Welcome to this SDN page about Building Composite Applications with NetWeaver Foundation.
The J2EE Engine of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 provides plenty of functionality that can be used to build composite applications, some of which are used by the Composite Application Framework (CAF). Still, as CAF is a Model-Driven Graphical development tool, it aims to hide the complexity of the underlying technologies such as WebServices and RFC via JCo (External Services), JDO (Local Persistence) and EJB (Application Services) - only to name a few. In order to provide a very easy learning curve only a subset of the functionalities provided by these (and other) Java APIs can be directly modelled with CAF (as otherwise the tool itself would have to become equally complex).
However, as CAF is using the above mentioned technologies it is easily possible to leave the CAF boundaries and to do certain things the good old fashioned way of hand-coding functionality on API level. This way one gains access to the full power and leverages the potential of the SAP NetWeaver 7.0 Foundation - for the cost of the additional complexity that is of course.
This is where this community page tries to jump in... provide some insight on the low-level foundation API and how to use them to integrate external systems and to build composites that are enterprise SOA ready.
Therefore, I encourage everybody to particpate and help this page grow by providing reference links to related materials here.
But which software develeopment paradigm to use does not have to be an either-else decision as the EJB layer, where the Application Services (the business logic) resides in CAF, is the optimal place to integrate additional services done the "classical" approach. So, why not use CAF where it's good at and use the SAP NetWeaver Foundation API directly where we need to.
Composition Environment (CE)
The brand new Composition Environment (CE) will be a quantum leap in composite development as it comprises a Java EE 5 server delivering powerful technologies such as EJB 3.0, JPA and all the new Java 5 language extensions (Annotations, Generics, etc.). The accompanying CAF version will also leverage a lot of these new features, which will make composition development even easier and more powerful again.