Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How to get value from E-SOA

My presentation last Friday at our Learning Day was titled: "E-SOA in the real world".

Have you ever seen an End-to-End Enterprise SOA Scenario? No, well you are probably more close to it than you can imagine.
A high-level term taken explained on a deep down level to prove that we can bring E-SOA to live at our customers site.

Key take-a-ways are:

  • E-SOA is a mindshift in thinking and doing
  • Focus on process in stead of technology
  • Facilitate the information workers
  • Quickly follow up on innovations in business processes
  • Think out-of-the SAP box
  • Get your hands dirty

Glad that I am not alone ;-) Have a look at this Gartner article, How to get value now from SAP's Enterprise SOA, posted today on SDN.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Learning Day, the TechEd experience

Last friday it was Learning Day at TopForce, this time's theme was, of course, the SAP TechEd. And yes, we almost had a full house:

Again a day of lots of knowledge sharing by Peter, Ronald, Gareth, me, André, Maurice, Chris, Victor, Arko and Hilco (our president of the day).

You can relive the day in pictures with my Flickr Album.

Mr. Kuiper with his hilarious speech was good fun:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SAP TechEd 07 in pictures

The event is over :( Here is a recap in pictures on flickr.
As we had a very strict dress code, we were quite visible during the whole event.


Thanks to René for ironing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Key statements SAP TechEd

This year's theme is Enterprise SOA, put the power to work. Some short statements from Münich are:
  • Continuous and accelerated innovation
  • E-SOA by design in stead of E-SOA by evolution
  • Collaboration, web 2.0 in your enterprise environment
  • Shift from operational efficiency to competitive differentiation
  • And, I am very happy with that ;-), in 2008 a strong focus on composite processes and developer productivity with the composition environment
  • Composites – composites – composites !!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Composite Applications: Real or Hype?

Composite applications, hype or real? Is it just a new way to develop applications or is it really something new? In this article an explanation is given on composite applications within the SAP world. What are composite applications and how they will help you to innovate your business process.

You can read more about this in my article that I published on SDN, Composite Applications, Real or Hype?

And yes, I am very happy again that SDN published a link on the SDN homepage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

SAP TechEd Trouble

Wauw, great My Agenda functionality. It uploaded all my favorite TechEd sessions into my Outlook agenda. But .... it also made clear that I still have to sort out what session to attend at what moment. When can I reserve some time to figure that out? Well probably - as every year - during the flight tomorrow to Münich.

Our annual event starts tomorrow. I will try to update you via this blog with the latest on this years SAP TechEd.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Last week the SAP TechEd took place in Las Vegas. Unfortunately I did not attend that one ;-) But there is already some interesting stuff to view on SAP TV.

Have a look at a short interview with Tim O’Reilly, keynote speaker and the one that made “Web 2.0” famous.

Hungry for more? Check the full keynote video with Tim. Or the keynote presentation from SAP executives.
The Future is Here… Unleash the Power of Your Business Network with Enterprise SOA

Read about that in the keynote presentation.

Enjoy a summary from the Demo Jam, a must attend event during the TechEd.
In this summary you can see the guys from Colgate who use the Wii as a remote control within the SAP world. It looks that they combined Wii control with an Apple iPhone user interface, check it out!!
More on SAP and the Wii.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

SAP TechEd 2007 – Hard to choose

So I went through this years TechEd schedule. And again this year promises to be a great TechEd year. So much to choose from and too few time to attend all the sessions you want. I created my My Agenda and filled it with all my personal interests. Guess what: all time slots have overlapping sessions. Next thing I had to do is prioritize. I definitely want to attend: SOA250, Enterprise SOA today: Developing an End-to-End Enterprise SOA Scenario and CE251, Advanced techniques with Guided Procedures in SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.1. I used my reservation options for those two hands-on workshops. That, by the way, is new this year, you can reserve up to 2 hands-on workshops to guarantee a seat. I think that is great, now I can enjoy my lunch in stead of rushing to get something to eat and then waiting until the doors will open.
Also new is that handouts will not be printed for lecture presentations. This will certainly save the life of some trees on our world. As alternative you can download the presentations a week before start. And that will help me choosing between the lectures I definitely want to attend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Learning day – Building blocks for the High-Performance Workplace

Last Friday was a great day, our learning day with as central theme: the High-Performance Workplace. You can revisit the day by visiting the Flickr set.

A learning day? It is a knowledge sharing day. As an information company we can gain knowledge by sharing it.

A small recap from my site:
  • A boomerang for Jasper, in the hope that he will find the way back after his travel around the world.
  • We can use our ecosystem of ISV’s and partners to get things done, for example: Sweetlets.
  • So what is the High-Performance Workplace? It is a growing subject of which we will hear much more in the future. You can read about it at Gartner’s HPW blog. And you can be part of it by defining what a High-Performance Workplace is. Socialize on the internet, combine your life with your e-life on Hyves,, Flickr and LinkedIn.
  • As TopForce we can bridge the gap between the SAP world and the information worker’s real world.
  • Our mind shift has to change from technology to people.
  • A portal is not a goal. MDM and BI are the cornerstones for a successful High-Performance Workplace. See the HPW as an iceberg, the portal is ‘only’ the tip that is above the waterline. We all know that there is still a whole lot under water.
  • Business is leading and IT is supporting.
  • The main focus must be on the business process.
  • It is about tightly integrated collaboration functionality. The collaboration portal.
  • In this SAP presentation you can also find the next generation portal, a portal with an extreme user interface makeover. (AJAX navigation, Team workspace, Wiki, Discussion forums, Sharepoint integration)
  • But most important to become an unbeatable effective company that is world famous we need a marketing campaign. Maybe we can shoot a video and place it on YouTube. It worked for BearForce ;-) Any volunteers?

Monday, September 03, 2007

SAP TechEd 2007

This year's TechEd is in Münich again. If you attend, please read my tips from last year on how to survive, they are still valid ;-)

And yes, you can now check what sessions you want to attend, the TechEd agenda is online.

Are you as curious as I am to this year’s keynote? A TechEd without Shai, it is a pitty! I was (and still am) a little jealous on his speaking capabilities.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Surprises in ABAP

Long ago, we found some interesting text in an ABAP:

A nice way of saying: "Don't touch my code" ;-)
Thanks to Evert-Jan for finding the correct ABAP name in his archive.

And a few weeks ago, Paul found this one:

So, any other examples? Do you know some nice easter eggs within ABAP, please let me know. I know it is a kind of 'nerdy', but it is good fun ;-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Web 2.0

Web 2.0... Hands up who can explain what it is. Difficult? Is it real? Is it a concept ....
No worries, no theoretical discussion in this post. But please have a look at this movie. It will clear up things.

And of course if you want to read more, there is Wikipedia on Web 2.0.

And, sorry some advertisement ;-) if you want to bring Web 2.0 into your organization, then contact us at TopForce.

Monday, April 30, 2007

I Love Visual Composer

As said before, I am really happy with a tool as the Visual Composer, so happy that I even have a bumper sticker for it ;-)

Previously I did a presentation with the visual composer called: How to create an application in only 10 minutes. I did some restyling on this app, and really with just a few clicks you have a wizard on top of your screen that aids your end-user through the application / process.
You can define layers and add your input or output to these layers, make sure that you choose for Wizard at Navigation control and then ... deploy it and enjoy it.

Some screen shots:
Final application with layers

Step 1, Get Customers

Step 2, Customer List

Step 3, Customer Details

ps. You can order your own copy of the I Love Bumper Sticker here.

Developers, developers, developers, ...

I often refer to myself as a die hard ABAP developer ;-) When I look at this video I am sure that I do not have to be ashamed of myself:

Of course you have recognized Steve Balmer from Microsoft in the movie. A promise at this very moment: When I reach the top as Steve did, I will do the same dance ;-)

There is another one, I think it is the original: Steve Balmer's dance.

Thanks to Frank for sending me the links to these movies. Good luck man!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Goodbye - Hello

A big step in my life, a switch from company, on April 1st I left Capgemini after 12 years and joined TopForce. On the last knowledge meeting on Adobe forms, hosted by Jan-Willem and Tiny, I brought a customized cake:
Some highlights of the past events 'printed' on a cake. You can do the same, with your own picture of course, at the site of the Hema.

So what is it? Is it a goodbye, is it a hello? Or as some former colleagues wrote to me: there is no such thing as saying goodbye. We will meet again!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Proud to be on SDN

The demo application that Ronald and I made for the SAPience is documented in a SDN blog: A composite application cookbook. So if you want to try this at home - and really you should - follow the cookbook and enjoy your composite.
After posting to SDN I got a very enthusiastic reaction from Marilyn Pratt, she is a member of the SDN team and the community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. She made it possible that the cookbook was posted on the CAF homepage on SDN. That already made me proud. A few days later I received an SMS from Rik: "Hey you are on the SDN homepage". No need to say that this made me very proud!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

SAPience de-stressed

21:00, presentation finished and a working demo. Quite on time this year ;-)

14:00, Twan calls Ronald, what about enhancing the demo with a webservice (the previously used Mappoint service). Thanks Rik for the idea. Ronald agrees, let’s just do that.
16:00, Start with additional service
19:00, Hungry and the demo is not working yet :-(

Here we are having a "Hot and Spicey" with a salad for vitamins.

21:20, Guided Procedures is really driving us mad, all steps are working individually, but together it is not happening. It must be something in the mapping.

22:00, Demo is not working yet, security let us know that we HAVE to leave before 23:00, even when we are not ready
22:33, Demo is working – what a relief – quickly made a movie as there is no internet connection available tomorrow
22:55, “Can you please leave and turn off the lights” says security. Hmm what can we do? We still have to go through our presentation, who is going to do what slide? Let’s sit in the car and continue working outside …. Nope, let’s first go home and then continue working.
23:55, Via Skype / Unyte we shared the presentation and decided who will do what.
1:30, We are finally done
2:00, In bed

7:00, Wake up call
9:30, SAPience starts
15:45, Our session starts in a fully booked room
16:30, End of the session, and within the given time frame! That is even more a big achievement ;-)
22:55, SMS to Ronald “We did it!! Thanks, sleep tight”

And that’s what we did, we slept very tight.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

SAPience (stress) 2007

Remember this: SAPience stress 2006? Well tomorrow it is SAPience 2007 and, of course, a little stress to finalize the last sheets and demo's. But this year we managed to do it at day or evening time. Last year we were also working at night, I still remember Jan-Willem sending an e-mail that he managed to get the Adobe demo working at 4:00 in the night!
Tomorrow Ronald Kleijn and I will guide you through the CAF and GP world:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New roles in our projects

I would like to start a discussion on the new roles in our SAP projects. With the roles I explicitly mean the content-roles like developers, architects and module consultants. In this post nothing about project managers or account managers, sorry, maybe next time.
Why new roles? With E-SOA things are going to change, not only on the SAP content or project goals but also on the essential roles that you and your colleagues want to fulfil in a E-SOA play.

Let’s first have a look at the ‘old-days’.

There is an architect, a module consultant and a developer and - hopefully - they work together towards the best solution for the customer. But as we all know, it is very well possible that all three roles live on separate islands. Despite this a proper solution for the customer will be delivered, but if it is the best … I don't know.

Now with E-SOA and the changing world that business is demanding more flexibility and speed from IT, roles will have to change. A close collaboration to start with.

This is the way I see it, and please share your ideas in a comment to this post, we all have to grow into solution architects. We cannot live on islands anymore, if we want to deliver the best solution to our customer (and of course we do want that) we will have to make sure that these new roles are available in the project team.

A business process expert is more than just a module consultant. The business process comes first and the module is only the tool to realize the customers wishes. As the BPX is very well capable of understanding the architecture, he/she will advise the architect from a business perspective how the enterprise architecture will have to look like.
The software architect is supported by the BPX with a clear and well described functional design on the customer requirements. In fact they will both deliver the input for the specifications after a discussion on the best solution. From the development perspective the software architect will advise the architect on the enterprise architecture. So, besides the development skills that a software architect quite obviously needs to have, he/she must also be capable in setting out the direction of the solution that will best fulfil the customer requirements.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mash up your application

During our E-SOA carrousel I did a demo on how to mash up your application. Of course, for those who already know me, it will be no surprise that I did this with the Visual Composer. The demo looks like the one I described in this post on building an application in 10 minutes, but with the help of Ronald Kleijn I changed it a little. In stead of showing the temperature, the actual location of a customer is shown on a Mappoint map.
On my SDN blog I described all the steps to get to this mash up application. Of course you can also find the screen prints over there.

Unfortunately, due to performance issues, I missed to share my key take-a-ways for the E-SOA demo. But I am most willing to share them with you in this post ;-)
In order to enter the real E-SOA world:

  • Be a Business Process Expert
  • Be a SAP NetWeaver Developer
  • Start with new ideas, stop traditional thinking
  • Think outside the SAP box
And please remember: Limits are formed mostly by your thoughts

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Have a nice desktop

Want to have a nice desktop? Then think about using widgets. They cannot only be fun like information on the weather or on the start of the sixth season of 24, but they can also be very useful!

See my desktop, it contains the SDN search widget and the SDN weblogs widget. Without starting my internet browser I can see the latest weblogs that have been posted in the ABAP area (or any other area that you are interested in) or execute a search on SDN or OSS. How convenient can your life be?

The widgets run on the yahoo engine, so you have to install this first. Then you can download and install any widget you like. On SDN there are already fellow techies that provide their widgets. And in the download area there is even a specific section for widgets.