Back in October 2009 I announced the availability of a LinkedIn profile connector called the SAP Community Bio: Your Connection Between SCN and LinkedIn. As you all know, LinkedIn is one of the top professional social networking sites. The purpose of the SAP Community Bio application is to create a link between SAP and LinkedIn, and to allow the SCN members to surface relevant data on their LinkedIn profiles. Beyond this, we have been planning on tightening the connection to LinkedIn by surfacing LinkedIn profile information in your SCN profile. After about a year and a half of running this application, I have some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad news. On Monday, June 27, the SAP Community Bio application will be disabled, and it will no longer be present in your profiles, nor will it be available during new user registration. Many of you have had some difficulties enabling this connection to your LinkedIn profile, and numerous suggestions and complaints have been submitted in the Suggestions and Comments forum. I would like to thank those who took the time to report these problems and to provide some suggestions. This feedback has been quite helpful for me and the SCN team in identifying the root causes and to help identify a solution. These problems were investigated, and it was determined that there are two main problems: 1) poor user experience—finding the application in the first place and logging in to LinkedIn through the application… not the best design; and 2) problems in authentication between LinkedIn and SCN—I personally conducted numerous tests using test accounts on both sides and found no consistent behavior. In order to resolve this matter we will need to further investigate the problem and likely redesign the application. Given the visibility of this application and the amount of problems reported to date, we have decided to disable the SAP Community Bio application for the time being while we continue our investigation.
There is another aspect which has led to our decision to temporarily disable this application. Since we launched the SAP Community Bio, LinkedIn has continued to mature its platform and has been rethinking and redefining its 3rdparty application framekwork. Although I cannot speak much about this, I can tell you that LinkedIn asked us to consider sunsetting the application. So, putting the two things together, we decided that the time was right to pursue this option.
And now the good news. We are still committed to providing this application to all of our members. Maintaining strong linkage to LinkedIn and perhaps other professional social network sites in the future makes sense and is one of the top requests we receive from our members. After all, our professional lives and reputation are not confined to one or two websites; they extend across the entire Internet. To this end we will do what we can to not only restore the SAP Community Bio as originally defined, but we will also look into achieving the larger vision for this application.
Thank you again for your patience while we work through these problems, and as always, your input is valued, and we will continue to look to you, the SCN members, to improving the overall experience.