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I’ve been around the open source community for a very short time and have never personally involved myself in any open source projects. On the other hand, I’ve been involved in software development teams whereby version control, collaborative tools and just plain good communication have resulted in a polished product.

Well, I feel we are not just a community of highly technical individuals, as it relates to SAP and its suite of products, but a team of experts in a variety of areas. Also, we all dream of killer applications that can do this and that for the organizations we represent and/or serve, to help provide real value – making processes more efficient, tasks less time consuming, and creating ease of use in services we provide. If you do the math (if that is really required) and you combine all these facts, it almost is clear that we are a large development shop or have the potentially of becoming one.

With the years and years of experience that can be described of the excellent SDN community, why can’t we put our heads together to build a series of business packages, or generic applications, that suit the needs of the SAP customer base in general? Folks post code samples and how-to’s all over, but all in all, the download list is still quite small compared to what it could be.

No, I don’t mean replace the value of what iViewStudio provides, but since this community is already one in which ideas, and advice for this and that are plentiful, why not we turn those into full fledged projects, and eventually solutions that could not only take SDN to the next level, but the SAP NetWeaver suite as well?

We’ve got discussion forums already, and SDN could open up collaboration rooms for these projects. Then, we could have a committee to take ideas from the community and convert or combine those into actual projects. There could be contests and whatever the great minds at SDN can invent to incent participation into these efforts. And, in the end, everyone wins. The community has even greater potential to grow, because opportunities like this can attract even more members. I’d love to offer whatever little or great knowledge (it really depends on who you ask, relatives not included) of software development to these projects.

To the folks behind SDN, do you think this is a good idea or not? And, if so, what are our next steps? Can I, or other members of SDN make it possible and how? Thanks to all the contributions thus far. My download directory is so full, and I can’t think of anything I’d dare to delete!

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4 Comments

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  1. Craig Cmehil
    Hello,

    I for one am a fan of the Open Source areas and I’d love to see something like that happen here at SDN. I’m sure it would make my job a whole lot easier. However, I can see a few bad points. I don’t want to pick a fight or anything but just give another point of view to ensure that everyone is thinking 😉

    As a developer for my company I am bound by certain agreements and ethics which do not allow me to parade my source code or projects for the world to view.  Therefore it would make it rather hard for me to contribute, and perhaps others, whole heartedly to the concept. Sure code snippets perhaps but some of the really great work not. 

    However, as I first said I am a fan of this idea and I will be bringing the topic up at our next management meeting and see how much, if any, I and others will be able to contribute.

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    1. Dagfinn Parnas
      Yes, I agree. You are stepping into some grey areas as regards to copy right.

      But I think the point is that it should be developed from scratch and not be based on existing code.

      I’d also belive such a project would be very valuable. I’ve started something like this internally in a big consulting firm and belive it would work very well. The major problem is deciding what to code.

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      1. Craig Cmehil
        True, starting from scratch would of course be much better, but how many developers do you know that can simply “start from scratch”? I mean I for one have a pretty good memory and I have code snippets stuck in my head. Therefore I also have to be careful what I throw out.

        I have talked to my direct manager and he personally thought it wasn’t a bad idea and so we are moving it up a notch to the next level. Perhaps I’ll be able to post something about the process we took and what type of policy we come up with for code sharing.

        I mean nothing is for free and if you want some code samples you should give some code samples, right?

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  2. Stepan Samarin
    Well, I don’t want to criticize the idea, it’s not bad, but what about sourceforge? It’d be a challenge to build something like this.
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