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I have been a member of the SAP Developer Network (now SCN) for over 5 years, I landed here as a most people do because I had questions and SCN provided the answers I needed. Got hooked into the community and been an active contributor since then.

 

During the last few years I seen the community develop and the forums grow in both member size and categories but there is one thing that hasn’t changed. As a Basis consultant I found that is hard for users (new and old) to find a forum that they completely identify with mainly because the naming is vague.

 

Let me explain myself, currently Basis questions are been posted in several forums, none of them make direct reference to Basis in either title or description.

Enterprise Resource Planning (SAP ERP)

Performance and Scalability

SAP NetWeaver Technology Platform

SAP NetWeaver Administrator

SAP NetWeaver Application Server

SAP NetWeaver Application Server

Without including the /community [original link is broken]

 

I think rebranding SAP Netweaver Administrator as “Basis General” and consolidating some of the above forums should make the confusion go away, increase usability and give the Basis Community a space that they can directly identify with.

The new branding will bring clarity and make the area easier to moderate increasing the quality of the content

 

For this I created an entry in the Idea Place

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25 Comments

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  1. Tobias Hofmann
    Hi Juan,

    because Idea Place still isn’t supporting SSO (p-user) I cannot vote nor give a comment on your idea (duh, points lost forever!), but as you were so kind to write a blog about it:

    Merging all forums into one, don’t you think that this will lead to an information overkill? How many pages do the Basis forum generate daily? When the combined sum exceeds 3 pages I fear that a lot of questions will simply be overseen. People access the forum, looks at the thread of the first page and never will click on page 2, 3 or 4. This behavior may lead to “push” messages and redundant messages.

    Instead of having forums for products (AS General, Java, Platform) maybe create forums based on the activities:
    – Upgrades / Patches / Notes installation
    – Daily tasks (PFCG, printers, CCMS, monitoring, tracing)
    – Architecture (for question of the type: is it possible, how do I …)

    You’re right: there are way to much forums for 1 topic.

    br,
    Tobias

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      1. Tom Cenens
        Hello Juan

        I know you are very active on the forum and in my opinion you do a great job at helping community members with their questions.

        The idea to rename forum parts to basis doesn’t really convince me though.

        I think Netweaver captures better what Basis has become. The name Basis is derived from the Basis component but Netweaver captures much more. Placing Java under Basis would seem wrong to me.

        I do agree that SAP Netweaver Administration and SAP Solution Manager are getting more and more related and that is can be vague what belongs where.

        In my opinion one of the most important steps is providing information to community members so they know what belongs where and for me this takes us back to the product naming of SAP.

        I have an idea up to get product naming information up and running for the SAP Community, perhaps we can connect and discuss some ideas?

        Kind regards

        Tom

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        1. Tobias Hofmann
          “providing information to community members so they know what belongs where and for me this takes us back to the product naming of SAP.”

          You are referring to the same persons that don’t know how to find information by search before posting?

          Juan has made a good point. Example:
          – You have to set up a BEx report integration into portal. Where to ask on how to do this? BI, portal or ABAP forum?
          – After setting up the landscape you get a logon error. Where to ask? In the portal forum because the portal is the frontend? And when the UME DS is ABAP? Ask in the ABAP forum, even when your system is BI? Just to find out that the problem is related to a security configuration?
          – Everything is set up and 100%, but end-users are opening tickets claiming that it is unusable slow?

          Solutions from SAP are more and more integrated and the underlying technology is not so important anymore (ex GRC: from Java to ABAP). The E2E 100 RCA course / offering already accepted this: it covers problem analysis, independent from the technology involved.

          br,
          Tobias

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          1. Tom Cenens
            Hello Tobias

            Not really, I’m referring to people who will actually read such information but are confused by all the different namings used.

            I agree with the fact that a split or new forum topics can be a good idea. I just don’t like the idea of changing Netweaver into Basis.

            Perhaps another idea on idea place can get my vote 🙂

            I think you will always have some overlapping in the forum categories but I’m curious what you can up with as an alternative. A worked out sample of how it could look or a demo sais more than words.

            Kind regards

            Tom

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            1. Tobias Hofmann
              NetWeaver, BASIS, ESA, it’s the same when you have a question or problem: quite irrelevant.

              There are solution maps from SAP that can be used to guide the user to the right area:
              http://www50.sap.com/businessmaps/004F8486F21E4522943507897144041B.htm
              http://en.sap.info/wp-content/uploads/2003/12/IMG242063fd086b2452ba.gif
              http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw70ehp2/helpdata/en/6a/44b2420e71c511e10000000a1550b0/frameset.htm
              http://www.sap.com/solutions/businessmaps/index.epx
              And as can be seen at the security image, there is always some overhead and therefore it makes sense to consider to drop NetWeaver or Basis or any other naming scheme.

              After choosing a category – the IT Practice and IT Scenario – I think it should be nice to apply the ASAP methodology. After all, the problem will occur in one of the ASAP phases.

              You can call it BASIS, NetWeaver, whatever. When you encounter an error you want a solution or at least a hint. Right now you have to open several message in the forum if you want to cover all areas.

              br,
              Tobias

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        2. Juan Reyes Post author
          Hi Tom,

          “I think Netweaver captures better what Basis has become. The name Basis is derived from the Basis component but Netweaver captures much more. Placing Java under Basis would seem wrong to me.”

          I don’t agree with you, Netweaver is a platform a product suite, Basis is a universal synonym of SAP technical Consultant regardless of what version of SAP you use. When you have a technical issue you don’t call your Netweaver consultant you call the “Basis guy” 😀

          The idea is to make the forum intuitive, much more user friendly, about what topics we should look into consolidate that another issue.

          As Tobias mentioned its difficult to get everyone to read the little letters.

          I’m always open for a good chat, I’ll send you my Skype details.

          Regards
          Juan

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          1. Tom Cenens
            Hello Juan

            I agree that Netweaver is a platform but there are too many reference where basis has been changed into Netweaver, for example the certification for a “basis” guy is called system administration for Netweaver.

            If you make a change in the naming here, it should also be done in other sources to be consistent.

            I have to admit I also use the word Basis.
            I guess I picked up the word from my colleagues once I started.

            If people don’t read the little letters will changing the name do any good then?

            Thanks for the skype details, I’ll add you so we can have a chat.

            Kind regards

            Tom

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            1. Juan Reyes Post author
              You see thats exactly what I mean when I said Netweaver is a platform, If you go back a few years the certificate would have read SAP Administrator for MySAP ERP  :-D, At the end of the day the owner of that certificate was still a Basis Consultant.

              “If people don’t read the little letters will changing the name do any good then?”
              Ahhh… Thats the difference!, the forum name are the BIG letters not the little ones.

              Regards
              Juan

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  2. John Appleby
    I have this thing with my team – Basis became a bit of a dirty word and NetWeaver became the sexy name for the great unwashed*

    Recently I’ve started using Basis again for that team and I think it makes a lot more sense. It’s got meaning and identity and whilst it might not be sexy, it’s *clear*.

    * Just Kidding, Basis consultants are clean.

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    1. Tom Cenens
      Hello John

      For me basis sounds more negative. It makes it sound like all the work is easy.

      In my opinion it doesn’t really capture all the area’s and I doubt it will bring more clarity on the forum sections.

      I have noticed that there is an administration topic for some products but not for all which makes the categories inconsistent.

      For example for SAP Business One you have SAP Business One System Administration. Why isn’t there a SAP ERP System Administration or SAP CRM System Administration then, those aren’t part of the Netweaver products.

      You will always have a gray area, the thin line between what is for an administrator (technical work) and what is considered to be functional work.

      The problem will be that you will have companies where some tasks belongs to the technical area and other companies where the same tasks belong to the functional area.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  3. Martin English
    One of the issues not properly addressed in the answers below is the non SAP work performed by Netweaver Technical / BASIS consultants.  For example, a Netweaver Consultant can tell you how to use transaction SCOT, but a BASIS guy can tell you that, plus why it acts differently on a UNIX or Windows machine.  Everwhere I’ve worked, its been assumed that the BASIS gutys have a good knowledge of the Operating Systems, Databases and networking protocols and devices in use, a working overview of any alternatives, AND a working knowledge of specialist languages, databases or operating systems. 

    Not that this is actually defined anywhere, but for a tactical example… When someone comes to you with a performance problem, they’re usually talking end-to-end, which means from hitting the enter button to receiving a completed response on their terminal.  In short, every part of the environment that the system is part of.  From a strategic viewpoint, your BASIS person or team is regularly asked about interdependencies between Database, Operating System and SAP releases, about ease of integration of new products (SAP or otherwise) with the current environments and so on.

    Perhaps I’m not doing anything too spectacular or out of the ordinary with my customers, but I can usually find an answer to a specifically SAP question on the SAP websites (including SDN).  My problems arise when I have to deal with an unfamiliar concept or usage in an unfamiliar operating system or database.  I would like to see your “Basis General” group expanded to include  this sort of thing as well as the SAP specifics.

    PS I haven’t even started on the need to be a mind reader / instant expert about every printer ever installed…..

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    1. Juan Reyes Post author
      Spot on Martin, Basis is an speciality on its own, we do lots of work outside the scope of SAP as software. A good Basis is a technical architect, is a disaster recovery specialist, is a hardware expert, etc… I even once installed a microwave link for a WAN. In anycase I think the point is clear, there enough volume and scope for a change on branding to make a good impact on the quality of the content posted.

      Regards
      Juan

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      1. Tom Cenens
        Hello Juan

        How do you see fitting in all the seperate categories that already exist? You have performance categories which can be both for developers and administrators.

        I don’t think rebranding Netweaver Administrator to Basis Administrator will solve the issues of posts in the wrong section. In my opinion you should enlarge the scope then and rework multiple categories.

        Kind regards

        Tom

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        1. Juan Reyes Post author
          I happen to have a different opinion, I do think a rebrand will bring clarity.

          Beside that specific point. I have made clear that one forum will not be enough it will be about consolidating some of them and creating new ones to accomodate the topics in demand.

          I said before that I’ll be happy to talk anyone interested an brainstorm to get an agreement. at the end of the day SCN is a democracy and we will have to file a suggestion for the Collaboration team to consider.

          I got your mail and Martin’s lets try to schedule a session and maybe invite Marylin or Gali.

          Regards
          Juan

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    2. Tom Cenens
      Hello Martin

      I’m not convinced BASIS captures all the non SAP work. A better capturing word would be centipede.

      I’m in a team that uses BC (derived from Basis) in the name but it doesn’t mean I like the name.

      I agree BASIS is a historical word and people can relate to it but if I would have been able to talk the moment I was born, I would have choosen another name. I’m known as Tom but is it the greatest name? It’s not in my opinion.

      Wether someone’s name is Tom or Colin, it doesn’t mean anything when you look at ones capabilities.

      I’m wondering where all the SAP Administrators are hiding at? I know it’s a niche in the market but I’m only hearing a few voices of a large community.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  4. Gregory Misiorek
    Juan,

    You have my vote for having a BASIS dedicated forum. Whoever has worked with SAP for a decent amount of years (say 5) understands that BASIS is more than just SAP. BASIS is operating system (UNIX, Windows), database (Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, network (http, firewalls) , hardware (memory, CPU), and finally desktops (logon pad, mobile devices) a truly an e2e user experience, weekends and wee hours with other vendors included. BASIS is (mostly invisible) Core.

    tweet 4 by @greg_not_so

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    1. Tom Cenens
      Hello Gregory

      I’ve only been working in SAP for four years. I knew on my first day of work that BASIS is more than just SAP.

      If you have to work for five years as a SAP Administrator before you realize BASIS is more than just SAP you are in the wrong line of business.

      The diversity in work and skills is what makes is fun to be a SAP Administrator. I don’t see the relation to the word BASIS though. How does a single word capture all those topics?

      Kind regards

      Tom

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      1. Martin English
        You make a good point, Tom (or Colin),
          Rather than choosing between BASIS, Netweaver Administrator and Netweaver Technical consultant, we need one meaningful name to cover the sort of role we are talking about, perhaps with modifiers for different sub-types (like my distinction between Netweaver Consultant and Netweaver Administrator – see below). HOWEVER….

        Regardless of the historical associations (which are less relevant these days), we are still going to have people arguing semantics, i.e. the difference between a Technical Consultant and an Administrator (FWIW, I think one changes things, the second monitors them is a good, high level start).

        Juan,
          Apologies for hijacking the thread and discussion.  My first thought had been that there were a lot more forums (the ones below and more…) to add to your list, for BASIS / Netweaver Technical Consultants / Netweaver Administrators to monitor or use.
        * Internet Transaction Server (ITS) Internet Transaction Server (ITS)
        * AS Migration SAP NetWeaver Application Server
        * Technology & Tools Technology & Tools (Read Only Archive)
        * etcetera

        Second thought was if what is needed is a seperate community for the “pure BASIS”(for want of a better term) questions ?  However, while this may be useful, this doesn’t really answer your challenge which, as I understand it, is that there is insufficient distinction between the forums, so that it is not obvious which types of questions should be asked in which forum.  Looking at the ones you list, I have pretty firm ideas about which forums are “pure BASIS” and which are more generic SAP.  The trouble is that this division is based on my use of language AND my specific work history.

        Perhaps what is needed is for a few of us to reach out via skype / twitter / email and form a “SAP Administrators X” – where X does NOT have to be 5 – and get a discussion going with Mark / Chip / Marilyn about what changes we (as SAP / BASIS / Netweaver Consultants and or Administrators) need ?  If anyone is interested, all my contact details are on my SDN Business Card – click on my name above or use http://z.basissap.com/sdn_card

        HTH 🙂

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        1. Tom Cenens
          Hello Martin

          I gave my son the name Colin 🙂 I liked Noah a lot also but since my other better half didn’t agree we had to reach a consensus.

          I agree that rebranding a single header doesn’t change things.

          I have been thinking about the rebranding though. I couldn’t find many good names except for one: SAP Solution(s) Administrator.

          SAP Solution Manager is becoming and will be the main entry point for a SAP Basis Administrator.

          A solution is only a solution when everything is in place. Administrating a solution can capture the diversity of tasks a SAP Basis Administrator performs.

          I will add you to skype, I also added Juan but we should get a timing to be online at the same moment then. It might be challenging due to geografic locations.

          I can also create a demo page if needed to display a possible new structure.

          My mail address is also on my SDN Business Card.
          On skype you can find me by my name Tom Cenens (nick is tomcenens I belive)

          Kind regards

          Tom

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      2. Gregory Misiorek
        Tom,

        I’m sure you know more about Basis with 4 years of your experience than my 12+ as I’m only an accountant and don’t have an engineering background.

        To put it simply, BASIS is not BASIC. One cannot even begin to think about BASIS without first spending some time with non-SAP technologies. As for the word itself, I simply love it. What comes to mind are fundamentals, foundation, pillars, or something so indispensable that nothing else (a process or an application) can live without it.

        I can see how it can be confused with basics, rudiments, first steps, suggesting lack of sophistication, but that’s not how this word has originated. We could actually take it a bit further and call it BASES to incorporate plurality of technologies one has to deal with to excel at SAP administration. Hey, in taxes, we call basis what the government cannot tax, so it’s something good (for our clients).

        No single word can capture anything of substantial meaning as it is only an attempt to describe an abstract.

        I apologize if this response is confusing, but I don’t want lawyers to have all the fun;)

        Respectfully,

        greg(_not_so)

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        1. Tom Cenens
          Hello Greg

          It doesn’t matter what your background is 🙂
          I studied IT and graduated as a developer but I don’t develop (besides some website stuff in my free time).

          The strength of a SAP Basis Administrator comes from having insight, being able to find solutions to problems (logical thinking is very important there) and being able to capture content (read up on what is neccesary) to perform the work needed.

          In my opinion rebranding to BASIS is going back in time. I would be like rebranding Apple iPhone to Apple Phone. It’s a phone right.

          It’s great that you give feedback, more people should do so. These kind of discussions which originate from a blog are what makes SCN great.

          Kind regards

          Tom

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      3. Juan Reyes Post author
        Hi Tom,

        I think you have a difference of opinion on what “Basis” means as a position and you are entitled to it. Moving on, the Basis/NW Admin community is lacking identity within SCN and i hope you agree with me on this one.

        This is what its all about.

        Regards
        Juan

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  5. Augusto Cristicini
    Simply put the SAP Basis Administrator, Netweaver and other areas that the Basis Administrator has to conquer in the everyday support, is best explained as an Systems Administrator. 
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