- Costs, by ensuring that the software is integrated and comprehensive, and easy to reliably operate and cheaply administer, and
- Growth, by ensuring that the software addresses differentiated areas and is easy to evolve, change, and integrate into others as necessary
So this, then, is the essential duality that our customers expect from their IT landscape: Deliver operational efficiency via coherence and stability, while enabling business growth and managing change necessary to survive and grow. And this becomes our prime requirement: Enable evolution of our software without disruption; provide a large breadth of stable functionality, over generations of change. And it is around this requirement that we seek to design and architect the evolution of our software.
- Content, i.e. the application content, the UI content, the integration content, to represent and serve the activities of users
- Containers, i.e. the runtime(s) that this content inhabits, and
- Change, i.e. the ongoing operation and evolution of both the content and the containers over the lifecycle of a solution while maintaining a continuous link with the past
There are other aspects, to be sure, but these are the three basic ones and I want to share my view on their evolution next.
1. Enables developers across lots of domains and specializations to use their native abstractions and conveniences
2. Uses a family of integrated domain-specific languages and tooling conveniences to build software artifacts with maximum efficiency and productivity
3. Has a powerful glue that binds these diverse elements together
4. Can be extended by communities and developers of various sorts in lots of different ways, and
5. Can integrate the next great languages, including languages yet to be invented, and can itself be renovated and embedded in other programming models
Our portfolio of products, starting with the Business Suite, including Business Objects and NetWeaver and Business ByDesign, will continually evolve along these principles of timeless software.
As the picture above illustrates, we will continue to enhance our massive yet coherent breadth of functionality, to reflect ever increasing business activities across industries, geographies, and roles. This functionality will be built and extended using an evolving programming model, often in languages that have not yet been invented. And will be deployed in new ways, in the cloud, as appliances, on-premise, and all of the above. This functionality will be exposed for wide varieties of consumption, across consumers, business user workplaces, and devices, rendered via a wide variety of specialized client-side technologies, built by SAP as well as others. And yet all of this functionality will be under the same lifecycle frame, the backbone that will support the constant evolution, and constant optimization of our landscape at our customers. Our products will therefore reflect these principles. We will continually carve new lanes, and deliver new functionality, even deep new technologies. The applications will evolve continuously, and piecewise, as nature does: bringing new things, renovating others, adding here and retiring there, and doing so without breaking its essential qualities: reliability, integrity, integration, seamless administration, change and lifecycle management. Just as every few years we humans shed most of our cells, acquire new memories and lessons, decisions and beliefs, evolve and yet stay essentially who we are, I believe it is possible for software to renovate itself completely, and yet continuously.