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What was the event about

The SAP HANA Cloud Portal – Partner Test Event is part of the BIT Beta Partner Test. It gives partners the chance to get to know all the ins and outs of a new product and SAP the chance to hear what still needs to be done to make the product ready for market. This was my chance to meet all the experts behind the Cloud Portal. I was already following several of them on Twitter but seeing them IRL and getting the chance to work with them was great.

What did we do

Architectural overview
The first day we started with an overview of what the HANA Cloud Portal is all about. It was made clear that the HANA Cloud Portal is not a replacement for the NetWeaver Enterprise Portal. The HANA Cloud Portal is a lean portal environment for external exposure whereas the EP is a feature rich internally focused portal environment.

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Test the product
Fortunately it did not take long before the first hands-on session started and we all could get our hands dirty on the first exercises. I had been evaluating the product some time ago and was very pleased to see that new features have been added since. This shows that the product is still actively being enhanced.
Another thing that was very cool to see is that a small bug we discovered during the test session on Tuesday (internally named “the Harlem Shuffle” 🙂 ) was fixed and deployed before our last test session on Thursday. For me it shows how fast the development team is able to resolve issues.

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Give feedback, lot’s of it
After each of the hands-on sessions our feedback was asked. Both positive and not so positive findings were shared with the development team. It was great to see that the team took the findings seriously and we were all able to discuss how the product could be made even better.

Meeting with the cloud portal management team
After three days of testing we ended the event with a meeting with the Cloud Portal Management Team. Two members of our test team presented the findings we had about the solution. It was a very lively and positive discussion.

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Conclusion

The SAP HANA Cloud Portal is a good product which is still being constantly improved. It was very nice to see that SAP is really interested in knowing what customers want and is actively asking for feedback from their partners. There was a really positive vibe during the event even though some critical comments were made. I would like to thank the whole team for the very successful event and their hospitality!

The SAP HANA Cloud Portal cannot be used as a replacement for the Enterprise Portal but that is not the intention that SAP has for the product. For me it is clear that the SAP HANA Cloud Portal can be used for service and promotional portals focused on B2C environments. This is where I see good opportunities for the solution.

It would have been nice if some “ready to import” solutions were already available for use in the Cloud Portal so the benefits of this lean Portal are easy to show to customers. I guess it is a matter of time before these solutions will be offered by either SAP or third party suppliers.

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