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I can see that a few of you have been around since the R/3 was a sparkle in those German engineers’ eyes.

 

As for me, my first excursion into SAP was just a few months ago.

I have had experience in other places which required a rethink of my bearing.  

 

The main philosophy around some workplaces can often enough be profit over product quality

In certain work scenarios, I watched colleagues get hired and fired sections at a time  and that left me with very little confidence with regards to job security, and even less in terms of job progression or pay rise. It seemed if new skills were needed, the old were cut (people were fired) and the new were brought in (certified “experts”) or, in the worst cases, everything was outsourced. I didn’t want them to be doing my work.

 

Occasionally there was no on the job training (bar the essentials of “Here is a manual. Now read it!”), even though I was promised it in the job interview.

 

This is part of the reason I wanted to get into something such as SAP. I know there are PLENTY of jobs internationally for it and you must have at least some on the job training. I also had the feeling that once I am trained, I will be trained in something significantly useful.

Ideally, I would like the option of being able to move to another country with the same skill set and pick up work.

 

So I started to find work in SAP.  I couldn’t find much information on SAP products that made sense to me, being as un-educated in the ways of SAP as I was.

 Apart from the blurbs available on the websites, the incredibly happy consultants on the promotional videos and occasional job scripts in adverts, I was flying blind.

 

It may sound a bit of a stretch, but the idea was that if I can’t find information on it, then neither can anyone else who is not in the “circle of trust” ( a term picked up from Meet The Parents).

If there is a “circle of trust”, then I need to break into it somehow. So on the philosophy ‘I won’t know anything, but neither will anyone else who tries to break into it’, I felt I just had to prove I am capable and ready to learn.

 

And this has been somewhat true.

 

I have broken that Circle. Yet information is STILL hard to find.

 

 

You will already know the forums, the Wiki and most other information are guarded by an S number. Outsiders don’t have access to this internal information. As obvious as that sounds, it is really annoying to try to find something when you are not sure what exactly you are looking for in the first place. For someone whose main information “source of sources” is Google, it’s difficult to go back to the old, very literal, style of search engine that SAP provides. It’s probably unfair to compare the two as Google is Google after all, but I’m sure this concept change of searching WITHOUT Google scares a lot of people, and I have caught myself over the last few months muttering negatively about how I wish I could find something I know is hidden in this pile of, say, information.

 

But it’s all bad as it sounds. The SDN network is really very good. I have learnt a lot from reading the FAQ’s disguised as blogs, as well as reading actual blogs, listening to Podcasts, reading the Wiki, and playing with the development tools like test composer and DI commander 2.0

 

The sample scripts for the .Net examples are easy to understand and use, although the initial step into using the UI API is a pretty big one.

 

Anyway, this is my first blog on here, or at least a ramble badly disguised as a blog.

 

I am in the world of Business One at the moment, hopefully branching out later to others, such as BI, perhaps after I learn what BI actually is. It’s probably on Wikipedia.

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  1. Nigel James
    We love to hear from new voices here on SDN so welcome.
    I think we all share you searching pain here. Perhaps is something a big dose of hadoop or lecene could help with or is TREX based on these technologies?

    Oh and just a small point … I think you meant to say “But it’s not bad as it sounds.” instead of “But it’s all bad as it sounds.” in your fourth last paragraph. 😉

    Cheers,
    Nigel

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      1. Mike Bennett
        Daniel,

        It might be nice to know that NOBODY was born knowing anything about SAP, so all started at the beginning (“That’s a very good place to start” Sound Of Music).

        For the wild and wooly world of NetWeaver, I found the “SAP NetWeaver for Dummies” book to be a big help, it dispelled a lot of my anxiety. 

        Good luck on your journey, it is good to hear from someone farther down the mountain, just don’t despair and keep at it.  One thing I’ve learned is that the longer it takes to know something, the better that something is.  In other words, easily learned, easily lost.

        Good luck!

        Mike Bennett
        Magnolia Consulting

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  2. Jim Spath
    Daniel – great ‘newbie’ blog! 10 years ago I was in your shoes; move from a “safe” government job to one in private industry helping a large company “go-live” with SAP. I’d never heard of SAP, much less Go-live, Basis, Transport, or any of those other German terms translated into English (my favorite one is still Verbucher). I found help in a large Users group, so besides the SDN/BPX/SAP communities, I’d recommend looking for your peers in  the area. I think Mike Nicholls is in your timezone https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/wiki?path=/display/profile/michael%2bnicholls
    🙂  Jim
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  3. Mark Yolton
    Hi Daniel:

    Welcome to the circle of trust. 

    One correction: You do NOT need an s-number to get into (almost) everything in the discussion forums, wiki, blogs, content library, free eLearning, articles, even information, and so on.  You can read and consume almost all of it (99%) without even registering.  However, in order to comment or ask a question in the forums, or to edit the wiki pages, then you only need to register as a member of SDN and/or BPX and/or the Business Objects community.  That’s it.  You don’t even need to be a customer or partner.  We’re pretty darned transparent.  The only thing you won’t get to after this registration as a member is the official support content in SAP’s Service MarketPlace … that requires an s-number and support services contract.  And if you want “premium” content (like the workshop and hands-on video content of our TechEd conferences, or to the annual subscription license to your very own NetWeaver platform), you need to subscribe for a small fee (see “Subscriptions” tab above). 

    Also, as Jim Spath recommends, ASUG is another great resource.  Find them at http://asug.com/ and join a local chapter near you or a SIG that interests you. 

    Finally, come with us to the SAP TechEd conference.  Locations this year: Las Vegas in September, Berlin in October, Bangalore and Shanghai in November.  See the “Events” tab up in the top-level navigation. 

    Again, welcome. 

    Mark Yolton

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    1. Daniel Blackwell Post author
      I just went back through after deleting my certifcate, and yes, you can view (mostly) everything. Consider the statement retracted!

      I know I was having the annoyance of being asked for my Identity certificate close to 100 times a day (even though you don’t need it) and hence why I assumed they were under lock and key… dangerous thing to do.

      Fixed the certificate problem though with some setting changes in both IE and Firefox.

      The following isn’t really aimed at you Mark, but I thought I would put it down as people probably have this trouble.

      If anyone needs to this as well:
      – Mozilla Firefox:
      1) Options -> Advanced Tab -> Encryption Tab -> Select One Automatically
      – IE
      1) Add *.sap-ag.de to your trusted sites
      Under Security Settings for trusted sites:
      2) “Display Mixed Content” Set to Enable (very optional, but stops the annoying “Site contains mixed content. Do you want to display?” message)
      3) “Don’t prompt for client certificate when no certificates or only one certificate exists” Set to enable

      Always ask the system admin first of course 🙂
      I just realised I have turned my blog into a FAQ

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      1. Sridevi C
        Thanks a lot for letting us know how to turn off that annoying of being asked for my Identity certificate!!

        Its very useful.

        Infact several times, I drop the idea of entering to this site especially when i have no time to keep on say yes to that popup.

        Thanks once again!
        Sridevi

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  4. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Daniel:

    Welcome! I really enjoy reading your blog…We needed something like this…

    I started on SAP 6 years ago and become a member of SCN 2 years ago. This is like my second family -;)

    I wish all the luck in this new journey and I’m hope to see more of your participation in blogs, WIKI and Forums.

    Greetings,

    Blag.

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  5. Nathan Genez
    great first blog.  it raises my spirits a bit to see someone have a good attitude…  seriously, I need to remind myself from time to time that working with SAP is, in fact, quite fun and challenging.

    If you ever have any questions feel free to email me.

    -nathan

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