Having got a Christmas gift of Developer access to the sandbox system of 12psrints.com, I did a test drive of it and am pleasantly surprised by what it offers. I would like to share my related findings and thoughts on this blog.
What did I do with it?
I played around with its REST based API for Method invocation (in JAVA, Flex and using CURL). It was amazingly easy to add content (Activities/items) using the API’s. While it supports adding different types of content, adding Table type items would be of particular interest to applications. It will be surprisingly easy for example to create Decision Activity, based on data available contextual inside (SAP!) Applications, by using the REST API’s. If you have read the book “Driven to Perform“, you will find many examples on how such collaboration can help business.
I tried to use the Custom Business Method development feature (in Flex). It was relatively easy to expose my custom Flash application as a business method and then embed it in any activity as needed. I must admit I did not understand what the container was doing with it but it least did what I wanted :o)
Other features that impressed me were the easy with which documents (tried with PDF) could be added from local file system including import of Excel files which can be straight away used to create charts.
What would I like to try out with it?
• “Contextual integration” in SAP UI’s (ABAP/JAVA webdynrpo, Flex, BSP…) using REST API’s
• Expose SAP UI’s as custom Business methods (ABAP Webdynrpo flashislands?)
• Voice apps integration. You can check here for some motivation
• Integration with BusinessObjexts Explorer and other BusinessObjects OnDemand products
• Integration with other social networks/communities (including SDN, Twitter, Linkedin..)
• Google Wave and Google docs integration
What can be better or what I did not understand?
While I liked the coordinating and Decision making related features, I must admit I did not understand the analysis related features. In particular how it can consume external content. I assume its work in progress, it’s still Beta release after all!. While there have already been critical reviews on it by experts on business use cases for it, as an optimist I would prefer to see what others are doing here. What can really help would be public (cloud) access to SAP data. It’s here I think the SAP SAP releases Simple Sample Applications for Enterprise Services Consumption can really help. While I continue playing around with my Christmas gift, hopefully have managed to make enough people envious and wanting to have this gift.