This past Friday (October 25th) I attended another Codejam among the series of Codejams happening at Bangalore organized by Craig and the team from SAP (of course on request this time). It is not easy for me to say that I had a great experience but I would do injustice if I don’t say that the experience of ABAP on HANA Codejam was simply amazing. It is very hard to accept that Codejams are absolutely free because when we pay at TechEd and attend hands-on-session satisfaction level varies. BYOD actually is good at times!
I had raised request for Codejam by contacting Craig. He acknowledged by conducting a series of Codejams whereas I had initially thought it would be just for a day. For ABAP on HANA (AoH) Codejam, Thorsten schneider certainly needs to be thanked. On a public Mentor Monday call, Thorsten took my request for a Codejam on AoH seriously and helped me get in touch with the great lady, Padma who conducted the Codejam at SAP labs along with her team. This time the experience was smoother than the previous ones. There was no need to wait and get a guest badge, rather get directly inside the campus if one is a registered participant and the badges were readily available.
I reached the venue late but now that I am an experienced codejammer, I knew I would catch up easily. I had learnt my lesson from previous experience at Codejams and had installed the development environment beforehand. The exercises were good and well in sequence. It involved AiE (ABAP in Eclipse) [ I am sure Thomas Fiedler would be happy], new features added in ABAP 7.4 and of course ABAP on HANA. The documents provided were strong enough to get one started with the tools even if one was first timer there. Out of six exercises I could finish only half and hence the rest three needs to be done with trial versions or on cloud. AiE exercise was pretty much detailed; it reminded me of AiE hands-on-session I had attended in TechEd Bangalore last year. If anyone had missed that session, this Codejam was equally good. This is altogether a different point as to when would I see my clients moving to AiE even if few of them are fast paced in terms of using newly released tools.
Second exercise was more on Performance Optimization with Open SQL to highlight that even if calculation logic is pushed down to database layer with HANA, optimizing techniques still needs to be followed. That is one of the first few questions I got myself answered when I had started to learn HANA. The program was related to currency conversion. Using ABAP profiler was highlighted in this exercise. Also added features in ABAP Test Cockpit with 7.4 release could be experienced. I am sure ABAP 7.4 session would attract many participants at TechEd Bangalore this year.
The third exercise involved creation of calculation view in HANA studio and then integrating it with ABAP. It was regarding currency conversion done at the database layer. Once the view was available at database layer it had to be made available in ABAP. This particularly excited me because usually, we create a DDIC object and after activating it, it is made available to database but what I did with calculation view was just the opposite. And the final step was to create a simple program to view the data in the view. Currency conversion has been talked about since quite sometime, I would really like to see a different example in hands-on-session at TechEd Bangalore this year.
The exercises I missed doing there were creating and using HANA procedures in ABAP, SAP List Viewer and BW on HANA. I would have gained much more satisfaction had the clock not ticked 5pm and I could do more!
There was a discussion again (it happened on last Codejam as well) on HANA as a platform Vs HANA as a database. But frankly speaking , few existing scenarios that I have seen to be moved on HANA are all using HANA as a database, so I would have to find out real use-cases that are using HANA as a platform. Of course, there were many different related topics discussed there.
I had a great experience and this could be possibly because I was well-versed with the tools I had used on that day. The SAP team consisting of Padma did a great job in helping the participants when needed and sharing many details. A big thanks to them. In short, if anyone wants to start playing with SAP tools, Codejam is the place to be!