Monday, October 28, 2013

GWPAM - SAP data direct in Microsoft Office client-applications

Flagship of the Duet Enterprise / Gateway product team is Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP. Customers are very satisfied with the functionality and capabilities provided by this integration product, and the demonstrated product stability. A frequently asked question is to provide this level of exposing SAP data + processes also for use in Microsoft applications beyond SharePoint. The product team has responded to this market demand. Last week at SAP TechEd 2013 in Las Vegas, SAP NetWeaver Gateway Productivity Accelerator for Microsoft has been launched, shortly referred to as GWPAM.
As participant in the Duet Enterprise Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) program, I was involved from the early development stage of GWPAM (under the internal codename BoxX). On request of the Duet Enterprise product team I performed so-called Takt-Testing, and reported my technical and functional thoughts + findings. Good to see that aspects of my feedback - predominantly influenced by my own technical background as an .Net architect/developer - have actually made it within the final product.
Like it’s big brother, GWPAM is in essence an end-product for the IT organization. It is an integration framework that internal IT departments and SAP + Microsoft partners (the ecosystem) can utilize, to build their own scenarios in which SAP / Microsoft integration is an important architectural element. GWPAM provides a Microsoft Visual Studio AddIn that .Net developers can use to directly in their familiair integrated development environment, lookup SAP Gateway OData services. And generate proxies to the Gateway OData services with standard .Net code.
The first foreseen scenarios are Microsoft Office Add-In’s, to expose and integrate the SAP business data in the everyday used Microsoft Office clients. For example, SAP CRM customer data in the form of Outlook contacts, invoice approval requests as Outlook tasks, functional data management of SAP masterdata through Excel, BW report data rendered in PowerPoint, and submit SAP CATS timetracking directly from your Outlook Calendar ...
Like Duet Enterprise for SharePoint, GWPAM provides support for the typical and recurring plumping aspects of SAP/Microsoft integration: Connectivity, Single Sign-on, End-2-End monitoring, .Net development tooling, integration with SAP Solution Manager. GWPAM offers a complete SAP / Microsoft integration package.
As with Duet Enterprise, the two suppliers have their collective strength and market presence behind this new product offering. This is also a major distinction compared to the various proprietary connectors of smaller parties.
As SAP / Microsoft interoperability expert, I am enthousiast about the addition of GWPAM to the SAP / Microsoft integration spectrum. GWPAM enables to build a new category of functional scenarios for end-customers. Now also for organizations that do not have SharePoint in their application landscape, but do have Microsoft Office installed on the desktops. And want to utilize that familiar employee environment for user intuitive operation of SAP data and business processes.

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