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SAP snaps up catalog publisher

The German software giant will leverage A2i technology to enhance its own NetWeaver product.

SAP on Tuesday announced that it has acquired A2i, a privately held software company that specializes in product content management and catalog publishing for enterprises.

The German software giant says the deal will help it enlarge the Master Data Management feature of its NetWeaver product. NetWeaver software is used by corporations to digitize functions like accounting, sales, customer services and so forth. Master Data Management is a component of NetWeaver designed to ensure that any price changes entered into a system are reflected consistently in digital price lists, catalogs and other programs.

An update of NetWeaver, to be launched this fall, will come integrated with A2i's xCat suite. The added capabilities will reduce the need for customers to engage in technology integration projects, according to a statement issued jointly by SAP and Los Angeles-based A2i.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

As a result of integration of A2i's technology, some features of Master Data Management, such as enterprise-wide product content management, data aggregation and harmonization, and Web-based electronic catalogs, will be enhanced. Other features will be added, including high-performance search, image and document management, and print catalog publishing, the companies said.

"This acquisition is a perfect example of SAP's continued strategy to deliver the most complete and innovative set of products available to our customers," Henning Kagermann, chief executive of SAP, said in statement. "We are not looking for huge acquisition targets, nor do we want to buy market share or customers; rather we will seek to acquire and integrate those complementary technologies that we do not yet have or cannot develop at comparable cost or speed ourselves."