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SAP says new software on track

Company's co-founder provides more details on A1S, a new version of its applications still in development.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Software maker SAP is making strides in the development of its next-generation applications, the company's co-founder said.

Hasso Plattner, who last month during SAP's Sapphire conference in Atlanta disclosed details of the company's plans, was back at it again Tuesday during the Software 2007 conference here. And although much of the project, which goes by the code name A1S, is still under wraps, Hasso discussed a few more details.

SAP has yet to disclose pricing and a launch date for the new software, which has been under development for three years.

Users of the software are expected to be small and midsize businesses that are looking for a full range of hosted business applications to plug into SAP's new infrastructure, or A1S. The platform will be built on SAP's NetWeaver, the company's back-end middleware that connects SAP data with other applications, and SAP's business suite.

Co-founder Hasso Plattner about Wall Street's unfavorable reaction to $300 million-plus investment in next-generation software.

Plattner said the project "will be built on NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite" but that it incorporates newly developed code.

A1S will feature 2,500 interfaces that serve as modules that users can choose to plug into their platform to handle such tasks as manufacturing, payroll and project management. The modules, or structure, will be exposed to users, but the code base will not, Plattner said.

"No code will be exposed, so you have to stick to the interfaces," Plattner said.

The project aims to deliver a faster and potentially less expensive method for users to deploy applications onto their enterprise systems.

The project will also feature in-memory databases, which can greatly increase performance, according to SAP.

SAP, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that it plans to acquire OutlookSoft, in a move meant to bolster its presence with corporate chief financial officers. OutlookSoft develops software for integration planning, budgeting and forecasting.

Terms of the deal were not released and the deal is expected to be completed by June 2007.