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SAP, Microsoft Linked Up With .NET Netweaver

Developing .NET-enabled applications for SAP's Netweaver just got easier with a new developer kit released by Microsoft and SAP.

The Portal Development Kit for Microsoft .NET (PDK for .NET) is actually an add-on to Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET 2003 application and enables development for SAP's Enterprise portal, which is part of SAP NetWeaver.

With the PDK, developers can build Netweaver content using .NET-supported languages C# as well as Visual Basic.NET.

The PDK for .NET helps SAP users to make full use of the .NET framework, including Web Services , reuse of existing .NET/COM code and easy integration with Microsoft servers.

The PDK for .NET also permits components in order to make use of SAP Enterprise Portal features like client-side events and services. The SAP .NET Connector facilitates communication with SAP backend systems, including mySAP ERP. Content for a .NET business portal can be deployed and integrated into SAP Enterprise Portal via SAP NetWeaver and the Portal Runtime for .NET.

Portal components for SAP Enterprise Portal that are built by PDK for .NET are called iViews once they are added to portal pages by a content administrator.

"Since developing portal components [the "template" from which iViews are created] is a frequent task for the portal developer, the SAP PDK for .NET enables .NET developers to leverage their existing knowledge and be as productive when creating portal components as they are when creating any other .NET components," according to an SAP developer brief.

The new kit is an outgrowth of a decade-long alliance the two companies deepened in May of 2004.

"With the expansion of Microsoft's long-standing relationship with SAP in May 2004, we continue to focus on enabling customers with the 40,000 SAP installations using the Windows platform to achieve greater efficiencies and drive better business results," said Tim O'Brien, senior product manager for Microsoft, in a statement. "The availability of the new development kit is a key part of our partnership, helping our joint customers achieve richer integration between Visual Studio .NET and SAP NetWeaver."