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Have you ever created content on the SAP Community – no matter if you’ve asked a question or created a blog post? If yes, then you most certainly know the pain: After you’ve carefully chosen your words and sentences you are asked to choose at lease a primary tag from the SAP Tags portfolio. You now face the challenge of selecting an appropriate term for your blog post or question from a plethora of elements. But which one is the correct one?

Relevant tags for your Blog Post or Question

Since the introduction of the new SAP Blogs and Answers systems we’ve been using a search-as-you-type input field to help the user finding the correct tag. However, the results were in many cases not as you as a user might expect. Especially for very frequently used search queries such as ‘ABAP’, ‘CRM’ or other acronyms, the search either returned nothing or completely irrelevant results at the top:

Of course, this behavior didn’t only result in a completely wrong relevance ranking, but in many cases also in completely wrong results. Such wrong results could in the end lead to incorrect tagging for your content. That could have other negative consequences because your blog post reached the wrong audience or your question couldn’t be answered.

Moreover, the tag picker also failed completely when you wanted to discover tags using multiple search terms or even had a slight typo in your search query which didn’t exactly match the label of the respective term. So in the end, you needed to know upfront how the term is called before using the search-as-you-type feature. Consequently, all these glitches made the task to choose the correct tag often a very cumbersome experience.

Content Creation with the new Tag Picker

Ideally, choosing the correct tag for your content should be so easy and natural that you don’t even need to think about it. You already spent enough time to create your content, you don’t want to spend much more time in administrative tasks. Therefore, we completely redesigned the tag picker to simplify your life as a content owner.

We included the following features:

  • Rank the most relevant tags on top
  • Support for synonyms, so you’ll find e.g. ‘OData’ if you enter ‘Open Data’
  • Support for acronyms – as you use many acronyms in the SAP world…
  • Support for former or rejected product names – you most certainly still remember ‘HCP’ for the SAP Cloud Platform…
  • Search for all terms in your query
  • Tolerance towards typos in your query
  • Context is displayed as breadcrumb, no longer as hierarchy

Getting back to the examples where the old tag picker completely failed, you can expect a much better result right now.

Search for ‘abap’:

Search for ‘erp’:

Search for ‘enh crm’:

Behind the Curtain

The new Tag Picker was developed as a SAP Cloud Platform-based micro-service using an SAP HANA database. SAP HANA is not only a powerful in-memory database for traditional business processes or business intelligence. It also comes with very sophisticated search capabilities which you can use to search tables and views much like to searching for information on the Internet.

If you want to know more about it, be sure to check out the openSAP course and the respective documentation on help.sap.com.

Looking forward to your Feedback

The new tag picker is automatically enabled for all users, you don’t need to do anything else but try it out when you create your next blog post or question. This is just one step towards a much better SAP Community user experience and we are looking forward to your feedback! We will continuously improve it, so don’t hesitate to contact us in case you found issues or want to suggest enhancements to it.

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12 Comments

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  1. Matt Fraser

    So happy to see this go live! And, happy to see “ABAP Development” (and how those questions often end up in “SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP“) listed prominently in the examples. Makes me wonder, Sebastian, whether you should tag “ABAP Development” and “SAP NetWeaver” on this blog! 🙂

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    1. Sebastian Wolf Post author

      Good point, also because I have a certain connection to ABAP! 😉 But well, there are certainly quite a few other tags which were misused because of the old Tag Picker and could be used here then… I guess, I’ll stick to the one and only for now. 🙂

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  2. Helmut Tammen

    Hi Sebastian,

    this is only for content provider, correct?

    How’s about a tool to search for tags or quickly navigate to a community area? The global community search seems to use some magic that I don’t understand or let’s say it in other words: I often don’t find what I’m looking for. Going to the respective community area and search there is often more effective.

    You may know my Tag Browser. Have you planned to deliver something like that with some additional features?

    Regards Helmut

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    1. Sebastian Wolf Post author

      Hi Helmut,

      yes, I know your Tag Browser and yes, currently, this is only for content creation. As mentioned in the last section of my post, this is just one step towards a much better experience. So you can bet that additional things in that context are in the making – however, integrated in major changes. Stay tuned for 2018!

      Best regards, Sebastian

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  3. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Well, I was pleasantly surprised today when posting a question in “Using SAP” tag didn’t suggest a “Warehousing” tag. 🙂

    Finally SCN works like a proper modern application, phew.

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  4. Vadim Kalinin

    Good news!

    Just tested with the word “epm” to select the tag EPM Add-in for Excel.

    Results:

    1. SAP EPM Unwired

    2. EPM Add-in for Excel – correct result

    3. SAP Overall Equipment Effectiveness Management – ???

    No idea how Equipment is related to epm.

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    1. Veselina Peykova

      On top of acronym and synonym search there is also a lookup assuming that there is some typing mistake – e.g. if you type sles in addition to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (abbreviation) you get also results for sales. I suspect that it does not trigger always and sometimes it does not produce the expected results – e.g. if I mistype sales as sa;es, but I treat this feature more as an experiment by SAP to learn how to do implement fuzziness in other applications, which might benefit from improvements in this aspect – e.g. SAP notes search.

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      1. Sebastian Wolf Post author

        Yes, as mentioned in my blog post, there is a certain tolerance towards typos in the query – or in other words we also do a fuzzy search besides the acronym/synonym discovery. It’s actually not really an experiment anymore. Many applications have used it for years now (check out e.g. the enhanced search helps in the ABAP world).

        For us here in Community we simply need to find the right balance between returning results which are “too far away” from what the user has been looking for and not returning results which the user was interested in. We chose to apply a logic that could return a little more unexpected results in certain cases (as the epm -> EquiPMent example from Vadim), but which are needed to complete certain other search queries properly. Of course, some fine tuning will happen in the future also depending on user feedback!

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        1. Veselina Peykova

          I suppose that for the tag picker the fuzzy factor is somewhat easier to fine-tune, because in the end you have a limited and predefined set of results, which probably makes it a good case for figuring out what can be improved in other applications (for example the site search – onedx.find.sap.com).

          Since you mentioned that fine-tuning can be based also on user feedback – is there already a decision what will be the correct channel for users to suggest improvements specifically for the tag picker? I assume that commenting here is probably not the right approach due to the current platform limitations.

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          1. Sebastian Wolf Post author

            You’re right. The limited set of items makes it slightly easier to fine-tune…

            With respect to user feedback: All moderators should have access to the “Suggested Synonyms/Short Names for Community Tag Picker” table in the SAP Community Moderators Jam group. Moreover, we will regularly review feedback coming from the Strategic Advisory Council (details on https://blogs.sap.com/2017/11/09/working-with-the-strategic-advisory-council-sac-to-drive-the-communitys-future/) into account. All people who are neither moderators nor in the SAC are of course encouraged to give feedback either directly here (I’ll follow up) or via the standard feedback channels as listed on https://www.sap.com/community/about/support.html

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