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Yes. This is the big question which is bothering me and other fellow Web Dynpro Java developers. Wherever I go, there seems to be a negative bias towards Web Dynpro Java. Why? Let us analyze.
Web Dynpro Java had been the recommended UI from SAP for portal web application till 2010. There was a lot of buzz and activity surrounding NetWeaver Java and Web Dynpro Java during that period. Many changes, new enhancements and buzzing Web Dynpro forums were making the right noises about the technology. The scenario seemed to have changed with the acquisition of Java by Oracle.
Slowly but surely, Web Dynpro ABAP was being offered as an alternative option for portal web developments. Many enhancements to the UI with support to multiple features seemed to make the news. Even in a Google search, googling Web Dynpro resulted in the results about Web Dynpro ABAP and not Web Dynpro Java. The signals seemed ominous. Then, the announcement that Web Dynpro Java will have no further enhance till 2018. The blogging and forum world were busy writing the obituaries of Web Dynpro Java like the now famous Kiss of Death for Web Dynpro Java.
In the developer community there was fear of the technology being made obsolete by SAP. Personally, Web Dynpro Java developers (like me) who entered the domain without the experience of working on JAVA projects were at cross roads. Do we prefer the vast domain of Java, JavaScript, JEE5 etc.  OR get back to SAP GUI and ABAP Web Dynpro? There was lack of experience in both domains and departments from both domains seemed reluctant to consider us for their projects.
Over the last 1 year, my efforts have been focused on convincing the following people that Web Dynpro Java is still alive and will survive the storm of negativity:
–          Customers – The most feared lot to invest in Web Dynpro Java
–          Internal departments – especially with separate departments for Web Dynpro Java and Web Dynpro ABAP
–          Myself…. Yes ME!
As always there is light at the end of tunnel. Then came SOA, Composite applications and cloud computing. In my opinion these new developments (old but have come to limelight lately) have brought new life to Web Dynpro Java. There are still many enterprise scenarios like BPM where a solution based on Web Dynpro Java is recommended.
Next Steps:
The technology is changing at the speed of light. As always the only thing permanent is CHANGE. So, if we i.e. Web Dynpro Java developers need to change which are the preferred paths?
1.      HTML5: The latest version of the popular HTML seems to have fulfilled the many pending technical requirements which were handled earlier by plugins using the simple tags. The knowledge and experience in this domain will be handy in developing lightweight UIs
2.      jQuery: The famous java script based language is used across web and mobile platforms. It would be desirable to first understand the concept of scripting and then get into world of jQuery.
3.      BPM (Business Process Management) and BRM (Business Rules Management): The process design tools offered by NetWeaver are very powerful. They allow the developers to design custom process and incorporate the business rules in a short period of time.
4.      SUP (Sybase Unwired Platform) – MBO (Mobile Business Objects): This is one of the most exciting developments mainly because it is centered around the mobile devices. The editor and coding seems very similar to Web Dynpro and the language is Java.
Entry into any new stream requires effort, disciple, interest and opportunity. Identify your interests and put in the necessary effort with disciple. Opportunities, well they will come your way sooner or later.
Happy Coding.   
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12 Comments

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  1. YUVAL PEERY

    Hi

    Yes, these are the trends, all right.If you can’t beat them, join ’em.
    If Java developers would like to keep their job, they will have to adapt, regrettably.
    But as far as I understand, it is not the language or the technology
    that threatens us all, but the legions of Abap developers lurking in the every
    corner of large corporates.

    Signing with a sigh,

    Yuval Peery

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  2. Siarhei Pisarenka

    Still I think it’s possible to stay in the area for some time. Those custom corporate Webdynpro Java applications that have been written for recent years in companies across the world definitely require support & maintenance activities at least for the next five years. I really dought that existing Webdynpro Java applications will be ever rewritten with Webdynpro ABAP or HTML5. It’s not easy and not cheap.

    The overall number of Webdynpro Java specialists is decreasing now. So the existing specialists will be highly demanded to support and enhance existing corporate applications.

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  3. Joao Sousa

    The simplest solution is just to be a Webdynpro developer, not a Java or ABAP developer. I do both, and the since the models are the same, the only thing that really shifts is the programming language.

    In my experience the great overhead is in understanding the concepts and the logic, not in understanding a programming language. In recent years I’ve programmed in Java, C#, Objective-C, ABAP and Visual Basic. Learning language is easy, and Webdynpro ABAP is just another flavour of Webdynpro.

    And yes there a lot of ABAP developers out there but most do vanilla ABAP not Webdynpro.

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    1. YUVAL PEERY

      Hi Joao

      I agree with you totally. I have been doing java and abap web dynpro.
      it takes time to learn the language but eventually it is all about business

      logic and web dynpro architecture.

      regards

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      1. Sharath M G Post author

        Well, I agree with both of you. The transition is easier and with similar development model the task becomes easier. But, is it the default choice in front of every WD Java developer?

        In my opinion, it depends on one’s comfort level. A developer with the background of Java, will ( and should ) stick to the java techs. There are many avenues within NetWeaver where Java skills play a vital role. As stated earlier by Siarhei Pisarenka, there has been a significant investment in WD Java and will need support for sometime in future.

        Regards,

        Sharath

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        1. Joao Sousa

          BPM in 7.3 allows JSP tasks which is in my opinion a great improvement. If a Java developer doesn’t want to embrace ABAP, in my view the best option is JSP.

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            1. Mahesh Chandra VVNS

              Sharath,

              I agree with the blog topic, where should we go, but its shouldn’t be a hurry, i mean at least for min 5 years or upto 2018, i have seen a lot of custom developments made in WDJ and there are not easy to replace with some other technology. i second the opinion of @joao Sousa

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  4. laurent touillaud

    Hi all,

    I can confirm you my client has a set of WDJ applications

    and are not ready replace them by WDA. Although i think

    that WDJ is longer to develop and maintain than WDA.

    I would personnaly use WDA for all desktop applications (with R3 main process).

    BR,

    Laurent.

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  5. sandesh jadhav

    Hi all,

    I am a oracle pl/sql developer and my new project is in Web Dynpro Java. After reading this post I m worried abt changing my profile. Please guide me on this.

    Regards,

    Sandesh.

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    1. Sharath M G Post author

      Hello Sandesh,

      The blog was not meant to scare people away from WD Java. It was to open up a discussion on this technology based on the SAP plans for future.

      In the current world, no UI technology is future-proof i.e. with time some go away and some return.

      In my assessment, WD Java will stay as an option for BPM based, heterogeneous system solution. And, as its based on Java, you are always having one foot in the door of the open-source world.

      So, feel-free and embrace every new technology. Remember, nothing is permanent, only change IS.

      All the best.

      Regards,

      Sharath

      (0) 

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