Packaged Composite Applications

Book description

Today's corporate computing environment is too often characterized by silos of data in enterprise applications like ERP, CRM, and supply chain management. Integrating these applications involves hardwiring connections between them, often resulting in a rigid and inefficient IT infrastructure.Packaged Composite Applications (PCAs) are an innovative answer to this dysfunctional scenario. Originated by SAP, one of the worlds foremost technology companies, PCAs represent a new architectural paradigm for enterprise computing. Using web services, they combine new functionality with services from existing applications to enable flexible, cross-functional automation. But is this new model right for your business? That's where this book comes in.Packaged Composite Applications is the result of a systematic search through the brain trust of SAP for all of the relevant arguments, examples, concepts, and analogies related to Packaged Composite Applications. This book is not a marketing treatise about neatly-shaped colored boxes. It is not a backward-looking, outdated description of a product without context. This book, rather, combines the approach of a forward-looking analyst with the perspective of an executive who must make things work, without skimping on the relevant technical details. The author examines the ideas driving PCAs forward in the marketplace and the problems and solutions that an executive and technologist will encounter in implementation. The result is an authoritative text that allows all interested parties to assess the value of PCAs for their lives as executives, technologists, analysts, sales representatives, and users.

Table of contents

  1. Contents
  2. Introduction
  3. Preface
    1. Acronyms Used in This Book
    2. How to Contact Us
    3. Acknowledgments
  4. The PCA Paradigm
    1. PCAs Defined
    2. Enterprise Services Architecture
    3. Flexible Cross-Functional Automation
    4. The Business Case for PCAs
      1. The Current IT Standoff
      2. PCAs Offer a Way Out
    5. A PCA for Product Definition
    6. Who Will Build PCAs and Who Will Buy Them?
  5. Governing Forces in Enterprise IT
    1. The Evolution of IT Infrastructure
      1. Mainframe Era: Central Command and Control
      2. Client/Server Era: Distributed Command and Control
      3. Internet Era: Departmental Command and Control
    2. The PCA/ESA Era: Employee and Team Empowerment
      1. Ubiquitous Services
      2. Integration and Modeling
      3. The ESA Platform
      4. The Power of PCAs
    3. What the Enterprise Needs
      1. The Customer Perspective
      2. The CEO Perspective
      3. The Investor Perspective
      4. The Analyst Perspective
    4. The CIO To-Do List
      1. Make Incremental Progress
      2. Drive Down Infrastructure Costs
      3. Reduce the Cost of Change
      4. Leverage Existing Infrastructure
      5. Extend Automation
      6. Provide a Unified, Real-Time View of the Enterprise
    5. Possible Alternatives to PCAs
      1. Maintaining Business as Usual
      2. Starting from Scratch
      3. Integrating Existing Systems
      4. Extending Existing Systems as an ESA Platform
      5. End-User Collaboration Tools
  6. The Case for PCAs
    1. Arguments in Favor of PCAs
      1. PCAs Leverage Existing Investments
        1. Existing systems are not disrupted
        2. Increased value is unlocked from investment in current systems
      2. PCAs Increase Strategic Efficiency
        1. PCAs lower the cost of assembling information for decision-making
        2. PCAs reduce the cost of changing strategy
        3. PCAs lower the cost of supporting partner relationships
      3. PCAs Enable Flexible Cross-Functional Optimization
        1. PCAs have a comprehensive perspective
        2. PCAs capture all relevant information
        3. PCAs allow for flexible automation of processes
        4. PCAs support action
      4. PCAs Reduce Costs
        1. PCAs cost less than custom development
        2. PCAs reduce the cost of innovation
        3. PCAs productize boutique expertise
      5. PCAs Manage Change
        1. PCAs offer a framework for incremental improvement
        2. PCAS can help promote cultural change
    2. The Case Against PCAs
      1. PCAs Are Not Needed
        1. Existing technology is not fully optimized
        2. A data warehouse is enough
        3. End-user tools can do the job
        4. Web services development tools are adequate
        5. PCA claims are broad and unrealistic
      2. PCAs Will Be Disruptive
        1. Preparing the existing systems will be problematic and expensive
        2. The enterprise computing environment is not ready for PCAs
        3. PCAs will not be meaningfully decoupled from existing systems
      3. PCAs Will Not Work
        1. ESA platform vendors will never attract developers
        2. ESA platform vendors will not be open
        3. Standards will be needed but slow to come
        4. Web services are not ready for prime time
        5. PCAs are promising too much flexibility
  7. Anatomy of a PCA
    1. PCAs and the ESA Platform
      1. The ESA Vision
    2. Gross Anatomy of the ESA Platform
      1. The Application Stack
    3. How to Build an ESA Platform
      1. ESA Building Blocks
      2. Constructing an ESA Platform
    4. Stages of ESA Platform Evolution
      1. Data Versus Functionality in Underlying Systems
      2. Inside Versus Outside the ESA Platform
      3. Stage 1: Basic Functionality and Adapters
      4. Stage 2: Standard Objects and Services
      5. Stage 3: Standard Processes
      6. Stage 4: Model-Based Development
    5. Platform Components and the ESA Platform
      1. Standards and the ESA Platform
  8. Business Value and Strategic Impact of PCAs
    1. PCAs and the Enterprise
      1. Strategic Impact of PCAs
      2. Operational Impact of PCAs
      3. Organizational Impact of PCAs
      4. Impact of PCAs on Vendor Relationships
        1. What technology vendors will say about PCAs
        2. What suite vendors will say about PCAs
        3. What ISVs will say about PCAs
        4. What systems integrators will say about PCAs
    2. How PCAs Will Transform IT Vendors
      1. Governing Forces for Vendors
      2. Technology Vendors
      3. Suite Vendors
      4. ISVs
      5. Systems Integrators
    3. Implications of PCAs for Enterprise Architecture
  9. Business Scenarios
    1. What PCAs Do
      1. What PCAs Must Do Well
      2. Ideal Conditions for PCAs
    2. A Tour of PCA Business Scenarios
      1. Project Management
        1. Scenario: Myriad projects managed individually
      2. Product Definition
        1. Scenario: Big money riding on a fragmented product definition process
      3. Mergers and Acquisitions
        1. Scenario: Disconnected M&A processes with no automation and little shared information
      4. Employee Productivity
        1. Scenario: Mundane tasks add up to sizable burdens and inefficiencies
  10. xApps Examples
    1. The xApps Vision
    2. SAP’s Strengths in Building xApps
    3. xRPM: An xApp for Project Portfolio Management
      1. xRPM Case Study
    4. xPD: An xApp for Product Definition
      1. xPD Case Study
    5. The Growing xApps Portfolio
  11. The Future of PCAs
  12. Index (1/3)
  13. Index (2/3)
  14. Index (3/3)

Product information

  • Title: Packaged Composite Applications
  • Author(s): Dan Woods
  • Release date: June 2003
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9780596515683