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The take up of Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies such as Flash, Flex and Ajax by the ERP world has been slow. One reason is that there is still certain amount of scepticism over RIA as a robust platform for enterprise application development. SAP has been collaborating with Zui Ltd (http://www.zui.co.uk) in developing integrated CRM applications for last 18 months utilising Rich Internet Applications technologies. Please see the video showcase on SDN:

http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/media/uuid/00f6bc55-1b2e-2b10-7caf-ff485cae9815 

Can this be the showcase needed for RIA to be taken more seriously within the world of SAP?

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  1. Stephen Johannes
    What’s the message here?

    SAP finds its own CRM product too clumsy to use and has to have a 3rd party company developed a different UI?

    This is not the way to sell or encourage use of your own solution.

    Just my thoughts,

    Stephen

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  2. Jie Zhao Post author
    I think we should recognise SAP is not different from any other big organisations. There are specific requirements which can not be met with standard technologies – for instance the complex dynamic elements within the application. So, this is why we have SOA which allows you to pick the best of breed solution for the specific requirements. CRM web client is fine for majority(95%) of the requirements of a typical large customer. But there are exceptions.
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    1. Stephen Johannes
      If the standard SAP CRM solution is not “good enough” for the vendor producing the solution, then why as a customer do I want to buy that solution.

      You miss the point of that as customer, I could just simply use SOA and use salesforce.com, Siebel, etc instead. If there is not enough confidence by the vendor to use its own solution, then why as customers should I implement.

      Thank you,

      Stephen

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      1. Jie Zhao Post author
        I think majority of SAP customers buy SAP CRM because of a. its functionality or b. integration with their existing products (they already have other SAP products). Building bespoke solutions using open technologies on top of SAP platform is not new. For instance I ran a project 6 years ago to build Intranet based delivery planning application using standard JSP/Struts technology on Tomcat integrated with SAP ERP through JCA. So what we (Zui) are doing here is not new. This is why SAP also provides certification to bespoke solution built with non SAP technologies. It is an interesting discussion; perhaps we can do it over the phone?

        Thanks

        Jie

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        1. Stephen Johannes
          Jie,

          You are right that what is being done is not “new”, nor isn’t a bad approach in principle.  In fact the demo showed a very usable and likable UI, that I found to be good.  If this only was a “customer site” example, then none of my concerns would apply.

          I’m more than open to discussing this further offline.  My contact info is readily available through the normal channels.

          Take care,

          Stephen

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