A few weeks ago I have read the blog of Craig, that he is also writing a book for SAP Press about the SAP community. At that time I was finalizing the last chapter of the new Visual Composer book, which will be published in Germany (German language) on December 28th 2009. While I was reading Craig’s blog I thought that I could be Co-author of his book due to the fact that I’m now three years active part of this great community as moderator of the Visual Composer area.
I think without our great SAP community I would not have written the Visual Composer book, because without SDN I think I would have not got in touch with Mario Herger, the author of the previous Visual Composer book (with focus on Visual Composer 7.0). Mario was the person who has asked me in 2007 to become moderator of the Visual Composer 7.0 forum and wiki.
He was also the person who has asked me last year whether I would like to write a book about the new Visual Composer 7.1 – at that time I have thought it was a joke and I agreed. Two weeks later Stefan Proksch from SAP Press has given me a call. At the same time I have found with my friends our own SAP consulting company FIVE1. I have thought at that time “Writing a book about a topic that you know by hard as an expert can be done beside my daily tasks.”, but if you would have asked me a few months later…
Thanks for the support
Anyway, after about one year the book is finished. I want to take the chance in this blog to thank all the people out there that have supported me during these hard times. Thanks to my author colleagues Carsten Boennen from SAP and my FIVE1 colleagues Christophe Mutzig and Andreas Hardt. A special thanks to Mario Herger, Dafna Yanay, Yariv Zur, Mickey Hoter, Luba Rashkovsky, Mario Herger, Thomas Jung, Luis Felipe Lanz, Ariel Bentolila, Detlef Wassmuth, Volker Stiehl, Amir Mimran, Yariv Zur, David Lotan Bolotnikoff, Nicole Goldman, Jarrod Williams, Ofer Pen, Kirsty Macdonald, Kobi Sasson, Nadav Margalit, Peter Kraus and Michael Jassmann that have supported to write the Visual Composer book. Thanks to the Visual Composer development team in Israel that have supported me all the time with conference calls, email conversations, material about Visual Composer architecture and so on. I also want to thank the SAP community, because without the questions from the community in the forum in the past three years I have not had all the ideas for the book. I hope I have not forgotten anybody, but there were so many people from the SAP community that helped me in the last years. I can only say thanks again to this fantastic community and to the SAP employees for their support.
Content of the book
Now I also want to give you an overview about the content of the book. The book begins with the current situation in the companies and their needs from a business and IT perspective and why the companies need SAP NetWeaver and especially Visual Composer.
We bring Visual Composer into line with in the SAP portfolio as one of the opportunity to create web-based SAP business applications. In the second chapter we start with the basics for instance we introduce some terms and definitions like Composite Applications. We also discuss the strategic positioning of Visual Composer and the model based development with tools like Visual Composer. Finally we describe the different Visual Composer versions and their architecture in order to complete the theoretically part of the book.
After the theory we explain in the first chapter of the practically part of the book how to setup the connections to the backend systems and the usage of Visual Composer in SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio. We also explain how to integrate Web Dynpro for Java Components into Visual Composer via the blackbox scenario. This example will be enhanced with Flash Islands so that we can integrate Business Objects Xcelsius into Web Dynpro for Java and then into Visual Composer. Then we have a bunch of best practice examples as an own chapter. It starts with a “Hello World” application then an example of a transactional application follows. We explain in a detailed case how to use BW-IP with Visual Composer. Based on that example we explain how to enhance the solution with a status and tracking system that supports formatted comments. Given the fact that the company is selling worldwide cars they need a translation of the applications, which will also be explained in that chapter. We also explain how to integrate Flex applications in Visual Composer 7.01 SPS5. This is a very nice feature which gives us the possibility to enhance the UI elements of Visual Composer 7.0 with Flex elements and Business Objects Xcelsius as well. We also have an example how to use the SAP NetWeaver Voice Kit and the Portal Modeling capabilities of Visual Composer.
The last chapter of the book is an outlook to the new features of Visual Composer 7.2, which will be probably available in Q1 or Q2 of 2010. In Visual Composer 7.2, which is currently in ramp-up, we will have a Visual Composer Debugger in the SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio and a tighter integration between SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management (BPM) and Visual Composer.
I want to use this weblog as a starting shot for a blog series in which I want to discuss and explain the need of model driven tools like Visual Composer and why it is important to have not only a paradigm shift in the software architecture and development as well as in the approach of software development and the involved roles. This blog and the blog series will be available in English (here on SCN Weblogs) and German language (check the FIVE1 Blog under http://blog.five1.de). I will update this blog time after time to the related blogs of the series. I hope to clarify the role of Visual Composer in the SAP portfolio and I wish that we have a controversial discussion.
Other weblogs of this blogseries:
Paradigms of business standard software and Visual Composer
Traditional application development and new conceptsSCRUM as example for new approaches in application development