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Enterprise SOA by Thomas Mattern, Dan Woods

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The UI layer

One of ESA's primary goals is to make standard software more powerful at every level. Using enterprise services and process orchestration, a given set of service providers, leveraged by composite applications, will be able to meet more requirements than traditional forms of enterprise applications. More processes will be automated. More people will be involved as users, not just as experts. More value will result.

Implied in this expansion of value, however, is another expansion, an expansion of do-it-yourself capability. SAP is creating ESA so that standard enterprise software can solve many more business problems. Delivering enterprise applications using enterprise services provides access to the building blocks that allow more processes to be automated. To automate a new process, existing services must be orchestrated and new UIs must be created to serve the needs of each role in the process. But who will do this orchestration and who will create these UIs? SAP, of course, will provide standard business applications built on enterprise services. Third parties will use enterprise services to add their own applications, building on SAP's suite of services. And IT departments will be able to automate new processes much more quickly and easily using enterprise services and model-driven development tools.

This change will involve an interesting transformation of the UI layer. More than 100,000 different UI screens came with SAP R/3. SAP has studied these UIs and discovered ...

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