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Ian Thain's Blog

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Over the next few weeks I will be speaking with Sanjay Kalyanasundaram, Director Developer Program at Mocana, to get an overview of SAP Mobile Secure by Mocana. In future CodeTalks Sanjay will explain a number of MAP (Mobile App Protection) policies supported.


The first 'Introduction' CodeTalk is available here and the others will follow on a Thursday from April 10 onwards.

CodeTalk #1 is available here


Please follow me on Twitter @ithain

Over the next few weeks, I will be speaking to Hester Hilbrecht, Innovation Manager at SAP about Design Thinking.


So that you can get the most out of these CodeTalks, I will post them on a Tuesday and the subjects will be...


1. Why Minding The User?

2. Scoping & 360 Research

3. Synthesis & Ideation

4. Prototyping & Validation

5. The Business Model Canvas

6. Design Thinking in Big Companies & Sum Up


So make sure you put it in your diaries to join Hester & myself for CodeTalk on a Tuesday


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In my latest set of CodeTalks, I have been lucky enough to get some time with Clemens Suter-Crazzolara from the SAP PartnerEdge Program. Clemens has shared some great information 'hot of the press'!




Here are the links to my CodeTalks with Clemens, for you to enjoy...


PartnerEdge Program: Intro

PartnerEdge Program: Deeper Dive for Developers

App Challenges (Incl Google)



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In my latest CodeTalk, I speak to Yoram Hod, Product Specialist on the HANA River Team, to gain an introductory understanding of SAP River.


Please check out the CodeTalk here & follow me on Twitter @ithain

This Flipboard magazine uses current content from the SAP Community Network SCN, during the months of March, April and May 2014


Mobile is now a part of most of our lifestyle and reaches most areas of our everyday lives… Relaxation, Shopping, Social etc. It is also now a foundation of Enterprise Business, allowing the extension of business data and existing systems into the hand of the mobile information worker, out on the road.


Within the magazine you will find content covering the SAP Mobile Platform , Afaria and more.


Check out SAP Devs - Mobile (Spring 2014) by SAP Developers http://flip.it/gPV9C



This Flipboard magazine uses current content from the SAP Community Network SCN, during the months of March, April and May 2014


Cloud is something we all now rely on in one shape or another, even if we are not aware of it. It is the underpinning of many systems that enable data to be used in many ways.


Within the magazine you will find content covering the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and more.


Check out SAP Devs - Cloud (Spring 2014) by SAP Developers http://flip.it/hSlqL



This Flipboard magazine uses current content from the SAP Community Network SCN, during the months of March, April and May 2014


Database technology for SAP covers many areas, but none more important to the future of Enterprise Computing as the in-memory database SAP HANA.


Within the magazine you will also find content covering ASE, IQ, Replication Server and more.


Check out SAP Devs - Database (Spring 2014) by SAP Developers http://flip.it/eIH0K



Ian Thain

Developer Mojo & Meet Ups

Posted by Ian Thain Feb 21, 2014

Last week I wrote a blog entry on... "Keeping your Developer Skills & Team Strong" read it here at http://scn.sap.com/blogs/ithain/2014/02/13/keeping-your-developer-skills-team-strong


This week I want to share my thoughts of how Developers could,  in their own time keep the faith alive, keep fresh and have a bit of fun as well. To make you interested, most of the time what I'm talking about is free, social and is easy to find out!


The subject is Meet Ups! These are planned gatherings of like minded folks, all wanting to share & learn from each other. Nearly all take place in the evening, leaving you enough time to get out of work into the location. Two places you can check about such events are Meetup.com and Lanyrd.com. Both of these sites allow you to drill down geographically and within a radius, as well as the subject matter for each event. Then you can register or join the wait list, if the meet up is oversubscribed already. Take it from me, for the really exciting and popular meet ups you have to get in quick, or there will be a wait list!


I have tried it out and I am hooked!!!


My experiences over the last few weeks have been very positive. I joined two meet ups in London. The first a Google glass and Wearable Tech meet up (Heads Up London) and the second an Internet of Things meet up (@IoTLondon). Both of these were extremely well run by their respective managers, who had arranged for three interesting talks in each. Thoughts and facts were shared by all presenters and sometimes a shout out for collaborative work. Some attendees come along with actual physical tech  to show you and are happy to explain how they have built or developed for it. I guess it is the closest to what the Homebrew Computer Club would have been like, all those many years ago in Silicon Valley!


What I found so far is meet ups tend to last for about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours maximum. They usually happen in spaces that have been generously donated by sponsors or supporters of the meet up. There is time for socialising and networking at the start and especially at the end. I have been really lucky to meet some very interesting folks that I wouldn't have met on a normal day, as well as being introduced to new technologies.


Basically meet ups are like having your own mini conference that happens again and again and it's right on your doorstep! The ability to attend many, mix-and-match is awesome and is only limited by your time and your dedication.


So my advice to you... get out there, expand your mind and keep your Developer Mojo strong. What is your excuse not to?


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Ian Thain

Power to the Mobile People!

Posted by Ian Thain Feb 14, 2014

I read a article today "Out of power? Don't blame the battery, rap the app" http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2328837/out-of-power-don-t-blame-the-battery-rap-the-app and it made me think of a presentation I gave many years ago when I was evangelising Sybase PocketBuilder on the Windows Mobile 2003 platform.Even in those early days of mobile we would advise that care and skill was needed to develop for a small device with limited power, compared to a desktop app. An extra reason why we took the time to advise, was that for PocketBuilder, a lot of the early developers came from the Client/Server PowerBuilder product, that PK was evolved from.


Nowadays with Mobile App Development more mainstream, dare I say it leading, being aware of development practises are even more important! Mobile is now part of everyone's lives, not just the lucky minority as it was way back in the early days. For the Mobile developer there are now tools to help tune their code, but coding for Mobile they need to be aware of and follow some rules...


  1. Mobile devices don't have a swap space so use memory sparingly. Memory allocation takes power, so when objects etc are needed, free memory
  2. CPU usage uses power, so currently these devices aren't going to be used for number crunching etc, but don't poll the CPU constantly (use timer events wisely).
  3. Unnecessary animation uses power! Get the drift? ;-)
  4. Write lean & mean code… OK simpler said than done sometimes, but bear in mind
  5. If you are not using radio resources, BlueTooth, WiFi, Cellular etc. then release handles, close connections etc
  6. When transmitting data connect only when needed and transmit small compact amounts of data. Radios will usually power down when not used
  7. If you are not using on device hardware such as the accelerometer or location services on an iOS device, disable event notification


Not all the blame can be on the app! What is interesting is that the users habits also will effect battery usage! Devices use less battery power when transmitting data via WiFi than cellular! So educating users to know that fact is beneficial, though making users aware that having both cellular and WiFi on at the same time will use more power is also a positive. Also for iOS turning off Location Services & Background App Refresh can help extend power levels.

Then on top of those, user power gotcha's is battery care and by that I mean the cardinal sin of overcharging the device (overnight) and not draining the battery maybe once a month and fully recharging, which is always a good habit to get into.

Both sides being aware, should ensure Power to the Mobile People!


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I saw a tweet this week... "It's your responsibility as a programmer to keep yourself educated and up to date, not some employer's" and I thought, I could agree partially, but why?


As a Developer you are skilled and care about your craft... Programming. You are also aware of the business your company works within and in addition, that technology is always changing and evolving. So it's right that you as a developer, should care enough to keep up to date as well. The problem I have with the initial statement is that you are the new King Makers (thanks to James Governor and the team at RedMonk for that thought) and in that way your company should also take at least a equal share in the stake, to keep you at the top of your game. It's in their best interest, as any cut or lack of keeping developers current, could substantially weaken the foundations and future of any business. So at least it's a symbiotic relationship.


Also as an idea, I think that at some companies, developers should be allocated some free R&D time. This could be on a rotational basis in short bursts or in longer sections of time, either individually on small R&D teams. Keeping abreast of new developments in for example mobile & in memory computing etc, will allow companies to reap the reward of a motivated team as well as to identify areas for new investment. These areas can be in team knowledge as well as product directions and features.


Software companies like SAP are tying to facilitate such ideas and freedom, through the SAP Developer Program, that enables software to be investigated with for example, cloud instances on AWS with free developer licences. Thus removing the overhead of locating a physical machine and installing etc. We are also enabling initial awareness & skills transfer though blogs, videos etc... For example in Mobile the http://www.sapmobileacademy.com and the SAP Developer Center http://developers.sap.com


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Today 7 years ago, Steve Jobs took to the stage introducing to the iPhone and changed the smartphone industry and our mobile lives forever. Before that date the the smartphone market was small & the majority of smartphones had physical keyboards and were ruled by the stylus. Then came a device that brought together the features if the iPod, a Phone and Internet Browsing on a large multi-touch screen.

Although originally meant for web based apps, Apple pretty soon released the SDK for building apps & the rest is history, for the device that changed a generation into an mGeneration! In fact recently Apple announced that it had paid out over $15bn to Developers. Mobile Apps are now first in the developers sights.

For everyday life, the exception to the rule is seeing someone with a feature phone, as most now have the smartphone as part of their mobile lifestyle and could not think about being without it. What will change particularly this year are the additions to the mobile lifestyle... Just check out this years' CES. What I mean by that is wearable tech, as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). This wearable tech will mostly connect & communicate with such devices as the iPhone/iPad & others.

I can't see a Seven Year Itch on the horizon, with the evolution of iOS, Apps, iPhone/iPad, IoT & more... the love affair continues.

Please follow me on Twitter @ithain

Ian Thain

Last CodeTalk of 2013

Posted by Ian Thain Dec 23, 2013

In the last CodeTalk of 2013, I interview my Manager Thomas Grassl, Head of Developer Relations at SAP to cover some more Developer announcements. Thomas explains...

  • The Unified Developer Licence,
  • The Node.js Connector for SAP HANA
  • and Cloud Foundry Service Broker for SAP HANA.


View the interview here

Happy Holidays to you all!

Please Follow me on Twitter into the New Year @ithain

Ian Thain

First Year of CodeTalk

Posted by Ian Thain Dec 18, 2013

It has now been a year since I started as host of SAP CodeTalk and that year has gone fast! If you have not seen it... I want to know why . Check out the playlist here.




I like to think of CodeTalk as the informal/bite-sized chat show for SAP Technology and I hope you all think I have delivered somewhat in that promise. In total, this years' CodeTalk episode views, stand at over 10,000... so I must be something right?

2014 will be another interesting year for us all and I will be there to cover it on CodeTalk, but if you want to see me cover any specific SAP tech subject please comment below for all to see... and I will see if I can oblige.

I hope everyone has a safe & happy end to the year


Please follow me on Twitter @ithain

Are you like me, a developer/blogger that loves to share information and wants to reach the widest audience? Well, in the latest CodeTalk I hangout with my colleague from the Mobile Team John M. Wargo @johnwargo, not on mobile specifically, but with respect to his alter ego... the Technical Author.


JW-profile-image-display.pngJohn has a number of books available, the latest being on Cordova 3 Programming, which was published in Dec 2013. In this interview, I find out how he started writing books, how long it takes to complete a book project, the pit falls and benefits etc.

You never know it may make you think about putting pen to paper/fingers to keys and create your own literary masterpiece?



Watch the interview here



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In my latest CodeTalk episode I interview Will Powell, Head of Innovation at Keytree in the UK.


In the interview I find out how Keytree comes up with their ideas, the technologies they have used and how long it takes to make a successful Demo Jam entry.

View the interview here


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