You may remember SDN day at last year’s TechEd event, where the SAP Developer Network pulled together some helpful resources to bring SDN members and others up to speed on the technical side of SAP. This year’s pre-event day was renamed to simply “community day”, which turned out to be a pretty good way to sum it up.
For a modest fee, SAP professionals got an opportunity to meet peers and discuss a slew of pressing issues through birds-of-a-feather sessions, roundtable discussions, networking activities and more. One notable was the Meet the Execs session with Zia Yusuf, Peter Graf and other SAP profiles, now posted on SDN by Craig Cmehil.
There are two categories of SAP users who benefit from this kind of days, said Jon Reed, veteran member of the SearchSAP.com expert panel and founder of JonERP.com. The first category are those who know fairly little about SAP’s new SOA deal. The second category are those that are not experts, but know enough to ask the right questions when given the opportunity. Events like the community day are especially good for moving people from the first category to the second. Tomorrow, they’ll know enough to ask ‘how does Solution Manager integrate into the eSOA framework?’ rather than dash between sessions hoping for the best, Reed said.
As for topics, the SAP ecosystem was a central piece of discussion. Indeed, as research firm IDC has declared SAP’s ecosystem an economy of its own, SAP was quite clear about its importance: It’s the secret sauce that will enable SAP to pull off the big transition currently underfoot as SAP shops across the world readies to embrace the blessings of SOA. Time will tell how this plays out in reality, but Reed pointed out SOA has one inherent advantage no matter what.
“In the past, you had this bunch of guys holed up in Walldorf for 12 months,” Reed said. “Then they’d pop up and say, ‘Hey, look what we have! Do you like it?’. Then they’d take the feedback and disappear for another 12 months, and so on. Now, SOA enables every imaginable mashup, connecting SAP professionals from all walks across the globe. This dynamic is bound to speed things up incredibly, as well as make sure customers needs are indeed being met.”
Another thing that kept popping up was TOGAF, The Open Group Architectural Framework. As the name implies, TOGAF works to help architects make sense of today’s rapidly changing enterprise architectures. While SAP itself hasn’t said much, they do have a formal session at TechEd and judging by the interest it’s definitely something to keep an eye on, Reed said.
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