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There has been an idea among SCN Members of having a monthly exchange about Basis/Infrastructure Architecture topics. You can read more about this here Introducing: Monthly Call To Discuss SAP Basis/Infrastructure Architecture Challenges - as I read this post I didn't get that the basic idea was to exchange infrastructure and SAP Basis topics. I am mainly a software engineer and system architect so petr.solberg, christian.braukmller4 and me talked about the scope of this monthly architecture call and whether it makes sense to extend it to software architecture related topics. We all agreed that this is a good idea and rename this to system architecture and thus we have a good coverage of the necessary topics.

christian.braukmller4 and me reserved each one slot at #SAPtd Barcelona in order to explain the concept, determine whether there is interest to join such a call and which topics should be covered. We did not know what expects us as this is an experiment.

EXP27571 Infrastructure Architecture Discussion

EXP27391 Software Architecture Coffee Corner

At #SAPtd Christian and me decided to hold both sessions together. The first one

EXP27571 Infrastructure Architecture Discussion with focussing on infrastructure topics and extension by additional talks about software architecture and the second session EXP27391 Software Architecture Coffee Corner vice versa - thus primarily talk about software architecture and expand this topic to infrastructure and basis issues.

We were glad that the EXP27571 Infrastructure Architecture Discussion session attracted about 50 people to attend this session. Christian did an introduction by explaining the idea behind this monthly architecture call. And the response was also quite impressive: in both sessions about 60% of the attendees stated that they are interested in the idea to discuss architectural questions which deal with real customer and project problems. I was really surprised that even although it was called an infrastructure architecture session a lot of software architects came by.

One of the first questions was to have a Twitter hashtag: SAPSysArchs - use this tag to stay tuned via Twitter. The same hashtag can be used here on SCN as well: sapsysarchs

In the second session EXP27391 Software Architecture Coffee Corner about 45 people attended in sum, about 10% were software architects or software engineers of a independent software vendor developing and selling own products while the remaining 90% mainly worked in customer environments and SAP. The response was quite the same: about 60% stated to be interested in this architecture discussion knowing that architecture is a real broad area and that not everything in detail could be covered. During the session even some attendees shared their thoughts about architecture in SAP projects and environments - by the way, no one of the attendees was on the opinion that this topic is represented as it should be.

100% of the attendees were on the opinion that Architecture as an explicit topic is under-represented within SAP environments and projects.

It was good to have a whiteboard at the expert networking booths so we could use it for documentation of the discussed topics:

In the end it looked like this:

As you can see the range of discussed topics was very broad. The main topics were

  • having a real 24x7 SAP environment which is even allowing maintaince of certain servers without disruption of the business process
  • challenging the deployment options of SAP Gateway in distributed environments (e.g. users in APAC should use OData services located in Europe)
  • tackling the architectural decision where to put the integration logic (e.g. exposure of OData models via SAP Mobile Platform Integration Gateway vs. SAP Gateway and SAP API Management and how to integrate non-SAP resources)
  • challenge of customers where SAP systems are just some systems between dozens others to integrate them into the existing environment
  • how to leverage the on-board SAP BI solution within the on-premise AS ABAP analyzing SAP ERP and SAP CRM data
  • explicit, documented architectural decisions (transparency on decisions, what and especially why)
  • documentation of system and software architectures and the possibilities to review this (in the best way in an automatic way, maybe christian.pfaller could contribute to this topic as well)

It was also a pleasure for us to have tom.vandoorslaer2 involved into our discussions pointing out the different kinds of architecture (views, contexts, types).

In order to tackle the mentioned issues we put them onto our backlog of the monthly architecture call. If you have any topics to be discussed then please leave a comment here: Introducing: Monthly Call To Discuss SAP Basis/Infrastructure Architecture Challenges

Even after our sessions a lot of people came to us and stated that such an initiative has been missing all the time as with this the real need on customers and project teams side is addressed.

We feel thrilled about this great idea and as it's still an experiment we hope that everything will go well. We think this is a good way to exchange knowledge and participate on the experiences of others - nobody knows everything but we all have to do decisions every day.

The question "who thinks he or she is able to keep up with pace in the means of changing technology and new developments" was answered with no raised hand.

Hear you in January if you are interested in sap.gateway questions.

If you attended one of our sessions then it would be great if you left some feedback using the comment function - we would be glad to hear your feedback, and all the others: please write your thoughts as well 🙂

Looking forward to a thriving conversation about this crucial topic.

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