Now SAP really feels like it is changing, and I’m worried about whether my role will change so much I’ll be left behind. New names and TLAs, like Netweaver, WAS, CRM, BIW, xApps, Portal – what do they all mean, and what can I do to keep up? With the help of fellow blogger http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/u/3294 [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken], I discovered that all is not lost. I discovered that SAP are taking this problem seriously; it’s not going to be good for them to have a brand new 21st century ERP system with no skilled people who can install and administer it. So SAP are making cut down versions of the systems (and have been for some time) which can be downloaded and installed at home. These have full Basis functionality, and you can even import your favourite custom ABAPs and run those without all that messing around with developer and object keys. I’ve bought a new server, and installed Win2K on one partition, and Fedora Core 1 Linux on another. I’ve downloaded the Sneak Preview Edition of the SAP Web AS Java 640 from right here Download Web AS Java 640 and am working through the tutorials on my Win2K partition. The new Eclipse platform, and J2EE certainly is challenging, especially trying to reconcile what it’s doing, with what traditional SAP does already. More on that in a later weblog. I’ve got a copy of the Linux NW4 640 Testdrive DVD (still not available here on SDN though, find a friend who visited the SAP stand at CeBit 2004) and installed it on my Fedora partition. This is the first full copy of a SAP system with ABAP and J2EE working together, and is an excellent place to learn not just new Basis features, but the new MaxDB which is the database it’s running on. I’ve also found that I can install even more modules, plug-ins, tools and code samples from Downloads. So I’d like to recommend to all Basis administrators, not just developers, who perhaps aren’t getting the exposure to the new technology at their current workplaces, to give their ADSL lines some exercise and jump in. It’s never been a better time to learn SAP.
It’s pretty intimidating writing a weblog on SDN. I know I’m in the company of SAP luminaries and pioneers who are pushing SAP into the future. As a seasoned Basis administrator, with many years looking after 2.1F – 4.6C systems, I’ve begun to feel a bit left out to be honest. I’ve mostly worked in traditional SAP environments, where the system is standalone with maybe a few interfaces bringing in data using IDOCs.