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WDA, WDJ, or Either for Interactive Integration with 3-Dimension Visualizaton Tools

In maintenance logistics, it is often useful to know how closely component A approximates the 3-D shape of component B (where it is known up front that A and B are functionally equivalent for all intents and purposes.) 

It’s useful to know this because even if A and B are functionally equivalent, they may not be substitutable if there is some particular difference in their 3-D shape – something that will not let A and B be swapped for each other in any context.

Unfortunately, computational analysis of 3-D shape similarity is difficult and time-consuming.

So the best thing to do is to present 3-D images of components A and B to the user on the same screen and allow the user to rotate each image to view it from any desired direction.

So given the above, suppose Maximo or Documentum or some other similar tool does provide the ability to view and “rotate” the 3-D image of either A or B, but not both ate the same time.

Then what we want to do in SAP is to build an app that passes two component ID’s to the external tool and presents their images for rotation simultaneously on the same screen.

Assuming this can be done, would it be better to try and do it in WDA or WDJ, or would it really not make any differende?

Further questions:

Do any SAP customers currently do anything like this?  Would any SAP customers like to be able to do anything like this?

Disclosure of Hidden Agenda:

As usual, I have a hidden agenda in posting all of the above.  It has to do with the question I posed in my Bioinformatics WIKI at the bottom of this page:

and the preliminary answer Anton W gave to the question here:

OK – finally a bioinformatic coding problem that may not be so easy …


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  • I have a marvelous solution to this problem which the space in this wiki is not large enough to contain.

    Hmm… not really … no solution but just an excuse rip off fermat’s quote.
    Since you have invoked ‘visualistation’ and ‘php’ you have piqued my interest.

    If this was just a 3d mapping issue I would have thought it would be possible to create a soltion to be able to rotate or overlay a 3d shape in any direction. Go find a game programmer and a couple of ps3’s. Or get someone from the CSI-NY artwork digial artwork team. They seem to have really cool fingerprint matching algorithms that require mulitple monitors etc.

    If you just want to a whole bunch of text comparison (and I skimmed the wiki article) perl might be a better choice.

    As with anything I am sure this would be possible but it comes down to ‘How big is your budget?’


    • Hi Nigel – thanks for taking the time to reply.

      The problem is not finding an applet that will do 3-D rotations – there are plenty of them inside and outside proprietary packages.

      The question is as follows.

      Suppose that SAP wants to pass two material or equipment BOM component ID’s to any such applet and have the applet bring back two panels to the screen so that the user can rotate component A in panel A and component B in panel B “at the same time” for comparative purposes.

      My question is then twofold:

      a) should WDA or WDJ pop the two panels or should the panels be popped outside SAP by the external application?

      b) if WDA or WDJ, which one is better? Or are their capabilities the same for this kind of thing.

      In considering (a) and (b), one must keep in mind that the results of the visual comparison need to be eventually stored in the database in some kind of “interchangability” table, if in fact the two components are fully interchangeable for all intents and purposes.

  • Dagfinn Parnas has provided an excellent “first-cut” answer to the question in his post at the bottom of this thread in the Scripting Languages Forum:

    OK – finally a bioinformatic coding problem that may not be so easy …

    Anyone who’s interested in amplifying Dagfinn’s response is encouraged to do so either in this thread or in the above thread.

    I want to thank Dagfinn for “legitimizing” the general problem as one in which SAP should be interested.

    Because …

    If SAP decides to provide the proposed “double 3D view” capability within SAP ERP MM, then the architecture will be in place to do exactly the same thing in bioinformatics. 

    The only difference will be in the viewer – in once case it’s a standard 3D rotate tool of the kind used in many industrial design applications; in the other case it’s a standard 3D rotate tool of the kind that operates on the 3D “PDB” coordinate files of protein ternary structures.

    From little acorns, big oaks sometimes grow … so thanks very much again to Dagfinn.