Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Duet for IBM Lotus Notes?

During the LOTUSPHERE conference SAP and IBM has announced joint venture effort to develop software with code name Atlantic which is suppose to be a tool within IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino software used for: reporting data from SAP applications, its workflows, user scenarios etc. The aim is to bring SAP business processes to Lotus desktops. When you reading this you will recognize that purpose of Atlantic is the same as previous joint venture SAP initiative with another email giant provider – Microsoft which is called Duet. Just information browsers are different in case of Duet it is Microsoft Outlook and in case of Atlantic it is Lotus Notes. Since it took quite a long time to develop Duet and which is still not matured enough I assume same story will follow with Atlantic. On other hand there are more benefit on IBM side – Lotus Notes are not so competitive in today’s email/collaborating tools and this will help it to get right on track a bit. When this application will be ramped up stays unclear.
- update 27-01-2009 -
During Lotusphere 2009 conference (01/2009) a new name was announced for Atlantic, it will be Alloy. Product availability will be in March this year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ABAP Report Wizard

It looks like another great tool has been developed based on SDN initiative of community projects. It is called ABAP Report Wizard and it serves for rapid development of not just simple ABAP reports based on table joins. Tools was born by programming contribution of Leonardo De Araujo, Rich Heilman and Alexandre Giguère. See history of this tool here, installation instruction here and you can download it here. Install package can be installed to your SAP system by SAPlink. What to say furthermore? Thank you guys, thank you SDN :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

librfc32.dll troubles

Once you are working with SAP BW BEx tool and accessing different version of SAP BW you might encounter an error in BEx Query Designer says: “"Run-time error '-2147417848 (800010108)': Automation error The object invoked has disconnected from its clients".” 

BEx Query Designer crashes afterwards.
Solution is to replace the RFC library librfc32.dll stored in your \WINDOWS\system32 on the client PC with a proper version depends on you SAP GUI version:

620: Version >= 6206.6.1938.4727 (620x.x.x.4727).
640: Version >= 6400.3.79.4740 (640x.x.x.4740).
710: check the newest patch of SAP GUI on SAP FTP server

See  this post to find out where to download librfc32.dll library.

"Custom Code over my dead body"

Custom code is a nightmare of every upgrade project. It is a pain to maintain and upgrade it but on other hands sometimes there was no other way to avoid implementing custom specific functionality without it. SAP enables customers to adapt SAP business programs according their specifics processes. Nevertheless it is not possible to satisfy all customers for individual adjustment or enhancement of SAP solutions to meet specific needs. In these cases, customer can enhance or change the SAP standard. SAP is advising to do not modify standard code by custom code within its software and topics like: simplifying complexity, customizing vs. extending … were discussed in detail during SAP’s analyst summit (so called SAP Industry Influencer summit) in December 2007. According a blog one of participants of this event Michael Krigsman new SAP paradigm in this area is “Customizing is out; extending is in”. Michael interviewed Peter Zencke (member of the SAP Executive Board; responsible for the development of SAP's new application platform based on enterprise SOA) and he described three types of customization:

1. Setting configuration "switches" - which continues to be an accepted and approved method to make packaged SAP software work in varied customer environments.

2. Directly modifying code - "which SAP will not support, so customers can maintain the ability to perform in-flight maintenance."

3. Extending the software - using a "composition layer" that gives access to SAP’s SOA services, has become the approved way for adapting SAP software to meet specific requirements, such as those posed by “micro-verticals”.

So forget about options 2 and 1st and 2nd in terms of ESA (SAP’s Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture - SOA) means that SAP provides a base, on top of which third parties (customers, partners, etc.) can write new applications and which prevents the core SAP standard code from being changed. There are new concepts of Enhancement Framework, Switch Framework, new BAdIs introduced to secure clean and free future upgrades without reprogramming of customer code.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Wants to retain your skills with NW 7?

Thomas Jung is writing about new technologies in ABAP area on regular basis. In one of his recent posts you can obtain or extent skills needed in SAP NW 7.x area. You can install the miniSAP version of SAP NetWeaver and practice new ABAP technologies according Thomas’s blog. Blog is paying attention to following topics (follow direct link to download learning session):

Training stuff contained in there is official training material from SAP TechEd 2007.

- update on 25-03-2008

Another great blog series of ABAP programming language available! Dedicated to ABAP beginners starting with topics like to install miniSAP, introduction to SAP architecture, coding first ABAPs, a basic MaxDB maintenance and finally Web Dynpro for ABAP.