This year TechEd was packed with nerds of all clans – Data Scientists, UX Designers, MEAN stack developers, IT Managers, BA, Fiori Developers, and ABAP-ers. If one would have visited TechEd 10 years ago, the majority of the crowd would have been ABAP-ers and Java developers. Of course, it was the glorious days of dual-stack Netweaver Box. Things have changed over the time for better or worse, SAP has opened their doors by permitting integration with Open Source technologies with its core foundation layer (no doubt sooner would have been better).
In my opinion, the below are the 3 best sessions in those areas.
SAP Co-Pilot :
This buzzword has been around since SAPPHIRE 2017. With an increasing number of digital users adopting consumer technologies like Alexa and Google Home in their personal life; there is a surge in the desire to have a digital assistant in enterprise software.
Co-Pilot as Digital Assistant has shown promising vibes. Check out the below demo, from my hands-on session. The recording demonstrates the ability to query multiple results using a generic command and also request for a single record.
Skill builder provides the flexibility to design and train Bots with skills specific relevant to one’s organization. Below is the best way to describe Co-Pilot’s positioning in enterprises –
Reference to Sessions
CGE 202: Eugen Winschel
CGE 361: Christopher Schmitz / Divya Bharathy Jayakumar
Big Data: Hadoop & Spark with SAP :
One of the most common challenges for an Enterprise Data Architect to cater to the needs of both the Data Scientist and Business analyst. On one hand, the Data Scientists would like to analyze data using well-known tools like Hadoop and Spark; on the other hand, Business Analysts would like to run with the system of record to perform their analysis. Below is the architecture for such a situation.
Reference to Sessions
DAT 161: John George and Senthil Krishnapillai
Analytics for Cloud: Show Floor
The demo on the show floor by Donnie McMillan left me intrigued. This product is called SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). This is a native citizen of Cloud and performs real-time data analytics with predictive capabilities. In the below screenshot you could observe that a text query: “Show order values by product for m550 bik last year” shows the results populated in graphical format. One no longer needs the long BEX queries and spend hours creating these queries. This is the best example of how predictive skills are embedded along with Machine Learning capabilities. There were subtle nuances like the typo ‘bik’ instead of ‘bike’ and time frame represented as ‘last year’ instead of 2017.
Just type in the key figure ‘Order Value’ and it would run across all BW data and fetch all the insights related to this key figure. That was totally rad..!!!
If you are an ABAP-er, now is the time to set your boat on sail..!!!
This may not be the first time you would have got the wind of the fact that in S/4 HANA (Cloud) the ABAP layer is a closed box. You would not be able to view ABAP workbench, forget about creating your own dialog programs. You would be leveraging Core Data Views and Services to navigate your way through Business Objects and reach your goal of creating beautiful and user-friendly applications. As a blessing in disguise, this year TechED has a good amount of focus on DevOps and how ABAP-ers could transform into full-stack developers. If you have been an ABAP-er or planning to be one, now is the time to set your boat to sail toward the mainland of Open Source Technologies and become a full-stack developer.
My focus for the Vegas TechEd was
- Intelligent Enterprise i.e., how Bots, ML/AI could be meshed up with SAP Core to augment the users with more decision-making capabilities
- User Experience
- Big Data
Hope your nerd quotient got a bump up. If you want to chat more on these topics, feel free to reach out to me NaveenRokkam@mindsetconsulting.com. Also, feel free to leave a message about your favorite topics from TechEd 2018.
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