Before I give you my experience of this event I would like to thank Nigel James and Darren Hague for organizing it and to Axon for providng the facility and food/beverages.
I arrived a little bit before 10am and was greeted by Darren – wearing a nice SDN points T-Shirt – and a small group of people having coffe/tea before the sessions started.
Two rooms were setup to run sessions in parallell and the first session that everyone attended was done by Ran Cliff from the SDN team to give us a preview on what SDN services we can expect in the future.
An interesting session as there is some good stuff coming our way like ‘Better Products’ collaboration – hope I got that right! Certain future services are in beta testing and certain services exist as blueprint – requiring budget approval – yeap, also the SDN team has to get a budget before working on services. I hope that SDN can realize most of the discussed services and overcome any legal issues – we discussed scenarios where the community would more of less bug fix or add features to existing applications e.g. UWL, would SAP then support this.
I am sure you will soon see blogs from other participants on this session as well.
I then attended a session from Darren on Active Directory integration with SAP – again really interesting and done in a very informal way. Darren gave his experience and we all chipped in with our experiences on that topic and the session was really a great discussion not just a presentation.
I stayed in the room for the next session done by Mike Pokraka and another person (really sorry but I did not get your card!) on Worklfow. Two experts giving their experiences with SAP workflow and we also discussed project Galaxy, which I did not hear before – great session overall.
Next followed a big lunch sponsored by Axon and and some networking.
After lunch we had my session on portal personalization which was quite packed due to the fact that no other session was going on at the same time. I apologized right at the beginning because I used slides to help me explain the concepts of portal personalization – hope it did not hurt too much using slides.
Darren did a session on UWL afterwards where he discussed how his SAP Press book came to fruitation but did not bring any examples (Darren: I am sure you could have sold some right there!) – would have loved to see it but I guess I will have to order one now. Again, not a formal presentation but a discussion involving all the participants on that topic.
After a coffee break we actually stayed in the cafeteria where Darren explained the concepts behind Comet, lift and Scala and showed some interesting examples. Very nifty stuff that I have not seen or heard before.
A small group of people then headed to a pub in Egham to finish the day with some beers.
Overall a great event to learn new stuff and network with people that you usually only know from blogs and forum posts.
Unfortunately the air circulation did not work in the rooms due to being automatically controlled and shut down on weekends in this location – quite hot througout the day.
The turn out of people could have been better – it’s great that even a small group showed up being Saturday but knowing how many SDN members live in the London area I would have expected a lot more – and by judging on the amount of food I think Nigel and Darren as well.
Maybe this needs to be promoted better to let people know what they are missing but it was still a great start for hopefully many more events to come in the UK.
I was lucky enough to currently have a project in the UK as I normally live in the US and thus I was able to attend the event and also contribute with a session.
Two people who were on the agenda to host sessions did not show up but that did not stop those tracks from happening – that’s the power of the SDN community!
There was also a short discussion on the subscription program as it is currently not available in the UK and from what I hear there is demand for it in the UK.
I am currently working on a blog about my personal experience with the subscription program as I just recently decided to get it – even though I was initially not a big fan of it.
This blog will explain why I decided now to get it and how I am planning to use it – stay tuned for that one.
Most of all I loved the social aspect of the event and the great people I was able to meet and hopefully will meet again.
I am sure we can soon see a blog from Nige/Darren on this event with pictures as well.