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ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate
In this blog post, I will share how you can subscribe via RSS feeds to different components/areas available in the new platform. Some feeds are easily accessible, others aren’t :-).
 
Due to the recent migration from the old SAP Community platform to the new SAP Community platform (powered by Khoros), I have been exploring how I can subscribe to different components/areas of the platform. I’m a huge fan of using RSS feeds to keep up to date with the latest content in SAP Community but things have changed a bit in the new platform. Below I will share my findings.

sap-community-rss-feeds-in-reader.png

Why RSS and not just subscribe to the different areas?

The new platform allows us to subscribe to different areas, but I prefer to use RSS feeds for a few reasons:

  • Nowadays, we receive too many notifications and emails. I prefer to have a single place where I can see all the updates from different areas I’m interested in. In this case, my RSS reader (of course, self-hosted).
  • I don’t need to be notified immediately when something new is published…. I prefer the asynchronous nature of RSS.
  • I do most of my reading on my RSS reader, so it’s more convenient for me to have everything in one place.
  • Integrations:
    • Some of the integrations that I’ve built use an RSS feed as a source. Yep, I have integrations consuming the SAP Community feeds :-).
    • I have integrations built on top of my RSS reader, so I can easily star/bookmark and create archives of the content that I find interesting.

General RSS feeds

The new platform has a mechanism through which you can retrieve, based on content type, everything that’s happening in the community. These can be accessed via /rss/Community path. Here we can filter the content by interaction style (blog, forum, occasion, qanda, tkb) and we can also specify if we want to include replies in the feed (feeds.replies) and the number of items that we want to retrieve (count).

Note: The RSS feed URLs are based on the community ID. This is the ID that is part of the URL of the community. For example, the community ID for the SAP Community is khhcw49343. You’ll see this community ID included in all URLs below.

Below are the RSS feeds, based on content types, that I have found so far:

If you want to include replies in the feed and specify the numbers of items retrieved, you can do so by adding the feeds.replies and count parameters to the URL. For example, to get the last 42 blog posts with replies included, you can use the following URL: https://community.sap.com/khhcw49343/rss/Community?interaction.style=blog&feeds.replies=true&count=4....

We’ve seen before how we can get the feed for the entire community. Now let’s see how to get the feed for specific areas of the community.

Boards

Within Khoros there is the concept of Boards. Within a board is where all content in a Khoros Community environment lives. Boards can be of different types of content, e.g. blog posts, discussions, events, questions, and knowledge base. This will vary depending on the area of the website you are visiting. For example, the Enterprise Architecture interest group contains discussions, blog posts, events and knowledge base. Other areas, like the Application Development interest group, contain only blog posts and discussions. We can get RSS feeds for each one of these boards by specifying the board.id in /rss/board, e.g. https://community.sap.com/khhcw49343/rss/board?board.id=application-developmentblog-board. The pattern followed to access the different content types via an RSS feed is: https://community.sap.com/[COMMUNITY_ID]/rss/board?board.id=[BOARD-ID]

Some sections of the platform, e.g. Blogs, Q&A, Discussions, include an Options menu and within it there might be Subscribe to RSS feed option. This is the easiest way to get the feed for a specific section.

sap-community-board-subscribe-feed.png

Blog posts

Compared to the old platform, where there was a single place to create our blog posts, in the new platform there are MANY places where we can create them. In essence, every section of the community has a separate “blog area”. We now have to be very careful about where we publish our blog posts as this will impact the reach/visibility they end up having. That said, “blogs” is a separate board so we can generate a feed using /rss/board and specifying the board.id.

Examples:

Questions & Answers

Some areas in the platform include Q&A, e.g. Technology - https://community.sap.com/t5/technology/ct-p/technology, where you can ask and answer questions about SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). The questions and answers section is also a board so we can generate a feed using /rss/board and specifying the board.id.

Examples:

Discussions

Want to follow the discussions of a particular area in SAP Community?

Examples:

Events

An RSS feed for events is also available. This is something that doesn’t seem to be available via the UI but in the end, an event is just another type of board and we can get the RSS feed as if it was a board.

Examples:

Knowledge Base

Some areas of SAP Community include a knowledge base. This in the end is a board again and you can get a feed by specifying the board.id.

Examples:

Messages

Each piece of content type can also be accessed as a “message” on the platform. We can subscribe to an RSS feed for a particular piece of content, e.g. a blog post, a discussion, or a knowledge base entry.

sap-community-rss-message-feed.png

 

 

Examples:

In the examples above you can see how we are specifying a particular board (board.id) and message identifier (message.id).

Tags

There are many tags in the platform and we can retrieve content based on tags. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of a specific tag by using /rss/search?q=tags:[tag-name].

Note: The feed will contain different content types, e.g. blog posts, questions. Here you can also specify the count query parameter explained previously.

Examples:

Users

In the previous platform, it was possible to generate a feed based on the activity of a specific user. This was very useful to me to check out the content created by some community members that I follow, it could be blog posts, comments or answers to questions. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to do this on the new platform. If you know how to do this, please let me know in the comments. I’ll update this section if I end up finding a way to achieve this.


I hope these findings useful for you as they are for me. Now go ahead and add some feeds to your favourite RSS reader :-).

Note: This article was first published at https://ajmaradiaga.com/RSS-feeds-in-SAP-Community/

15 Comments
ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

Not strictly an RSS feed but it is possible to get all content created by a user via the Khoros API using LiQL, e.g. https://community.sap.com/api/2.0/search?q=select id, view_href, author.login, subject, body, board....

ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

Part of the content in the platform is subdivided into categories. It is possible to get an RSS feed at the category level. The categories available are:

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Spend Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Technology

Examples:

You'll notice when visiting the website of the categories above that they contain a Boards section within it. There are other areas of the SAP Community that follow this "pattern" and under the hood they are also categories, e.g. Groups, Location Groups, Europe. In this case you can use the Category RSS URL and get all the content for that particular section, e.g. Location Group > Europe - https://community.sap.com/khhcw49343/rss/Category?category.id=europe

Jelena
Active Contributor

I used RSS feed before to read blog posts on specific subject, e.g. ABAP Development.

This is a very long post but what I understand is that, essentially, the same functionality is not available anymore. Please let me know if my understanding below is incorrect.

1. General RSS feed - this is "drinking from the fire hose", I'm not sure what would be practical use for it.
2. Boards - I honestly don't understand how this fits on SAP Community. "Application Development board" - this is just a slightly smaller fire hose. Is there an ABAP board? I'm not seeing one.
3. Blogs - again, slightly different fire hose.
4. Q&A, discussions, events, messages, users (just why?) - fine but these don't help for "follow ABAP blog posts" use case.
5. Tags - finally we're getting somewhere. "ABAP Development" was a tag that we could use to keep track of the blog posts posted using the tag. But now the tag includes Q&A as well. So if I follow "ABAP Development" tag, it means I will get blog posts AND questions in the feed? Sorry but I'd rather go dumpster diving.

So, to summarize, very long post but it seems a simple answer to "how do I get an RSS feed just for the blog posts on ABAP Development?" the answer is "this feature is not available". Or did I miss anything?

 

xjhacking
Contributor

Hi Antonio, 

Thanks for this blog! I'm now starting to understand how this platform is structured/setup and how Khoros works. I still have the same issue as Jelena mentions above though: I just want to see blogs on - in my case - SAP Analytics Cloud and other Analytics related topics ("tags") in my RSS feeds. 😕 

I think the "Technology" board is defined way to broad and it should be split up in multiple boards to make it useable. It has over a million (!!!) posts, while for example the HCM board has just 13k and there are even multiple groups with under 1k.  I'd expect at least a dedicated Analytics board/group, but even better would be a split per tool (i.e. SAC, DSP, BW, BOBJ).

ErvinSzolke
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi,

I have the same issue as mentioned in the previous comments by Jelena and xjhacking.

I would like to list only Q&A or only Blogs for a specific SAP Managed tag. Not to mention various attributes for Q&A, like answered, unanswered, accepted. I am not sure how to do this via RSS but even if it would be easily possible I would rather expect this really fundamental feature to be available out of the box. Not everyone would like to use or want to use RSS (or LiQL...) to achieve such a basic need. Using the above techniques sounds rather like a workaround to me that decouples people from the platform, I think such features should be available on tag queues directly (just like it worked very well in the AnswerHub/Wordpress era). Imho lacking this feature might impact searchability, findability and ultimately contribution and engagement.

Often I hear that we should use search, but it is not really an option, because:

  • This approach assumes that content contains the product, BUT:
    • If it does not, that content cannot be found
    • Example: customer reports oracle errors without mentioning Oracle.
  • Some product names are complex, not likely customer will mention them.
    •  Example: for “SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Sourcing and Procurement”
  • Product might be mentioned in a very non-granular way
    • Example: mentions NetWeaver, while customer looks help about NW JCo.
  • If product is misspelled, that content cannot be found
  • Multiple unrelated products might be listed in the content

Best,
Ervin

ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

@Jelena, to answer your last question.... how to get an RSS feed for the blog posts on ABAP Development? Unfortunately, that's not available out of the box. That said... it is something that we can work on, e.g. https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ajmaradiaga/feeds/main/scmt/ABAP-Development.atom, to complement what the platform offers.

@xjhacking  there are many tags in the system.... user created and SAP Managed Tags. I agree that it would be great to have feeds for very popular tags. Similar to the example above.

@ErvinSzolke agree, with search you would get different results and it depends very much on the content text which generally is not exactly as the product names. It might be best to just have a feed based on the managed tags.

ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate
htammen
Active Contributor
0 Kudos

Thank you Antonio, this gives a good insight into the internals of new community.

But as the other comments show it also uncovers existing problems finding stuff :-D.

jerryjanda
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi, @ErvinSzolke:

We agree that there should be more sorting options for content types on the tag level, and as I mentioned in this post https://community.sap.com/t5/what-s-new/addressing-common-questions-and-complaints-about-the-new-pla..., we are exploring how to make this functionality available easily.

Kind regards,

--Jerry

Devraj
Active Participant
0 Kudos

Devraj_0-1708203152120.png

I am using the following RSS feed to Feedly and Outlook:

https://community.sap.com/khhcw49343/rss/Community?interaction.style=blog

How do we avoid the duplicates in the RSS feed? The simple ask is a list of new blogs post. No point showing the same blog multiple times based on edits, comments or likes.

Then  once we have this fixed, we can then either add tages to filter it to ABAP or BTP or S4HANA or FICO or use our fav RSS feeder to classify the blogs. Drinking from the fire hose is better than having no water or poluted water.

JasonLax
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Thank you for the list of the main feeds.  The URLs also work and tend to be a little more reliable without the /khhcw49343/ folder: https://community.sap.com/rss/Community instead of https://community.sap.com/khhcw49343/rss/Community.  

Now that I have these RSS feed URLs I was able to update publication SAP Community in Google Newshttps://news.google.com/publications/CAAqBwgKMOXxiwswnK_rAg 

JasonLax
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Has anyone figured out the RSS feeds containing all comments and replies?

ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate
0 Kudos

I recently published a blog post that contains a number of additional SAP Community feeds.... which some here might find useful: RSS feed for an SAP Managed Tags (separate feeds for blog posts and Q&A). Also, feed for SAP Community Members.

Check it out: https://ajmaradiaga.com/additional-SAP-Community-feeds/

ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate
0 Kudos

@Devraj I don't get duplicate blog post or updated blog posts when I consume this feed... https://community.sap.com/khhcw49343/rss/Community?interaction.style=blog 

ajmaradiaga
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate

@JasonLax you can use the feeds.replies=true query parameter when retrieving some feeds. It is explained in the General feeds section of this blog post, e.g.: 

Now, I've only seen this working for General RSS feeds not for feeds for specific boards.