Ideas and Questions

Do you have questions, brilliant suggestions, or interesting topic ideas for a show? Maybe you just want to give us a shout out? Perhaps you just like to hear yourself talk? Well, regardless, we would love to hear from you. You can contact us by leaving us a comment here or anywhere else on the site or shooting an email to

Unless stated otherwise, any discussions will be assumed as potential blog or podcast subject content. So if you want us to keep something our little secret, be sure to let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!
– theGeeks

138 responses to “Ideas and Questions”

  1. Michael Koch says :

    Hey Geekmeisters,

    I’d love to hear about first experiences with Alloy – especially since Colgate Palmolive is one of the first companies to implement it.

    Keep up the good work,


  2. Brian Dennett says :

    I think I speak for all the eGheads when I ask that all important question; Where are our eGeek screensavers and desktop themes?

  3. Craig Cmehil says :

    The new logo is there now so the Schwag will be coming along soon, watch for it ;-)

  4. Jeron Jacob says :

    Possible topic of discussion could be the dilemma of “Best in Breed vs. Integrated Systems”, especially for a corporate entity which primarily runs SAP :)

  5. Vijay Vijayasankar says :

    Can you guys do a BSP vs webdynpro thing? ignore this if you have already done that

  6. Ed Herrmann says :

    @Vijay check out the podcast episode on UI evolution. If you still have more discussion ideas, let me know and we will be happy to discuss it on a show:

  7. Vijay Vijayasankar says :

    Thanks Ed – I will listen to it on my way back to hotel tonight.
    Essentially, my point is that even today, CRM development happens on BSP..well a weird mix of CRM and Webdynpro actually. Plus some part of CRM like web channel uses java. I am talking about 7.0 – brand new system – so why would SAP do this?
    I manage a team that does work on ECC and CRM and other things, and it is hard to get people spun up to a master level on all of these.

    Not sure if you are familiar with CRM’s web service tool – it can create services from an abstract object layer. I imagine this happened instead of ESA since SAP was busy with I work in CRM. Now that is another thing that gives me some grief – I need a strategy on whether to use these custom services that I can generate, or wait for ES to come in an EhP later. Grief I could have lived without if all parts of SAP did the same thing for UIs and services :)

    in SAP’s favor – the new CRM UI is the coolest one I have seen so far – it rocks and my users love it.

  8. som_nath says :

    Ed belated Congratulations for Runners-up of SAP Polestar competition. Can we hear about this – the practical aspects and use cases.

  9. Steve Jones says :

    I enjoy your energy and enthusiasm. I’m interested in your take on solving challenges around latency from source to BW Infocubes. Users seem to be asking for more frequent data refreshes and the processing in between institutes delays. Does the recent Terradata announcement help here? Can we put all this data in one location and leverage BW & BObj?


  10. Ali says :

    Hey guys,

    I really like your podcasts and all the effort you are putting to help out the SAP community. I have a suggestion for a video podcast similar to the ABAP freak show but something that is geared towards beginners. For example, you could show new coding techniques, ABAP Objects, internal table techniques, how would you go about solving specific problems, best way of fetching data from multiple tables or sources, etc. I would love to see something similar for Business Workflows. I think this will help a lot of beginners in this field.

    Thanks again for your great podcasts.


  11. Alex Schuchman says :

    First I wanted to add my two cents about Vijay’s comments regarding CRM and Web Services. Having travelled up to SAP Labs Montreal and working with the CRM TPM Team, they are told to review all of the available technologies within SAP before making a decision on what to use for their specific products(like TPM). There didn’t seem to be a specific SAP mandate that all groups need to conform and use the same technologies, which makes life extremely difficult for us customers(complete agreement with Vijay on this point). It would be nice if the SAP Product Managers had more power to enforce standards.

    For Steve’s comment about Terradata and BOBJ, this is a very recent announcement(and still not clear). We have a meeting with them on Monday to get some clarity but from what I’ve heard it’s just a partnership with Terradata. Not the same like BOBJ merger, so you’ll still have to buy the terradata tools. There’s lots of third party vendors who pull in BW/BI data into an in-memory database for full flexible reporting. I just looked at the QlikView product and it’s got a really slick UI and feature set. Also don’t forget SAP’s P* (code name) or Business Objects Explorer(proper name) since you throw your BI data into BWA and then use Polestar to report on it.
    This still requires loading and wait time as Steve points out, the concept of a hybridprovider was discussed by SAP for the past couple of years. This would allow BI Reports to be based on historically loaded data(cube) as well as the merge from an ODS or some other temp repository objects which would allow a close fit to the “real-time” reporting you mention. Heard this is coming in BI 7.2 so still waiting for it.

  12. Alex Schuchman says :

    Here’s my idea for a new podcast, comparison of “sprint” style development techniques which have been recently adopted by SAP vs. more traditional development “cycle” releases(which take months or years).

    FYI: I love listening to the podcasts on my droid…”droidcasts” doesn’t quite sound right.

  13. Dave G says :

    Questions I think would make a great discussion :)

    Will the iPad impact the enterprise market? What will be its influence on SAP and SAP technology going forward?

    The rise of HTML5 and Apple’s insistence on not allowing plugins like Flash and Silverlight to run on the iPhone/iPad seems to signal the beginning of the end to these technologies and there will now be a race to develop the HTML5 tools that will deliver the new web. are SAP building HTML5 developer tools? Should they be?

    The evolution of interfaces from Point and Click to the new world of Touch and Swoosh provides challenges to the design standards of today? Will SAP be ready? Do the current UI standards, i.e. Web Dynpro ABAP deliver on these new platforms? Is it time for a WD Cocoa Touch renderer? (joke)

    Here is my take..

    The Apple iPad and its coming ‘clones’ (based on Android, W7) will not influence the enterprise market but will transform it. Major enterprise software houses need to be especially careful of not dismissing these devices as toys that will only ever achieve a niche place in the enterprise.

    As an example a couple of years ago I did some work at a company that had a large field services division and they did a rather long and expensive study trying to find the best device for their field services staff to use. They new exactly what they wanted and they described it in detail. They looked at every product on the market and not one fitted what they were after so they eventually opted to keep the laptops they were using even though they were a poor fit. The problem was that the device did not exist yet, it does now and its called the iPad.

    The challenge for SAP now is NOT to adopt a wait-and-see attitude for this new platform but to embrace it and build the technology and developer tools that can allow its developers to build the solutions of tomorrow. If SAP do not have enough creativity and foresight to see where the ‘new’ enterprise is headed then they will lose the best geeks to the emerging platforms of tomorrow and if that happens they are as good as dead.

  14. Dave G says :

    Looks like you guys were one step ahead, I obviously missed this podcast:

  15. Thomas Jung says :

    To Dave G: Good questions. We did address some of them in the podcast you reference, so hope that helps. Here are some additional thoughts.

    >Will the iPad impact the enterprise market? What will be its influence on SAP and SAP technology going forward?
    I think it will. If not the iPad directly then the strong possibility that the iPad will resurrect the tablet market in general. I reserve final judgement until I have an iPad in hand and I get to try out some enterprise apps on it, but I imagine how carrying around such a device to/from meetings and as you travel might be very beneficial. I can’t wait to try out Business Objects Explorer iPhone app and the Safari supported version of Web Dynpro ABAP (7.02) on the iPad and see how the touch interface works with the larger screen size on these types of applications.

    >are SAP building HTML5 developer tools?
    Yes. We are creating a HTML5 version of the Web Dynpro Renderer for instance. Just like in CE 7.11/ABAP 7.01 we replaced the current WD Renderer with the Lightspeed version (introducing AJAX) it will be possible in the near future to run an HTML5 version of the WD Renderer. We have other things in mind as well, but this is probably the most relevant to current developers.

    >Do the current UI standards, i.e. Web Dynpro ABAP deliver on these new platforms?
    We are already exploring how the current UI standards do or don’t work with these new UI paradigms and are considering what additions/changes might be necessary.

  16. Dave G says :

    Interested to hear what you guys are expecting (if anything) regarding ByDesign at Sapphire?


  17. sapdba says :

    Although I do often write code, as a long-time Basis administrator, it’s not my primary function. As such, it would be interesting to hear technical discussions concerning application infrastructure topics such as Basis/Java admin, in-memory computing, Solution Manager, database platforms, and the like.


  18. Christian Braukmüller says :

    You mention:
    > “We also had a great clarification from Thomas on the Netweaver versions.”

    Any details regarding the version-names for every thing above >= 7.02 is very interesting.
    The attempt to understand all further dependencies to the upcoming product ERP,BI,MI,SolMan and their naming.
    (Having a ERP6.04 in a BusinessSuite 7 when all other products are 7.x is still confusing)

    And i fear that there are some products on the way where the release 7.x doesn’t fit to the underlying NW-release.

    The argument
    “Just to confuse the russians”
    is nowaday not counting anymore. They are SAP-customers as well. :-)

    Best regards

  19. Ali says :

    Hey Guys,

    I have a question about BDC. Can BDC be used with Web Dynpro? If not, is there an alternative or is the concept of BDC cannot be used with Web Dynpro? I think running BDC in the foreground can be helpful sometimes so i was wondering if there is something similar to be used with WD. How about with classical screens, is there a modern way of doing the same thing as BDC?

    Thanks a lot for the great podcasts.

    • Thomas Jung says :

      @Ali – No there is no real alternative to BDC for Web Dynpro – intentionally. The idea of processing through the screens in order to perform data entry really isn’t the best idea. The approach with Web Dynpro is that you should follow MVC and have a clearly separated and standalone model object. It should be possible to perform data entry against this model (or with a light service object on top of this model) without ever passing through the UI.

      If you just want a testing tool, then eCATT supports Web Dynpro as of 7.02. 7.02 also contains stable HTML IDs so that you can use third party HTML testing tools as well.

  20. Jose says :

    Hey Guys,

    Big fan of your work!

    Question, i’m new at adobe forms and islands. In my current project we do not have the adobe solution or NW7 to practise both of them, but i really wanna learn.

    Is the a way to install it on latest Minisap? both islands and forms….

    If so, please tell me or point me to some materials and tutorials on how to do it….

    I’ve searched a lot on the web, but that’s the question with no response…

    Thank’s a lot already, with the great job on our geeks world!

    • Thomas Jung says :

      Islands is no problem. To work with Flash Islands you don’t need any additional server infrastructure. You could use either the ABAP 7.01 or newer 7.02 trial versions from SDN. For Adobe Forms, however, you need the Adobe Document Services which is a Java based application. Therefore you would have to install both the ABAP trial and the NetWeaver CE trial. You would then have to follow the ADS configuration guide for setting up the RFC and HTTP based connections between the two systems before Adobe Forms will work.

  21. Ali says :

    @Thomas, Thanks for the response. So If you want to do a mass-data upload to a WD application, how would you do the data validations? is it possible to access the methods for example defined inside the WD application from the outside? or will you have to replicate the validations code when you do the mass upload?

    Another question i have about WD, is it possible to have the list of previously entered values in a field – same list you get with classical screens?

    Thanks a lot for your time.

    • Thomas Jung says :

      That is the point I was trying to make before; that you shouldn’t need to do mass data upload via the User Interface. Web Dynpro re-written applications should have a solid underlying model that is addressable without the UI. This might be an Enterprise Service or the underlying implementing class of the service. For example in the new ESS/MSS, they use the BOL as the model layer. Therefore you can always do mass data upload with all the proper validations by interfacing to this layer.

      As to field history: no this is not supported in Web Dynpro. Field history is normally a function of the web browser. However SAP intentionally disables this browser feature via Web Dynpro because the history data is not stored securely enough within the browser. In the SAPGUI, your history is stored encrypted in a local repository.

      In 7.02 we do add the SuggestValues feature. This is an AJAX based value suggestion on inputFields as the user types. It can either display results from the attached search help or from the personal value list. Users can build their own favorites/history list by maintain the personal value list.

  22. Chris Paine says :


    I’d enjoy to hear Ed’s thoughts on, and Thomas’ reaction to the various commercials that ran during the Superbowl. Especially the one for the Moto Xoom.

    Does Thomas know if SAP are investing in these iPad alternatives, or will SAP mobile enterprise apps be built mainly around HTML5 areas so all mobile devices can benefit, or even are we going to be saddled with iOS specific enterprise applications?

    Plus I’d like to hear anything more on Gateway – you might have seen Al Templeton’s SCN blog (first post) questioning the use/value of Gateway – I’d love to hear if you’re got any info/response to that.

    Looking forward to hearing from you sometime soon!



  23. Jose says :

    Hey Thomas,

    In your Demos, you show a flex component with 3d objects ( computers) that you do a mouse over and comes to the front… I’m new to flex, i’ve searched about spark 3d on flex. Do you have a tutorial on it (your component)? Or a light on were to search?

    Thank’s a lot!

    • Thomas Jung says :

      That’s not nearly as sophisticated as 3d. That is simply an image carousel that enlarges the center selected image. I’m doing a little rotation on the other images to create a 3d effect, but it is all 2d bitmap tricks.

  24. John P says :

    I just listened to the Podcast on ABAP Eclipse and was quite surprised to hear that the solution would not check in/out functionality.

    I then saw the following tweet by @GregChase

    “SAP ByDesign Studio includes downloadable MS Studio based front end, & server based repository, check in/out ..”

    Are you able to discuss the Pros and Cons of these two quite different approaches?

    One thing I am interested in knowing about the ByDesign solution is how the scripting language(s) translate to ABAP and whether there is a scaffolding framework like in RoR which creates all those objects.

  25. Jeron says :

    One subject i would love to hear about is on various “Information” tools such as Feed Readers, Twitter etc. everyone uses to keep track content on the Internet.

    Everyone has a favorite tool, it would be interesting to know what enterprisegeeks use, the favorite sources of information for tech news, sap related news, general stuff etc.

    I am myself an avid user of Google Reader and the design of the tool makes sure that i don’t miss any content. There is lot of talk of how RSS feeds and feed readers are dead. How do avowed Twitter users make sure, they never miss any content from their primary sources, given the level of noise that can found on the Twitter stream.

    Another related subject could be how does one cope with information overload. The anxiety to keep up with information can interfere with day to work and productivity.

  26. Jose says :

    Hello Thomas!

    Question, is there a training system (like minisap for ABAP developers) to practise PI/XI? If so, please direct me to download/tutorials on it.

    Thanks a lot!

  27. Chris Paine says :

    getting down an’ dirty with an EhP5 system at the moment. Wondering if you knew if long polling had actually been used anywhere in the business suite. I can think of many place where it would have been great if it _had_ been used, but haven’t seen any evidence of it actually being used so far. Removing the need for pessimistic locking behaviours would be one of my first use cases. But interested to see what actual real world scenario it has been used for.


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