SAP, IBM Move App Server to Mainframes

Hoping to provide more options for users with two- and three-tier client/server implementations, SAP AG and IBM announced Tuesday at IBM's Solutions 2000 Conference in Las Vegas that the SAP Application Server in SAP's R3 ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite can be co-located on IBM's S/390 Enterprise Server, often the site for the database application server of R3.

The porting of Walldorf, Germany-based SAP's application server came "at the request of our customers who would like to be able to have the application and database servers on the same machine," said Tom Rosamila, IBM's vice president of S/390 software development for enterprise servers. In response to the requests, IBM began the process of moving the code over last year.

"It's been about nine months of work. There's been lots of testing," Rosamila said.

The port of the SAP Application Server will make use of the batch and database update services as well as the message and print-spooling services of the S/390 environment. Deploying the application and database server software in the same hardware environment will improve the overall performance and availability of the server functions, he said.

Even so, "many of these customers will continue to run the hybrid model," Rosamila said, referring to common installations where the SAP application server, or most of it, is running on an IBM AIX-based RS/6000 or Microsoft NT-based NetFinity server, and the database server and middleware functions are deployed on a S390 platform. IBM's SAP Connectors for Lotus Domino, MQ Series and Visual Age Java have been revamped so that they too will work with the SAP Application Server in the S/390 environment.

The S390 port of the SAP application server is targeted at version 4.6 of the SAP software, and requires version 2.8 or higher of 0S/390 operating system as well as IBM DB/2, version 6, said IBM officials. The minimum S390 hardware platform is the G5 server.

In a related announcement, IBM and i2 Technologies officials Tuesday said that Timken Aerospace and Super Precision, as well as contract manufacturer PEMSTAR, have deployed i2's eBusiness and TradeMatrix supply chain management and business-to-business trading exchange software on IBM's AS/400e hardware.

IBM and i2, announced in March that they would be working together to bring the i2 software to middle market customers via the AS/400 platform; Timken and PEMSTAR are the first publicly announced users of the combined technologies.

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