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Keynote at SAP Teched 09

Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Technology Officer. It is possible to see the presentation at

This was a keynote in the new style. All slides were images except one. This is an interesting turn, and what is seen on Apple presentations. Then we just have to make it possible for the lectures also to use this presentation style, if it can foster learning by giving a more visual presentation.
There were no new products being released at this Teched. The demos showed were just to the point of timeless software. That the products could live for I had hoped that there were some new releases or products. I cannot remember, if this I the norm or if this has any meaning for the pipe line of new products.
The topic was about the rate of change. Some of the ideas are from the blog on timeless software series by Sikka, which has been compiled to a article at SDN.
Software lives a long time. Just imagine the flight control systems, which have lived since the 1960’s. Today there is still written programs in Cobolt, even the last compiler was written in the 1980’s. Just imagine the amount of code written en ABAP or Java, for business critical systems.  Therefore the systems build should be possible to change.
With systems you have to take care if it is the content (the lines of code written) or the container (the hardware or any other things is can be changed). Think of the book, where the content (the text is everlasting) while the container (paper is short lived).
With timeless software you are writing the content and therefore have to be that the software can be used in other scenarios. The code should be used in other ways than it is intended to run. I think we see this with the Bank code. The core of the banks are still the same software, there as just been build something around it to create web banks or other newer features.  
SOA is the first step on the way to creating components, which can be used other ways. The demo showed how the Enterprise Service could be bundled to be used with other technologies. One demo application also showed an application, which had an embedded Google Wave page. This is just one more area where SAP is experimenting with Wave.
Another point was the software should be build software; you should have the end-user in mind. This makes sense and will allow you to create products which brings a lot of value. I don’t know if this will influence the product if the product has to be long lived and solve the user’s requirements now. It will be an interesting perspective to follow.

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