SAP Mobility InnoJam Palo Alto, CA
What a phenomenal week! I just got back into the office after a 31 hour SAP Mobility InnoJam at the Palo Alto SAP Labs COIL facility, where we had 24 developers from 12 customers and partners go hands-on with SUP for the first time, produce an app against a live SAP ECC system, and compete for TechEd 2011 Vegas tickets with a 6-minute presentation to Sybase and SAP’s product executives.
I caught up with the AMD/Satyam partnership at about 10pm, right after they’d succeeded in hooking up the 3rd-party charting library they dropped in the Container to the data coming out of the SAP ECC system, and deployed to the iPad.
The teams broke at 3:30am (though one of the HP Technical Leads went straight through the night), then re-convened early morning to work through to the 4:30pm cut-off. By brunch the business scenarios were showing definite shape, and included: (team-member organizations)
- Expense submission and approval (Nvidia)
- Customer service request for a support contact center (HP)
- Journal Entries (FI) Approvals (eBay)
- Maintenance Notification Creation / Service Notification Management (Genentech, Intel, IGT)
- Executive Dashboard Reporting (AMD, Satyam)
- SAP System Health Checker (BAPS Software Consulting Services, HP)
- Sales Order Approval / Invoice Approval (KLA, Maxim Integrated Products)
- Workflow Management (Applied Materials)
A few great takeaway stories: Prithvi, the young man feverishly coding with headphones-in on what would become my personal favorite app (a remote-monitoring app to check SAP system status) turned out to be a Duke EE/BioTech undergrad attending with his father Bala. His task was to read comma-delimited values out of the Message Value Collection in Custom.js containing the system load data and render in a table view. Another screen presented color-coded the state of multiple systems. Bala took the iPad in the raffle, so I’m guessing it was good flight home for father/son.
The Genentech/Intel/IGT (‘Team Awesome’) partnership who would go on to win the competition had started off with an agressive plan to use location services from the device in the Hybrid Web Container as input to a server-side SQL query to determine ‘Functional Location’ of a maintenance request. Every object in the company is assigned a ‘functional location’ mask that is associated with a cost center. The codes for functional locations are virtually meaningless to most end-users, so using the device location to automate the entry will streamline the process for users, and reduce help requests and errors.
Starting in the morning they were the dark horse–they’d had trouble with the BAPI-MBO interface for the notification creation BAPI, and there was some debate as to whether to use the easier SQL data source in order to meet the competition deadline. But then the BAPI ‘clicked’, and from there, “we started just pumping out screens”, said Brian O’Neill from IGT. “Then it was like, you work on this, you work on this, and you work on this, and then we all came together and mashed it together. Most of the app got written in the last 4 hours.” The final product was ‘A Day In the Life of A Service Technician’, an app to enable a complete suite of tasks for a serviceman– an impressive leveraging of location-based services to retrieve Functional Location as an input for a new maintenance notification, also calling Google location services to provide a site image for the record.
At 4:30pm coding stopped, and the judging began. Raj Nathan of Sybase, Sanjay Poonan and Dan Mahowald of SAP, and Tiago Dias of Slalom Consulting (who sponsored the event) viewed 6-minute presentations from each team, asked questions of the participants, then returned after deliberation to award TechEd 2011 Vegas tickets to two winning teams: the Team Awesome partnership, and Rakesh Palle of Applied Materials, who was the only individual participant.
I want to thank everyone who participated, and the InnoJam team for hosting. The event was a great opportunity to get to know our developers while they’re hands-on with our SDK, understand their business scenarios, collaborate, and show-off a bit.