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Starting The Conversation – IAF and Flex/RIA

On July 11th it was time for RedMonk/James Governor’s ‘Adobe meets SAP: A London Nanoconference on July 11th‘ in London. James Ward, Adobes’s Flex evangelist was in town, so James Governor invited those of us interested to come and learn more.

Over the last couple of years working with the solutions from the SAP-Adobe alliance, I have seen the need for information about these products grow steadily.
Many customers have problems finding information about this alliance and what it can do for them, so much of my work has simply been explaining the different products and new technologies to them.
Although in many cases, for technical reasons, the projects failed to materialize, it is clear that as soon as they migrate to newer systems, they will return again.

As the need for information from the customers grow, I have felt the need for more information myself. But because I am not an employee with either SAP, or Adobe, finding the information I need, has proven difficult.

During this conference, the questions “What are you getting or not getting from the ecosystem?” and “What do you need from an ecosystem standpoint?” were raised.
These question started off a very interesting discussion, which got me thinking.

For many users today, SDN is simply seen as a place you go for problem solving.
But what do you do, when you work with solutions that are so new, you are pushing ahead of the community?
What do you do, when no one has written any blog posts, articles or posted questions on the forums yet?
What do you do, when you would like to know more about the technical integration between SAP and Adobe?

I have asked myself these same questions a zillion times, not knowing whom to ask or where to go to find the information that wasn’t there.
I guess many have opted for the same option as myself, pulled back and waited for someone else to put the information there eventually, or tried to work our ways through the partner backdoors.

All I had were many unanswered questions, a few SAP notes I stumbled upon along the way and experiences from meetings with potential customers, and I never felt that was much to blog about.

It never occurred to me that I could (or maybe should?) have blogged these questions and experiences, that maybe I wasn’t the only one looking for those answers.
At one point during the discussion, Craig Cmehil said: “Somebody needs to start the conversation, and if SDN doesn’t have the information you need, you go and put it there”…even if the conversations revolves around questions not answered.

SDN is about sharing experiences, not only sharing expertise.
Only 30% of the information generated in the community is generated by SAP, and SAP looks inside the SDN and BPX communities to see what people are talking about.

Having said that, it would be great if the communication would not only happen between developers, consultants and customers, but also with input from SAP or/and Adobe. Many working with these solutios are coming from partner companies and it would be great if the communication between these would improve. Why else be partners? Selling licenses and products feeling only half-equipped, is a difficult task.

During the conference a question, about the technical integration between SAP and Adobe, was asked, and no one could really answer it, for me an indicator that there is much work to be done.

This blog post is me taking the first step to start the conversation, I hope more will follow!

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