1. SAP is serious about SOAs and, in most regards, openness.
2. SAP’s strategy does not gladden the hearts of top-tier DBMS vendors.
I also dinged them for being clueless about how to succeed in text search, but hey — nobody’s perfect, and there’s still time for them to fix the problem.
One interesting aspect of their strategy that did not fit into the above-mentioned server-oriented post is their take on UI. They said again and again and again that it is important to provide a high degree of UI freedom in accessing the same underlying application services. (Except that they usually referred to the services as — no surprise here — “business processes.”) This is a reversal from their prior belief that a transactional screen — or a portal page — was sufficient for everybody.
In general, the enterprise software industry is getting a lot more sophisticated about and competitive in it’s work on UI. I should post about that soon. (The point has come up repeatedly in my work on BI, with SAP, Business Objects, and others.)