And what a day it was… Day 1 of the teched && dcode Berlin was a memorable day. Starting with the keynote and ending with the demojam I was present from 8 am until 9pm. So may impressions, so many people to meet. I cannot possibly write all that happened, but I will point out the things that still buzz in my head now at 11pm in my hotelroom.
The keynote was all about HANA and the cloud. One truth, one platform, one execution. All the options that are coming up in HANA and some memorable demo’s. I liked the bathroom demo about a company that maintains public bathrooms. As they introduced themselves you kinda thought that it was a bit odd that they present their case. But as he explained the logistics behind the operation to keep the toilets clean I got more and more impressed. They were able to count the number of times that a bathroom got visited and by the count they were much better in timely cleaning and replenishing stock. The other demo was showing live streaming data. A wine shop was hidden behind a curtain and they showed how an app responded directly to picking up a bottle of wine. Additionally the shop owner had a dashboard where you could see that the owner got live updates on the sales based on picking up the bottle from the store.
Additionally the phone app could predict favorite wines based on past sales history. As a funny gesture lamps highlighted the appropriate bottles in the cupboard based on this prediction.
Second thing on my agenda was a 2 hour SAP HANA development session by Thomas Jung. Thomas started by acknowledging that he respected the fact that we continued with a 2 hour lecture after the keynote. But it was interesting. A lot of the subjects were familiar as the current open sap course is addressing the same subject, but it was good as now you could hear Thomas talk live, which is a different thing from the videos. Additionally some questions from the public handled things that were new to me so it was nice to hear about them. Some things about the SP09 version of HANA were mentioned. Funny enough in the course data lifecycle management was mentioned as something for the future, now it was said that it will be in SP09 before Christmas. This handles the situation where you change things in your HDBDD file where you to be able to make the change need to move the data in the table to a shadow table and reload after changing the table. In SP09 that will be an part of the management and not something that you need to do by hand yourself.
After these session it was time for a break, or so I thought. Walking around chewing on something to eat I ran into an expert sessions for doctors without borders. As I will be attending the session tomorrow I thought I will stick around and listen. It was interesting to hear what they do and the data challenges they have. The wizardry they have to do with excel sheets to collect data is impressive. With all the online, cloud and real-time scenario’s we hear about during the TechEd, this was an entire different story. I hope I will be able to add something that will help them further.
Next up Stefan Sigg with next gen analytics. He talked about the challenges ahead for analytics and the way they want to address this. Apparently there is a strong customer demand for analytic apps. This is something SAP wants to address in the future. Then the demo’s First there was a sort of preview for an app SAP planning the cloud. This app was very intuitive. You could create a hierarchy of KPI’s and numbers and you could do planning. You could manually input +5% onto a cell that did hold a money amount and the tool recognized that it had to increase the number by 5 %. Additionally there was a chat function where you could communicate over the numbers and where the other person also could have access to the numbers. Off course you could handle everything on tablet, smartphone or pc. I wasn’t too thrilled about the second lumira demo though. The presenter did it fine, but I was put off by the dairy visualization. The entire infograph held 2 graphs telling about the % milk sold in bottles, the first graph was a bar chart using a bottle and a package image instead of bars, making the visualization onclear and the donut chart mentioned 88%, but the inner label 2% giving the impression that the values added up to 90%
Luckily the presenter showed some functionality how you can add visualizations, so that calmed be a bit.
In an expert session on design Studio 1.4 with a real-time addon by michelle miley I was truly impressed. Using ESP, a program to provide a live stream of data (future HANA stream) and a design studio dashboard you could follow live how oil tanks in a refinery were doing. Drilling down on a tank gave you more detailed information about the pressure, the temperature. After the presentation Michelle was nice enough to let us have a look behind the scenes and look at the dashboard in design time and ad the live stream application.
The final lecture I wanted to follow was the platform as a service strategy session by Bjoern Goerke. I cannot say too much, because I had trouble keeping my eyes open! Too many impressions, too many hours sitting and listening finally took its toll on me.
In the evening we had music under the motto ‘geeks can dance’ But the singing and instruments were impressive.
Finally the Demo Jam.
In this years’ demojam there were 7 entries, all very different, but all impressive in their own way. A geographical representation of prediction of crime, CARE-mit, a market place for caregivers, lost and found with a 3 dimensional image of the lost object, a virtual reality / brainwave solution for selling sportcars, an impact analysis for insurance companies based on the geographical data of a storm path and the line items of insured homes, students who created an app for farming, but with some hardware that you could actually water , warm or harvest your plants and finally a small business in your phone app that stored everything you said immediately so you had almost no overhead in your business.
Finally the students won. Personally I found the virtual reality/brainwave solution more impressive, but that was a little abstract and the people could see how much effort the students put in their solution and it was a real practical easily visible result.