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Best-Built Applications Survey Results

“SAP Guidelines for Best-Built Applications That Integrate with SAP Business Suite” – BBA for short – started in 2009 and has come a long way since then. A pulse check was overdue. We ran an online survey at the beginning of the year. In this blog I’d like to share the survey results with you.

Overall the results are a strong encouragement for the BBA team that we did something right. Of course there are also some things we can do better. First of all, we got about 200 replies to our survey. That is a sufficient number to see trends in the results that have statistical significance but of course we were hoping for more participation. I’m bombarded with all kinds of survey requests on a daily basis myself so I know it is impossible to answer all of them but from our BBA download numbers, which are approaching an estimated 100k, we had hoped for a bit more. One comment we got for the last question “What are the improvements you would like to see in ‘Best Built Apps’?” was that “Marketing of the Best Built Apps could be better” and I feel a bit guilty as charged. We were mostly focused on producing the content (in 2009 we had received feedback that there was “not enough content”), but there is a lot of content now and it is time to promote BBA more. We are taking this survey’s results as input for regrouping BBA inside SAP and hope to be able to give you an outlook about our next activities soon.

The following shows the survey results in greater detail with just a few comments from my side sprinkled in. To all our readers we want to thank you for any feedback you give us through surveys, comments on our publications on http://bestbuiltapps.sap.com and on other occasions.

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This result is remarkable because BBA started out explicitly targeted as a publication for SAP partners. But we heard very soon that SAP’s customers are interested in this kind of information as well. Therefore, we extended BBA last year to address the customer’s situation, in particular their own custom development on SAP platforms as well. This was a very successful move. Of course our customers are much larger in numbers than our partners, which is reflected in the above result.

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Last year we cooperated with ASUG to run a BBA Influence Council. Our main discusion point was how to govern development processes. Therefore putting this question into the survey was very important to us. Again we feel very good about the high ranking of SAP guidelines to help customers and partners to steer their development. Sometimes it is said that following rules is the natural enemy of getting the job done.  However, 88% (all but 12% “no special governance”) of our readers appear to agree with us that long term viability of development results strongly depends on exercising development process governance.

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I’d say that these results show that BBA reaches all major roles on all levels, proportional to their numbers.  For the future I’d like to see at least a small percentage of “developers on non-SAP technologies” too. We have made quite some effort to be inclusive to those developments projects which integrate with SAP Business Suite but are written in .NET or other non-SAP platforms.

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No argument here that we want to see the “Yes” numbers to increase. We need to focus more on promoting BBA, as mentioned at the beginning of this blog. A total of 59% knowing BBA is not too bad but we realize that the respondents to this survey are of course very likely to have noticed BBA before, so that 41% “No” answer is more than we wanted to see. But if this survey caused a few more people to learn about BBA for the first time, and if they see it as a valuable publication from SAP, well, that’s a good thing too.

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I very much like these numbers and we will pay attention to the improvement suggestions we got to even further increase BBA’s usefullness.

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This was a multiple choice question, so the total is more than 100%. Since development governance is a hard topic, I like the 49% number, almost half of those surveyed,  very much. That is a very good base to expand from.

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This is excellent feedback; thanks to all who responded to this survey again. I am very much a fan of the SAP community and like to support the first 59% choice. We do have our BBA website at http://bestbuiltapps.sap.com, which is part of SCN.sap.com. It is easy to post a BBA experience blog there, and you can help us by blogging about your experience with BBA and sharing it with the community. We will check with the SCN colleagues what other means of sharing BBA experiences we might have, but blogging about it is possible right now and much appreciated.

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I believe BBA is mostly on track here. Our main publication channel is through electronic pdf and epub versions and an online wiki. We have run a number of webinars in the past with our PartnerEdge program colleagues, and we take this feedback that we should do this again. SCN and therefore our BBA website offers discussion forums; please feel free to start BBA related discussions on our website!

BBA-specific  trainings might not be possible in the near future, but of course for the various topics described in BBA, SAP offers topic-specific training. Printed books are expensive and our content expands frequently, so we have printed only very limited editions for special events like Sapphire Now and SAP TechEd in the past. However, our publisher makes sure that you can order a single printed copy from Amazon and bulk copies (maybe order one for each of your architects?) from the publisher directly – just send your request to books@evolvedmedia.com.

The last survey question was “What are the improvements you would liketo see in ‘Best Built Apps’?” and we got a lot of very helpful comments, but they are too many to discuss them in this blog. I assure you that we will look at each one of them and consider your advice for our work on BBA.

What do you think about these survey results? In the sense of BBA community building, please do comment to share your insights about the survey to this blog.

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