falling behind in creating a comprehensive platform and maintaining [it]. This has caused a lot of heartburn among clients," said Forrester analyst John Rymer during a teleconference.

SAP used to have a desire to compete head-on in middleware with rivals Oracle and IBM, but not anymore, Rymer added.

While there's a chance SAP will try to "resuscitate" NetWeaver development in an effort to catch up to those rivals, "the likelihood of this happening is very low," Rymer added.

It's more the case that SAP will follow one of two scenarios, he said. The first would see it align itself strategically with a Java-centric middleware partner, such as IBM, as well as with Microsoft and its .NET technology. There's little chance the Java partner would be SAP's longtime nemesis Oracle, he added.

But SAP will most likely "adopt a vendor-agnostic stance in Java," continue working with Microsoft, and also embrace open source middleware options, according to Rymer.

SAP customers should still use NetWeaver to extend their SAP business applications, but avoid using it for complex, enterprisewide middleware projects, he added. "We think you ought to look at other providers," Rymer said. "We don't think SAP is going to step up to those requirements over the long haul."

But SAP, in fact, has full confidence in NetWeaver and big plans for it, spokeswoman Shabana Khan said via email.

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