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Making Web Dynpro Open Source? What features of Open Source?

FOREMOST, Please let me clarify that I am not working with SAP Web Dynpro Product Development and the content of this blog is my opinion and SAP has nothing to do with it. Please do not make conjectures about future SAP plans on the basis of this blog. Thank You!

There has been a lot of discussion here on making/thinking Web Dynro as Open Source Solution. Please see following links for discussions that have already happened:

1. Web Dynpro as OpenSource: Built on NetWeaver, Runs Everywhere [Blog by Thorsten]

2. Web Dynpro for Open Source? [Blog by Benny]

3. Web Dynpro for Open Source  [Forum by Joachen] 

So, to start with, I want to ask, what are we suggesting here by open source? Is it just making the source code accessible to all? If that is the case, I see that the we can do the justice to beautiful framework of WD by community driven enhancements. If this is not the case, I am afraid, we need to think a lot more on WD and OS philosophy.

I am a big fan of Open Source Initiative and has been a OS evangelist since my academic days. Ok, I am digressing.

So Open Source just doesnt mean access of source code for all. In has other things with it packaged:

1. The OSI site says: “Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in”. So basically it is a development method. Arent we over with development of this framework. I guess Yes. Then how would we benefit from lower cost and higher flexibility. The design of WD framewrok is already there on the wall.

2. Free Distribution: How would it benefit SAP? Yes, it would definitelty make any sense if we make WD framework concepts as a open standard for Business Web Applications. Like what Microsoft did with its .net framework. It is a open standard and we have a open source flavor of it in the shape of MONO.

3. The OSI website says: No discrimination against field of endeavours. The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.”. How can we ensure that the basic philosophy of WD isnt lost somewhere in between? We are sharing the code and it is distributable. Changes would be made that are against the philosophy of WD. For example: WD might end up as a framework of developing social networking applications rather than developing business applications.

Please think on these points as well.

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  • Hey Puru,

    I see a lot of truth in your statements in general. Yet, saying "WD development is done" may lead to (valid) debates. I'd say software development is never done, there's always something that could/should be done. E.g. I know from experience that the WD Table Control could be improved in several ways. 😉

    The client abstarction you refer too is not a low-hanging fruit either. In fact, with iPhone and Andromeda as the dominating/upcoming mobile OS I'd see the need to develop native UIs or mini apps. I think, now "always conect" scenarios are the standard and all the hazzle with offline comunication and sync is on the downhill...

    I am also a big beliver in OpenSource and I would love to see SAP embracing it on both ends - consuming and provisioning side. Turning WD into OpenSource would be a great thing to do - if properly planned and executed!