Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SAP TechEd Top 10

With only 13 days to go I need to finalize my TechEd schedule soon. But so many sessions to choose from, 309 in total and only 3 days to plan them in. I know it is a kind of luxury problem, it must be the same feeling as my kids have in the toy shop ;-) Remind me building a business case to attend TechEd USA next year. Then I have 5 days to plan sessions ;-)

Past two years I focused on Composite Applications and the Visual Composer. This year it is time for the next level, the next big thing in SAP land: Business Process Management. I am signing up (reserving a seat) for:
  • BPM160, Building Your Own Composite Business Processes From Scratch With SAP NetWeaver BPM
  • BPM262, How to Use Business Rules With Business Process Management
And I will get in line for
  • COMP278, Service Composition with ES Repository and Composite Application Framework
  • BPM260, The ABC's of Modeling and Using Business Rules in SAP NetWeaver CE
  • IM264, Embedded SAP NetWeaver BI with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.1.1
  • SOA260, Build an End-to-End SOA Scenario Using the SAP Discovery System for SOA
  • SOA267, SOA and B2B

And of course I will support my colleagues Ronald, Peter, Leo and Niels.

TechEd2008 Subjects Top 10
  1. SAP NetWeaver (121 sessions)
  2. SOA (35)
  3. Java (18)
  4. BPM (16)
  5. BI (16)
  6. ABAP (16)
  7. Enterprise services (13)
  8. Composites (12)
  9. Web Dynpro (12)
  10. Business Objects (8)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

VC versus Xcelsius challenge

This week I had the change to ‘play’ with the Visual Composer again. Goal was to show a KPI dashboard on top of a BI query. With a gauge and a color (red or green) the status of the KPI had to be clear in one view. Besides that it had to be possible to change the ‘norm’ line online and to add comment on base of the results.
It was quite fun to build. Challenges? Only a few:
  • Find out what BI query on our Discovery Server returned results that could be presented: Trial and error.
  • Coloring the status bar: found in TechEd 2006 session CD151.
  • Slider with the Norm and plotting this line in the graph: Also in CD151.
Here is the result:


Next to my playing around, two colleagues (Pieter and Xavier) created almost the same demo in Xcelsius.

Their result:


The customer was impressed by the Business Objects demo. They are interested and currently investigating project possibilities. Great news for the other team! Unfortunately not for me with my Visual Composer. But hey, I already have enough project activities – so no worries ;-)

Conclusion:
  • Both are able to perform real time analysis with trends and jump to detail screens.
  • “Development” time or better said modelling time is comparable.
  • Visual Composer is a free add-on to your portal environment.
  • Additional costs for Xcelsius: a server is required and license costs.
  • Learning curve for heavy Excel users is very short for Xcelsius.
  • Visual Composer can easily integrate (web services) with different systems, even non-SAP.
  • Xcelsius is able to read from Excel as data source.
  • Authorization concept is probably easier to integrate in the VC.
  • Both are flexible in layout design.
  • Both tools generate Flash applications. (I know VC is also able to generate Web Dynpro, but for this demo Flash was more ‘sexy’).
  • Xcelsius is more suitable for reports that also have to be printed.

Hungry for more? On SDN there is a presentation available that explains how Visual Composer 7.1.1 can be used to embed BI into business processes and gives an outlook on future development plans. Also the relation with Xcelsius is described.

You can find this same article on SDN.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ronald and Peter at Demo Jam Berlin

Great news, not only do we have three sessions on this years SAP TechEd, we also have one Demo Jam Session. Peter Mayringer and Ronald Kleijn will perform live on stage a demo on “SAP EP meets web 2.0, floating iViews”, one of the technologies behind the HPP.
This will happen Tuesday evening October 14th and will be broadcasted live via SDN TV. I will keep you posted on the URL to watch Peter and Ronald live on stage.

What is the Demo Jam? As said, live on stage with an audience formed by all TechEd participants. About 8 demo’s are to be given, each no longer than 6 minutes. Golden rule: NO PowerPoint, only LIVE demo’s. After each presentation the audience makes a lot of noise and the presentation that receives the most … is the winner. Make sure that you support Ronald and Peter, they can use it.

During the summer, SAP customers, partners, and employees submitted proposals to demo their new, electrifying technologies or applications at Demo Jam. SAP TechEd is the place where the finalists will shine. Join SAP executives and thousands of cheering techies to watch the most impressive live demos hit the stage in Las Vegas. See them compete for the ultimate glory — to earn the audience’s vote of best demo of the night.


You can watch the replay of last weeks Demo Jam, from the Las Vegas TechEd.
The Demo Jam starts around 0:25:00.

A nice demo to watch starts at 1:20:00, it is a iPhone demo from XactSoft. A who is who application running on the iPhone. Hey where did I hear about this before? You are right – on our previous Learning Day, there Leo did the exact same demo scenario. But the application Leo built looks nicer (iPhone desgin) than the one from XactSoft. A real pitty that Leo didn’t make it to stage. See for yourself in the replay.
Apple itself also did a Demo Jam Session, starting at 1:05:00. It is about Workflow, XML, Web services and the iPhone.

Keep you posted, make sure that you study the agenda this week. Friday September 19th the sign-up for the Hands-on workshops starts. You definitely want to reserve a seat in your favorite workshop!