Archive for the 'ABAP' Category

SAP Inside Track London 2009

Darren Hague and I had a odd idea last year.

“Why not run an unconference for SAP developers and consultants in London.”

SAP Inside Track London 2009

SAP Inside Track London 2009

We had both been to SAP Community Days and thought we could pull something off. So we hustled together a venue and a wiki page to handle the signups and sessions.

It was a lot of fun. So much so that this year we are repeating the whole process.

This year we have managed to secure IBM Southbank as a venue. Thanks to a lot of help from Zoe Slattery

The date is April 4 and there is a small charge of £10 to cover the lunch. (Signup quickly in March for the early bird rate. In April it will rocket to £15!)

There are several SAP Mentors coming to the event from Europe so it is a great chance to hear from them and particularly the ESME team.

Ant Phillips from IBM will be presenting a session on connecting SAP up with Project Zero, the community version of Websphere sMash. The other sessions planned for the day are on the SDN Wiki.

One of the  sessions is a discussion on certification. This has been a hot topic in the SAP community lately. New Mentor Michael Koch is currently running a survey on how certification relates to contractors. You can complete this survey here and it would be great to see some good results from that survey at the unconference.

You can follow the fun in twitter at @SAPInsideTrack.

One of the great benefits of these days is the networking and conversations with people in trenches.  In credit crunched times such as today these can be even more valuable than official training sessions and (dare I say it) certification.

If you would like to come along to meet the mentors, participate in the sessions, run a session for yourself there is still time to signup.

Software and the Law

If you check the sylabus on most it ComSci degrees, it is unlikely that you will find a course or even a hat tip towards anything legal. Even the course that I took which included subjects on Communication, Managment and a full year project had no content on anything legal.

This is why my friend Thomas Otter is investigating in his efforts to become a Pointy Headed Doctor err… a Pretty Harmless Driver … err Purple Headless Dragon. Actually none of those. He is completing his PhD. Not to be confused with PHP which, I grant you, at some level is very similar but on others completely different.

Anway enough of the rambling.

I will let Thomas actually describe what he is doing:

Legal systems have evolved over centuries to codify rights and obligations in societies. Throughout history law and technology have interacted, modifying each other along the way.  It is often an uneasy relationship…

I want to ask as many software people as possible about what they understand of the law that can impact software, and what their attitudes are towards a couple of legal concepts in a software context.

It is designed to gather information about the knowledge, education and attitude of software developers towards the law related to software, and how law is or isn’t built into software. My goal is not to just have a small survey of a couple of hundred developers, but to really survey lots of them.

To do this, I want to tap as many of my readers  as I can to spread the news of the survey, and for as many of you to take the survey as possible. The more answers I can get from around the world, the richer the results will be. I will also be following up with telephone interviews with a much smaller sample group.

In this survey I have used the term software developer rather broadly. I define this to be anyone working professionally to design, build or maintain software (information technology). So if you are a product manager, solution manager, implementation consultant, systems architect, business analyst, or a systems tester, for instance, then we would be just as interested in your responses. The survey isn’t just aimed at those who code, but those who make a living from its construction and maintenance. Much of this group would fall under that definition. The Germans have a rather nice term,informatiker, but it doesn’t really translate very well.

You can access the survey here or use this link in twitter to get the word out to your friends social network, tribe or whatever the new word for friends is this week.  http://is.gd/eACI

In a world of SOX and Data Protection this is very timely research.

The goal is to get at least 1006 responses so that the data is statistically significant.  (You did stats 101 didn’t you?) I am reliably informed that it is progressing well but until you take 10 minutes of your precious time to add your response it will not be complete.

We have a winner

I didn’t expect to take this long to announce the winner of the caption competition. Thanks to all those who took part.

Congratulations to Johan who came up with the winner.  SFLIGHT is the be all and end all. What else would you need? I am sure that the SAP Airline Industry solution is build on the solid foundation of SFLIGHT. (For all of you who don’t know the SFLIGHT is a simple database model that many introductory ABAP courses use as a learning tool.)

I’m convinced now! SFLIGHT is better than their current system.

I’m convinced now! SFLIGHT is better than their current system.

Thanks for playing along and next time I am sharing aproximate space time coordinates with Johan there’s I’ll get the first round.

So who is this SE80 guy? [Caption competition]

so do you find the corner of a room and start coding?
so do you find the corner of a room and start coding?

Do you know who this guy is? I know that all developers are a little anti-social until they have had a little of the amber fluid to loosen up with but this picture is just a little silly.

 
Fo those who are foreign to matters enterprisey and in particular matters SAP, this is a grab from the spash screen in the ABAP developers workbench. Resplendent in corporate # and # there Mr SE80 man sits in the corner of the airport departure lounge, alone.
 
I think this could be an opportunity to present to ABAPers collaborative development. This picture of “lone man coding” should be taken out the back and quietly shot. Every SAP project I have been involved in required a TEAM and this image could very easily be replaced with a shot of two guys working together (to get the job done?) in XP style or a code review or really anything but “SOLO MAN”.
Before we swing the “get rid of solo man” campaign into full steam, lets have a caption competition to see what he is thinking or saying.
Answers in comments below or take this image and add your thought bubble and trackback to this post.
I will buy the winner a beer next time we are at the same space time coordinates. No correspondance will be entered into etc.
Looking forward to see what you come up with.

A new gig and a gag

For a while back there I was “out of work” which means my company was short of a client to invoice. Not the best situation.

Long story short is that I have remedied that predicament and it all worked out very well given the current economic climate etc etc.

I have been meaning to blog a little about recruiting 2.0 or recruiters or that sort of thing as we all have a love hate relationship with that. We need to recruiters to find people but they can, on occassion be annoying. I tend to take the good with the bad and forge direct relationships with clients where possible. I can usually pick a bad recruiter as he has no idea what he is talking about when he reads a spec to me. It usually his first day and I am flexible and usually tell them to go to SDN to learn the lingo.

Anyway thanks to all the people who provided me with leads and support recently. While blogging or twittering didn’t directly to an offer it sure didn’t harm my cause.

My new gig – well I can’t tell you. I have signed an NDA which prevents me from telling you, dear reader, in this public forum. No matter – that’s how some big companies operate so I will happily toe the line.

[It is a great project though]

Goodness coming to Web Dynpro Abap near you.

Adobe Flash Rendering In Web Dynpro for Abap Thomas Jung has been working on some amazing stuff. I love the power of adobe flash interface to produce slick looking graphs. He twittered yesterday that he was making some new screen casts of what is coming soon to the Netweaver Stack. Although my current gig is not running that sort of rig and I twittered back that I wouldn’t likely get near it until 2011, I was interested to see what was going on. Tom kindly sent a preview of the cast and this screen shot is of a flash graphs generated from within Web Dynpro for ABAP.

I am a big fan of visualising these kinds. Flash is a great way to deliver this sort of data as they make data more usable. This kind of innovation is what keeps me excited about what SAP is doing in the market place even though I may not get to work on them for a while.

These screen casts are going to have voice overs attached and appear in the eLearning section of SDN soon.

Bonus Link: If you have not heard, James Governor is running an Adobe SAP Nanoconference on July the 11th Adobe’s new offices in Regent’s Park, London.

Two hot ABAP tricks

In my reader this morning popped a great article from Martin Ceronio, an ABAPer from South Africa.

He provides two great tips for ABAP.

The first while strictly not ABAP but more SAP GUI related is related to removing the quick lookup entries from a drop down box. As Martin says:

I found out that in the SAP GUI, you can delete entries in the “recent values” dropdown of a field … by selecting it with the arrow keys and pressing delete.

This is very useful for getting rid of passwords typed in the username box.

As I shared this with one of my co-workers on my current project, she said “Oh yeah, you can do that anywhere, ie, anywhere”

So I confirmed that this tip also works in IE and mostly the browser of your choice too.

The other tip was all about backtics and single quotes in ABAP. Martin details how they can be used. I have found that the best part about backtics is enclosing single quotes which is critical for building javascript on the server to be executed on the client.