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DevToday is an exclusive feature of SDN. Its underlying SAP ViewPoint technology empowers you to choose the content you’d like to follow up on today and in the future. DevToday is accessible from the top-level navigation menu. Currently (11/14/2003) it is available to upgraded customers and partners only though we hope to have it enabled to all users in the very near future so if you haven’t upgraded your account, look for it again then.

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The first thing I see when I go into DevToday is a newspaper-like format of articles. The term “articles” is used as a generic term for all of the recent content that is available to you in SDN. This includes SAP Notes, weblogs, how-to-guides, white papers, etc. Here’s how it looks on this fine morning of November 14. The highlighted sections will be explained in the next few paragraphs.

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The main section of the page is the white area where several articles are partially displayed. The more important the story, the more prominent it appears. SDN’s content managers chose the welcoming story as the most important in order to give new users a starting point. This article is marked by arrow B and occupies the topmost area of the main section. The other 8 articles of the day are shown immediately under it in a two-column format with links to other articles relating to them.

In addition to the top 9 articles that are shown partially expanded in the main section of the page, the next 15 articles are shown by title only in the area marked by arrow C.

Now that we know how articles are organized on screen, let’s see how I can personalize my page to fit my interests, not those of SDN’s content managers. Don’t get me wrong, they are a great bunch of people but I do have an eclectic taste…

DevToday is personalized through the promotion and demotion of discussion objects. Discussion objects are key terms deemed ratable by SDN’s content managers and can be found throughout the system. They can be easily identified by looking for the little star next to a hyperlink as so:

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The SDN content managers have identified two groups of discussion objects as the most useful to the average SDN user: product lines and article types. In order to make it as easy as possible those objects can always be located on the left-hand-side navigation bar. The area marked by arrow E lists all NetWeaver product lines and the area marked by arrow F lists all available article types (notes, weblogs, etc.).

I’m an XI-coholic. I got to have my XI with my cup of coffee or I’m grumpy all day. In DevToday personalizing my front page to show XI content is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Moving my mouse over SAP Exchange Infrastructure (look for it in area E) pops up the rating bar.

2. Selecting 2 checkmarks promotes XI.

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3. Clicking on DevToday (marked by arrow A) refreshes the page.

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Just like that, the top article (marked by arrow G) is now about XI. The welcome message that was previously the top article has been bumped down the chain and is now shown in the area marked by arrow H. What’s more, any newly published XI articles (i.e. future ones) will also find their way to the top of the page. All I have to do is visit DevToday periodically to get the latest on XI.

Gee, that was easy. But it was only my first rating. As I begin to use my new profile I am sure to come up with dicussion objects that I like or dislike. Maybe I like a particular blogger, maybe I dislike how-to-guides. Whatever it is, additional ratings will hone my profile and narrow in on my exact interests.

~Brian

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