SCN is 10

10 years of SCN – who would have imagined the amazing success and importance of this project. Congratulation and best wishes for the next 10 years!

What SCN meant for me

It was in 2003 when I started to work for the SCN technical team. I was with SAP consulting at that time and was asked to help with the technical infrastructure and implementation of new functionality for SCN. I still worked in other projects as well and soon experienced how important SCN became for consultants, partners and customers. Everyone used SCN to find valuable information and to post questions in the forums to get feedback from the community – an essential tool!

Later I left consulting and joined the SCN team and worked in that team for several years before moving on to SAP IT. It was an amazing time and I had the pleasure to meet and work together with all the real founders of SCN! It’s sad to see how all the success and praise seems to be too much for some of them and how they slowly loose touch with reality: http://youtu.be/3BxVl8lUtZk. Oops, this comment just earned me a free pair of concrete shoes and then … “go swim with the fisheeees.”

For SCN I worked on a lot of different things like system upgrades, implementing and enhancing KM functionality and last but not least maintaining and improving the search capabilities. And search should become my special topic that I’m still focused on today. So you could say that by working for SCN I became deeply involved with the search topic which keeps haunting me ever since.

The evolution of the SCN search

The search on SCN started as an application of the KM Federated Search functionality in SAP Enterprise Portal 5. When we worked on setting up the SAP EcoHub partner web site we implement a search with facet filters to allow the users to filter by solutions, industries, etc. This was implemented on top of TREX and the concept was soon adopted by SCN. At that time the search was still running in an IFrame in the Enterprise Portal. All the indexing was handled through KM repositories and the different repositories all used their own metadata properties. As a result each content repository had its own set of filter so that you first had to select a search category (KM documents, Web pages, Support Notes, Wiki content, etc.) before you were able to use the specific filters for that kind of content. And the authorization concept only supported a simple model with predefined levels defined for SCN.

A new chapter for the search was opened when the technical team was moved from SCN to SAP IT to leverage the knowledge and functionality for other SAP web sites and Internet applications. We got the request to implement a similar search experience for the internal search in the SAP Corporate Portal. This started a big project including the move of the search application to a new stand-alone infrastructure, the introduction of a central metadata schema for the search, an extension of the authorization concept and an implementation of an indexing service.

Since that time we worked on improvements for both the internal search in the SAP Corporate Portal and the external search on SCN. We added new content repositories and implemented many UI changes and integrated the external search into the Help.sap.com and the Business Center web sites.

Latest changes to SCN search

End of last year I published a blog about how to use the SCN search. Please note the following changes that happened in the meantime:

  • Due to the automatic SCN login you always get the full content.
  • The SAP EcoHub content is now labeled SAP Store.
  • The display of the sponsored content in the right column was fixed and moved to the top.
  • We re-organized the filters for Help.sap.com and added the sub-solution filter.

Soon there will be more changes and enhancements to the SCN search. We are working on a re-organization of the filters and on adding new content to the SCN search. So watch out for news about SCN and the search! Let’s go for the next 10 amazing years!

To report this post you need to login first.

5 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Fred Verheul

    Hi Martin,

    Great blog post with your personal ‘behind the scenes’ POV. I see that you like to live dangerously. Watch out for your extended family! 🙂

    Search on SCN has certainly come a long way, and these days it works pretty well. Thanks for all your efforts in the past 10 years, and please keep going!

    Cheers, Fred

    (0) 
  2. Gretchen Lindquist

    Martin,

    I particularly enjoyed your comments on the limitations of and changes to the authorization concept. SAP’s Enterprise Portal gives a lot of us challenges in that area. I am enjoying the improved search capabilities  on SCN and look forward to more enhancements. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    Gretchen

    (0) 
  3. Jason Lax

    Search is important when you have 10 years of content accumulated over an evolving architecture: thanks for keeping it all ‘findable’ with site search 🙂 .

    (0) 
  4. Marilyn Pratt

    Thanks for sharing the agony and the ecstasy of working on search for multiple SAP internal and external platforms.   You really have bragging rights as an “original” SDNer.

    Sometimes being “haunted” by a topic as you say, does create a favorable domain expertise.  I think one of the more recent examples is our colleague Jason Lax who is looked to as the “go to guy” for search questions.  He honors your wonderful tradition.

    Thanks for all you’ve done and do.

    (0) 

Leave a Reply