Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

Archive for the ‘SAP’ Category

SAP Software

WebSphere Portlet Factory (WPF) merits a look and more!

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on April 24, 2007

I have been pretty skeptical for a long time about RAD tools – the actual productivity gains in the short term and maintainability and componentization of code (or lack thereof) from a longer term perspective. However, I finally played with WebSphere Portlet Factory recently in a scenario where I was trying to hook up to a SAP system for basic information search and display. It was certainly a breeze with WPF to get a quick and dirty application built to achieve this goal. After this experience, I now believe that I am ready to invest some more time to evaluate WPF’s value. I will probably rely on a colleague to assist with the evaluation and piggyback off his efforts.

I can certainly see WPF being a great tool to put together some quick applications/portlets with a couple of screens but I am skeptical about doing complex multi-screen portlet development with WPF. Another potential value for some teams is that WPF also enables less-than-expert Java developers get simple portlets built and tested – provides a simpler on-ramp for developers new to Portals and/or Java development.

Joey@IBM had a blog entry on WPF and another one that is worth a read!

I hope to be back soon with more on WPF and its appropriate usage. Areas of investigation include automation of a build process for WPF portlets, WPF project artifact check-in, and possibilities for hand-editing of generated code.

Posted in Java, SAP, WebSphere, WebSpherePortal | 4 Comments »

Offline/disconnected SAP functionality – ideas?

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on April 20, 2007

A client has SAP ERP deployed at a single location with users accessing the SAP system from multiple sites – a fairly common situation but in this case they have significant communication problems between the various sites and the SAP system. As a result, they experience frequent outages which are obviously not acceptable. They are looking to resolve this problem and I am looking for ideas/comments on possible approaches.

What they need is offline or disconnected SAP  functionality at each user location that can automatically synchronize with the main SAP system whenever connectivity is available. Building such a functionality from scratch for this client is obviously not a cost-effective solution. So, I am looking for off-the-shelf products that might help solve the problem – a couple of possibilities that I ran into that seem worthy of further investigation are –

  • SAP Solutions for Mobile Business – need to look at this more to understand how seamless you can make the online/offline modes from a user perspective.
  • SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe – this option looks less appealing as the online/offline modes are dramatically different from a user perspective

I still have not googled adequately for other possible alternatives and will be doing so as well. However, I was wondering if there are any suggestions from SAP professionals on what may be good options for me to look at.

Posted in SAP | 1 Comment »