Chapter THIRTEEN. Supporting Composite Applications

Composite applications represent a new world for application architects and developers, a world in which many long-standing assumptions no longer apply. We have dedicated most of this book to examining the transformation that ESA brings to the world of enterprise software to serve the needs of business more effectively. In this chapter, we look at how a set of capabilities that falls under the umbrella of information management helps to address the challenges of creating a new generation of productivity-enhancing composite applications that are the key to increased flexibility. We will also examine how SAP NetWeaver Mobile provides a way to extend composites or any other sorts of applications to mobile devices.

How are composite applications different from the previous generation of applications?

To understand how composites are different, a high-level examination of traditional development practices will be useful. In the past, both in the mainframe era and in the client/server era, developers approached application development with a top-to-bottom perspective on the application stack. The same developer or team controlled the application being constructed—from the user interface (UI) through the application logic down to the database. The developer, in essence, controlled a vertical slice of the application stack.

Development generally proceeded by gathering requirements and then designing that vertical slice of the stack to create ...

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