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Once upon a time there was little village in the south of the castle of Heidelberg. A young, dynamic, successful visitor passed through the nearby forest and saw a handful of straw-covered huts standing in the village. He noticed that one of them was fancier than the others. It had a bright shiny lettering in blue colours on top of the roof, saying SAP.

Copyright 2005 - Mario Herger

“Who lives there?”, asked the visitor himself aloud. As nobody answered, he knocked on the door. When he did not get any response, he entered the hut.

He was surprised that in spite of the shiny lettering, there was a sad mood inside the hut. Dust lay everywhere and IDoc-webs spanned the room. And in the corners he saw a few old gnomes with white beards, resting in their wooden rocking chairs. Some of them were smoking pipes, where long ago the fires had gone out.

“Who are you?”, asked the visitor.

After a long silent pause one of the gnomes said: “We are BAPIs.”

“Oh I heard of you. The documentation elf told me about you. But why are you so sad?”, asked the visitor again, because he couldn’t stand, seeing somebody being so sad.

With a heavy sight the gnome said: “We are depressed that nobody likes and invites us to show our skills of transfering and writing data. We were working for many years in the R/2 mines and now in the R/3 mine nobody wants us anymore.”

So the gnome told the long story of how they were badly treated in the new times and nobody had a task for them. Everything was integrated then in the R/3-system and no exchange with other worlds necessary. It was heart breaking. Even our good mooded visitor got a sad look at his face.

“We have to do something!”, the visitor suddenly said aloud. “I am a product manager and I will tell you what to do!”

The BAPIs were frightened from the loud yelling of the visitor and huddled together in the corner. They feared the product manager, because what good can come from him?

But soon the visitor started to talk and talk and talk and with more and more interest they looked at each other, nodded and agreed to their last chance. The visitor knew that with his US-trained sales- and product management speeches, the BAPIs could not but to agree with him.

——–
What was it that they were talking about and made the BAPIs happy? After long research we found a summary of this product management talk with the old gnomes, buried under an old gossip forum, called Humour@SAP: VIII. Saving SAP’s internal gossip forum from work-related topics. We don’t know the name of the visitor, who has left the village long times ago and left us this heritage.

With the release 4.0 SAP delivers a new product: PABAP/4. Target group are developers of ABAP/4 coding and interested people. PABAP/4 converts Powerpoint/4 presentations directly into ABAP/4.

As the conversions runs currently without errors only on SAP-layouts, we release the beta version only for internal use. Availability will be August 97. PAPAB/4 will be important piece of the 4.0 development, as this coincides with the end of the design-reviews and the start of the development phase.

The focus of the PAPAB/4 development was on the logic check, which was named analogous to the syntax check “Lynchtax”.
The only restrictions for the Powerpoint slides: no cliparts and icons can be used. Especially the SAP logo cannot be transformed satisfyingly.

A temporary object per slide will be generated, called PAPI. Those PAPIs have methods to call each other corresponding to their order. Therefore the slide-transitions have to be defined as “Blind Horizontal”. The last PAPI recognizes the missing transition at the end of the presentation, and generates a method RFC_INSERT, which is triggered immediately. A popup asks for the selection of the system, on which the code shall be ported, e.g. ALR. The coding will then be inserted in the SAP-kernel. After the generation the coding can be tested.

The generation automatically creates one BAPI per PAPI . This way we will finish in time for the SAPPHIRE 1995 key rollout message (BAPIs above everything) to ship it in the 4.0 release to the market.

[..]

Your PABAP team

——–
And so the BAPIs multiplied, the numbers grew enormously and today this little house is crowded with fresh and busy BAPIs. Even new visitors joined this happy crowd of BAPIs, a number of Webservice-goblins, which make the life of the documentation elfs quite busy. And they all lived happily ever after telling the story of ESA and the Service Oriented Architecture…

More anecdotes can be found in the Humour@SAP weblog series.

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  1. Gunjan Kumar
    guess what ….papa means some1 who comitted some kinda sin when spoken in hindi(India’s national language)…..guess this PAPI is up in arms against nothing !!
    (0) 

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