SCN 3.0 for Old Folks
Merely 4 years ago I wrote a blog New SCN for Old Folks about the aftermath of migration from SDN (the one with the “D”) to SCN. I guess just like death, taxes, and SAP upgrades (2 blog plugs in one paragraph, booya!), the SCN migrations are also inevitable. So here we are again, on SCN 3.0, just a week after moving in, standing in the middle of a living room wondering where is a TV remote and nervously checking what was smashed by the movers.
When I was little, my mom, the professional career woman, would sometimes get a sudden urge to clean up our apartment. This noble intention usually resulted in her taking stuff off the shelves and out of the closets and piling it up in the middle of a room. After that she would feel tired and leave for a cup of coffee with the friends. The Stuff Mountain would then sit there for a while, until my dad, sister, and I slowly put everything back where it came from. Or if the guests were coming everything would just be frantically stuffed into any available space.
This reminds me of what happened with SCN. And now we just need to put stuff away and move on with our lives. How do we do that? I’ve naively expected there would be some big link with FAQs on the front page to help the existing SCN members with the transition. But there doesn’t seem to be anything like that and “Getting started” section doesn’t help much to those who are rather continuing than starting on SCN. So below is my attempt at some SCN change management with random SCN 3.0 FAQs and tips from a twice SCN migration survivor.
1. Where are my SCN points?
“…aaaaand it’s gone!” Sorry, all your hard-earned (I hope) points are gone (but not forgotten – see comment from Steffi Warnecke below) and there are no more points or precious stones or free dog tags and t-shirts (oh, the memories). If this was your only motivation to participate in SCN then it was nice knowing you, buh-bye. Otherwise stick around and simply enjoy the ride.
2. Where are my SCN badges?
All the badges you had on SCN (called “legacy badges” now) are proudly displayed in your profile in Reputation section. Some new missions and badges may be coming soon.
3. Where is my profile?
Previously, we could access our profile just by clicking on the picture (avatar). Now we still need to click on the picture in the top right corner. But this just opens a drop-down menu where we need to click on our name to actually get to the profile. I found that you can also get to your profile by simply using URL Former Member . When you are logged in, it opens your own profile page. Similar URL can be used to access other SCN members’ profiles, just add a name at the end, like this: https://people.sap.com/jelena.perfiljeva
4. Where are my old questions?
They are in the archive with the exception of some items that were deleted (e.g. questions with no replies). They are no longer accessible through your Former Member either. If you want to find your old questions or discussions, Google or SCN search (see # 9 below) is your best bet. I found that right now search in Google might bring up some odd results and dead links but I hope it’s temporary.
Note that there will be no more replies in the archive, so if you had an open question then you need to post it again (see # 7 below).
5. I used to receive the email notifications from SCN, what happened to them?
Good question. Someone decided the emails were so 1999. Hopefully these are coming back at some point, perhaps Service Pack 1. Or 2. Or 33, who knows? (Psst – Oliver Kohl does.) Meanwhile try using Notifications online. (Good luck with that!)
6. I used to follow / visit the specific space(s) on SCN, what do I do now?
The “spaces” have been mostly replaced by “tags” (some still seem to be missing though). The best way to re-create the SCN experience you’re used to is to find the tag(s) in question and bookmark them in your browser.
The whole list of tags with their respective links can be found here (look for Excel download link). The links in the Excel file will take you to a “tag page” where you’ll see blogs and questions with a primitive filter.
Another way to go around is to find any blog or a question in the tag of interest. If the tag is popular, there is a big chance you’ll find something in the site-wide blog and Q&A piles. To access those, click Community in the Top Menu of Death:
Then in that blog or question, click on the tag (in the screenshot above it’s “ABAP Development”). This will take you to a list of all the blogs or questions (depending on your starting point) with that tag. You can bookmark the resulting page.
Another trick is to post a question using the tag of interest, then navigate to the tag as described above, bookmark the tag page and then delete the question.
And we even have a UI5 app! (thanks, Helmut Tammen!)
You can use “Follow” button on those pages (as well as on the individual blogs or questions) and this will make the corresponding activity appear in your Activity Stream. But as it is, the activity is rather unmanageable, so I prefer just visiting the pages periodically. Keeping fingers crossed for some improvements in this area.
7. How do I ask a question?
Always search before posting a new question! This rule still applies and I can’t stress this enough.
In the SCN 2.0 we used to go to a space first and then ask a question there. In SCN 3.0 the process is kind of the other way around. Just click on your profile picture in the top right corner and it will open a menu where you’ll find “Ask a Question”. (On some pages you’ll also see a handy “Actions” button that offers the same option.)
When you start typing in a question, the functionality called “search ahead” will start, well, searching and proposing all kinds of existing posts based on your question. It’s kind of like Google does except here it just shows some random stuff:
After that, scroll past that list (it could become more useful at some point in future, perhaps in Service Pack 33?), enter your question, select a language (I recommend English) and choose a primary tag. When you start typing, the candidates will be proposed, but you can see it’s just about as helpful as “search ahead” in the first field.
8. How do I answer a question? And what is the deal with “comments” and “answers”?
You found a question? Great job so far! Now the question to ask yourself is: do you want to provide an answer or do you just want to add a comment?
For example, consider a question “What is SAP? Please explain step-by-step with screenshots”. To this something like “It is a device whose mystery is only exceeded by its power” would be an answer. And “Hm, looks like someone has been banned on Google…” would be a comment. Of course, Alert Moderator button is really what should be clicked in such case but I’m just making a point here.
Anyway, back to comments and answers. What are the consequences of this choice?
- The comments cannot be up- or down-voted, they can be only “Liked”.
- The comments are displayed on top, before the answers. They cannot be sorted together with the answers.
- Answers can be up- or down-voted by others (affecting your SCN street cred, I guess – there are no more points, remember?).
- Answers can be sorted by votes or chronologically, just like the replies on SCN 2.0.
- Only one answer can be accepted by OP, which is the equivalent of the old “correct answer”. There is no more “helpful answer” concept, but you can up-vote (by clicking the top/down arrows) as many answers as you like.
Word of wisdom: just like with the questions, try not to create redundancies here. If an answer has already been provided, don’t add another one with the same information. If you only have something minor to add, you can simply comment on the answer.
9. How do I search on SCN?
IMHO even the temporarily confused Google search still beats the SCN search. But if you insist.
It may seem logical that to search SCN you’d just click the search (looking glass) button in the top right corner. But this is SAP we are talking about, silly, hence this button actually leads to some generic search in the whole sap.com domain, not to SCN search.
Of course, you can just search for anything there and then click “search SAP Community” but this direct link will save you a few clicks: https://onedx.find.sap.com/ (Shshsh, don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret!) Surprisingly, in that search you will find some filters that actually might be useful. Try using SCN search to find the most relevant post about HANA, for example. The result might surprise you.
10. I have something to say about this SCN 3.0, what do I do?
Talk to the hand, grandpa. OK, just kidding. There is no more “About SCN” or “SCN Support” space and not even similar tags. To report the SCN bugs, we were asked to post the questions using primary tag “Using SAP.com”. I’ve noticed that in absence of other tags, general SCN comments are also posted using this tag (or in the Coffee Corner). If you are an active SCN member, I’d strongly suggest to bookmark in your browser both blogs and discussions with this tag:
Blogs tagged Using SAP.com
Questions tagged Using SAP.com
If you have any ideas / suggestions for the functionality that should be available on SCN 3.0 (like something we’ve already had on SCN 2.0) then use Idea Place. Make sure to check the ideas already entered and avoid entering the same ones. Instead, upvote the existing ideas since there is 10 vote minimum just to get considered.
Image source: SAP with “creative vandalism” by the author for the purposes of parody.