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A debate has been raging on the SDN team for some months: do we keep SDN only  for developers or is there a place for partner consultants as well.

The purists would argue that the answer is in the name. “SDN” stands    for the SAP Developer Network and hence is for developers only. However (or    maybe I should say unfortunately), I have never seen things as black and white    (but only many shades of grey), and it seemed to me that if we were to build    a “Consultant Corner” that many consultants would want to come to    the corner to find interesting info pertaining to building and maintaining a    successful consulting practice around SAP products and technologies.

Some would argue that there are already too many places with the same information    – www.sap.com, SAP Community, the new SAP Partner Portal, www.sapfans.com, www.searchSAP.com,    and Yahoo discussion forums – but that’s exactly my point – lots of separate    places but not a single place for SAP consultants to call home. A kind of central    community of communities that you could always go to first to check up on the    latest product release information, learn about new training classes (or eClasses),    exchange ideas with other consultants, and find out about trends going on at    SAP that help you focus your consulting business on the most productive areas.

I guess the ‘proof will be in the pudding’ as the expression goes and we will    see if by Building the Consultant Corner “They will come”.

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  1. Christopher Solomon
    “A debate has been raging on the SDN team for some months”…come on! Don’t you guys have better things to do than sit around and debate??!?!?! hahaha…actually, I see your vision there and like the idea, but I see the pitfalls as well. Like “who decides what other sites/sources get included?”, “who manages the consolidation of information?” (like is there one person whose daily job is to scour other sites and post “look over there” messages/news?), “what if some info on others sites is their own guarded content that htye hold near and dear?”, how will integration of other sites/sources be handled (streams? XML exchange?), etc etc etc. From the perspective of a consultant in the trenches, I love this site for the technical info I can glean. However, from the perspective of building a SAP-centric/focused consultancy around what is here, I think the info on the other sites (www.SAP.com, service.sap.com, etc) handles that quite well. I come here because I DON’T get all the “marketing fluff” rolled out from the other sites. =) Again, I see the “vision” there and really like it, but the “implementation” worries me. haha That’s just my $0.02 or less…
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  2. Stepan Samarin
    Hello Mark,
    it’s a really a tough question. If you’re talking about technical consulting, then it’s definitely needed: best practices, dos and donts, faqs, etc. Though, some part of mentioned is already on SDN. What about some sort of aggregator from various sources(Yahoo groups, searchsap, etc.)? Something like http://www.javarss.com
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  3. Chad Mack
    The Consultant Corner will go live tomorrow, Tuesday 5/4/04. I will update the community with a blog announcement then.

    Thanks for your patience!
    –Chad

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  4. Christopher Solomon
    well, I did comment (positive at that) on this when first posted and now….*poof*….another case of the vanishing posts. (haha…that was for you Mark F.) Well, looks like this is going to happen according to the other weblog I read today here. Good luck! Looking forward to it.
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    1. Mark Finnern
      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for letting us know. I started a grand jury investigation about this and found your post in the list. We are looking into why it did not get published, or actually you are saying, that it got posted, but is not there anymore.

      I haven’t seen it neither on the site nor in my RSS reader and I went back the whole week.

      What really surprises me is, that you are hinting, that it is not the first time. My memory is not the best one anymore, but as far as I recall, we haven’t deleted any Weblog comments.

      Please let us know about your other incidences and we will dig them up too. This is a call for everyone else who reads this and has posts that did not make it.

      Sorry for the inconvenience, Mark.

      P.S. We are working on getting your post published. In the meantime here is the text of Christopher Solomon’s comment to this Weblog:

      Subject: from the trenches
      Message:
      “A debate has been raging on the SDN team for some months”…come on! Don’t you guys have better things to do than sit around and debate??!?!?! hahaha…actually, I see your vision there and like the idea, but I see the pitfalls as well. Like “who decides what other sites/sources get included?”, “who manages the consolidation of information?” (like is there one person whose daily job is to scour other sites and post “look over there” messages/news?), “what if some info on others sites is their own guarded content that htye hold near and dear?”, how will integration of other sites/sources be handled (streams? XML exchange?), etc etc etc. From the perspective of a consultant in the trenches, I love this site for the technical info I can glean. However, from the perspective of building a SAP-centric/focused consultancy around what is here, I think the info on the other sites (www.SAP.com, service.sap.com, etc) handles that quite well. I come here because I DON’T get all the “marketing fluff” rolled out from the other sites. =) Again, I see the “vision” there and really like it, but the “implementation” worries me. haha That’s just my $0.02 or less…

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      1. Mark Finnern
        The original comment is available here now too.

        The problem was, that the connection between Weblog and comment somehow got lost in the database. We are looking into why this happened and are thankful for any hints that you may have to clear this up.

        Sorry for the confusion, and I am glad, that it didn’t discourage you from posting, Mark.

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        1. Christopher Solomon
          yeh….that was my…ermm….”integration testing” for you. Remember this in the future as I call in favors. (haha) Thanks for following it up and hope it helped you locate a nasty “feature”…shall we say “auto-selective system editting of comments”? Maybe marketting should get involved on this one. =) Till next time…
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