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SAP TechEd

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In this lecture you can get an overview of existing and planned reporting and decision making components in SAP S/4HANA. This includes virtual data models, embedded analytics, SAP Smart Business cockpits, and the relation to BI interfaces and the SAP Business Warehouse.

Learn about the strategy and tools at SAP that can help support the best use of solutions in this context. Get live experience with Demos from these solutions.

SAP S/4HANA brings real-time operational reporting directly without any redundancies or latencies. In this session you can watch real live demos that will help you to explore why S/4HANA Analytics is the next big thing in real time operations analytics and why data models will be much more simplified.

Watch the lecture replay from Las Vegas:

 



Additional information can be found on:

S/4HANA Cookbook:

http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-64980


S/4HANA embedded analytics and SAP BW:

http://scn.sap.com/community/s4hana/blog/2015/11/23/unified-solution-sap-s4hana-embedded-analytics-sap-business-warehouse-powered-by-sap-hana

 


 


This session focuses on the key principles of simplification, the general architecture and deep insights into the software component structures of all deployment options of SAP S/4HANA. The relation between SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA is being explained as well as different extensibility capabilities of SAP S/4HANA. Some major Simplifications and its management are shown and an outlook to the potential evolution of the Business Suite Reference Landscape into a SAP S/4HANA Reference Landscape is being given.



Thanks for watching and I am looking forward to your comments and questions.

 

Best regards,

Stefan & Rudi.

We are happy to announce that our access to 30+ SAP TechEd Interactive Hands-on Workshops is now simplified. As SAP TechEd Las Vegas or Barcelona full conference attendee, you have the opportunity to continue SAP education for the next year through Interactive Hands-On Workshops. If you did not attend the conference, you can still watch the videos on our SAP TechEd Online platform. Access is possible via browser links, see below under each picture. The full offering consists of:

 

  • Videos of hands-on workshop presentations complete with audio instruction from SAP TechEd experts
  • 30+ interactive hands-on workshop simulations, which you can run in auto-play, self-guided, or practice mode
  • PDFs of hands-on workshop slides available in addition to presentation video

 

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Presentation videos complete with audio instructions

 

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Interactive learning content simulations

 

Log in with your SAP TechEd registration e-mail address

and the following password: iHo_2015

 

 

Visit the websites linked under the pictures to see a listing of the available Interactive Hands-on Workshops. We recommend that you first browse through the list to find the workshops which are of most interest for you. Then you can watch the recording, before you finally (as full conference attendee) start executing the interactive hands-on simulations.

 

You’ll have access to all of the materials – anytime, anywhere – from now until September 15, 2016.

 

And if you’d prefer to download the materials for working offline with your mobile device, you can use SAP Mobile Documents — instructions here for Las Vegas and Barcelona.

 

Questions? Drop us a line at SAPTechEd@sap.com.

 

Happy learning!

Having been at TechED Las Vegas and Barcelona I really must say that the interest into S/4HANA is overwhelming. I had good discussion with customers and partners and it can be clearly seen that knowledge and understanding of S/4HANA is increasing. The focus of the inquiries is increasingly pointing towards adoption. Consequently the booths were well frequented and S/4HANA sessions were often sold out and even overbooked. Therefore it is good that many have been recorded and are available online. Enjoy in case you did not get a chance on site.

 

 

 

 

There were some great other sessions from Stefan Elfner, Wieland Schreiner, Sven Denecken on S/4HANA which together with mine will give you a good overview on S/4HANA

Finding SAP Mentors at SAP TechEd is easy to do - especially when 68 of them were in Las Vegas and 61 in Barcelona, and SAP Mentors contributed over Mentors4.JPG350 hours of content at these two events combined. The limited edition badges for the Catch-a-Mentor and Know-a-Mentor missions made the experience that much more fun! Take a look at all the selfies SAP TechEd attendees have posted already of their encounters with SAP Mentors.

 

Now that I've posted a selfie for my Catch-a-Mentor badge, this blog post is to ensure I get my Know-a-Mentor badge as well! I do have a slight advantage, since my new role is to lead the SAP Mentor Program, and I was fortunate to attend both SAP TechEds in Las Vegas and Barcelona this year. Here's what I learned from just some of the many SAP Mentors I met:

 

Like I said, there were lots of Mentors at TechEd this year, and I'm only listing some of the many I met and spoke with. Honestly, in the process of learning about them, I've also learned much from them, and more about myself. I guess that's the true value of mentorship. Thanks Mentors!

 

You don’t have to be at SAP TechEd to meet a SAP Mentor - join one of the local meetups or SAP Inside Tracks in your area hosted by SAP Mentors and Mentor Alumni to catch up and get to know our SAP Mentors.

For those of you who were not able to participate in the 2015 version of the sitnl and could not attend the SAP TechEd takeaway presentation hosted by Ronald Konijnenburg and myself, or if you just want to re-live the magic, I’ve enclosed our presentation below:

 

http://www.slideshare.net/SvenvanLeukenBscPMP/sap-teched-2015-takeaway


UKISUG.png

I had a good, productive conversation with SAP Mentor Steve Rumsby, who is both SAP Technical Manager at the University of Warwick, SAP Screen Personas expert, and first ever Chair of the newly-formed UX SIG (Special Interest Group) in the UK and Ireland SAP User Group.

 

Steve practises what he preaches: at the University of Warwick, Steve has transformed users' experience by implementing SAP Screen Personas, to provide some radical improvements. One example that impressed me (admittedly as a Personas ignoramus) was this: PO Quick Lookup - YouTube

(There's also a slide deck on this: http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/SteveRumsby/university-of-warwick-personas-coinnovation-project-35656852 ).

Crucially, this is not about sexy colours and background images, but about making life easier, more productive, and more intuitive for the normal SAP GUI user. During his lecture on SAP Screen Personas, which I also attended, Steve said that with normal SAP GUI, some users were refusing to open SAP GUI at all, asking colleagues to do the work for them, whereas with his Personas implementation, users were asking how they could start using the system.

The next steps are to make the experience more UI5 and Fiori-like, but staying within SAP GUI. (Like this: Using SAPUI5 charts in Personas Flavours ).

 

He explained that the SIG was formed because he found himself addressing (often overlapping) UX and UI topics at different existing SIGs. At present, they have 2 face-to-face meetings per year, along with with a number of Webinars. Their most recent face to face was  about design theory - principles of UX, end user requirements, etc - rather than about a specific UI technology.  Steve stressed that this is an important part of their ethos:

Too often, there is a temptation to latch on to an interesting UI technology, and think "What can we do with this?" In fact, a good user experience starts with the question : "What is the user trying to achieve?" "What is preventing him from doing this quickly and efficiently?" Very often the real root cause of the user's problems is not a UI technology problem - it 's a business process problem. However, this only becomes apparent when you examine the process from the end user's prespective.

I was glad to hear Steve say this, because it squares strongly with our official strategy, and also with my own experiences talking to customers.

 

Not surprisingly, we have both watched Sam Yen talking about this (to Simon Kemp) at Teched LV: Scaling User Experience Design in the Enterprise

Here, Sam explains the difference between finding the right problem to solve - ie Design Thinking - which is about observing how the user actually works; versus solving the problem correctly - ie Design DOing - which requires a knowledge of what UI technologies are available.

 

If you are a customer in the UK or Ireland, I would strongly recommend that you consider joining the user group. And if you are already a member, consider what a better understanding of user experience could mean for your users, their productivity, and their job satisfaction. For more information: https://www.sapusers.org/learn/sigs/user-experience .


UX_PrincessBride.jpg

(Note: Steve was not responsible for this image. That was me).

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This past October, I had the pleasure to attend SAP TechEd, the preeminent technology conference held every year in Las Vegas for the SAP community of technologists, engineers and developers who attend in the thousands.  After close to ten years with SAP, it was exciting to experience first hand the scale of this grand event and get the latest news on the latest technology that will eventually drive tomorrow’s best-run businesses. Furthermore, it was a great opportunity for me to meet in person some of the partners and independent software vendors (ISV) with whom I have had the privilege of working with these past years on the integration topic. I had a great time meeting everyone and talking about software integration with SAP.  My thanks to everyone who visited the PLS booth and shared their integration story !


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SAP Partner & ISV Forum Recap


During the SAP Partner and ISV Forum, SAP Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services (PLS) hosted a joint technical enablement session to a packed room of attendees comprised of partners and ISVs interested in learning how to build, integrate, and certify applications on hot topics such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP HANA and Internet of Things (IoT).  Following an introduction to SAP PLS on how partners and ISVs can leverage our vast portfolio of services to accelerate innovation at various stages of the partner innovation lifecycle (more on PLS here), I had the chance to participate in the first technical topic of the session which focused on the integration and certification of third-party developed applications for the HANA Cloud Platform, SAP’s next-generation platform-as-a-service that is set to become (if not already so) the preferred approach for software integration with SAP in the era of cloud computing. My talk was centered on how partners and ISVs can ease their integration effort and ensure technical alignment through SAP’s open program for integration certification. More specifically, I presented the new HCP integration scenario that the SAP Integration and Certification Center is rolling out in an effort to promote faster adoption by facilitating integration of partner-developed solutions with the HANA Cloud Platform. More information on this new integration scenario is provided below. Thank you to all who attended this technical enablement session !


Here are a few takeaways that I would like to share with partners and ISVs who missed this year's TechEd.


1. HCP is THE extension platform


SAP HANA Cloud Platform uniquely combines the power of HANA’s revolutionary in-memory database for advance data processing in real-time with the benefits inherent to cloud computing. As the name implies, HANA Cloud platform is a cloud solution and effectively delivers the promise of simplicity, flexibility, affordability and scalability.   In addition, it offers a variety of development options such as JAVA, HTML5, XS JavaScript just to name a few. All of which are already very well established and command a vast and strong developer community so getting started and productive should be quite simple for most. Additionally, HCP proposes standards-based development tools such as Eclipse (one can also use Web IDE), a focus on open standards as never seen before (at SAP) and the convenience of built-in platform services such as security, mobility and integration to facilitate the overall development effort even more.

This makes HANA Cloud Platform the preferred choice for partners and ISVs looking to develop new cloud applications and/or extend existing SAP on-premise or cloud solutions. There should be no doubt about it, HANA Cloud Platform unequivocally provides a clear and superior integration option to partners and ISVs. Look no further if you are looking to build cloud applications and capitalize on one of the largest enterprise customer-base of close to 300,000 strong.

However, integration is not always easy. As we all know, it could be a challenging task especially when developing complex enterprise solutions. Partners and ISVs are at the heart of SAP’s Cloud Strategy for HCP and one way of easing the development effort and reducing development cost is by leveraging the new HCP integration certification. Indeed, partners and ISVs who undergo integration certification generally experience faster ramp-up on SAP technologies and better understanding of integration options thus speeding up the overall development and integration cycle. 

In brief, the new HCP integration scenario can be leveraged to accelerate the integration effort:

  • One single modular certification with low fee covering all HCP use cases:
    • Build and deploy new cloud applications
    • Extend cloud applications
    • Extend on-premise applications
  • One streamlined approach with a single set of documentation and technical requirements which includes support from a dedicated technical consultant to act as a single point of contact therefore ensuring timely support and completion

 

This is a new offering and the SAP Integration and Certification Center is delighted to offer it to all partners and ISVs building new cloud solutions on HCP. If you would like to learn more on this new integration scenario or become the first partner/ISV with a SAP certified integration on HCP then please contact the SAP Integration and Certification Center.

 

 

2. Redefining customer focus with hybris


I had the opportunity to attend Bernd Leukert’s excellent keynote during which he mentioned the importance of “Digital Transformation” and how it is about putting the customer at the center of everything SAP does by providing an individualized, personalized and multi-channel experience. Please see full text here.

His speech served as a reminder of the importance for the SAP partner community to look beyond the traditional SAP backend and rethink about customer focus. Digital Transformation can be achieved through the use of the the right technology. At the center of this vision for an omni-channel experience lies the SAP hybris Commerce Suite which remains yet untapped by many from the SAP partner and ISV community. This is changing  slowly as more and more partners and ISVs realize the opportunity at hand and the fact that the hybris Commerce Suite is engineered for expansion, extension and scale. The hybris platform’s modular, service-oriented architecture makes it straightforward to add or replace functionality. Java and REST API, Omni Commerce Connect, Data Hub to name a few can be used not only to integrate with other devices or channels but also other systems.


For partners and ISVs who have heard the call and are ready to begin redefining the notion of customer focus by building an extension to hybris Commerce Suite, the hybris extension certification is also available to help you in your integration journey on the hybris platform. Details on this integration scenario are available here.

 

 

3. Fiori as a key differentiator


In today’s competitive software market, it goes without saying that a simple, delightful and responsive user experience is key to a product’s success.  At SAP, Fiori embodies this thinking. Fresh off the heels of winning the prestigious Red Dot Award (more here) for design, Fiori was understandably a hot topic.

On the TechEd show floor, it was almost impossible not to notice the Fiori Café that was located front and center (not to mention the delightful cappuccinos that were served there).  This should definitely serve as an metaphor to all partners and ISVs who are still unsure about embracing Fiori that it can no longer be ignored. Fiori should be a key consideration when developing new solutions. Partners and ISVs building applications should start looking at incorporating elements of SAP's UI design approach into their product roadmap.  Adoption can be accomplished in phases by implementing first the underlying technology stack of SAPUI5 and OData services then to a greater extent by adopting fully the SAP Fiori Design Guidelines that are publicly available to all. 


For those who are on the path of developing custom brand new Fiori applications, the Integration and Certification Center is putting at your disposal the Fiori app certification in order to help partners and ISV develop and certify custom transactional Fiori applications. Currently, the Fiori app certification can be obtained at no cost (conditions apply). Please find more details of this limited-time offer here. Take advantage of this great opportunity while it’s still available!


These are the 3 key takeaways that I believe every partner and ISV should consider following this year's TechEd event.

Thank you to everyone who attended the SAP Partner and ISV Forum and/or visited the PLS booth !


In case you would like to join next year or simply learn more about third-party solution integration with SAP, don't hesitate to get in touch with the SAP Integration and Certification Center.


Thank you !


 


Intro


Last week at sapteched Barcelona I did an expert networking session on functional programming. The talk was meant to make clear why this functional style of programming has been gaining popularity since about a decade, and how to get started with functional programming. The 'why' was explained using some slides, the 'how' by some live coding in Haskell, one of the most 'pure' functional languages available today.

 

Since a lot has been written about these topics already I'm not going to reiterate too much here. The purpose of this blog post is to show some pointers to relevant materials.

 

Why?

 

So, why should a developer be interested in functional programming? The answer is basically multi-core processors, and our inability to write decent imperative concurrent applications that make use of these multiple cores. Functional programming can and does help, because it enforces (or at least encourages) immutability. Without mutable state it's much easier to write concurrent programs. A longer explanation exactly along these lines can be found here.

For further reading I recommend Herb Sutter's Welcome to the Jungle, and even more his older piece The Free Lunch is over. Another post that's worth reading is Chris Whealy 's "Why We Find Concurrency So Hard – Programming on a Multicore Machine with a Single-core Mindset".

Shameless plug: Language Ramblings is a new blog by Chris, DJ Adams and myself (though I've yet to write my first post over there), targeting (SAP) developers who're also interested in the functional style of programming.

 

During my talk at saptd I also mentioned two secondary benefits: first, it's a lot of fun to challenge yourself mentally and to try to grasp a very different approach to software development. Secondly, having more tools (languages are basically programmer tools just like IDEs etc) at your disposal will make you a better developer. Related to this is the book Exercises in Programming Style by Crista Lopez, which I've referred to before. Another interesting reference I alluded to during my talk is Paul Graham's essay Beating the Averages. Definitely worth a read!

 

How?

 

It's of course impossible to capture a live demo in a blog post. So I won't even try . The list of topics that I wanted to cover was as follows:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 15.14.00 .png

I managed to get to (and through) recursion, but as you can see I had to leave some important stuff out, especially the algebraic datatypes and pattern matching. So one of my lessons learned is: no live coding next time, as it proved to be too time-consuming.

 

By the way, before anybody points out that type inference has nothing to do with functional programming: yes, that's basically true, but in practice sophisticated type inference is happening mostly in languages that support and embrace the functional style of programming.

 

As I've said above in the introduction, much has already been written on all of these subjects, and there are a lot of tutorials online. What has worked for me so far was doing a couple of MOOCs on functional programming. Here are some links:

 

Functional Programming Principles in Scala, Coursera

Programming Languages, Coursera

Introduction to Functional Programming, edX

 

More free online materials on functional programming:

Haskell tutorials

Clojure Tutorials

Erlang course

... or just Google for <insert favorite functional programming language> + "tutorial".

N.B. I prefer the MOOCs to the online tutorials, because the tutorials tend to focus more on syntax, while the MOOCs really try to teach you a new way of thinking.

 

Last tip: Alvaro Tejada Galindo has written a number of blog posts on SCN about specific and sometimes weird languages. Among them some functional ones (Erlang, Racket come to mind). Check them out!

 

What's next?

 

Well, as Erik Meijer (instructor of the FP101x edX course mentioned above, and a crazy guy ) would say: Happy Hacking!!

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This year, I was fortunate enough to attend 2 TechEd conferences: the one held in Las Vegas (October 19-23)  and the one from Barcelona (November 10-12). I would like to share my thoughts on this year’s TechEds. I can say that I enjoyed both, though often for different reasons.

I will probably attend the European TechEd conference next year, mainly because:

  • I really enjoyed the networking here. There were a lot more potential clients and Danish companies.
  • The social event was better. It was a party at night clubs. There were more options to network and meet people, and it also lasted longer.
  • The content seemed to be much the same, though there were some long days with presentations being held until 7 p.m.

I will miss the US TechEd because:

  • ASUG sessions were great — during these sessions customers were able to tell what they are doing and how it works out.
  • A conference that was a bit longer, and the option to get some hands-on sessions on Friday.
  • There was a bigger show floor.
  • You could get hotels very close to the venue in Las Vegas, so you did not have to take transportation to get to the event — I was able to simply go for a walk, and still find my way back, without needing a cab.
  • The partner reception was nice, as it was spread out in a bigger area, so it was not as crowded.

At the Barcelona event, I really enjoyed…

The Björn Goerke keynote. It was a killer feature to be able to use the Martian as a theme for the keynote, and it gave users a great idea on how connected SAP offerings were. It was really daring to do live typing on a stage in front of 4000 people + some online, but everything worked just as it should have. It must have taken many attempts to be able to make it in one go. It did not contain any news, but that had already been covered in Las Vegas.

The party was nice, though a bit too many people were there (it was quite crowded); however, it was fun walking around between the different night clubs, meeting a lot of different people, many of whom I have already met before.

Regarding the integration part, some details about BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) tasks were cleared up, and I did get to discuss the topic with the product owners. I learned that the 7.5 dual stack installation will split the instances, with different SIDs (System Identifiers). They will run together, and there is an upgrade path, though it will not be possible to run BPMN scenarios, which could make it a lot easier for customers to perform the migration from dual stack to single stack.

I did learn more about the HANA Hadoop integration in a hands-on session (DMM260). It was interesting to learn more about the Hadoop part, and understand what could be done there. There was some more covering of Vora — and trying it out would have been nice — but on the other, it will be much the same, though with improved performance.

I also attended the hands-on session with SAP Gateway and Fiori (INT260). Exposing data using the CDS (Core Data Services) views that were created seems to be a simple process, and the integration with the webUI (User Interface) was good. The CDS view was just like working with Apache Hibernate, where everything was in an XML file (also demoed at the keynote). There was a lot of mapping work between the OData structure and the SAP data types, but that would have been the same if the data were exposed in PRO.

Did you attend a TechEd conference this year? Did you enjoy it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

- See more at: http://picourse.com/sap-teched-las-vegas-vs-barcelona/#sthash.lkc2vjff.dpuf

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Alexa meets Eva DIY


Steve Lucas opened TechEd Las Vegas with his visionary executive keynote focused on the digital era of new generation enterprise computing. One of the live demos on stage presented the concept hands free interaction with Enterprise systems.

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The following step by step guide details a technical integration of the SAP Concur Travel Service with Amazon Echo Voice Enabled Device for Business by using SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP Cloud For Customer, Evature Expert Virtual Agent (EVA) and Prontoly proximity-based authentication technology. The integration has been implemented by SAP Innovation Centers Network, in collaboration with SAP C4C team.


***More details in the TechEdLive Experts Studio interview:


THE CHALLENGE

Simplifying the customer experience for travel booking, implementing “NO UI” approach.

 

THE USE CASE

Booking a flight and hotel from the company’s travel agency instantaneously, where the flight is on specific dates and the hotel should be close to our business destination which could be a customer’s office, a corporate branch or a prominent place e.g. the Eiffel tour.


THE SOLUTION

Voice enabled device connected to business cloud services with travel booking solution. Where:

  • Voice enabled device is Amazon Echo Voice Enabled Device for Business;
  • Business cloud services is SAP HANA Cloud Platform for business via SAP Cloud For Customer;
  • Travel Booking is SAP Concur;
  • User authorization is provided leveraging Prontoly ultrasonic proximity-based authentication signature;
  • Natural Language understanding is provided by the Evature Expert Virtual Agent (EVA).

 

THE FLOW

  1. User is authorized to access SAP services by activating Alexa: “Alexa start SAP”

The hands-free authentication process takes place in the background ultrasonically via microphones and speakers that each device (mobile phone and Amazon Echo) is already equipped with. Sound, imperceptible by the human ear, is played by the authenticating device (Amazon Echo) and is heard by the mobile device equipped with Prontoly. A special handshake between the mobile device and the login page (SAP HANA Cloud Platform Application) occurs through Prontoly’s Sound Tokenization technology and then the device equipped with Prontoly sends the verification to the application requesting authentication. During the authentication process, no passwords or user sensitive data are transmitted over the sound so it is impossible for anything to be sniffed or reproduced.

 

  1. User books travel from SAP Concur “Alexa ask SAP to book me a flight from X to Y”

    II.    Unstructured text is passed from Amazon Echo (Alexa) to Evature’s Expert Virtual Agent (EVA) for Natural Language understanding. Eva’s dialog engine completes missing information by conversing with the user and when sufficient information is gathered, a structured query is delivered to the Concur API via HANA Cloud Platform Application. Concur contacts Booking.com and GDS to receive the alternatives and returns the answer via API. The answer is being played to the user by Amazon Echo (Alexa). The user selects the desired flight and asks for a hotel. He doesn’t need to specify the date or the location, since Eva infers the information from previous utterances in the conversation already stored those in the complex object in the application on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.


Technical Implementation:

  1. Download the authentication sound file from Prontoly website and upload it to your Amazon account Link (Prontoly to provide the file generation service);
  2. Download and install the Prontoly authentication application to your mobile device Link (Prontoly to provide the app generation service);
  3. Book SAP HANA Platform Trial instance;
  4. Deploy the Travel Booking Java Application (Appendix I);
  5. Install Amazon Alexa Web Plugin or use the real Echo device (see development guide in Appendix II);
  6. Acquire access to the Evature Sandbox on AWS Link (register for a free Evature account at https://www.evature.com/registration/form);
  7. To further extend or change your HCP application, use the following Concur APIs  Link (you can access the link to the original article on Evernote or follow the steps in Appendix III);
  8. The explanation on the usage of SAP Cloud For Customer (C4C) is in Appendix IV.

Here is the video:

 

Now you are ready to go. Use the voice commands below to start your journey:

“Alexa start sap”

“Alexa ask sap to book me a flight from boston to chicago”

“Alexa play log in”  // Open Prontoly App Is needed

“Alexa ask sap to book me a flight from boston to chicago”

“November first”

“Alexa ask sap to book me a hotel in chicago” // might have time outs, just restart from the hotel booking

“November first “

“Three nights”

 

Extra commands:

Alexa ask sap clear session // if stuck or repeating questions many times

Alexa exit // If EVA is stuck on a question

Alexa ask sap to log out // clean session and to re-login with prontoly

 

 

 

THE BENEFITS

By combining Travel NLP by Evature, Concur by SAP and Ultrasonic Auth by Prontoly, we are getting natural, fast, secure and simple interaction between businesses and their consumers.


Appendix I

Deployment of the Travel App to SAP HCP.

Once you are in your HCP cockpit you will see:

 

Proceed to ‘Java Applications’

Click on ’Deploy’ link and a new widow will pop up

 

Specify the location of the WAR file with your skill, Application name, and press deploy. After the deployment will be completed you can immediately start your application.

 

Once application has started you will see the link where it can be accessed

We will need this link later for configuration the Amazon Echo skill.

Appendix II

  1. Implementing the skill

You can read an article about how to create amazon Alexa skill kit here: https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/getting-started-guide

 

Evature provides us a powerful NLP engine, so we just send them a phrase we have received from user, and Evature will send us parsed structured travel data.

import com.amazon.speech.speechlet.SpeechletResponse
import
groovy.json.JsonSlurper
import org.slf4j.Logger
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory

import static groovyx.net.http.ContentType.JSON
import static groovyx.net.http.Method.GET
import static saplab.ConcurProxyService.*
import static saplab.SpeechletUtils.buildSpeechletResponse
import static saplab.Utils.createHttpBuilder

class EvaProxyService {

def static url = "http://freeapi.evature.com/v1.0"

private static final Logger LOGGER = LoggerFactory.getLogger(EvaProxyService.class);

static SpeechletResponse getEvaResponse(String inputText, SapSession session, String intent) {
def http = createHttpBuilder(url)

def sessionId = session.evaSessionId ?: '1'

LOGGER.debug("Sending request to Evature $inputText")

http.request(GET) {
headers.
Accept = JSON.acceptHeader
uri.query = [
site_code : 'your_site_code', api_key: 'your_api_key',
input_text: inputText, session_id: sessionId, from_speech: '', ffi_statement: '', ffi_chains: '', uuid: session.id]
response.success = { response ->

def json = response.entity.content.text
LOGGER.debug(
"Received response from evature ${json}")
def reply = new JsonSlurper().parseText(json)

def indexesToSkip = []
def replies = []
def title
def reprompt
session.evaSessionId = reply.session_id
// acquire authorization token from Concur
def token = getConcurToken()
def replyReady = false

// parsing the response from Evature
def flows = reply?.api_reply?.Flow
def flightFlows = flows?.findAll {it.Type == "Flight"}?.size()
def isFlightContext = flightFlows > session.flightFlows

def flowsToProcess = isFlightContext ? flows.findAll {it.Type == "Flight" || it.Type == "Question"} : flows.findAll {it.Type == "Hotel" || it.Type == "Question"}

session.flightFlows = flightFlows

LOGGER.debug(
"New flow is ${flowsToProcess?.toListString()}")

  flowsToProcess?.reverse()?.eachWithIndex { element, index ->
if (replyReady) return
if
(index in indexesToSkip) return

if
(element.ReturnTrip) {
// overriding SayIt with ReturnTrip SayIt (from devs)
replies << element.ReturnTrip.SayIt
indexesToSkip << element.ReturnTrip.ActionIndex
}
else {
replies << element.SayIt
}

// if we have a question to user we should stop processing and ask for additional info
if (element.Type == 'Question') {
reprompt = element.SayIt
title = element.QuestionCategory ?:
''
replyReady = true
}

if (element.Type == "Flight") {
// asking concur for a flight
def flight = searchForFlight(token, reply.api_reply, element)
LOGGER.trace(
"Flight search result is $flight")
replies = [flight]
replyReady =
true
session.flightFlows = 0
session.evaSessionId = 0
}

if (element.Type == "Hotel") {
// asking concur for hotel
def hotels = searchForHotels(token, reply.api_reply, element)
LOGGER.trace(
"Flight search result is $hotels")
replies = [hotels]
replyReady =
true
session.flightFlows = 0
session.evaSessionId = 0
}
}
def output = replies.join('. ')
reprompt = reprompt ?: output
  buildSpeechletResponse(intent, output,
false)
}

response.failure = { response ->
LOGGER.error(
"Received an error from eva ${response.entity.content.text}")
buildSpeechletResponse(intent,
"Error connecting Eva service", true)
}
}
as SpeechletResponse
}
}

 

 

 

 

  1. Registering the skill at amazon

Go to the amazon developer portal https://developer.amazon.com/edw/home.html#/

To the Alexa section

 

Go to the ‘Alexa Skills Kit’, now we need to fill up the skill information

Provide your skill name and the invocation name.  Put your link to the skill from the HCP in the endpoint field.

Click Save, and proceed to Interaction model.

Fill the utterances (the key phrases Alexa will listen for), and intent schema (type of the data and intent names are specified here)

See https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/solutions/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/docs/defining-the-voice-interface for more information

 

Add SSL option on ’SSL Certificate’ page

And you can test your skill on the ‘Test’  page.

We will have all the text being passed to Evature for processing.

You can find the project here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/po60vx2999lb866/alexaWs.zip?dl=0


Appendix III

 

There is an example on how Concur and the Echo can be used together with Concur public API (article written by Chris Trudeau):

 

The Amazon Echo skill kit example makes it easy to build Echo apps that call cloud APIs. In this post, we’ll touch on the Concur JS SDK and how to integrate it with the Amazon Echo skill kit. Check out the github repo for an example of the code talked about here.

 

Example Usage

Alexa can get the next trip for your Concur user. With that you could add functionality to get the next city you are traveling to or any data related to your trips in Concur.

User: "Alexa, ask Concur when is my next trip?"
Alexa: "Your upcoming Concur trip is <TripName>"

 

Development

If you are familiar with NodeJS then the development is fairly straight forward after checking out invocations and intents. A user calls intents with their voice and invocations are the name that identifies functional that the user wants. Creating an IntentSchema for our skill in our example above and our SampleUtterances. Then using the Concur SDK you can retrieve a list of trips for a specific user like below. Then you can create new intents to get more functionality such as the hotel for the next trip, airline the user is flying or any other information located via the Concur Itinerary API.

//This will contain a list of Itineraries
var options = {
oauthToken:oauthToken
};

concur.itinerary.get(options)
.then(function(data) {
// Data will contain the Itinerary
})
.fail(function(error) {
  // Error will contain the error returned.

});

 

Conclusion

I’ve enjoyed working with the Amazon Echo. I use Echo at home to control my lights and thermostat and even as a radio. One issue with this integration is it does not support OAuth which means that it will only work for a single user token.

 


Appendix IV

 

SAP Cloud For Customer Integration

 

  1. You should have access to the OData service of your C4C tenant:
    https://<your_c4c_tenant>/sap/byd/odata/v1/c4codata/$metadata
  2. You can browse the available object collections and their data types. We will be using the AccountCollection:

https://<your_c4c_tenant>/sap/byd/odata/v1/c4codata/AccountCollection

  1. Import the OData helper classes from our sample code. They depend on Google Gson and the fluent Apache HTTP Client (fluent-hc)
  2. Using the helper classes, you can conveniently connect to C4C and query the account collection

 

String odataUrl = "https://<your_c4c_tenant>/sap/byd/odata/v1/c4codata/";
String c4cUser =
"User";
String c4cPassword =
"Password";

ODataClient odata =
new ODataClient(odataUrl, c4cUser, c4cPassword);

// Load 10 accounts
Account[] accounts = odata.loadItems(Account.class, "AccountCollection", 10);
for (Account account : accounts) {
System.
out.println(account.AccountName);
}
 
  1. You can use this data to answer the Alexa Questions:

 

public ServletResponse processAccountOwnerIntent(String accountNameSlotValue) {
ODataClient odata =
/* ... */;
Account[] accounts = odata.loadItems(Account.
class, "AccountCollection", 1, String.format("substringof('%1$s', AccountName)", accountNameSlotValue));
if (accounts != null && accounts.length > 0) {
return buildSpeechletResponse("AccountOwnerIntent", "The account owner is " + accounts[0].OwnerFormattedName, false);
}
else {
return buildSpeechletResponse("AccountOwnerIntent", "Sorry, I couldn't find an account with that name", false);
}
}

 

 

You can download the sample project from here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wexzt0to4l4c7mx/alexa-c4c-sample.zip?dl=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT

***About SAP Innovation Centers Network

SAP Innovation Centers Network is the innovation gateway to SAP technologies.

With a generously equipped integration lab, cutting edge technologies in

fields of Machine Learning, distributed computing storage, networking and hardware accelerators, available to its partners, ICN is responsible for the constant growth of SAP eco system. Our team enables our partners to extend their offering by co-development of software strategy, architecture, and design. We provide deep expertise in software development, prototyping, and partner frameworks, with ICN staff function as an intelligent interface supporting your project.

Contacts for this PoC:

michael.kemelmakher@sap.com

b.mikhailovski@sap.com

leonid.bobovich@sap.com

inna.tokarev.sela@sap.com



***SAP Cloud For Customer c4c.jpg

This cloud CRM portfolio brings marketing, sales, commerse, customer service, and social CRM together- to help your team form powerful personal connections that drive customer engagement across all channels.

Contacts for this PoC:

oliver.conze@sap.com



***About Concur

Concur (an SAP company)  is the leading provider of spend management solutions and services in the world, helping companies of all sizes transform the way they manage spend so they can focus on what matters most. Through Concur’s open platform, the entire travel and expense ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and developers can access and extend Concur’s T&E cloud. Concur’s systems adapt to individual employee preferences and scale to meet the needs of companies from small to large.

Contacts for this PoC:

john.dietz@sap.com



***About Amazon Echo (Alexa)

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word.

 

 

***About Evature (Eva)

Evature develops an Expert Virtual Agent (EVA), enabling free-text search for online travel.

Utilizing innovative algorithms to process search requests, EVA understands the users' inputs and converts them to structured search queries with very high precision.

 

 

***About Prontoly

“Authentication by Proximity. Prontoly developed proximity-based authentication technology that identifies users via their mobile device. This connection is made through the emission and detection of imperceptible sounds using the device’s microphone and speakers and doesn’t require any extra hardware or user action.

Wow! I just can't go over how well this SAP TechEd session has played out! Way back in 2010 when the SAP Innovation Weekend was born and later morphed into the SAP InnoJam, I only shared a little of my vision and dream but now 2015 complete I thought I should share it with everyone else.

 

I've been involved with the DemoJam at SAP TechEd now since almost the beginning having also been a host of it and of course as a founder of the now known as SAP InnoJam my dream was to see the two merge and this year we took the risk and we did just that!

 

SAP InnoJam this year in both Las Vegas and Barcelona was the sole chance for anyone wanting to get a chance to join us on stage for the DemoJam, you can check out lots of highlights here. What we did was cancelled the call for proposals this year and we said the only chance is to join the SAP InnoJam either as a team or an individual and then join a team - the best 6 would go on to be on the stage. In Las Vegas we had 13 teams and 6 really great ones moved on to the stage for a brilliant competition!

 

 

In Barcelona we had 18 teams, and for me a special treat as I was the one back on stage hosting those 6 best during the DemoJam.

 

 

I was able to see my dream come true first hand, SAP InnoJam is now the sole path to recognition, the only chance to get on stage at the DemoJam and 2016 means that we have 3 SAP InnoJam events and we hope to see all of you there competing to get your chance on stage as well!

 

And if that is not enough to satisfy your innovation curosity then check put these additional videos from the 2015 TechEd session!

 











Barcelona Teched 2015 kicked off with Steve Lucas dealing out the bad news to the SAP competition in confident style;

SAPTechedblog-3215.jpg

but behind the bluster of the key note, the technical innovations were there to be delved into, Chris Swanepoel here showing us that the future of ABAP clearly lies within Eclipse with his wry sense of humour and (in a later session) abilities to hack his colleagues keyboard language settings through telepathy were truly impressive (how did you do that again Chris?)

SAPTechedblog-3226.jpg

Despite the lack of coffee machines the venue was truly awesome with many places to stop and check the emails, charge up the (laptop) batteries, and the Fiori Cafe really saved the day for coffee lovers, even if it meant a 10 minute walk between the buildings, I think SAP are secretly trying to get us all into shape!

SAPTechedblog-3229.jpg

Having a developer background some of my sessions were pretty heavy even in the first day, it was truly fascinating though to peel your way through the hype to really start to understand the technology in the background, and understand what it can begin to deliver. For me it was fascinating to discover that even before we get to Hana we can make use of the huge performance benefits of CDS views, and they will help us prep the way to the brave new SAP future world (S/4 HANA).

 

DemoJam finished off the Monday, and it opened my eyes a little more to what was possible there; BIG congratulations go to the winners; who definitely had the best celebrations following a Demojam win that I have ever witnessed. Perhaps a future career in kick boxing awaits, seriously though - that was an awesome presentation and a well deserved victory celebration!

SAPTechedblog-3255.jpg

Then the keynote on Tuesday for me that was the real keynote! if you are of a more geekie persuasion, Björn Goerke went where few keynote speakers will usually dare to tread, SE16 for the first time in a keynote, quickly followed up by SE37, by this time we are cheering in delirium and before we know it he is busy coding his way out of being marooned on the planet Mars using all of the available latest HANA tech he can muster together, this has to be seen to be believed, and to do this live in a keynote; without a single visit to ST22! that was pretty impressive I can tell you. That was how to wow a crowd full of ABAPers!

SAPTechedblog-3306.jpg

Then one of the session highlights for me was Stefan Elfner's overview of the S/4 HANA architecture, this was the first time that I really started to understand where SAP are going with S/4 HANA and the slightly perilous journey that us customers will have to take to get there with them, a truly inspiring session from a truly inspiring Teched. Go and see the video of this session (TEC206 - Hint: SAP please make a vid available) if you are unsure about what S/4 HANA is all about, it is a must see!

SAPTechedblog-3314.jpg

Tuesday night was everyone's chance to wind down after 2 pretty heavy duty days, of wandering the Teched showroom floors. gatecrashing as many hands on sessions as is possible, and posing tricky questions to all of the SAP experts on hand. What a night SAP had planned for us - with 4 clubs in a row, my group made the sound decision that we simply had to eat and drink in every one, and what a night!

 

Apologies in advance to anyone I catch in the pictures who was partying a little to hard! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (they seem to get blurrier as the night progresses, clearly must be a fault developing with the camera there).

SAPTechedblog-3338.jpgSAPTechedblog-3378.jpg

SAPTechedblog-3392.jpg

SAPTechedblog-3408.jpgSAPTechedblog-3422.jpgSAPTechedblog-3430.jpg

SAPTechedblog-3439.jpgSAPTechedblog-3455.jpg

We decided we needed a long walk back after the partying to catch a bit of the Barcelona sea air, and to watch the fishermen bring in tomorrows catch.

SAPTechedblog-3468.jpgMy final day was I think truly epicly badly planned on my part - starting with a 4 hour hands on development session (which I was fashionably late for; the very last person let in to a very full session). I had the good fortune to sit next to a .Net developer whose skillset had clearly expanded into being a very competent SAP developer, I wisely let him speed through the exercises whilst I focused on sitting back and carefully observing.

 

Then to really cap things off nicely my last teched session of the conference was innocently titled "Write less code using new language features for more concise code". I was thinking this would be a fun way to conclude Teched - what I hadn't really prepped for was for a session by 2 of the leads of the ABAP language group, who promptly educated us how to write 50 lines of ABAP code in just 2 lines.

 

You know you are in real trouble when one of these experts stands back and scratches his head and says something like "hmmm let me take another look at that line of code for a few minutes", and then explains that you need to get into the ABAP zone before really getting this new concise syntax into your head - or something like that - by this time my remaining brain cells had I think jumped ship and transported their way out of Teched, and were shortly followed by me in person.

SAPTechedblog-3481.jpg

That's me signing off from what has been a truly memorable, and brain zapping Teched, but after all of the hours of sessions, thousands of miles walked to find a fresh cup of coffee and the hard partying, I have to hand it to SAP for organizing a truly memorable Teched 2015 conference. Thanks SAP!.

 

Note all these pictures (in their full resolution glory) and more can be found on my picture site here (feel free to download):

 

http://siarl.zenfolio.com/sapteched2015_barcelona

 

Please feel free to post your own pics in the comments below, or discuss the various merits of the sessions, the fun behind the scenes and the lack of coffee machines where they were really needed - the lecture area!

In my previous post, I discussed key learnings at the education sessions I was able to attend.  However, the value of attending SAP TechEd is not limited to lectures, hands-on labs, and road map presentations. There is a lot of value in the other activities as well, so here in "the rest of the story"  I will highlight a few other key activities. The schedule at TechEd is so packed that it is impossible to do everything, so, sadly, I missed the Data Genius Viz-aThon led by Tammy Powlas and the evening diversity event led by Karin Tillotson. Ah well,  until human cloning is perfected, it is just not possible to do it all.

 

SAP Mentor meetings and SAP TechEd Live


As an SAP Mentor I was privileged to be invited to attend private meetings with various SAP executives and product managers, most of which were covered by a non-disclosure agreement, so not much can be said. However, our meeting with product manager and Mentor alumnus Thomas Jung included a discussion of SAP HANA SPS11, which was already publicly announced. It was very interesting to me to hear about the security ramifications of SPS11. At the Mentor meeting with  SAP SVP for Product Support Andreas Heckmann  we discussed further the topics that Andreas and I discussed on his SAP TechEd Live interview, The Next Generation Product Support: Support for the 'Digital Enterprise.' If you missed his interview, be sure to watch the recording.

Photo courtesy of SAP TechEd Live.

SAP TechEd Live 2015 comp.jpg

 

Expert Networking sessions


Serving as a discussion leader for Expert Networking sessions is always one of my favorite activities at SAP TechEd; If you were not able to fit some of these into your time at TechEd, you really missed out on some great informal learning.  Security challenges, issues with implementing Access Control 10.x, architecture and process options, and integration with  Identity Management and Central User Administration were among the topics touched on at my sessions. Thanks to everyone who came and participated in the discussions.

 

Evening networking and the SAP Fiori Rocks! Jam Band


Once again the SAP Mentors and friends, led by our own Matt Harding, were pleased to provide musical entertainment at the evening networking event prior to Demo Jam. The busy schedule does not afford us much time for practice; we had two evening rehearsals prior to the performance. and then it was show time. Thank you to Sam Yen for once again sponsoring the band, and thanks to everyone who came and danced, sang along, rocked along, and had a good time enjoying the camaraderie with SAP TechEd colleagues. Members of this year's multi-national band in Las Vegas were SAP Mentors and alumni, SAP employees, customers, and partners, including:

Sam Yen

Matt Harding

Bryan Enochs

Adrian Vaughan

Chris Kernaghan

Jocelyn Dart

Maria Farrales

Roger Hale

Tobias Hauk

Matthias Steiner

Simon Angel

and myself. If you somehow missed the networking event, see for yourself what a great time you missed, and be sure to plan to attend next time.

Photo courtesy of Christian Braukmüller

SAP Fiori band 2015 comp.jpg

 

Demo Jam


If you skipped Demo Jam thinking that it was the same old, same old, you really missed out. This year's Demo Jam participants created their health-care related applications in the 32 hours of the InnoJam event just prior to TechEd. Instead of the highly produced demos polished over months of practice, there was real suspense: would the apps really work? Would they be able to demo it in the allotted time? It was both inspiring and entertaining to see these developers demo their new creations. Congratulations to all who participated.

 

I hope that I have convinced those of you who missed TechEd 2015 in Las Vegas to consider attending next year. Fingers crossed that I see you then!

Here it all starts again – final review of the presentations, demo system fine tuning, networking session’s slides review and Fiori Café final preps. As in every year in the last 6-7 years (more or less, who’s counting…) last minute changes are inevitable. Who knows, maybe one day this will change .

 

This year was so exciting, one of the most exciting years in my SAP career (seriously!). SAP TechEd is always the pick of the year where the hard work of so many people is being revealed and presented to you – our customers. I am so grateful to present new innovations coming from our lab in Israel.

 

For years I am (more-or-less) known as the ‘Portal guys’ at TechEd, and this year was an exciting year for the SAP Portal. We have uplifted and renewed the SAP Portal experience with the Fiori UX – launchpad running on the SAP Portal (fiori farmework page), and the consumption of Fiori apps in the Portal, running side by side with existing (sometimes we call them 'established') UI technologies. We believe that this new capability will allow you – our customers, to get more from the SAP software you are already running in your landscape.

 

This year I am very happy to have onsite additional colleagues from the SAP Portal development team - Dana Sarfati and Nadav Nuri - you are encouraged to come and meet all of us in the Fiori Café area.

 

The new ‘kid on the block’ is the SAP Fiori, cloud edition (SFCE in short) – a new deployment option for SAP Fiori (launchpad and apps) running aaS on SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). Just few weeks ago at SAP TechEd Las-Vegas we announced the availability of SFCE in a control availability program. Please don’t be confused with the controlled availability term – this is very similar to a GA care program where we would like to closely monitor and support our innovative customers and ensure their successful implementation.

 

Few weeks passed and SAP IT are already live with SAP Fiori, cloud edition. I am happy to share with you a short video explaining how SAP IT is running SAP Fiori, cloud edition. Without additional writing, please watch this short video by Florian Heretsch and Julia Lakatos. Thanks both for making this happen!

 

 

If you would like to learn more about SFCE, you are welcome to visit us in the Fiori Café (where I will spend most of the time), join our hands-on session (UX260) with DJ Adams Vitaly Vainer Tom Van Doorslaer and myself, our overview lecture (UX203) given by myself and Julia Lakatos as a guest speaker, and finally, I highly recommend you to join Lee Mears and hear how Shell Runs Simple (and Successfully!) with SAP Fiori, Cloud Edition (UX214) – this is a must have session for anyone who is interesting in this new offering / technology.

 

The control availability program is now open – if you would like to join the program, contact me (Aviad Rivlin) onsite and I’ll make sure you have all the details.

 

Finaly, the SAP Fiori launchpad. I am sure that all of you have already heard about the Fiori launchpad (and if not, don’t miss this TechEd to learn more about it). The launchpad is getting more and more momentum with its different deployment options (ABAP FES, SAP Portal and HCP), and the renewal of the SAP Portal and the SAP Business Client experience with the launchpad experience. Don’t miss this TechEd to join the hands-on session (UX162), the presentations (UX106 and UX201) and the Fiori Café area where you can talk with Carola Steinmaier Marek Barwicki and myself on the existing and future plans for the launchpad.

I can't complete this paragraph without Fiori 2.0 - come and hear all about it directly from Kai Richter in the Fiori Cafe area.

 

barcelona-spain.jpg

 

 

Enjoy TechEd and don’t forget to enjoy beautiful Barcelona!

Aviad

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