A Virtual TechEd Recap – 2023
In my SAP Community bio, I list a few places where I had attended an SAP TechEd event, and New Orleans is listed as one of the cooler places in the Americas (jazz-cool, not climate-change-cool). Here I am again, doing the post-event-recap, bucking prior trends by discussing the few sessions I saw in reverse order (“anti-clockwise”). With quips and twists at the end, hopefully.
Friday I hit 2 topics of a planned 3, abandoning the last on my schedule to go to a film festival here. The last one was called:
Unleash Next-Generation Hybrid Integration with Edge Integration Cell – IN200v
Reading the subject, integration gets double-billing, so maybe with a little understanding of that vast area I might learn a bit and ask useful questions. Hybrid implies both cloud and on-premise, though “cell” meaning escapes me (and even afterward I’d not feel confident defining the term to someone else).
The intro phrase “run on-premise integration scenarios within your landscape whether in a private cloud or on-premise environment” delves right away into the hybrid crux: are you in or out? Cloud-first has been the mantra, yet both technical debt, and security/privacy concerns impel firms to keep at least some data and processes close to the vest.
This was possibly the most cogent question posted (of many):
with EIC, if monitoring still happens in cloud, how can it be said that messages
do not leave on-prem customer network?
Hearing among the answers that Kafka support, for instance, was “one of the goodies” confirmed the subject is interesting and more.
As a once and future DBA, I was intrigued to see PostgreSQL on the slides.
After SAP’s long campaign to move from a multi-database layer under their flagship ERP product line, buying Sybase to have that component in-house, a bit surprising to me to see a free/open source software tool highlighted. Just a little worrisome on my part given what happened to the previously equally free MySQL stack.
SAP System Management with SAP BTP and SAP Landscape Management Cloud – XP287v
Ah, here is where if this conference was in person, I’d have been able to walk up to Marco Dorn and say “Hey!” but all I could manage was a “not-a-question” post in the chat that Marco may or may not have seen.
LaMa is a great nickname, and the SAP team adopts this mascot with custom T-shirts (and maybe some swag that we’d get in person…). The SAP Adaptive Computing Controller was the name a couple generations ago; here’s a link to the 2007 book written by Gunther Schmalzhaf(*) for that product:
That tool was free, for a period of time, and when it became popular (i.e. the adapter was adopted), I believe it was enhanced and expanded to be the LaMa (non-free) suite. Sadly, Gunther’s page here [ http://scn.sap.com/people/gunther.schmalzhaf/blog ] gets you a 404 error code; I hope they are well!
One attendee asked about using LaMa to migrate systems, which sounded plausible but unlikely given the mission of landscape management compared to system upgrades and relocations. Unsurprisingly the answer was, no, we don’t do that.
My question was “Can you be alerted if, for example, an AWS instance was started and stays unused for a period of time, costing you $?” since that is a common scenario I have seen “in the wild”. I think the answer “” was a bit short-shrifted, but we move on.
As the session was designed to be a quick introduction to a later hands-on exercise, I understand the examples are “canned.” But I cannot help but wonder how one sets up an alert for a problem that is by definition “unforeseen.” Maybe I am being overly precise on term definition; however I have faced surprises in the past that management decided to overreact to (“what do you mean the clock went backwards–set up an alert so we know if that happens”, rather than engineering a correct design which prevents reverse time changes).
(*) Gunther’s SAP people page = 404.
Back in time to Thursday 02-Nov-2023
Innovation at Hitachi High-Tech Through Mastering Side-by-Side Development – DT131v
This session was done live, with a chat available for Q&A, yet no one posted any questions that I could see. I wish now that I had been asked anything relevant, for the speakers’ sake. It’s a lot of work to prepare, and can be a let-down to talk in depth and then have no feedback. A little like the audience getting up and leaving before you are done talking.
I expected to hear details on parallel project management based on the “side-by-side” term in the title, and didn’t quite get that aspect fully. The slides were extremely well-detailed for a complex 10-year business transformation plan, showing prior “mistakes” creating custom objects, the target landscape, and prioritizing means to achieve the plan.
An example of past practices that needed to be modified to fit into newer software architecture was around BAPIs. They still work in their legacy place but required dedicated adapters for external system connections; newer API architectures were needed. Clearly not an easy task to rewrite legacy code, and their progress in reducing the quantity so far was admirable.
After 20 or more years of running SAP enterprise systems, it should not be surprising to take another 10 years to do a full makeover to technologies of today (and into the future). I appreciated the corner of their plan where Java applications are still a major part.
Embrace Event-Driven Architecture with SAP Integration Suite – IN127v
As I had worked on an “enterprise scheduler” that managed thousands if not millions of events daily, the topic “event-driven” was intriguing. Sounded like reacting to the latest stimuli as if one were a surfer hanging ten on the precipice of an ever-growing wave (of data, events, or other). Not having hands-on any of these tools in too-long put me at a disadvantage which I knew at the start. No shame asking the wrong question; much too bad for asking none.
I am sure there is a style rule to begin each title with an action verb, embrace being but one (though it has certain negative connotations if the next action is extend and the last extinguish).
My question in the chat was, “How do you keep a high “signal-to-noise” ratio in a chatty environment?”
Dirk Oppenkowski* answered me–
/ * https://people.sap.com/dirk.oppenkowski = “Inactive” /
“Yes, Advanced Event Mesh leverages filtering (dynamic topics) to reduce noise/traffic”
I had to leave the matter at “dynamic” for the time being.
In a style vein, the closeup image above, where I circled a “factory anywhere,” the classic/legacy clipart silhouette shows (in a northern-hemisphere-tilted-manner) jagged roof lines that historically were (1) skylights facing north for the most even daylight and, (2) on the left side, a chimney. My sustainability perspective impels me to suggest (digitally) ripping down the carbon-emitting smokestack, then flipping the partial jagged window roof skyline into series of windows and solar panels.
Identity and Access Management for SAP BTP: Bosch Shares Lessons Learned – XP106v
I liked in principle the idea of a customer speaking with an SAP presenter back and forth. For an in-person event, I could see this topic taking 45 minutes to an hour. And more in hallway spillover. Covering this at high-level in apparently 15 minutes flat, no questions, resulting in few details. I had two takeaways – continued presence and integration with non-SAP cloud and on-premise into the future, and filtering mass quantities of people and role permissions in a large global entity is art and science.
Filter in AD: 10 minutes to 10 seconds.
p.s. script versioning with rollback added as a feature.
Internal managed addresses allowed trusted connections to apps, where external addresses needed to use multifactor authentication, period.
Meeting Gunther in Bangalore, and in Newtown Square.
Marco Dorn and BITI team meet-ups