And what good is an expensive, ultra sophisticated data warehouse with exposing the data inside it to data consumers?
Enter enterprise portals.
An enterprise portal is a software system which can provide for a single point of entry (hence the word portal) to the rich repository of information for a business organization which is often presented in web-based interface. In theory, this is a framework that integrates information, people and processes across organizational boundaries.
The SAP Netweaver is both SAP's technology platform as well as the very foundation for all of SAP's solutions. And of the functions it does best if managing and efficient enterprise portal.
There two main variants for implementing SAP Netweaver. The first is implementing a federated portal network so that business organizations can share contents between portals by integrating non-SAP WSRP-compliant content into an SAP NetWeaver. The second method is implementing an external-facing portal used for a wide array of purposes for different business scenarios and handling of anonymous and registered users.
SAP Netweaver's support platform gives the enterprise portal system administrator a Web AS environment where it is easy for them to get plug ins from other sources or from his own coding. This modularization can make the system more flexible and this method is fast become today's standard due to its ubiquity. The platform also makes it easy to the system administrator to check and troubleshoot problems on one or more server nodes. The platform, in close coordination with the PDC inspector which is a support tool for content development and administration, can perform very thorough analyses of objects within the system.
One of the biggest benefits to be derived from enterprise portals is also one of the biggest challenges for the administrators. And this aspect is on activity reports. But SAP Netweaver has an Integrated Activity Reports for Administrators tool which can make the system gather and present information about the portal through an iView interface. This reporting tool can give information including those about users who logged on to the portal and about the content that was viewed and many other tiny details.
XML Technology has become indispensable in information system and SAP Netweaver leverages on XML by having features for import and export of portal content based on XML scripts which can enable PCD-object creation automatically.
Web services are also fast becoming ubiquitous with various large companies like Amazon.com and many others already exposing them for various purposes. SAP Netweaver has great support for web services so that the enterprise portal can make web services interaction very easy wherever the sources may be.
Managing an enterprise portal is undoubtedly a big challenge but using the right tool like SAP Netweaver makes the experience easier, educational and a very fulfilling.