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Video Blog: SAP Developer Challenge — Behind the Scenes!

The SAP Developer Challenge held in Palo Alto several weeks ago was a fantastic, fun event.  We captured a lot of great video and wanted to give everyone a feel for the event and the work the teams did “behind the scenes” to compete and build great Demos for the Demo Jam. 

Here is the concluding message from Rami Branitzky,  Managing Director, SAP Labs, North America — followed by the behind the scenes video.






Highlights of the 2008 SAP Developer Challenge at Labs Palo Alto 

A new kind of co-innovation event inspires new technology in the areas of Green IT, Social Computing, and Mobilizing the Enterprise.

Dear Colleagues,

The 2008 SAP Developer Challenge concluded on Monday, June 9 with an exciting Demo Jam at which teams of SAP, customer, and partner developers presented innovative, rapidly-developed enterprise software prototypes based on the hottest industry trends.

Elevated in 2008 from an SAP Labs internal competition to an ecosystem-wide event, the Developer Challenge gave customer and partner companies hands-on exposure to our developer community and the latest technology and innovation from SAP. The new format also gave SAP developers the opportunity to tap into the collective knowledge, experience, and passion of the industry’s top talent. 

A total of 45 developers from across North America gathered at Labs Palo Alto for the five-day event. Competing in seven teams, they worked to solve real-world challenges faced by SAP customers in the topic areas of Green IT, Social Computing for the Enterprise, and Mobilizing the Enterprise.  

A strong showing was made by all. The judges, a panel comprised of SAP development executives and prominent members of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, had a tough job in selecting the three winning prototypes.

The six members of team “Binary Jammers” took the top prize with Project Green Drive, a corporate carpooling solution based on social-networking principles and featuring a location-sensitive Blackberry interface, a Facebook interface, and customizable Xcelcius dashboards, all powered by SAP NetWeaver. The Binary Jammers and their Project Green Drive will be featured at SAP® TechEd in Las Vegas this September.

Team “Insomnia” took second place, with GreenSoap, a set APIs that enable online retailers to evaluate various environmental impact factors of customer purchases and empower consumers to make greener online-buying choices. The third-place demo, presented by team “IT’s Easy” showed an integrated solution enabling RIM to promote and track consumer recycling of its BlackBerry devices.  

The remaining four teams demonstrated a solution enabling automated plant operations (such as work-order generation and order status) via a natural-language interface for mobile devices; an intelligent collaboration tool that marries email and instant messaging; a solution enabling mobile users to access and update data in SAP and other enterprise systems via a lightweight UI built on the fly; and a proximity-based credit-card fraud detection system using a global positioning system (GPS) sensor to match cardholders with point-of-sale locations.             

The Developer Challenge exemplifies SAP core values in a variety of ways. Staging the event requires cooperation between various groups within SAP, and, in 2008, close collaboration with partner companies. SAP partners VMWare, Intel, Research in Motion (RIM), and SDForum co-sponsored then event, and, on the heels of a recently announced SAP and RIM co-innovation partnership, RIM provided the mobile application development platform and BlackBerry devices to the various teams.   

The event also brings together participants from diverse backgrounds and with varied skill sets, and provides an environment where developers can shed the constraints of their daily work and pioneer new ideas. The contest challenges developers to produce a working prototype in just a few days, requiring they simplify and use agile methods. And the effort does not end with the event – I will actively work on ways to capture the ideas originating from the Developer Challenge and foster them within SAP’s development organization.

I would like to thank those who, with their passion, dedication, and creativity, helped make this event happen:

Vishal Sikka, Denis Browne, Ike Nassi, Doug Merritt, Dan Rosenberg, Chris McClain, and Mark Yolton, my fellow executive sponsors.

I want to also thank the our  panel of judges: Sal Visca, CTO of Business Objects, an SAP Company; Vishal Sikka, CTO SAP; Bill Grosso, CTO at, and SD Forum Board Member; Zia Yusuf, Executive Vice President, SAP Global Ecosystem and Partner Group; Denis Browne, Senior Vice President, Imagineering; Carola Thompson, Senior Director of User Experience, SAP; Jason Yotopoulos, Senior Vice President Head of Global Business Incubator, Group, Office of the CEO; and Guido Schroeder, VP Development, SAP Business Objects and creator of the SAP Developer Challenge.

A special thanks to the teams that made the event come come together: Chip Rodgers, Logistics lead, and his team from the SAP Ecosystem Events; Torsten Born, Project Manager; Larry Morgan, facilities lead; Doug Picard, IT lead and Geoff Kerr, Global Communications lead. 

It is my hope that the individuals who participated in the 2008 Developer Challenge return to their respective organizations with a recharged spirit and a revitalized commitment to innovative thinking and collaboration, sending ripples of positive influence through the SAP Ecosystem.  

Best Regards,

Rami Branitzky

Managing Director 

SAP Labs in North America 



(Make sure to watch it in FULL SCREEN mode — offset squares icon at the bottom right.)



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