Is Web Dynpro – Java still an option? Yes, it is.
This blog is more a letter to all those SAP web application UI developers. Over last 2 years, this herd of developers have been slowly moved away from Web Dynpro Java(WDJ) towards Web Dynpro ABAP(WDA). I was also part of this herd, who took a conscious decision to move away from WDJ to WDA. But, I am happy to have returned back to WDJ and I find it to be actually a powerful UI technology, still.
As in the book Alchemist the protagonist moves all over the world in search for happiness and finds it in his home place, I have a had a similar experience w.r.t WDJ.
The travel through WDJ, WDA, plain Java, java script, html5, mobile apps has been eventful. From initial excitement to reality check, I have seen it all. As a work of god, I was asked to work on this project where WDJ was suggested as the UI technology. My urge to move away from WDJ was so strong that I had planned to communicate to customer to change the UI tech to ABAP version. The deeper analysis of the requirement and landscape convinced me that WDJ was the better alternative.
Here were the reasons, for my return to WD Java:
1. Customer had invested in SAP. To leverage the investment was the preferred option
2. SAP Systems with occasional non-SAP system comprised the back-end landscape. Again, WDJ fits right into the scheme
3. Customer had an old plain-java system on an oracle database. WDJ in comparison provides real-time data from back-end systems. Customer was delighted just to hear real-time data on screens.
4. Easier to implement the permissions and user access in identity management, using the security api in WDJ.
I was convinced about WDJ. Then, the development process began. My experience over the period helped me refine my approach towards appln. development. The process began with screen design, track design, NWDI configuration and component model. I was all of a sudden aware of the immense potential in WDJ to design and develop applications which encompass some of the best practices in appln. development.
My component model, now had components split on functionality and shared among DCs for re-usability. My NWDI allowed me to easily maintain code and transport them across(As of now, I am still struggling with CBS but its more because of my ignorance) systems.
Identity management integration gives us powerful mechanism to implement a full fledged authorization structure which included roles, actions and permissions.
Track design and configuration allows us to branch DC into logical group. It assist us in the transport process.
The powerful world of API is yet to be tapped by half-baked Java developers, like me. So, that’s a world waiting to be integrated with WDJ.
After further introspection, I find that what we lack is deep knowledge of a particular subject. In the fast – paced world we misuse the word “CHANGE” to jump from one place to another. We lack patience and perseverance to completely understand a subject before moving to another one. We should not change for the sake of change.
Another factor which influences our decisions is media. The news, blogs and articles in web influence us in our decision making. We have lost the art of choosing in-spite of being in a world filled with choices. A choice is a conscious decision towards a particular option. Even if we make a choice, it is mostly influenced by our perceptions and by our peers. Our freedom to choice is also influenced by our ignorance. Ignorance cannot be used as an excuse for a choice. We need to choose the best option for customer and not for us. Remeber, we work for the customer and its in our best interest to think good for customer.
The need of the hour is to put in effort towards exploring the potential of the domain and try to identify the good in it. If there is a viable alternative we need to examine if impartially and try to avoid personal influences which are not relevant to the domain.
Let us embrace change but with an informed mind. For once, lets keep the hearts out of decision making.
Thank you All.