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It was just four months ago that we published the first edition of SAP Guidelines for Best-Built Applications. The project was kicked off 10 months ago, the original proposal dates back to 2008, and I’ve had partners tell me that they have needed this information for several years. But TechEd Phoenix was when we launched the book.

The feedback from partners has been wonderful. Their first comment is almost always that this is just what they wanted to know. The second comment is often (as I said) that they have needed to know it for a long time. And the third comment is usually about the other topics they wish Best-Built Apps would cover.

The good news is that the Best-Built Apps project is running at full speed to expand the book. In December, we released the detailed chapter on Application Lifecycle Management. In February, the detailed chapter on Process Orchestration and Service-Oriented Architecture will be released. And during the rest of 2010, additional detailed chapters will be released just as fast as the team can produce them.

It takes time to add content to Best-Built Apps. It doesn’t take that long to write the material, since we try always to be as terse as possible, and to link to other documents for further information. What takes the time is reaching consensus among many groups across all of SAP on exactly what technical recommendations the company should make to our partners. This is sometimes not an easy question to answer, but we keep driving forward until it’s been answered.

Finally, the fourth comment I sometimes get from partners (after their list of what else we should cover) is a question about how Best-Built Apps relates to certification, so let me address that here:

There is not a separate certification for Best-Built Apps. Some of the guidelines are the sort of things that can be certified, and some are simply not. We decided we would not limit the scope to only those recommendations that could be objectively tested, but instead would also make recommendations that are valuable even though more “subjective”. Wherever a guideline can be certified, the book will point to the certification.

So Best-Built Apps can help partners understand which certifications to get, but a partner cannot get a “Best-Built App” certification.

If you have more questions about Best-Built Apps, please listen to my PKOM session, and/or come to our PKOM booth. And you can always find the latest edition of the book, plus blogs, useful links and other content, at http://bestbuiltapps.sap.com/

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