Are you still investing in Enterprise Portal (EP) Server?
This question rather makes us all think, instead of giving a straightforward answer. Let us turn back and have a quick review of the timeline of SAP Portal aligning with the current trend.
Enterprise Portal was the frontend of SAP ERP. It is a single point of entry for the whole business user community on all fronts- ECC, CRM, SRM and even third-party software.
SAP Enterprise portal
SAP Enterprise portal was a champ to apply and approve leaves by employees and managers over time, access solution manager, develop and deploy Java-based Web Dynpro applications, Adobe forms, custom themes, being a Java web application server. Its architecture and frameworks were flawless, as it works well within the rules and regulations an IT environment needs and easy to maintain.
With User Experience being promoted to next level, Web Dynpro ABAP took the center stage with the native code in ECC workbench and very friendly to the SAP Enterprise portal, makes the content creation and management very easy. Next level of improvements was with the Business server pages competing the Java Server pages and being very lightweight components. Soon after the native improvements from the SAP side, there was a major version upgrade from EP 7.0 to EP 7.3 with a lot of added advantage inclusive of Business Process Management, Business Rules Framework with capabilities of creating workflows without needing the ECC.
All these were quietly appreciated by the User community and well within the maintenance framework of any IT Administrator with portal being a Java stack, helps to host the Adobe document server. But the user experience space was slowly won over by Mobile technology makes the user compelling to turn towards the same. This shows a drastic improvement in the productivity providing the user community to access to the data, decisions anywhere in world from the palm.
This mobility platform/service was growing exponentially and named as SAP FIORI being the front face of SAP. This trend also had its foot strong in the cloud space, be it platform or service giving a peace of mind to the IT community.
Let’s come back to the road we are driving before! All these handheld technologies were now part of the Native SAP ECC ERP not needing for another system as a single point. However, the latest Portal stack has all the above-mentioned capabilities as below:
The portal has evolved to reach the mobility factor which will be at par with the current user experience expectations. However, when we consider the server maintenance of having a Java stack (EP Server) as one of the major factors, even there should be a central gateway server that needs to be in place for the so called mobility platform. Though this makes a valid point, maintaining the Gateway server and the EP server is not the same with Java being little expensive.
To conclude the analysis and above said points,
- Rich experience
- Ease of access
- Infrastructure maintenance
- Future towards cloud platforms and services
We should think twice before investing in a new EP server until there is an exceptional need. But, existing EP servers can be efficiently used if we follow the path of SAP.