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On the 22nd of December I wrote a SDN: End of the Year SDN POINTS BLOW OUT!! announcing a contest! Now it’s not the first one I’ve announced, but personally I think it was one of the best simply because it was dealing with something so new and was inspired by a community Blank Canvas!

So once again, this was the break down of points!

  • All “qualified” Submissions = 100 Points (this means you sumitted something that actually works)
  • Weblog = 40 to 120 Points
  • Technical Article = 120 Points
  • How To/Tutorial = 200 Points
  • SDN TV Submission = 300 Points

Response was very good and it is with great pleasure I can share with you each of the entries! Now each of the names below submitted either via Weblog or email most did both to me before the December 31, 2005 23:59 PST deadline and each of these individuals have just received 100 points for their submission plus however many points their normal submission received.

Which leaves just the 128 MB USB/MP3 Stick and an additional 100 Points.

So for the winner, we will be judging BUT we want to hear from the community as well! Your comments and feedbacks will most likely sway our decision one way or another! So let us know what you think as well!

Updated!

In all the excitement I knew there was something that I left out, luckily Thomas just pointed it and it is something that should be considered by everyone should keep in mind!

I think that anyone reading any of these three weblogs should be aware of a few things. First these are really just tech demos. The state of canvas should make one consider if it should acutally be used in business applications. It is still only a draft specification from WhatWG. It has only been implemented in Apple’s Safari and Firefox 1.5, thereby limiting you audience. Even the current implementation lacks maturity as it has no mechanism for saving the content on the canvas (a big limitation in my opinion).

The second concern is that people may look at these examples and think that this is a prefered method of creating charts and graphs in Netweaver. For those people, they should be aware that SAP offers a tool called the IGS. The IGS is specifically designed to generate charts and graphs from XML. You can interact with the IGS at a higher level because it has pre-built constructs for business graphics. It also has a Visual Designer for creating the layout of your charts. It has UI elements that hook into WebDynpro and BSP (even generating server side events for clicks on different areas of the chart). Finally it outputs standard graphics (JPG, GIF, etc) that can be used/saved in many different formats. I supose that I am a little disappointed that none of the weblogs in this contest even mentioned the standard SAP functionality that does the same thing they were presenting. There are many people reading these weblogs with varing degrees of experience in the SAP world. I think it is wise when showing alternative methods to also point out the standard SAP ones. I might have expected someone to even compare and contast canvas to the IGS. Thomas Jung

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  1. Thomas Jung
    First of all I want to say that the three weblogs on the firefox extension canvas are all nicely written.  However there a few aspects that concerned me a little bit.

    I think that anyone reading any of these three weblogs should be aware of a few things.  First these are really just tech demos.  The state of canvas should make one consider if it should acutally be used in business applications.  It is still only a draft specification from WhatWG. It has only been implemented in Apple’s Safari and Firefox 1.5, thereby limiting you audience.  Even the current implementation lacks maturity as it has no mechanism for saving the content on the canvas (a big limitation in my opinion).

    The second concern is that people may look at these examples and think that this is a prefered method of creating charts and graphs in Netweaver.  For those people, they should be aware that SAP offers a tool called the IGS.  The IGS is specifically designed to generate charts and graphs from XML.  You can interact with the IGS at a higher level because it has pre-built constructs for business graphics. It also has a Visual Designer for creating the layout of your charts.  It has UI elements that hook into WebDynpro and BSP (even generating server side events for clicks on different areas of the chart).  Finally it outputs standard graphics (JPG, GIF, etc) that can be used/saved in many different formats.  I supose that I am a little disappointed that none of the weblogs in this contest even mentioned the standard SAP functionality that does the same thing they were presenting.  There are many people reading these weblogs with varing degrees of experience in the SAP world.  I think it is wise when showing alternative methods to also point out the standard SAP ones.  I might have expected someone to even compare and contast canvas to the IGS. 

    Finally I ask the authors of these three weblogs, would you have written about Canvas regardless of the Points Contest?  Do you really feel that canvas provides some technical or business benefit to the Netweaver environment?  In its current incarnation I struggle to find this benefit over and above what we already have. 

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      1. Thomas Jung

        I have seen some these Dynamic Graphics.  I played a 3D game the other day done in I don’t believe the current crop of dynamic graphics examples are useful to the world of business applications until they have an abstract layer and are based upon standards that are supportable in a business environment.  Not to harp on the whole standard SAP functionality thing, but I think that the next generation Visual Composer functionality that builds a business layer on top of Macromedia Flex is far more applicable and therefore inpressive to the business application development world.

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        1. Anton Wenzelhuemer
          hi,

          it’s funny, I had quiet the same idea when I decided to submit a lil’ demo to the canvas contest. A tool that allows collaborative work on an engineering drawing or just graphically accompanying a remote discussion (like the scribble boards in netmeeting).

          I can imagine future robust applications on something like canvas enabling just this.

          The main advantage in my opinion would simply be that it’ll stay a vendor independent solution (for me as a customer that is, SAPs position might be different). If I could choose I’d prefer to stay independent of Macromedia. I’m already forced to use Adobe which I do not really understand.

          regards,
          anton

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              1. Anton Wenzelhuemer
                hi there,

                nice idea.
                Anyway, IMHO this would too heavily rely on javascript eventing which is a beast. unless one wouldn’t want to work with very dynamic UI elements (which is questionable with respect to usability/expectability) I would try to do this with ‘static graphics elements’ and use the good old

                tag if necessary.

                regards,
                anton

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    1. Eddy De Clercq
      Thomas,
      I understand your concerns, but I think that the aim of the contest nor my web log (
      Blank Canvas) was not to cast doubt on IGS (or any other SAP technology), to compare with it or even replace it. The main purpose of my web log was to explain the new possibilities of Firefox 1.5 for what it was worth. In fact I even said in my conclusion: “All this is rather premature and for the moment, you will only see the fun things.”
      As with all technology previous discussions, for me the requirements determine the solution and not the technology itself.
      The good thing about the contest is that it proves that one can – if desired – make SAP software work together with the latest software (in a very short time), even if it has better technologies to establish things.

      Eddy

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    2. Durairaj Athavan Raja
      I supose that I am a little disappointed that none of the weblogs in this contest even mentioned the standard SAP functionality that does the same thing they were presenting

      > i understand your concerns and you have a point, i will update the weblog with a note about IGS
      would you have written about Canvas regardless of the Points Contest?

      >Certainly not, i dont event use fire fox on my >day to day work, it was just for the fun of >taking part in the contest.

      Do you really feel that canvas provides some technical or business benefit to the Netweaver environment?

      >This is a question which would have been thought >about it when the contest was announced.
      >I don’t see any as better alternate methods are >available within Netweaver environment. Like you >i also felt that no mechanism to save the >content of the canvas is a big limitation.

      Regards
      Raja

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  2. Eddy De Clercq
    Hi,

    I understand the concerns of Thomas, but I think that the aim of the contest nor my web log (
    Blank Canvas) was not to cast doubt on IGS (or any other SAP technology), to compare with it or even replace it. The main purpose of my web log was to explain the new possibilities of Firefox 1.5 for what it was worth. In fact I even said in my conclusion: “All this is rather premature and for the moment, you will only see the fun things.”
    As with all technology previous discussions, for me the requirements determine the solution and not the technology itself.
    The good thing about the contest is that it proves that one can – if desired – make SAP software work together with the latest software (in a very short time), even if it has better technologies to establish things.

    Eddy

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    1. Thomas Jung

      >>I understand the concerns of Thomas, but I think that the aim of the contest nor my web log was not to cast doubt on IGS (or any other SAP technology), to compare with it or even replace it.

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  3. Anton Wenzelhuemer

    Since impact of this contest on the community seems to be next to zero I take the liberty of posting a little personal summary on it although I am one of the contestants.anton 

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    1. Thomas Jung
      I agreed with everything in your summary right up until the last sentence:
      >Additionally I do not think anyone here has to put a disclaimer on any thought he/she publishes or has a special responsibility concerning the (mis)interprations of one’s thoughts by eventual newbies or less knowledged users

      I couldn’t disagree more.  It most certainly should be someone’s responsibility to help “newbies or less knowledged users” find their way to the information that matches what they are seeking.  They might not be the content creators responsibility, but someone has to do it.

      I get 15 to 20 emails a day from fellow SDN members who want to ask a question off-line.  I can tell you that there is a tremendous spread of technical experience within our community.  I can assure you that someone, somewhere could likely pickup one of these experimental solutions and assume that it is instead current state.  I give up a fair amount of my free time to contribute to SDN because I enjoy helping people.  I would hate to think that something I wrote actually had the opposite effect simply because it wasn’t categorized correctly.

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