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Former Member
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It's time to update my web log from November 2004 about the terminology for our business intelligence offering from SAP. ("SAP BI versus SAP BW: What’s in a Name?" at http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/978. [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken])  Before I get into that, though, it is definitely not true that we keep changing the name to confuse the customer - which is speculation that I have heard from some of you! I know that we keep you on your toes with this, but our goal is to use terminology that appropriately reflects both our features and what constitutes the product that we offer to you, the customer. As those factors change, so do the terms. It's not always easy for us either - my previous blog contains a now-obsolete term!  As such, for a brief recap, SAP started out with a standalone product called SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW). Business Intelligence (via mySAP BI and then SAP BI) came into usage as we expanded our features within the component itself and by bundling/integrating with other components. As a broader (and industry-standard) term, SAP felt that BI was a better description of the solution. We held onto the SAP BW term for our release numbers to ease the transition.  That takes SAP BI as we knew it up through the SAP NetWeaver 2004 release (SAP BW 3.5). With the newest release, we are going a step further. Originally, we thought we'd call this SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence 7.0, as was stated in the first blog. But while this was a better description of the business intelligence component, we realized that it doesn't reflect the fact that BI a fully integrated piece of the SAP NetWeaver platform! Therefore, you will now hear us refer to either SAP NetWeaver 2004s, or, if we think we need to emphasize the BI aspect of it, we'll use "BI capabilities of SAP NetWeaver 2004s". Is this just a marketing decision? Not at all. With SAP NetWeaver 2004s, BI capabilities include features provided by the portal and knowledge management/collaboration components, so we want to focus on the scenarios supported, not the underlying components.   Note that the term SAP BW will not just disappear - yet. You'll still see the historical references to SAP BW, of course. But new and forward-looking information will be found under SAP NetWeaver.  Challenging?!? Definitely! But we've got the best customers in the world, so I know we'll all get there.  (See also Michael Eacrett's blog "Obituary for 'SAP NetWeaver Components' 2003 – 2005" at /people/michael.eacrett/blog/2006/06/17/obituary-for-sap-netweaver-components-2003-150-2005 for a comprehensive discussion of the single platform view for SAP NetWeaver.)
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