Skip to Content
Example of a Code Sample (also Code Box)
Work in Progress
sap.com community blog for better SAP Cloud Platform Community adoption by 
"happy members" with concrete guidelines, tips & tricks to take the best 
out of the sap.com community AS IS TODAY, NOT TOMORROW OR NEXT YEAR!!!
Covered topics: 
tagging, where to find what, questions & answers, newsletters, blogs, 

Summary

This blog covers some methods of getting the most out of the SAP Community whether you are in search of or providing solutions to problems. These methods were gained from experience working with the SAP Community since it replaced the former SAP Community Network (aka SCN). Most of this was written by Michael Appleby who is a member of the Community Strategic Advisory Council (2 years), member of the Moderator Round Table (3 years), Moderator (9 years), and a recently added SAP Mentor. Feel free to reach out to him for assistance or clarification.

NOTE: This set of suggestions and methods is focused on those members working in SAP Cloud Platform and its set of Services, but many of the concepts are general is applicability.

Getting Started

Read the Quick Start Guide: https://www.sap.com/community/getting-started.html on how to update your profile, write a blog and ask questions in the SAP Community.

Why the SAP Community is Important to SAP?

There are a number of reasons why the SAP Community is important to SAP.

  • Reputation and Engagement: SAP has a vibrant customer ecosystem which has been very engaged in both seeking solutions and sharing knowledge among their peers. It is an important part of SAP’s interaction with customers and partners. Our “street cred” comes in part from how successful we are with engaging our members (who are customers and partners).
  • It can be a lot of fun, especially as you interact with community members and then have the opportunity to meet them in person at SAP events (SAPphire, TechEd, etc.).
  • Engagement in the SAP Community is generally on friendly terms without the somewhat confrontational aspects involved in processing tickets.
  • Improved Financials (Bottom Line): A fully functional and engaged community reduces the number of tickets posted in the SAP Customer Support System. Each ticket not issued saves money and adds the bottom line for the entire corporation. Many issues are resolved by partners and customers with other partners and customers. With few exceptions, the solutions are provided by volunteers in the community, not paid SAP employees.
  • As Bill McDermott said recently: “… I liked the brutal truth I got in the comments. I liked the knowledge transfer between professionals. We should never have made this feel like a marketing vehicle. More broadly, I believe SAP has an obligation to get out and participate wherever the conversations are taking place…”  We have that same obligation to contribute!  LinkedIn blog (hit Previous Comments many times to see Bill’s full Comment)

Looking for a Specific Solution?

There are roughly 1.5 million (yes, million) archived discussions from SCN, a large portion of which hold solutions to specific problems. Between 85-90% of the visitors to SAP Community find their solutions in the archive without logging in or otherwise leaving any evidence of their visit. This is mostly due to the nature of the discussions in the archive. By comparison, there are 75,000 Questions posted in the last 13 months since the new SAP Community went live.

Search first before posting a new Question. Unless it is very recent technology, chances are pretty good that it has been asked and answered already. Often there is a blog, wiki, or SAP Help item that can provide the solution.

Most folks use Google or some other search engine. There are two custom Google searches which are specific to SAP. They are far more useful in finding content in the SAP ecosystem than regular search engines.

There is also the search function within the SAP Community. It is less useful, but occasionally turns up content which is not indexed by Google and it also parses a little differently:

Always use the term “Cloud Platform” (with the quotes!) in your search. Don’t bother putting in the term SAP. Sometimes it is necessary to use specific phrases such as Fiori Cloud, Cloud Integration, or Web IDE. Since the individual words are rather common, one should always put quotes around the phrase.  Use the whole phrase, not acronyms or aliases, particularly with the internal search.

Solution not Found?

Create a Question multiple ways:

  1. Click on the + Actions link and select Ask a Question, or
  2. Click on Community (black header bar) and select Ask a Question (under Questions & Answers topic), or
  3. Click on your Icon and select Ask a Question

A Question should be as complete as possible including any key information like versions, system architecture, node versions (web dispatcher, IdP vendor and version, SAP NetWeaver versions where applicable, etc.), firewalls, backend system(s), etc. Your Question is not there to initiate a conversation, but rather to solicit a solution. Many, if not most, Subject Matter Experts (SME) will not ask for missing information. They often figure, and rightfully so, that their time is better spent on Questions which present as complete a picture of the situation as possible. Don’t treat your question like a Tweet!

If you have code to include use a Code box with the right language specified.  The intro at the top is a code box for HTML/XML.  Simply click on the {;} in the format bar (in Visual mode).  A code box can also be used to include specific content or examples.  Do not use “Insert Image” to include code!   That is for pictures only (hard to image, right?)

Remember to use the right Primary Tag and Additional Tags as appropriate. Which leads us into …

Tagging Like a Pro!

Tagging-Rule 1: Always, always, always use the Tag: SAP Cloud Platform!

Always, always, always use the tag: SAP Cloud Platform!  Repeat, always use the tag SAP Cloud Platform. Preferably as the Primary tag, but if not the Primary, then at least in the Additional tags (not user tags).

Tagging-Rule 2: When in doubt, see Rule 1 !

Why?  Because there are about 30 different subordinate Cloud Platform tags (see end of the blog for the current complete list) and they don’t roll up to the top Tag, SAP Cloud Platform. One of those subordinate tags is SAP Cloud Platform which is the one to use (the other is the parent tag and not selectable). Your goal here is to get subject matter expert (SME) eyes looking at your Question/Problem. Experts will go to the Tag Page for SAP Cloud Platform first and likely not many other tag pages. Certainly if you were an expert, would you want to navigate to 31 different pages to find something interesting to work on?  Probably not. Or not more than once in a while, if you were feeling really generous and had lots of free time. The tags do not group under a higher level tag. Suppose you choose SAP Cloud Platform Streaming Analytics for your Primary Tag and do not add the SAP Cloud Platform tag as an “Additional Tag”. Your chances of it being seen by an expert are less. Maybe a whole lot less. As of October 11, there were 63 questions under the first tag, but only one in the last 8 months. Why? Because folks are figuring out that they will get more experts addressing their question if they stick with the more general Tag. Moderators are often retagging for newbies posting so that the tags assigned are more effective. But don’t rely on their kindness!

Tagging-Rule 3: Use only valid Tags for Additional Tags and User Tags.

Moderators often review the content for which they are responsible. Seeing unrelated tags in the hope of getting more traffic just irritates them and annoys subject matter experts for the unrelated tags. A Moderator Alert might be generated by the SME or the Moderator which gets your content removed from view in the case of Blogs so you can fix your tags properly.  In the case of Questions, there is no jail cell (Needs More Work is jail or maybe work-release for blogs), so it is possible to be deleted by already overworked Moderators. One more point, strongly recommend using HCP, SCP, and SAP CP as user tags. These are the old and new common acronyms for the SAP Cloud Platform. For subordinate Tags, there are often some acronyms or aliases for the products such as HCI for SAP Cloud Platform Integration for Process Services, ODP for SAP Cloud Platform Integration for Data Services, etc.If you are a SME writing a blog, don’t you want your blog to solve problems before they become Questions?  If the members can’t find your solution because you used an obscure tag and did not add the SAP Cloud Platform general tag, then what is the value of the blog to the community?  Unless you are only looking for the thrill of seeing your name, then please tag effectively. Or like the title says, start Tagging like a Pro!.

Answering Questions

Answering-Rule 1: You are a part of the SAP Community. Let’s help each other!

Everybody was once a beginner for SAP Cloud Platform. Now that you have some experiences and knowledge of SAP Cloud Platform. Let’s help each other. You get 10 Karma Credits when your answer is “Accepted”. Your efforts can also be recognized as a “Member of the Month” for significant contributors. Experience the satisfaction helping community members – customers, partners, even other SAP employees – find success with the SAP Cloud Platform. Some questions may even challenge your expertise and force you to learn something new (how traumatic! (big grin)).

We, the SAP Cloud Platform Strategy & Product Management organization, are fully committed to customer engagement. We engage with workshops, presentations, Event sessions(at SAPHHIRE, TechEd, etc), via social networks, and so on. We also engage within the SAP Community. And it does not hit our limited travel budget!

If you know something about the Cloud Platform, you can help. Spend a few minutes a day on one or two questions or really dig in and spend 30 – 60 minutes a day to help build relationships and increase satisfaction among our product users. Every contribution helps!

Answering-Rule 2: Follow the tag “SAP Cloud Platform”

You can list up questions by a tag and provide an answer. https://answers.sap.com/tags/01200615320800003694 takes you directly to SAP Cloud Platform Questions. Probably the best place to start, but be aware there is no hierarchy (see Rule 3 in Tagging like a Pro for more explanation. For other locations, you can navigate using either

The first shows the tags in the context of all tags. The second gives you faster, more direct navigation, but without the context of all the other tags. Use the search term “Cloud Platform“, not “SAP Cloud Platform“. It will return all the tags associated with the SAP Cloud Platform, even those which are still labeled as HANA Cloud Platform (name change has been requested). Click on the tag of interest, recommending that you start with the SAP Cloud Platform tag as it will have the largest mass of questions. Filter for Questions by clicking in the checkbox. For the moment, it is recommended that you follow all the tags associated with SAP “Cloud Platform” since there is no Tag hierarchy in place.

Answering-Rule 3: Know When to Answer and When to Comment?

Frequently, members post a Question that requires either additional information/details or clarification. To respond there is the obvious choice of Answer and the less obvious choice of Comment (look at a Question and you will understand). Answers are for providing solutions only. Comments are used for clarification and can be applied to Questions or Answers or other Comments. Try to use them appropriately.

Keeping Informed

Subscribe to SAP Cloud Platform related public newsletters

Account settings > Newsletter settings : SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Portal, SAP Web IDE, SAP Security and Identity Management, SAP Data Management, Global Developer New

Blogs – Another Means of Providing Solutions.

The primary benefit of the SAP Community is connecting members who have a problem (solution seekers) with those who can solve problems (solution providers). Most figure that is done via Question (Problem) and associated Answers (Solutions). What is not always well understood is the Solution may come first. Blogs can provide Solutions prior to members running into the Problem solved. It reverses the sequence of events from Problem → Solution and instead starts with Solution → Problem. Blogs are often written as the result of a Problem experienced and solved by the author. The Blog is used as a means of providing the Solution to the whole Community Membership once instead of replying to numerous Questions.

There are many sources of how to write a good blog, some conflicting with others. For our purposes, we generally provide Solutions with our How-2-Guide type of blog. One can start with https://www.sap.com/community/about/blogs.html and the https://www.sap.com/community/about/rules-of-engagement.html. There are SAP Employee Blogging Guidelines, but these are still evolving and restricted to the SAP Moderators Jam Group at the moment. In the first link (about Blogs), ignore the 600 word limit for technical blogs.  Configuration and How to Guides will often exceed that count, sometimes by a wide margin. But:

  • DO write in first person,
  • DO relate it to your own experience,
  • DO be specific about the environment/systems involved,
  • DO use pictures liberally (but be aware that after product updates, the pictures may also need updating),
  • DO make sure your links work externally,
  • DO search before writing a blog to make sure it is a unique topic (not already covered elsewhere) which adds to the institutional knowledge store of the SAP Community.
  • Reach out to the Moderators for the SAP CP Tags (There are quite a few including the author) to help if you have questions about your blog contents. The list of moderators is included on the Community Topic Page (CTP). The various CTPs can be found here. And lastly, but very important:
  • DO NOT use Blogs as Marketing pitches!

SAP Cloud Platform Tag Hierarchy (*Subject to Change)

Software Product

Technology Platform

SAP Cloud Platform (L2 Tag)

  • development tools for SAP Cloud Platform
  • SAP Cloud Platform
  • SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services
  • SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services tools
  • SAP Cloud Platform Connectivity
  • SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication
  • SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning
  • SAP Cloud Platform Integration for data services
  • SAP Cloud Platform Integration for process services
  • SAP Cloud Platform Integration tools
  • SAP Cloud Platform Internet of Things
  • SAP Cloud Platform Internet of Things for the Cloud Foundry environment
  • SAP Cloud Platform Portal
  • SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service
  • SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS
  • SAP Cloud Platform Streaming Analytics
  • SAP Cloud Platform Web IDE
  • SAP Cloud Platform Workflow
  • SAP Cloud Platform, industry edition, client libraries
  • SAP Hybris as a Service on SAP Cloud Platform
  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform, mobile service for development and operations
  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform, mobile service for development and operations, Agentry component

Software Product Function

  • SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services
To report this post you need to login first.

4 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Jürgen L

    Must have been one of these dark November days that I ignored to read everything with cloud in the title. Even worth to read for those who have not yet the head in the clouds.

    (1) 
  2. Jerry Janda

    Yes, what Jürgen said. This is an excellent primer for community members, regardless of the topic/tag that interests them.

    Thanks for publishing, Mike. And thanks for giving a shout-out for “Member of the Month.” I’m always looking for new candidates, and I hope your advice steers plenty of people toward Member of the Month achievements.

    Best regards,

    –Jerry

    (0) 

Leave a Reply