As I understand it, SAP will discontinue access to IDES for academic use. I have explored several other datasets and I find no suitable alternative.
My students are accountants so they are system 'users', not IT students. I'm at a loss how to effectively teach system structure to 'users' without exposing them to an existing database such as IDES. I feel that my students need access to existing configurations and transactions for cost centers, profit centers, product cost estimates, production orders, internal orders, etc. so they can develop an understanding of sysem structure before I can turn them loose configuring their own data. Having accountants begin working in a virtually blank database, such as GBI is not an effective teaching technique because I find that it becomes an excersise in keypunching.
'Blank-slate' clients such as GBI may be effective for those teaching from a preparer (IT) perspective but the real power of the system is for users to develop an understanding of system use for decision support. In my experience, that can only be done by allowing students to study an existing database.
There must be a better solution than dropping IDES for faculty use.
in addition to being the director of the UCC Magdeburg I have been and am a lecturer at various institutions of higher education. I am a fan of IDES (which I have been teaching with for more than 10 years). However, I am also a co-author and co-founder of GBI. Having taught nearly 50 SAP ERP introductory courses to professors and teachers around the world I think I have a good understanding of different teaching philosophies and methods used at UA member schools. When the rumour occured that IDES may or may not go away (it is still well and alive and available through the UCCs), we have taken the endavour to create our own dataset controlled by SAP UA and the academic community. Initially, it served as the foundation for introductory ERP courses (similar to the scope of the TERP10 certification course). However, we are currently working on populating historic real-company data into the ERP client for many different puposes (realism, analytics, in-memory computing). In addition, we are creating curricula for many other solutions like CRM and SCM as well as for new technologies such as HANA or Mobile on the GBI data set. From my lecturer's point of view I would recommend you to have a closer look at the GBI teaching environment, especially the new Multi-Company-Code client made for advance (accounting) courses and get in contact with the current GBI core team (Simha Magal, Jeff Word and myself) with feedback and ideas.