On April 24th, SAP held a CodeJam session on Gateway within the Netherlands. The event was well attended, actually full-booked. The session was in particular interesting due the presence of Gateway guru Andre Fischer.
Some of my personal take-aways of this Gateway CodeJam:
- I was surprised that still a large group of SAP developers do not really know [of] SAP NetWeaver Gateway;
- As of NetWeaver 7.40, Gateway is an integral part, no longer deployed as add-on;
- Gateway as platform stabilizes. It's now on Gateway 2.0 SP6, with SP7 expected in July. With that, the platform is mature and stable; and far less need for continuous new updates / deployments;
- Change in Gateway licensing: for each SAP named user in the backend, Gateway [usage] is free-of-charge;
- Focus of the Gateway Product team (development) is now on Gateway-as-a-Service aka in the cloud. This beholds the GW-HUB; GW-backend will (have to) remain on-premisse;
- GW-HUB can co-operate with a lower version GW-backend. This is of importance in case of deploying GW-HUB on a dedicated system, and from there connecting to / exposing the SAP business systems in your landscape. New Gateway developments / features are largely focussed on the GW-HUB level (Gateway-as-a-Service as a clear example), GW-backend on the other hand is relatively 'out-engineered'. The downwards compatibility enables end-organizations to update the GW-HUB in case of a new version / feature set on the dedicated gateway server [which has only a technical / integration role; it does not contain business functionality], without necessity to also roll-out a system update on the NetWeaver servers that do service business capabilities [and for which the business is rightfully reluctant towards changes and thus downtimes];
- Gateway Client is not only of usage for us / Gateway Service developers; but also for SAP Support. It enables SAP Support to execute and examine the behavior of [custom] Gateway Services via the already in-place SAP GUI logon. No need to provide SAP Support with access to Gateway Services on http / network level;
- When you test/execute Gateway service directly from a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer), use QueryString '?sap-ds-debug=true' to render the received response as HTTP page, and inspect the request + response [headers, cookies, body];
- For consuming Gateway Services within Microsoft context, Andre told me that Gateway can now utilize Kerberos Single Sign-On, through SPNego. Prerequisites are that the backend is on NetWeaver 7.31 or later, and that the company has SAP NW SSO 2.0 license.