A lot has been raked and ranted about SAP UI strategy in the last few years and the story continues to linger on with every new SAP event. Teched 2010 is no exception. When it looked as though questions around SAP UI strategy had been laid to rest, the announcement on WebDynpro Java and Visual Composer has once again stirred up concerns.
At the outset the rationale behind the decision seems acceptable atleast from a ‘customer need’ perspective & from a developer’s perspective. WebDynpro has been quite inflexible thus not a favorite inspite of the great advantages it offers. Furthermore the idea of lightweight UIs thrills everyone as this was long due. On the flip side however is the consulting indecision/dilemma it brings along! Here is one such scenario…
A week before couple of my customers decided to use SAP UI technology for designing their user interfaces. The obvious choice for them was a Java based UI as they had several non SAP integration points. Even though WebDynpro Java was not a perfect fit, it atleast met their basic necessity. The announcement however has left them in no man’s land.
a) They cant choose WDJ or VC to invest when they know it’s lifetime is most likely till 2018. Video Blog: The Future of SAP Java UIs – Breaking News and Customer Dialogue from SAP TechEd Las Vegas.
b) They dont wish to choose WDA as they have several non SAP integration points plus their IT staff skillset is centered around Java.
c) They wont choose JSF as it is non-SAP UI standard on Java.
With no strategic UI option available on SAP Java, they are in a fix (So am I 🙂 ).
The light at the end of the tunnel is that SAP is aggressively investing on developing lightweight UIs, but on which technology, the lifetime of the framework, the timeline of GA and the choice of UI on SAP Java till then, are some of the open questions that SAP alone can answer.