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T-REX Reflects Evolutionary Steps at SAP

The market for enterprise search solutions is exploding, and for good reason.

Companies are looking to get a greater bang for their business intelligence bucks, and search engines that can help their employees tap into those myriad resources is one way to do it.

Enterprise software vendor SAP , based in Walldorf, German, and Newton Square, Pa., is launching SAP Enterprise Search to help its customers and partners harness all that latent knowledge.

The solution, built on top of the TREX search indexing engine currently embedded in SAP's NetWeaver platform, will return search query results from different applications running in an enterprise, including non-SAP applications and corporate portals.

Developers can also use the solution to federate other enterprise search engines that a given enterprise may already be using.

"The reality today is that many enterprises have multiple search engines in place," noted Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing in SAP's emerging solutions group.

Indeed, this is one reason that the enterprise search market grew by 35 percent last year.

According to IDC analyst Sue Feldman, Google , Endeca, IBM and FAST are among the fastest growing vendors in the space.

"This is a meta-search engine that federates across all these search engines and hopefully brings some sense to what is becoming a chaotic situation," Fliess told internetnews.com.

The solution is part of SAP's larger strategy of extending its reach to new users within its installed base of enterprise customers.

It is also a recognition that more and more enterprises are adopting SOA  projects as a way of organizing heterogeneous applications.

The company has thus built SAP Enterprise Search along enterprise SOA standards, so that users can access it through a Web browser, a desktop widget, as well as through the standard mySAP ERP 2005 user interface.

"Enterprise search needs to reflect the needs of the business and the realities of the IT organization of the business," noted Fliess.

To that end, SAP also announced a new developer platform to help companies launch their initial SOA projects.

Dubbed SAP Discovery System, the solution lets developers and enterprise architects experiment with enterprise SOA.

SAP Discovery System features the latest version of mySAP ERP running several common business scenarios that are implemented as composite applications.

For example, the procurement scenario illustrates how business processes can be significantly streamlined. The system lets users gain insight and take action within the relevant business context, across multiple systems and applications.

This scenario, which uses standard enterprise services, follows the procurement process through all standard steps, from creating the sales order, analyzing stock, listing suppliers and requesting quotations through to placing the purchase order, confirming the order and receiving the goods.

The scenario supports four major user roles necessary to procurement: salesperson, purchasing agent, procurement manager and warehouse manager.

Earlier today, SAP also unveiled a new site, akin to its SAP Developer Network, to help business users and non-expert developers customize and configure applications.