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One of my favourite films of last year (late 2017, very early in 2018) was The Greatest Showman with a music soundtrack my whole family have sung along to with gusto. One of my favourite songs from the film is called ‘A Million Dreams’. I often like to draw parallels with movies/lyrics/words in songs (due to my love of music) and attribute them to working life situations. In this case – SAP Cloud Platform for me continues to realise these million dreams and 2018 was no exception. Maybe bjoern.goerke could sing this tune at this year's TechEd?? That would be great and I am surely not the only one who would love to see this!!! Just an idea :-).

The song lyrics for me really summarise the year that I've had and also applies to what I believe is in store in 2019. I've included some of the main lyrics that resonate.
The brightest colors fill my head

This to me relates to the volume of new, exciting functionality that has and continues to be delivered - SAP Cloud Platform Functions, SAP Mobile Cards, Open Connectors, Updates to Workflow and Business Rules, Intelligent Enterprise with SAP Leonardo - Machine Learning, AI, Blockchain, Predictive Analytics and of course Robot Process Automation (RPA).
A million dreams are keeping me awake

This to me relates to the learning opportunities on offer - so much to learn, practice and deliver - seriously no time for sleep. With the great amount of developer missions, tutorials, openSAP courses and ongoing customer projects in 2018 I believe this will only continue in 2019. This also relates to the Community activities and contributions -  helping others realise their goals.
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make

I particularly love the last line - while SAP provides roadmaps for all of the solutions like SAP Cloud Platform it is important that we all contribute where we can. This includes the full ecosystem - Customers, Partners, Community Members. The new revamped SAP Community made some serious inroads in 2018 and the improvements have been great. As far as contributions there are customer engagement initiatives out there to provide feedback on and I myself have provided #FeatureRequestPhil items to help in the realising of a million dreams.
The overall vision is great and we can all see major progress but we can only reach it if we all work and make it happen together. (Phil Cooley)

I predicted at the end of 2017 that customer demand for SAP Cloud Platform (SAPCP) would go crazy and glad to report that it went way beyond my expectations – so much so I had one of the busiest years I can remember. I spent a large amount of my time architecting SAP Cloud Platform solutions as well as technically setting up the cloud and on-premise environments for a large amount of customers. There were so many highlights it would take me 10 pages to report them all ? but I will focus on some of the major ones to provide a flavor of the year that was.

Customer Project Highlights

From a customer project point of view I spent most of this year on a major warehouse mobility project that went live in November delivering 11 warehouse management applications on SAP Cloud Platform. This was a huge success and the best part was that my colleagues and I learnt a heap from it. We made some mistakes along the way but we are better for it. I wrote a blog on my experiences around building resilient applications which detailed the lessons learned. DREMTAC is the key!

At the same time I worked on another major project to migrate applications from an on-premise landscape to SAP Cloud Platform with the implementation of an amazing freestyle site that was design-led. A quick learning for me from this project related to Cloud Domains and the setting up of cool and easy to remember URL's to improve the user's experience. Also learnt about Java quotas and how to manage them between the different environments - this was cool to learn.

Other projects gave me insight to SAP Mobile Cards, My Inbox to provide Purchase Order Approvals, and SAP Cloud Platform Workflow to provide a proof of concept around vendor changes.  I was part of a team that delivered Vendor Onboarding apps as well as an app that managed access for Field Service Contractors which was really interesting. I worked on implementing SAP Fiori Cloud CRM applications for a customer which was technically challenging and finished off the year working on Shipment processing applications which will continue into 2019.

One of the toughest projects I worked on (in my spare time) in 2018 involved an integration project with SAP ERP, SAP PO and SAP Hybris eCommerce. Seriously limited in time I could allocate to this project but I learnt a heap of lessons out of this experience that I will taking into any of the future projects I work on. Learning from mistakes can only make me better.

Overall, I consolidated my knowledge around major security elements in SAPCP and continued to ramp up my solutioning expertise - architecting different mobile application solutions to different business requirements. In early 2019 I am working on setting up High Availability environments and will also start working on Disaster Recovery scenarios - really interesting stuff. Look out for a blog on this in the first few months.

OpenSap Highlights

What a year for OpenSAP - celebrating the 5 year anniversary as well as the offering of a large amount of really cool courses. The preparation, expertise and passion to bring these courses to the masses is truly amazing and very much appreciated.

I completed a number of courses during 2018 and by far the most enjoyable one was the SAP Cloud Platform Version Control with Git openSAP course by arnaldo.cavazos. This was seriously great and would recommend every SAP Cloud Platform developer to complete it. An absolute must - especially if you are on a project that involves a number of developers all accessing the same codebase. I wrote a blog post reviewing the course and have included the link below. One of my intentions in writing blog posts is to get people talking about it and providing comments, different perspectives, various experiences, new ideas and it was great to see this one receive a fair few comments. Great!

I also authored other blogs during the year - basically reviewing and providing insights to some of the other OpenSAP courses I completed and I will continue to do this in 2019. Watch out for some I will publish soon related to courses I completed late in 2018, just ran out of time to complete them :-).

Here are some of the courses I completed and the related blog posts reviews in case you have not come across them previously.

Hard to see how courses offered would be better than what was on offer in 2018 however I am sure they will be offered and delivered with the usual high quality we have come to expect. Initially I have signed up for the following courses so do yourself a favour and checkout some of the new courses on offer here.


Community Highlights

Over the last couple of years I had a goal of extending my involvement in the SAP Community, doing my bit for not only revitalizing it but to assist others in areas that I knew detailed knowledge about. This started with writing a fair number of blog posts around the SAP Portal service on SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Cloud Identity Authentication Service, SAP Jam etc. I checked over my stats in 2018 and I wrote 14 blog posts overall which is not too bad. I did have another 5-6 in draft that unfortunately I did not find the time to complete and publish. I am looking forward to publishing these and more in 2019. My goal is to publish at least once a month, with 2 a month being a nice manageable number. I will see how I go :-).

From an achievement perspective, this year was amazing for me. I seriously could not have predicted any of this at the start of 2018 and was really honoured and humbled by this. Thanks!

  • I was the August 2018 SAP Community Member of the Month – really honoured to be added to the Hall of Fame and spurs me on even more to make the SAP Community great! You can check out my interview here ->

  • I was also bestowed and recognised as a Developer Hero and while I could not get to any of the TechEd conferences this year I had multiple community members pointing out my picture in the various locations on Twitter. 🙂 I was really grateful to receive this kudos and great that my community friends kept in touch and highlighted this for me.

  • I featured in the SAP Community voice email recognising my "Building Resilient Apps on SAP Cloud Platform" blog post. This was seriously cool and thanks mike.doyle4 for pointing that one out.

  • I also featured on the main SAP Cloud Platform community home page where two of my blog posts were referenced -

What I have loved most about this year though are the community friends I have made – via Twitter and the SAP Community postings I have contributed too. Special mentions go to moya.watson, nabheet.madan3 muralidaran.shanmugham2 aviad.rivlin douglas.maltby2  – thanks for your support this year and looking forward to working with you all continually in 2019. We can all improve together with each other's continued support. The @Sap Support team were extremely helpful as well as the openSAP team – you guys are truly inspirational in all that you do and it is appreciated!

Looking ahead in the community, I would like to assist with the SAP Inside Track (SIT) / SAP Tech Night in Melbourne so that it is held on a more regular basis. The SIT/SAP Tech nights in Sydney are run regularly and have great contributions – I would like to be involved with the Melbourne sessions. There are a lot of customers out there and a lot of knowledge in the community so it is time to get together in Melbourne and share more often. This is a firm goal of mine for 2019.

Will also be doing my bit to increase community members as well as their general involvement as I believe the numbers in the community are still quite small - heaps of unrealised potential here.

Looking Ahead

There are so many areas I am looking forward to getting into in 2019, and this is by no means a complete list, including:

  • SAP Cloud Foundry. Would like to understand the security elements around this as well as awaiting the new Portal service improvements. Cannot wait to set up a productive landscape for a customer - hopefully 2019 will be the year!

  • SAP Mobile Cards. Have only just started in this area but cannot wait to see more improvements in this area and of course to implement more of them for customers.

  • Developer Missions. With so many Missions and Tutorials on offer I want to start smashing them out and all the while learning a heap. Really like some of the ideas nabheet.madan3  has come up with like #100DaysOfCommunityQA and #OneDevTutorialMissionAWeek and I think we should get this out there to inspire others to start these ideas.

  • Security. I believe security more and more is a key component within the overall cloud to on-premise landscape architecture so I would like to consolidate and deepen my knowledge in this area in 2019.

  • Extensions. While I have been involved in a few projects to extend existing applications would be great to work on projects to extend SuccessFactors and SAP Cloud For Customer. The learnings from these projects would be awesome.

  • S/4HANA. Major goal is to work on S/4HANA projects given my 20+ year functional SAP ERP background interweaving my deep knowledge on SAP Cloud Platform. A lethal combination!

  • Partner Apps. Would be great to publish apps to the SAP App Store, to learn about the process and have some skin in the game ;-). As predicted this space will only increase and I think there will be a large influx of apps over the coming 12 months.

Lastly, from a personal point of view I was really proud to launch a new version of the Faves app in 2018 including the sharing of faves as well as including the location of the fave being recorded. This year I plan to market it more and get it out there. Aiming for 1000 downloads. Really big task but aiming high! It is a great app to keep your Favourite things - just informing the market about it that is the challenge. Have a couple of other ideas for some other apps as well so will progress these - hopefully to be on the app store in the coming months.

To finish off I thoroughly enjoyed 2018 but was seriously busy so also hoping 2019 is a little easier to manage - time wise and will also be looking for a little more down time - perhaps a holiday with a side visit to one of the TechEd conferences - but will need to convince my better half first :-).

Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in reading my past blog posts go here.
In this blog I've used lyrics from the song "A Million Dreams" - from The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Credit for writing goes to Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. 

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