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From the SAP Terminology Guide:

"Enterprise SOA combines the technologies, standards, and approaches of a service-oriented architecture with a common business language that SAP co-defines with its ecosystem in the form of enterprise services. The result is a business-driven IT architecture that increases adaptability, flexibility, openness, and cost efficiency all achieved because SAP goes beyond using SOA fundamentals by elevating the design, composition, and management of Web services to address enterprise business requirements with enterprise services." (Source: SAP.)

Enterprise SOA is SAP's interpretation of the right way to apply service-oriented architecture to enterprise computing. Unlike many approaches to implementing SOA which focus on providing tools to build web services but provide little other guidance, SAP provides model-driven tools for building services and composite applications along with a growing inventory of enterprise services that are described in the enterprise services repository. The introduction of Enterprise Services bundles is one of the primary means for increasing the inventory of services.

Unlike other approaches to SOA, SAP's vision for enterprise SOA expresses clear opinions on how to use modeling to construct solutions, the right scope for services, and how to engage in a program of service enablement. SAP not only provides tools, but also has created a supporting ecosystem that includes a certification, a partner network, and the Enterprise Services Community, a way that SAP customers and partners can suggest new services and participate in their definition.

Before May of 2006, enterprise SOA was also referred to as "Enterprise Services Architecture."

SAP's most recent comprehensive explanation of enterprise SOA is contained in the book "Enterprise SOA: Designing IT for Business Innovation" that was published in May 2006 by O'Reilly Media.

Related Topics

Service-Oriented Architecture
Composite Applications

Michael Altendorf's blog mentions SAP's enterprise SOA strategy