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SAP TechED 2004 San Diego: Conference Diary; Day 2

Here I am at the SDN Club House; a slice of pizza in one hand and typing this weblog with the other. There is definitely a relaxed, fun atmosphere to the SDN area. It is nice break from the usual all business atmosphere that usually surrounds a SAP conference. Why just look at how relaxed Mark is…

Seriously though the SDN team is doing a great job of making sure everyone at the conference has some fun in addition to learning about all the great new SAP technology.

ABAP Shared Objects Hands-On Session
I started the day with a four hour hands-on look at the new ABAP Shared Objects. Yesterday I picked this technology as a tie with the new ABAP debugger as the new ABAP technology that impressed me the most. I definitely have even more enthusiasm for this technology after spending a few hours coding with it. The possibilities for this technology to decrease overall memory consumption while increasing program performance are so exciting.

With the extra time from the 4 hour session we were able to dive deep into this new technology. We saw how we can maintain read consistency to the shared area while updating the same area using Versions. We also got to toy with the idea of propagating the same Shared Object across multiple application servers. I really feel that after attending this hands on session I could go home and use this technology (now if I could only get my hands on a 640 system). That is really the only draw back. We see all this great new functionality and get excited about it. Then we go home and face the reality that it might be months before we have the software in house (if we are lucky).


Introduction to SAP Portal Development Kit for .Net
After lunch I headed to my first non-ABAP session. It was entitled, Introduction to SAP Portal Development Kit for .Net. Although I’m not directly associated with the EP implementation at my company, I was asked to stop by this session as a favor for my wife. My wife actually works in my company’s E-Business division that is responsible for our EP implementation that is about to begin. They have been going down the .Net not the Java development path. So naturally they were quite interested in the .Net PDK. Now I don’t come to this completely disconnected. I do have some interest in .Net and I can get around OK in Visual Studio.

Overall I thought that the .Net PDK was impressive for a first generation tool. I thought that it was a little lacking in the Unified Renderer Controls. Only the most basic of the HTMLB elements were present. It also appears that only very few of the Java Portal Services are exposed to the .Net PDK. Both more services and more UI elements are promised for the future. I found it interesting that SAP actually used a third part tool called Ja.Net by Intrinsyc to bridge the gap between .Net and the Java environments. This means that you end up with a shadow Java IView for every .Net IView. The Ja.Net tool allows .Net Remoting to access the Java world as though it was native .Net. This also allows you to have a portal that runs in the Unix Environment and still can connect to your SAP .Net Runtime Engine running on a separate Windows Server. This connection even allows for cluster environments, with a matching Windows .Net Node for each Java Node in your cluster.

Even thought I would to try to make it to the SDN BOF session on SSO that starts in a little bit, I should probably spend the time getting ready for my session at 6:30pm. So that really draws day two to a close, unless anyone wants me to WebLog about what the BOF participants end up doing tonight after we leave the conference 😛 Tomorrow is another big, full day; but I need to find some time to rest before the Thursday Night Party. It sounds like it will be a real blast!

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  • I agree that the session was good.  I am hoping that they have more next year.  Maybe some information on forms as well as ASP.  I think with all of the .Net programmers graduating from school, it is going to be an interesting area of growth.