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From Ethan Jewett <>
Subject SAP Services in ESME (was: UI widgets for ESME)
Date Sat, 05 Dec 2009 17:30:36 GMT
I think this topic deserves a separate discussion. It is something we
probably need to address at some point, and I don't want to derail the
widgets discussion.

I was wrong to imply that SAP purposefully attempts to spread fear,
uncertainty, or doubt on this topic. It doesn't. However, there is a
lot of uncertainty and misalignment between SAP and the developer
community, which results in doubt and fear.

I disagree with Michael that a widget interfacing with an SAP
Enterprise Service necessarily falls under any SAP license
restriction. Such a widget would not need to include Enterprise
Services in any sense. It would simply need to take a URL pointing to
an arbitrary WSDL and it would need to make some assumptions about the
field names and structures of the service. Field names and structures
are information that SAP provides publicly, with no license
restrictions (as far as I can tell) at

However, as I mentioned, SAP's position on the IP around these
services is sufficiently uncertain and opaque that I would not be
comfortable including them in this project until SAP's lawyers
specifically address this use case. (It is not addressed in the
Netweaver Developer license agreement linked below, and developers who
develop against SAP Enterprise Services are not necessarily bound by
this license agreement.)

Do we have an overall approach or understanding on this issue that has
already been developed? If not, it might be worth discussing specific
scenarios and our comfort level with them.


On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 10:23 PM, Bechauf, Michael
<> wrote:
> There is no FUD about it; I think we've been quite transparent (or so I
> hope) about our IP positions.
> SAP Enterprise Services need to be licensed, and there are a number of
> provisions in those licenses that would restrict the free distribution
> of code. Currently, there is no standalone license for SAP Enterprise
> Services, but you only get them with SAP customer agreements, SAP
> partner agreements, SAP NetWeaver developer subscriptions or the free
> SAP NetWeaver Developer License. You can check out the license agreement
> here
> <
> d/d07ab93b-1d0e-2b10-ed9e-8d35d34a2fed&refer=subscriptionsssrl> .
> If you put SAP Enterprise Services into Apache code, a developer may
> create a derivative work that is incompatible with the SAP Enterprise
> Service license. For exampe, if they create commercial products (i.e.
> for sale), they have to buy a license from SAP. I talked to Geir
> Magnusson about it, and his opinion (and I don't think you need a lawyer
> to confirm this) was that this was incompatible with the Apache license.
> So, in other words, Ethan is right. I would not put code that contains
> SAP Enterprise Services into the Apache distribution. If you want to
> work together on a widget that contains SAP code, you can do this on the
> SAP Forge called SDN Code Exchange
> <> . In other
> words, you can safely develop a widget framework in Apache, but for the
> concrete widget instance that interfaces with SAP, I would not put it
> into Apache.
> Best,
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: Ethan Jewett []
> Sent: Friday, Dec 04, 2009 6:10 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: UI widgets for ESME
> That looks very interesting and I think it's a great idea. A couple
> comments (sorry, it's been a busy week, so this is a bit off-the-cuff):
> 1. I'd like to echo Daniel's suggestion to pursue an existing widget
> container/standard if we do this. To offer another option: Shindig is a
> pretty mature implementation of the OpenSocial widget container
> standard. (Oh, and it's an Apache project -
> ;-)
> 2. I wonder if we might want to consider embedding *ESME* into a widget
> platform (via the APIs) rather than embedding *widgets* into ESME. My
> impression is that this might be a lot easier and may more closely align
> with how ESME will be deployed (in the Enterprise) with a UI wrapper.
> 3. I'm skittish about putting code into ESME that interfaces with SAP
> modules. My understanding of SAP's IP position is that code that
> interfaces with SAP Enterprise Services contains SAP IP and cannot be
> licensed under an Apache 2.0 license (or at least SAP reserves the right
> to spread FUD on the topic). I'm not comfortable working on code that
> does this or committing it to an Apache project until SAP clarifies its
> position publicly and unequivocally. Because of this, I think we can
> provide a framework and examples, but I think we should think twice
> before providing an actual widget that interfaces with SAP as part of
> the distribution.
> Ethan
> On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Marcelo Pham <> wrote:
>        Hi there,
>        I had a chat with Dick and he thought it would be good to share
> this idea we had for Akibot with the ESME community:
>        General concept
>        1. The idea is to include a "widget" area to ESME front end.
> These widgets would be plug & play components that help users from a
> same group or department to see real time info, such as financials,
> inventory maps, sales, etc. etc.
>        In brief, we would be marrying business intelligence (widgets
> showing relevant, summarized information in real time) with social media
> (microblog), this would give the whole group a sense of total business
> awareness (they would know exactly what's going on, what employees are
> chatting about, issues (microblog), what's the most named item, the most
> mentioned customer (tags), figures for sales, inventory (widgets))
>        2. For example, the executive and sales groups would have a
> widget in their microblog that would show real time information for
> today's and YTD orders:
>        This widget would read data from the SD module and inform
> everybody how sales are doing.
>        3. We would start with widgets that read from SAP modules (SD,
> FI, MM, etc.) and maybe after we could extend it to other ERP's (JD
> Edwards, Mas500, Navision, etc) or other groupware apps (Salesforce,
> Exchange, etc.)
>        Details
>        4. If ESME can be skinnable (meaning to allow users to change
> around the HTML of the front end) these widgets could be embeddable in
> the form of an object, like:
>        <object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"
> codebase="" width="200" height="400"
> align="middle">
>           <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
>           <param name="movie" value="widget1.swf" />
>           <param name="quality" value="high" />
>           <param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" />
>           <param name="feed_username" value="username" />
>           <param name="feed_password" value="12345abcd" />
>           <param name="feed_url" value="" />
>            <embed src="widget1.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff"
> width="200" height="400" name="foo" align="middle"
> allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
> pluginspage="" />
>        </object>
>        Or something like this but using JS.
>        5. Widgets would be available to download from common open
> repositories such as ESME website, Google code, etc. A widget would be
> composed by a Flash or JS file to download, and a sample code to embed
> into the HTML front end with instructions on how to customize it. We
> will contribute with all the widgets we do and also help develop widgets
> made by other members.
>        6. Since these will be all behind-the-firewall installations,
> there should not be many security issues, although we would include a
> username/password to authenticate to the SAP feed
>        Open for discussion
>        7. Embeddable code / format: we haven't decided what formats
> will be the best (JS, Flash, both...)
>        8. Connection / authentication: how to connect to the SAP feed
> and how to authenticate to it
>        9. Widget permissions: how to allow/hide widgets for different
> groups (for example the sales widget should not be shown to the
> purchasing group, etc.)
>        What do you guys think?
>        Good night,
>        Marcelo Pham
>        Head Developer
>        Akibot

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