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Last month I attended the “DSAG Technologietage in Darmstadt”. The first and most important thing was that “Darmstadtium” – the congress center – has a far more complicated architecture compared to the ICC in Berlin where SAP TEchED and SCN Day took place.

But before I go into details of the meetup let me introduce the DSAG. The DSAG is the german pendant to the americanASUG organization and is an association of more than 2000 SAP customers and partners, so the DSAG is an important part of the SAP ecosystem. The DSAG is organized in working groups that meet regularly. I was invited by the working groups “ABAP and Java Development” and talked about the topic “ABAP Standard Architectures – Modularization and Composition of Huge Applications”.

After that talk I attended the other sessions organized by that working group which were held by customers as well as SAP officials. So I learned from customer experience as well as new information about SAP technology: in fact SAP and Adobe have been able to improve the performance of printing interactive forms and with EHP 7.01 a new framework for offline processing was added.

DSAG Meeting vs. SAP Community Day

This was my first DSAG meeting and so far I attended SCN Community and SAP TechED -and in fact there are remarkable differences to DSAG Technology Days.

Best Practices vs. Innovation

Usually companies are interested in stable and working solutions and want answers from SAP whether a certain technology is mature.  So they are interested in best practices – solutions and approaches that are proven to be good.

Best practices are useful but necessarily conservative because they rely on experiences made in the past. If you want to compete with others than you need innovation. And this is exactly what SAP Community Day is about, think of emerging technologies for example.

Of course DSAG technology days was about innovation: It was very interesting to learn how SAp and Adobe managed to improve the performance of Interactive and Print Forms. Even more they in NW EHP 7.1 they created a framework to improve document scenarios and automatically parse data from interactive forms. In fact this was the only session where a lot of people asked questions – so this was very similar compared to SCN Day.

But in general DSAG is about customer scenarios where at SCN day people are more interested in technology especially technological details.

SAP solutions vs. SAP and IT in General especially Open Source

One major source for innovation is the use of open source technology. With the Java Stack SAP opened the Netweaver platform. On SDN way one major topic is Open Source and  building bridges to other applications.

At DSAG we could learn about IT scenarios within the enterprise including infrastructure and in contrast SDN day has a focus on development and process configuration.

Customer Solutions vs. Community Projects as well as Solutions of Individuals

At DSAG meetings customers share their experience with SAP technology and IT scenarios within the enterprise.  SAP is interested about the experiences of customers and is looking for reference customers. These customers have special needs and so most talks are quite “down to earth”.

At SCN day the attendees are discussing cutting edge technologies so the SCN day has a high geek factor.

At DSAG meetup I had a lot of interesting one-on-one interviews – in contrast to SCN day with lots of discussions within groups.

It was interesting that on DSAG meeting I was asked by SAP executives about my experiences with some products: SAP asked questions whereas on SCN day the communities offered solutions. And this leads to another difference: DSAG has a set of working groups that meet regulary. Within SCN community there is much more and permanent discussion in forums and social networks.

Summary

Here is a list about the differences of DSAG meetup and SCN Day:

  • best practices vs. innovation
  • stable and working solutions vs. emerging technologies and innovation
  • SAP solutions vs. SAP and IT general especially open source
  • IT scenarios within the enterprise including infrastructure – focus on development and process configuration
  • SAP is looking for reference customers – SAP is discussing cutting edge technologies
  • down to earth – high geek factor
  • customer scenarios – technical details
  • customer solutions – community projects as well as solutions of individuals
  • well established – insider tip
  • one-on-one interviews – discussions within groups
  • working teams that meet regulary and offer information for their attendees – permanent and open discussions in Web 2.0
  • SAP asks questions – community offers solutions

                     

It is hard to tell which one is better. DSAG meetup is helpful if I want to  find answers for daily problems. SCN day is my source of inspiration and highlight of the year.

I think both events have different focuses and both are useful in their own way. So I recommend to visit both.

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