Not only is the current predominant view of either building analytical or transactional applications (notice the “or”) wrong, it is also difficult for developers to have a single access to all development tools and objects in their project. Users on the other hand find it awkward why there are breaks in layouts, data and usability, due to the different worlds included in such an application.
I want to distinguish between at least 2 types of developers: the business expert developer (knows the business process, knows how to model, but doesn’t want to deal with code) and the programmer developer, who wants (or must) dig into the entrails of the code, add code and debug it. In other words: this person pimps up the application. (A third flavour of user might be a person, who just wants to configure and personalize the application. This could be done with WebDynpro Admin screens, but I am not going to elaborate this type of user for this weblog)
For both types of developers I need an appropriate Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that supports them to their best and joins objects and tools from different areas under one single umbrella. These objects and tools shall allow me to build applications with analytical and transactional objects (persistent objects, includes unstructured information (like from KM), brings in collaborative tools & objects (tasks, workflow, universal work lists,…), etc.
To elaborate that a little bit more, I published a short article, which is just a first idea, of what SAP tools are already available and what technologies might be candidates for a better integration. I am sure I still miss a lot of things that need to be there, but it’s a first draft in this area.
Check it out: Next Generation IDEs for Business Applications
Stay tuned for additional weblogs and articles about that…