LOS ANGELES - Aug. 31, 1998 - At SAP TechEd '98, the SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) U.S. technical education conference, SAP today announced that it has fully embraced Extensible Markup Language (XML) across the SAP Business Framework architecture as a format for data interchange. Leveraging the openness inherent in XML, SAP solutions give customers an open, global standard for exchanging data with SAP systems and between SAP and non-SAP systems. With today's announcement, SAP delivers a road map for how XML can be fully exploited to create far more open and fully integrated extended enterprise business solutions. It further offers developers a much easier, more convenient means to build and extend business solutions.
XML provides a universal method for describing and formatting messages. Currently, no equivalent standards exist in the industry. This means the receiving end must have prior, detailed knowledge of data formats for each and every data source and often custom translation code, thus creating a barrier to easy and efficient movement of data across application environments. SAP now removes these barriers with the powerful combination of its open Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) that capture business content and XML, which provides an open standard for data formatting.
An important advantage of XML is that data can be delivered using HTTP - in the same way that HTML can today - without any changes to existing networks and across corporate firewalls. SAP intends to enable all its major interfaces with XML and establish XML as a widely used format within its products. SAP will also deliver numerous products and solutions that fully exploit XML capabilities for the extended enterprise, such as the recently announced SAP Business-to-Business Procurement component (SAP BBP) solution.
"With today's announcement of full XML support, we further demonstrate our commitment to adopt open technology standards wherever possible and to turn them into powerful business solutions that deliver increased efficiency and lowest total cost of ownership," said Dr. Rudolf Munz, program director for user interfaces and programming languages of SAP AG. "We expect XML along with the BAPIs to usher in a new era of openness and flexibility in the way that companies can coordinate business solutions with their partners along the supply chain."
Many Uses for XML
For enterprise applications, XML serves as an important enabling layer in many different areas involving the movement of data, for example, between client and server or from server to print spoolers, or between applications, even over the Internet. Major areas in which SAP will be employing XML include these:
SAP will deliver XML interfaces in a phased approach beginning the first of next year.
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For Release 9 a.m. PDT
Aug. 31, 1998
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