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The following is an example of an often made comment in the SDN survey: “A better discussion forum is needed. Other than that, it´s great. Thanks”.

Even before the survey, there were many requests for improving the forum usability and functionality. (Today, we took the forums off line for a while just to prove to you that it could be way worse 🙂

We switched to a third party product called Jive, which was really easy to integrate into the SAP NetWeaver platform.

It gives us most of what we want right out of the box:
– Preferences can be saved
– Search over one forum or all forums
– E-mail watch (With the e-mail link going directly to the forum post).
– Icon that shows you unread posts
– … many more

There is some functionality that is not available right now, but that we are working on:
– E-mail post to a friend
– E-mail/Newsreader integration
– Sorting forum posts
– …
Please let us know what you are missing.

We could have worked on these things in the background and only introduced the new forums once we had it all ready, but we decided to go ahead and switch right away because we think that it is a big enough improvement for everyone to enjoy right now.

In the coming weeks, there will be many changes to the forums, some small and cosmetic, some bigger like e-mail integration. .

Hope you like the improvements! We will keep you posted about the changes.

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12 Comments

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  1. DJ Adams
    Nice improvements, Mark – thanks. I really had a hard time using the forums before and this kept me away from SDN somewhat (I’m not a fan of web forums generally – give me NNTP any day.

    From first looks, using Jive has made a big difference. Now if only we could get those pesky US-style m/dd/yy style dates changed to something more readable 😉

    Cheers
    dj
    (wondering if the new forum post email notifications will be proper email notifications and not just HTML MIME attachments)

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  2. Benny Schaich-Lebek
    As one of the moderators I have to say THAAAAAAAANK YOUUUUUUUUUU!
    This really makes my live easier, as now there are some functions for us we didn’t have before.

    And speed improved too!

    Regards,
    Benny

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  3. Scott Barden
    Has anyone gotten the RSS feed to the new forums to work?

    I’m fairly new to RSS so I might be doing something wrong, but I tried adding the URL pointed to by the forum’s RSS icon in my RSS reader (FeedDemon) and got nothing?

    Cheers,
    Scott

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  4. Michael Barth
    Unfortunately since you changed your software I am not able to reach your forums with our company-wide browser-settings. What could be the problem? Cookies?

    Regards
    Michael

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  5. Raimund Gross
    With the old forums it was possible to find information via the integrated search (left-hand side  – detailed navigation).
    The new forums do have a separate search functionality. Will that be unified again?
    And what about the personalization settings? My idea would be to have them centralized in one single place like for example the ‘Profile Management’ on the top of the page.

    But anyways: some pretty cool new features.

    Cheers,
       rAimund

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  6. Ulf Helmke
    Hello,

    I do like the new look and usability of the SDM Forum, but I would have preferred this solution and this quality build with the new SAP Technologies (i.e. Web Dynpro and Portal Techniques).

    Greetings
    Ulf Helmke

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  7. Kurt Kanaskie
    OK, so Forums are a 3rd party solution. What other parts of SDN are non-SAP? And what does this mean for the Powered by SAP NetWeaver stamp?

    Kind Regards,

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    1. Mark Finnern Post author
      Hi Kurt,

      If you drive a Porsche and the radio is from Blaupunkt, the car is still powered by Porsche.

      That the forums are third party on SDN proves that SAP NetWeaver is easily extendable, a seamless integration with other solutions is no problem. Not everyone thought that with SAP software you can do this and we did.

      All the best, Mark.

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  8. José G. Pérez
    Dear, I was installed Forum’s application. However, I would like to change the layout in order to looks like the SDN forum’s, but the user interface options are very limited, What can I do?

    I would like to add the Top Contributors in the forum, arrange the categories and subcategories like the SDN Forum principal page?

    Thanks in advance.

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    1. Mark Finnern Post author
      Hi José (sorry for CN butchering your name),

      It is great to hear that you like the extensions/changes we did to our forum solution. Some of them have not made it back into the Jive Software standard.

      The top contributors on top of the forum is one of them. I like especially the “in the last 30 days” for super active forums. 

      We used to have drill down functionality, where you were able to see what position you have in a forum. We opted to have better performance, this is why you can’t do that anymore. I miss it though.

      You need to do a little Java programming I guess.

      Good luck with your implementation, Mark.

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