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From Marcelo Pham <marc...@akibot.com>
Subject Re: SAP Services in ESME (was: UI widgets for ESME)
Date Sun, 06 Dec 2009 18:31:34 GMT
Hi there,

I threw out the idea because we are developing it for one of our beta  
testers and thought it would be useful for ESME, but never thought it  
would have many legal implications, sorry about that ...

Since our beta tester is a big company that uses SAP and have a lot of  
developers in staff, I'm assuming they have ways to extract the data  
and store it in a data warehouse, and from there it goes to the  
widget. Or maybe they also use Business Objects BI products that come  
with API and allow you to extract massaged data from it, I'm not  
sure ...

With that being said, I like Markus' idea of abstract interfaces,  
which I envision it this way: we build widgets that resemble an RSS  
reader. Take for example the sales order widget that shows orders for  
today, by salesperson. We would build a widget that shows the figures  
and its only requirement would be to read the sales order data from an  
RSS feed that could be something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<sales_orders_today>
	<salesperson>
		<id>JR</id>
		<orders>5</orders>
	</salesperson>
	<salesperson>
		<id>AC</id>
		<orders>2</orders>
	</salesperson>
</sales_orders_today >

So users / collaborators would have to build this connector (RSS feed  
that connects portions of the ERP data to the widget). Then these  
connectors would be released under a different license (or be written  
in-house) like Markus mentioned.

I'm not very familiar with SAP legalities, my background is from mid- 
market ERP (Mas500, Navision, etc) and they all come with ODBC or  
other kind of connectors for their data. I have installed into a lot  
of third-party products (dashboards, reports, etc) that at the end of  
the day do the same thing as we're trying to accomplish: read portions  
of ERP data, massage and present it in a more readable way... but  
again maybe SAP is more protective of their data?

Just thinking out loud... hope it helps...

Thanks,


Marcelo
Head Developer
Akibot



On Dec 6, 2009, at 7:27 AM, Markus Kohler wrote:

> Hi Michael,
> Thanks for your post here!
> a few comments from my side.
>
> I think the issue is that the term "usesEnterprise Service" is not  
> clearly
> defined.
> Actually someone could build a piece of code that wouldn't really  
> use any
> code of SAP and not even the wsdl's.  Would that be a "use" of  
> Enterprise
> Services? I guess SAP would argue that in order to do so you had  
> access to
> the wsdl at some point in time or you did reverse engineering, which  
> I guess
> is not permitted either.
>
> But since "almost every problem in computer science can be solved by  
> another
> level of indirection", One could build a generic adapter that would  
> not be
> released under the Apache license( or any other open source license)  
> and
> release it on Source Exchange. But even then it would not be 100%  
> clear
> whether an adapter that is  exposing Enterprise services would be  
> legal.
> Exposing an enterprise service 1:1 would probably not be legal, but  
> exposing
> only portions of it in more abstract way could be legal (and useful),
> wouldn't it?
>
> At the end I think ESME could just implement against abstract  
> interfaces.
> Those abstract interfaces could be implemented by adapters for the  
> various
> ERP vendors and this code would not have to be licensed under the  
> Apache
> license.
>
>
>
> Regards,
> Markus
> "The best way to predict the future is to invent it" -- Alan Kay


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