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If you are an ISV or are otherwise involved in the development of complementary solutions for the SAP Business Suite, you might already have heard about SAP’s new “Best-Built Applications Guidelines for ISVs” (BBA) initiative. The first publication of our guidelines took place at TechEd 2009; the latest version can always be found at http://bestbuiltapps.sap.com/.

The overwhelming feedback we got from ISVs and others was: “good initiative but much more is needed.” That wasn’t unexpected; in fact, the BBA development team at SAP is working on an iterative rollout of the guidelines. In succession, we plan to publish additional chapters for BBA and revise older chapters based on internal and external feedback. Developing BBA is very much an SAP internal and external community-driven process.

Only about two months after TechEd, we are ready to publish SAP Guidelines for Best-Built Applications, which includes a chapter on Application Life-Cycle Management (ALM). ALM is detailed in 7 sections:

 

  • SAP Solution Manager overview
  • Requirements
  • Design
  • Deploy
  • Operate
  • Optimize 

 

While SAP Solution Manager is SAP’s tool for supporting all aspects of ALM, the other six sections are aligned with the ALM phases defined by the ITIL standard.

As usual, our new guideline chapter is based on existing SAP best practices in the ALM area and as such has gotten many contributions and SAP internal reviews from SAP’s ALM experts. In addition, we started to include the SAP Mentor Initiative, a group of the most active contributors to SAP’s community programs, in our review cycles. We are particular grateful for the valuable insights we got from the mentors. We will continue to collaborate with the mentors on the next chapters of BBA, which will be released the coming year and in rapid succession.

Having said that, we’d love to hear from any ISV, but also from SIs and of course customers about what they think about BBA in general or about any detailed point we are describing. In this way, we’ll be able to improve and extend BBA continuously with every new version.

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