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After 3 years in Business Intelligence (BI) and 3 years in the Composite Application Framework (CAF)-team I moved back to the BI team this year. While in the CAF area I was able to bring in knowledge about the proven concept of how to create Business Content for analytical applications, which influenced the design and structure of the CAF, I see that there are in fact opportunities to integrate both worlds for their profit.

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…

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4 Comments

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  1. Dirk Herzog
    I admit it. I’m a pimp-up-my-application developer who loves to make his fingers dirty. Yet I’m too busy (and lazy) to freak out at every new ABAP command that allows me to run my program in 13.5 seconds instead of 25 seconds when I have all night long to complete the task.

    On the other hand I don’t understand how anybody can think he can deliver optimal solutions if he doesn’t know what his solution is able to do. Anybody doing BW without knowing the power of the user exits (yes, a new blog will come soon) can only deliver suboptimal solutions once the problems get a bit more difficult. And it’s not just calling a programmer if you cannot explain him where he needs to develop what.

    Anyway a very nice weblog. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about it. In Walldorf April 19th/20th?

    Best regards
       Dirk

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    1. Mario Herger Post author
      Actually BW is a good example of a toolset, which allows both types of developer to work with it. You can work without writing code, and in those “exceptional” cases, where you need more, you use exits, variables and “coding-infested” tools 😉

      The question is: do you need an optimal solution for adhoc-queries, as long as you execute them just once and then dump them? If you find time, read my weblog about Instant Business Applications, where I talk about this view and paradigm shift.

      Mario

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  2. M B
    I am far behind your audience, however, I found this series very interesting and amazing – one quick question… is it required to use Java to use CAF ? Will it generate ABAP or C# code in future ? when ?
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    1. Mario Herger Post author
      Currently CAF generates Java-coding, but as everything is metadata-based, we think of generating perhaps ABAP, .Net, Java,… or flavours of those codings (e.g. depending on the modeling for performance reasons, etc.)

      Mario

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