In many ways, the Enterprise Services Repository is the heart of ESA. The Enterprise Services Repository is the design-time repository of service objects for ESA. Before we unpack that more technical definition, let's frame the Enterprise Services Repository and Enterprise Services Inventory in simpler terms.
A repository is essentially a container, as shown in Figure 8-1. According to Wikipedia, a repository is a central place where data is stored and maintained. SAP offers the container—the Enterprise Services Repository—and its contents—the enterprise service descriptions defined in the Enterprise Services Inventory (see Figure 8-2)—as part of the SAP NetWeaver platform.
What is an inventory ? It's a detailed list of all items that a company has in stock. The Enterprise Services Inventory is a set of services that SAP has provided to its customers. The initial version of the Enterprise Services Inventory includes some 500 enterprise services. Additional services will be added to the Enterprise Services Inventory over time by SAP and by customers and partners participating in the Enterprise Services Community (which is discussed in Chapter 6).
Figure 8-1. A repository and its contents
Figure 8-2. A ...