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I’ve followed the turmoil of SCN 2.0 the past couple of weeks, and posted a few frustrated comments / rants myself. As a veteran (I’m proud of having pre-signed up to the original SDN beta way back when), although maybe not the most active user ever, my own SAP carreer has sort of evolved with the SDN since it’s inception. I still remember Craig (or was it Mark) posting a call to anyone who could send a screenshot showing more than 100 users simultaneously logged in… those were the days. The forums and blogs made up the backbone of SDN in those first years, and most of the activities were focused on those two pillars. In a short while, SDN beat those other SAP forums out there, and although once a keen member of at least one of them, I decided to focus solely on SDN, both for my forum searches and, later, for blog posts and a bit of code exchange work.

Then, about two weeks ago, the much-awaited new version of SDN arrived. True, it was not called SDN anymore (I remember being skeptical when
the new neighbours moved in – what the heck, non-techies in the garden? Who let them in?), but I’d come to value the greater community, and even read the odd non-ABAP blog or article, which was truly inspiring. But, alas, overnight all functionality was gone. Or so I thought. I could no longer see my forums. Nor
the blogs. Oh, there was a posting or something that explained to me where it had all gone, and how I could reach the deep wells of accumulated knowledge I’d come to value over the years. Sure, with a little effort, I found the Web Dynpro ABAP forum, although in a new shape.

But what about the functionality? The user-friendlyness? Seems gone. Or is it? Time for an experiment. Here we go: the first ever usability
test of the brand new SCN, brought to you by yours truly.

The task is simple: I’d like to go to a forum, search for a specific bit of knowledge, and post a question if I cannot find the answer. This
involves the following 4 steps:

  1. Find the right forum
  2. Search for my issue in the forum
  3. Search for the issue in all forums
  4. Post a question.

The rules are simple: I’ll consider myself a newbie, and I will NOT follow the “Where did it all go…” crap on the first page – because it
should really not be needed. If there’s a forum in there, it should be easy to find, right?

OK, here we go. Type in sdn.sap.com.

So far so good. Site comes up. I guess there must be some kind of discussion groups or forums on the site, right? (Remember I’m a newbie –
I don’t know yet. Someone told me to go here, and this is my first time on the block).

Lots of tab-looking thingies along the top. Solutions. SAP Services & Support. Idea Place. I wonder where the forums are? Maybe
under SAP Services & Support? Let’s try.

Mmm, nope. Doesn’t look to promising. Solutions? No, none of the sub-groups or whatever they are (and why do they come up in a pop-up screen
that has to be manually closed? Why not just some normal dropdown list?)

Let’s try Idea Place. Sounds logical.

A new window this time. With a brand new navigational system… but nothing useful in the context of forums here, either.

Look at the right of the main screen. There’s something called “Browse”. Maybe I should click there?

Something looking like forum questions appear on the screen. They do not, however, seem to relate to any specific topic. The “Content”
tab is selected by default – should I maybe click on People or Places?

Can’t hurt. Let’s try People.

Lot’s of people here, but they all look the same (non-descript grey) and apparently have neither followers or are being followed…

Places?

Hey, that got us somewhere! BI Platform, Security… ABAP Development!! As my question is WDA-related, surely ABAP is the right place to
go. It even has sub-spaces. Cool. One of those must be WDA.

Well, lots of questions about ABAP show up. Problem is, they don’t seem to be grouped into categories (or sub-spaces). Maybe I should click
on Subspaces?

Let’s do it.

We got ABAP Connectivity, ABAP Application Development, BSP… no WDA. But, hey – wait – ABAP Application Development has 2 subspaces of it’s
own!

Click again.

And we’re rewarded with… drum roll… ABAP Dictionary and ABAP Objects.

Right.

Honestly, by now it’s dark outside, time to go home, and I’ve already forgotten my initial question. Besides, this blog post is already way
too long, and I’m sure some nice SDN, uh, SCN person will write a nice comment which will, once again remind me of the facts that 1 – I’m being a nuisance for writing this and am probably too dumb (read: old) to get it (you gotta JIVE, man!!), or, 2 – I’m not really supposed to be here anymore. This site has been
taken over by the facebook dudes. Or kids. Or whatever they call themselves nowadays. You know, the web 2.0 generation. Those that treat people like me like the way I treated all those 40-somethings 20 years ago, who couldn’t program their VCR’s. Or program quick numbers on their mobiles. Or didn’t even have a mobile.

I’m sure that forum is in there somewhere. Heck, I followed the shortcut blog and found it, but that’s not the case.

The case is: my alter ego, the newbie, didn’t.

Conclusion: the new SCN fails the usability test. Big time. And I guess that seals it’s fate. For me.

Bye-bye, SDN. RIP.

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15 Comments

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  1. Trond Stroemme Post author

    OK, I’ll be the first to excuse the bad formatting. It looked OK when I posted it. It’s SCN 2.0’s fault. Honestly.

    And I’m not going to do anything with it ’cause, uh, well… I don’t really feel like being bothered. Anymore.

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    1. Marilyn Pratt

      Hi Trond, 

      Just when you really grabbed our attention with your erudite and entertaining posts (I mean your latest blog series of the past months) you say farewell?  No, I’m not going to claim that if you don’t manage here, the fault is yours.  Your unhappiness with the website is something we I take very very personally and it saddens me to think we will lose such an important voice.  What more can I say?  Beg you to give us a bit more of a chance to continue to provide value?   I think the passionate conversations here about the quality are indicators of how important this company, the website and the community are to many of us professionally.  But “hasta la vista” means until we see again….so maybe…just maybe….I can hope that this isn’t total adios….or if it is …I will say bueno suerte in all your SAP endeavors and may your projects and work experiences be less frustrating and cumbersome than this migration.

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      1. Trond Stroemme Post author

        Hi Marilyn,

        sorry for my late reply, and thanks for your kind and positive (and caring) comments! My post was written after two weeks of frustration, and, I believe, echo a lot of other users (oldtimers) out here. I just don’t find the new SCN user-friendly and intuitive, which is a shame, because it is (was) a great tool… as of now, I don’t feel too tempted to log in every day, as before. I miss the overview of blog posts, the instant access to all forums, and the ease of use that characterized the former version of this site. Sure, some of my frustration is due to aversion against learning new stuff (bad, I know), but I still feel most of it is justified.

        But, as someone said, never say never… I’ll probably lurk in the shadows somewhere and see what happens next.

        Take care,

        Trond

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    2. Andy Silvey

      Hej Trond,

      if you’re really leaving, before you go, you know, it’s a shame to waste them, may I have your forum points ?

      Thanks and all the best,

      Petr.

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  2. Andy Silvey

    Morning Trond,

    how does the song go…

    ‘Please don’t go,

    please don’t go

    Trond SDN appreciates you so, and they want you to know… blah blah  blah

    😀

    The sun is shining this morning in Stockholm, it was even possible to walk

    to the Customer without wearing a hat and gloves !

    Has spring arrived in Norway yet ?

    Petr.

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  3. Anton Wenzelhuemer

    You wrote:

    and I’m sure some nice SDN, uh, SCN person will write a nice comment which will, once again remind me of the facts that 1 – I’m being a nuisance for writing this and am probably too dumb (read: old) to get it (you gotta JIVE, man!!), or, 2 – I’m not really supposed to be here anymore.

    This is one of the saddest things of the whole migration story. I have the exact same impression and that IMHO is that biggest difference to earlier SCN/SDN migrations (and for me a real source of anger) when the community providing team and the community members worked together to get something running that suited everyone.

    Just one quote which illustrates this and which kind of hurt:

    What did you do last week?

    We rolled out a [supahh-dupah new project] …

    Still today I am thinking what it meant to say?

    “while you sat in your armchair with a finger up your nose and eating popcorn, WE have been working hard to supply you [$%&%&] with the latest greatness of all time …”?

    Maybe this was a misplaced movie quote or an adaption of some local saying which I didn’t understand, but why a major message from the team to the community had to start like that is a puzzle to me. 

    Sad that you’re gone, liked your recent contributions.

    anton

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  4. Andy Silvey

    Trond and Anton,

    this is what I don’t get in this whole episode…

    and am probably too dumb (read: old) to get it

    we SAP technologists, Basis Administrators, with every new version we have to start from a blank canvas again, we have to figure it out, how to install, how to upgrade, what the new tools are for the job, what post processing we have to do, why this now doesn’t work and how to solve it, how to configure that using the new tool because the old tool isn’t valid any more, and is there any doco, normally no, is there anyone to help us, normally no, but as experienced Basis Administrators that’s what we do and that’s what we’re used to and that’s what feeds our families.

    If we’re all agreed that in our day to day work the above describes how things are, then,

    why such a fuss that we have to re-learn the SCN ?

    Petr in confused mode.

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    1. Andy Silvey

      You know, lest we not forget which side our bread is buttered

      If this were a new version of a NetWeaver or ECC component we’d all be racing to figure everything out, get the experience, blog it and put it on our cv’s and be the first with the skillz !

      So why not the same energy and enthusiasm for a new version of SCN ?

      Petr still in confused mode.

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      1. Trond Stroemme Post author

        Hi Petr,

        learning something new is OK, as long as it improves your life… the thing about the new SCN is that it makes life harder, not easier. Granted, some features are nice (easier formatting of posts, more user-friendly commenting on posts – once you’ve found them), but the whole experience is worse. I want my forum list, as before, neatly accessible from the start page. How difficult is that to implement…? And why did they have to go away in the first place?

        Cheers,

        Trond

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  5. Bharat Paliwal

    am not able to access blogs been referred in many disuccsion/blog 

    i.e.

    /people/stefan.grube/blog/2007/02/20/working-with-the-payloadzipbean-module-of-the-xi-adapter-framework

    I am not able to open above blog and this is only link provided.

    I read some where that user need to move their own blog to SCN.

    Can someone please help me with this?

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  6. Solomon Yohannes

    I echo the same sentiments. I am also not able to find the articles, tutorial and other training material that was organized by area. I hope this content is still available but I have not yet been able to locate it after a multiple visits and more than an hour of searching.

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  7. Laksh .

    yes thats true….

    it has been almost a month since new SDN or shud i say SCN…. i have logged in 4-5 times if i remeber correctly with old SDN/SCN i used to login 4-5 times a day and yblogs were in common area where people working on new technologies would share, it was good learning simply reading blogs daily… plus earlier forums were grouped according to functionality and now its alphabetical which difficult for person who use to contribute 3-4 forums to find them.

    i always thought SDN/SCN a site of professionals… old site gave professional look.. it was simple and sober, anyways as we all know change management is not accepted intially and there is alwz some refute from both ends…

    But if i cud revert to old SDN… i would be happy 🙂

    regards

    laksh

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  8. smita das

    Even same for me, i used to seach and get real solutions from SDN forum. Now i don’t know how to search a particular forum 🙁 . It just gives the recent postings.

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