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Introduction

A couple of months ago I bought this brand new book by sap_mentor Michael Koch and ever since I’ve wanted to dive into it. But until Christmas I just couldn’t find the time (sounds familiar?). Meanwhile though I’ve given it a good look, and I wanted to share my impressions with the scn_community .

Read this first

What triggered me to buy the book was Michaels own introduction of it, on his personal blog. If you’re interested in the book, please go to Michaels blog post and read his own excellent introduction first. Then come back for my verdict 🙂 .

The book

The book contains 12 serious chapters, a last short chapter on ‘Future Outlook’ and some appendices. The first chapter is a general introduction to enhancements in SD, containing a very nice ‘mind map’ of all the options available to enhance the standard system. Then there are five chapters discussing several topics in Sales Order Processing, three chapters on Delivery Processing and two on Billing. The last chapter looks back and compares and classifies how in each case the right enhancement was found/determined. Throughout the book a lot of different business scenarios are described that each require their own specific solution. This ensures that a lot of different options and technical subjects are discussed.

My impression

  • The set up of the book, with 2 fictional characters in a role play, going through several real-life scenario’s, reminded me of the famous Russel character of another excellent book: Next Generation ABAP Development. I personally like this approach very much, as it gives a somewhat more personal touch. It’s a bit more storytelling-like than just having the author explain things. That said, the dialogues in this book (which you get with 2 or more characters) could IMO have benefited from a bit more character building to make the stories somewhat juicier.
  • I was also curious how this book blended functional and technical know how. This really is a bit difficult for me to assess because I’m really not a functional SD consultant. My impression is that Michael did a good job, covering all major topics of SD, and a number of more general ABAP topics like Web Services, the Persistence Service, technical integration with CRM, etc.
  • The choice for SD as functional topic is excellent, since this is the ECC module with the largest number of enhancement options as far as I know.
  • The book makes for very easy reading. This might not be the most important aspect of a rather technical book, but it really is a pleasure to read this one.
  • Each of the 11 scenario chapters has three sections: Business Scenario, Finding the right Enhancement, and Implementing the Solution. This is just like real life, and as such very good material to learn from.
  • As already mentioned in the previous paragraph about the book, a lot of topics are discussed, and the 11 scenarios contain a lot of variations around the enhancement theme. This is of course excellent by and of itself, but it also makes the last chapter, which summarizes finding the right enhancement in each case, even more valuable. It also shows how important it is to keep up to date on the technology, in order to be able to choose from all available options and to choose wisely. Finding the ‘right’ way to implement a feature is the most difficult part in any scenario, and this book shows you how to do it by giving a lot of examples and with good argumentation. For me this was by far the most valuable aspect of the book.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes! But not to everyone 🙂 :

In my opinion this book is most suited for ABAP developers that are ‘behind’ in a technical sense, as they can learn about all the available enhancement techniques that exist today. This is required knowledge for any serious professional ABAP developer, and if you’re not sure you know all ins and outs, this is a very good book for you.

ABAP developers that are up to date (everyone who reads this 😉 ) can also benefit, as in the progress of working your way through the book you’re certain to find some things even you didn’t know about. Besides, you can learn a lot about one of the most used functional areas in any core ECC system.

Would I recommend this book to functional SD consultants? I honestly don’t know. I think you would have to be interested in the more developer side of things, which not all functional consultants do (as much as they should). But if you are, then again this is an excellent book.

Conclusion

Michael Koch: congratulations on a well-written and interesting book, and I’m glad I bought a copy. Now for that autograph…

Thanks for reading this review!

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  1. Michael Koch

    Hi Fred,

    Many thanks for the kind words in your review.

    Late last year you mentioned an upcoming review of my book, but I -fortunately- forgot. Therefore it’s an even nicer surprise.

    I’ve heard back from a few readers now, who found the book very worthwhile. Your comments about the “readability” of the book do please me a lot, I have to say, because this was precisely one of my intentions when I set out on this project. Great to hear that I pulled it off.

    With regards to the target audience, I do agree that not all books are for everybody. Especially technical texts by nature tend to be very focused. Functional consultants who want to understand a little bit more can learn from Christine’s expertise. At the same time, Christine learns a fair bit from Sean’s SD experience, which very much reflects my own “story” as a development consultant.

    I hear what you are saying about the characters and if I ever get the chance again to write another book like this will take the criticism on board.

    Looking back now, I have to say that the book has been a great personal experience and it’s fantastic to know that it helps people in their day-to-day jobs. I enjoyed in particular the re-engineering of each chapter, basically starting with the aim of a chapter and then going back to beginning, write the code and put it into words.

    Thanks again you for your review!

    M

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