If you follow Actional, you may have seen that Progress Software announced Actional 8.1 today. The most interesting part of the release is our new support for SAP. Yes, we already supported SAP NetWeaver (like most of the other people in our space) so unless you're an SAP aficionado, you probably won't recognize the importance of natively supporting SAP ABAP - which is what we've announced.
SAP supports two main application server environments: one based on Java and one based on ABAP, SAP's own programming language (you might also hear the term "basis" which is another name for the ABAP application server stack). OK, with me so far? While SAP support both, almost all of the SAP packaged applications are written using the ABAP stack - Java is primarily used for infrastructure services (things like their portal).
With this new version, we've added the ability to trace business transactions into and through ABAP - so we can detect problems even within the ABAP portion of a business transaction. This is critical for many SAP customers because - without the ability to do this - SAP packaged application logic is seen as a black box silo. And, with 100's of millions of lines of code in the SAP packaged applications, that a pretty big area to have a blind spot.
While there are a lot of business transaction management vendors out there that support SAP, they are usually referring to the Java side of SAP. As a result, once a transaction hits ABAP (and almost all of them do) it enters the black box and can't be seen again until it leaves ABAP.
As you might have guessed, we're really excited to extend Actional's patented transaction tracing to SAP's core platform. If you're an SAP user, and need to ensure the success of business transactions that span SAP and other applications, platforms, and middleware then hopefully you'll get a chance to see whether this unique Actional capability can help you.
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