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Author's profile photo Jason Cao

Reminiscing the Business Objects Community for #SCNis10

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My, how the years have flown by! And there has been more changes to the SAP Business Objects Community than I can remember.  The Business Intelligence topic wasn’t always a topic space on SCN, you know.

In fact, when SAP announced the acquisition of Business Objects, there was a separate community called the “Diamond Technical Community.” However, I will let Kirby Leong or Kuhan Milroy tell that story, since they have more history with Diamond than I have. 


I’ve been a member of SCN since February 2008, and was immediately struck by how many members and how much content there was – for me, it was like walking into the Russian State Library – where I couldn’t understand the lingo of ABAP, R/3, NetWeaver. 

Luckily, Kuhan, Kirby and I had the support and attention of SCN guides like Brian Bernard and Christine Merten to help us  plan and start our migration to SCN. I liken this experience to moving house, where Kuhan planned the move and made sure there was enough room to fit all our stuff, Kirby looked after what stuff we were keeping and which room they would go to, and my main job was to make sure our friends weren’t left out in the move – especially the really strong ones with big trucks. Then, we all rolled up our sleeves, packed, moved, and celebrated!


There were over 70 moderators waiting to help us unpack – you’ll still see many of them actively supporting our community on SCN. Some of the first guests to our house-warming party included SAP Mentors Ingo Hilgefort, Dave Rathbun, James Oswald, Simon To, Dan Grew, Ken Hartman, Mark Frederick, joined shortly by Witalij Rudnicki, Mico Yuk, Bhanu Gupta, Vijay Vijayasankar, Tammy Powlas, Derek Loranca, Greg Myers, and Paul Hawking.


Thanks also to Marco ten Vaanholt who reduced a lot of headwind for us, and Natascha Thomson and Chris Kim who helped us define and promote the community of BI and analytics fans.


SAP is sexy!


My favorite memory from the community was hearing “SAP is sexy!” when I showed off a few slick dashboard models at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas. This had a lasting impression on me, because I saw that perceptions can change, and our community can help.


I hope that perceptions will continue to be changed through SCN, not only about SAP, but also about what is possible from the collaborative efforts of community members.


Happy birthday SCN! May you stay young and vibrant forever!

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      This reminds me of one of my favorite data geek entries of last year by Robert Russell

      [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

      Go to the 29-30 second mark and are you surprised at the top country for BusinessObjects points 🙂

      Happy "Labour"  Day

      Author's profile photo Robert Russell
      Robert Russell

      Thanks for the mention Tammy. It does remind me of the original data source for my Data Geek entry. It started out in the Russian State Library 🙂 as an ABAP report collecting data from SDN RSS data feeds. Although the blog is broken (when the merging of accounts is allowed in SCN I will fix it) but my blog also highlighted the input of the SAP Vancouver office where it appears Jason is based. It does seem to me that the Business Objects community is contributing greatly to SCN and SAP Vancouver office in particular appears a great place to work.

      Also for my level of contributions to SCN I did appreciate the email Marilyn Pratt sent in regards to that blog and appreciated also Kirby Leong replying.

      I may get involved with a BOBJ installation myself this year and know if I have questions SCN will be available and people will help out if required.



      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for sharing Robert's video Tammy! I remember seeing it and liked it a lot! 🙂

      Robert, thanks for your kind words! We have a great crew here in SAP Vancouver, and the fun never stops because folks here love coming up new challenges, like the Data Geek Challenge (now in round-2).

      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt

      Thanks for the kind mention, Robert Russell .  Talking about fond memories,  I remember meeting Kirby Leong and Kuhan Milroy for the first time when we had a small "meetup" in Walldorf in 2008 and learning about Kirby's work with entrepreneurs in Africa. I was thinking...we have a lot to learn from these "new" community guys.  Looking at the pictures I took at that small event, I see lots of familiar faces that I captured and sent to Flickr but sadly Jason Cao I don't have one of you in that particular set, not sure but you might not have been in attendance.


      But I do remember and clearly remember in 2009, your foray into BOBJ community activities at TechEd with your own special evening "event" to complement Hacker Night and Process Design Slam.  You called it "Insight Night" and it reflects your way of working with your BA Community ....

      I like what you've said about collaboration and look forward to your continued work in supporting those passionate about analytics, community, design thinking, agile, mentoring.

      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Marilyn! I missed the occassion to meet you personally in Walldorf in 2008. Glad to have made this up with our regular meetups at SAP TechED. You've blazed the trails and have certainly made the journey easier for the rest of us Community Managers. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Brian Bernard
      Brian Bernard

      I have fond memories of traveling up to Vancouver to kick off the migration and meeting you, Kirby, Kuhan, Tony, and Allison.

      Thanks for the shout out!

      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao
      Blog Post Author

      Couldn't have done it without your expert guidance, Brian! Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Kirby Leong
      Kirby Leong

      The former Business Objects Diamond Technical Community was launched by Todd Eror, Robert Horne, and Tim Lang back in 2006 (I joined shortly after it launched). It was a "medium-sized" but vibrant community for developers using the BusinessObjects SDKs including Crystal Reports and Enterprise SDKs. Diamond was based on Drupal and ran on one Rackspace server with 8 GB RAM and quad-core AMD CPU. Oh, and we had one local contractor to help us with design and development. Definitely a grassroots/skunkworks project with three staff dedicated to it.

      When we moved to SCN in 2008, we found ourselves on NetWeaver (and other apps) running on 100+ Java servers and 30+ physical servers, plus an IT team to help. We gained a bit in terms of infrastructure and support 🙂

      I'm proud to say that we (huge team effort inside and outside of SAP) brought a new and energized audience to SCN, and also gave the SCN community something to get energized about: business intelligence/analytics. From that initial meeting in Walldorf five years ago that Marilyn mentioned, to today, we've been able to meet and work with many talented (and nice) advocates, mentors, and other supporters - we could not have built up the BI/Analytics community without you!

      Author's profile photo Robert Horne
      Robert Horne

      Those were the good old days. I was really proud of Diamond back in the day. I remember when we were acquired by SAP there seemed to be a team of people on the SAP side for every job that we had on the Business Objects side. And many of us had multiple jobs. All for the better of the community. The community is in very good hands today.

      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao
      Blog Post Author

      Kirby and Rob, thanks for chiming in! Your perspectives on Diamond and the origins of the Business Objects community highlight the excitement and wonder community members feel. I can still see this when I engage with new members on SCN.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      I love this reminiscing!

      Remember meeting you and Kuhan Milroy as if it were yesterday. You guys have always rocked and were a wonderful addition to the SCN team.

      It was also a little funny, how you and other BOBJ folks had to get used to being in a large company like SAP, where decisions are not always made as fast as in a smaller company :-). I could sometimes feel your frustration through the phone, but you guys are very patient and flexible and made it work.

      I always thought that the BOBJ folks were wonderful and your start up spirit was contagious.

      Learned a ton and enjoyed our brainstorm sessions on how to increase membership and make the community even more attractive.

      Hope you are doing well,


      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Natascha,

      Wow, it has been 5 years already! 😯 Thanks for sharing your observations and nice words! 🙂 I'm hoping that can-do, entrepreneurial spririt can still be seen in our work with the community today. So glad to have shared that part of SCN's history with you!


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very Good

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for the mention, Jason! But I was really just riding your and Kirby Leong's coat tails to glory. Remember when Marco suggested giving us a nickname like BAC3 or something similar? 🙂

      Are you going to TechEd this year? If so I look forward to catching up!