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****This blog was originally posted by Erin Gravelyn in SAP d-code on October 24, 2013****

Less than six months ago, openSAP launched its first course.  By the end of 2013, five courses including a repeat of the first course will be completed. To date there have been 100,000 registrations for openSAP courses.

What is opensap?

openSAP is a new learning platform which provides courses on SAP hot topics and allows you to learn anywhere and at any time. openSAP courses are unrestricted and open to everyone interested in learning more about SAP. openSAP courses use blended learning in the format of Massive Open Online Courses with weekly video lectures, self-tests, assignments (gamification), system demos and discussion forums to seek support from both experts and fellow students.

The first openSAP course, Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA attracted over 40,000 registered participants with 9,383 successfully completing the course receiving a graded record of achievement. One developer, Julia Gobbett from the SAP Dublin Center of Expertise in Ireland completed this course, Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA, and used the knowledge she gained from the course to deliver a customer solution within just four weeks of completing the course.

From learning online to implementation at a customer site in just four weeks

“As we were approaching the last couple of weeks of the online course we were assigned to a new customer to perform an SAP HANA “proof of concept”.  The customer’s requirement was to move long running reports from their ECC system to SAP HANA. Initially this seemed straight forward but as we gathered their functional requirements, we realized it was a lot more complicated. They had specific logic they wanted implemented which was not in their original reports and they had specific requirements for the user interface.

They needed a functionality to allow the user running the report to drill down from the header document to related item document. Also they required the ability to download the different results to Microsoft Excel. There were other requirements too and we were not 100% sure if BI client tools like WEBI would deliver the exact functionality the customer was looking for. However, we knew, having completed the online course that SAP HANA provided tools to create a custom based application.

Using SAP HANA Extended Application Services (XS), which comes as standard with all HANA installations as of SP5, we could create our own http-based interface using SAPUI5 (HTML5 and client-side JavaScript) and connect it to our SAP HANA database models via OData (Open Data Protocol) services. We thought it would be great to showcase this additional feature of SAP HANA.

The customer was impressed that no additional hardware or efforts were required to get SAP HANA XS engine. Also, they were impressed with some server-side JavaScript features like the “Super Search” which was demonstrated during the course. It allows for an asynchronous search as the user types into an input field, the top 5 matching fields and displays them as an input help to the user. Also the fact that SAP HANA XS is tightly integrated with the HANA database, we could ensure performance would be most optimal.

The openSAP course finished 15th July and we delivered our final demo to the customer on Aug 2nd.”

Thanks to openSAP, Julia’s customer benefited from Julia and her colleague’s efficient up skilling on software development on SAP HANA. Without this knowledge, the time to implement the required features for the customer would have been extended causing frustration on the customer side. 

Future opportunities with openSAP

openSAP will continue delivering practical online courses to upskill not only the SAP ecosystem but everyone who is interested quickly and effectively in the future. With results such as Julia’s, SAP customers will benefit from this new way of learning at SAP.

There are more courses open for registration:

Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA – October 24

Introduction to SAP HANA Cloud Platform – October 28

BI 4.0 Innovation and Implementation – November 11

Visit the openSAP website for more information on both planned and future courses. You can also follow openSAP on Twitter @openSAP

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