One of the first things we asked you to do (and this is communicated in Chip Rodgers' blog about the top 10 things users should do when the new SCN launches) is to move your blogs from your personal space to the topic space that is most relevant. This would ensure that your blogs are being seen by users for whom they're intended.

As part of the migration of content from the old to the new, system redirects were implemented to ensure you are able to find your content. This has an impact on your blogs: when you move blogs from your personal space into topic spaces, the blog URL will change - that means that the redirects will no longer work. For example:

 

 

 

 

 

If your old blogs are linked to from other areas of SCN, or from other sites, you should consider updating those places with the new URL. This is also important if you've created a blog series - most have links to all the blogs in the series, and it would be prudent to ensure that each instance is updated with the new URL.

There's certainly some effort required of bloggers, but with the new Jive-based platform, it's a two-click process - very easy and intuitive. To make the process easy, I've created a "tip in a minute" video that walks through the steps required to move your blogs: 

The SCN Forums are an important part of the SCN experience. They are incredibly active with about 4000 posts a day on hundreds of forum topics! Access to experts on a multitude of SAP subjects who can collaborate together to find the best solutions!

How will they be changing in the new SCN? See a short video blog I’ve prepared to help guide you in the new SCN Discussion Forums. Topics covered include:

  • How best to find your favorite forum content
  • Learning how many of the well known features remain the same
  • Catching a few cool new features
  • Seeing community rating & more
     

Watch the video and be prepared to jump right in and get the conversation rolling in the new SCN Discussion Forum of your choice!

 

 

(Please Note: This demo was not conducted on the final site design for the new SCN; i.e, it won't look exactly like this...)


Like every year, even this year, I am going to make some plans that I would like to implement but with a difference. This year's plans are not related to money spending, or investing the same. Nor is it going to be visiting places or giving up some bad habits or inculcating new ones. The habit that I certainly would want to inculcate would be something pertaining to SAP.

 

In order to further my SAP knowledge I have planned the following excerises.

 

1) Have a 'concept for the day' exercise every day. There will be at least one concept or a particular subject that would be selected randomly (either functional or technical) to increase my awareness and well documented. There will be a separate folder maintained for a particular month.

--- By the month end you would be surprised to have learned atleast 30 new concepts.

 

2) Year-end I would consolidate the list of all the monthly 'concept for the day' points and make sure to read them.

--- You would be surprised at the amount of new things that you would have learnt. You never know when they come handy.

 

3) I aim to contribute at least two SAP blogs and two wiki articles as target every month.

--- This will not only improve your contribution points but also help you develop a perspective to keep thinking about new things.

 

4) I aim to write at least one White Paper every month. I also aim presenting a webinar every 6 months.

--- This will help you develop your presentation skills and also help you to research on a particular topic further.

 

5) I will get myself trained in at least two Industry-Specific e-learnings every month.

--- This will help your mind set facing client.

 

I did a test run of the above exercises last month and could see a remarkable difference in my mind set as an SAP Consultant to face any challenge. I hope it will do the same to you if you follow them.

This weblog talks about Material Assignment with T-code CA02 - Change Routing. It provides direct solutions for material allocation in CA02 instead of using any BDC program as we all know BDC is not suggested always. This solution is based on Engineering Workbench EWB which is available as of Release 4.6B for the task list and BOM processing.


The EWB is based on an API (Application Programming Interface) which provides good service functions for the task list and BOM processing. Many problems in the area of the automation of processing steps or mass processing which cannot be solved with SAP standard programs can be solved based on the EWB-API with the help of customer-specific programs.

I have developed one program by calling suitable APIs that can allocate material to an existing Group Number.

Like we do it using T-code CA02 -> Material Assignment

The program given below can do the Material Allocation for an existimg task list Number. Hence, we can avoid writing a BDC program for the same purpose.

Sample Code:

  REPORT  zmkp_api_change_routing.

* global fields, declarations
* ================================================
INCLUDE fc27date.
INCLUDE cp_cs_const_message.
TYPE-POOLS:   cc01,
              cpsc,
              cpcl,
              cmcl,
              czcl,
              cssc,
              cscl.

TYPES: BEGIN OF create_parameter_type,
  matnr TYPE mapl-matnr,
  werks TYPE mapl-werks,
  verwe TYPE plko-verwe,
  statu TYPE plko-statu,
  plnme TYPE plko-plnme,
  steus TYPE plpo-steus,
  steuf TYPE plfhd-steuf,
  fhmat TYPE plfhd-matnr,
  sttag TYPE plko-datuv,
  number(4) TYPE n.
TYPES: END OF create_parameter_type.

DATA g_parameter TYPE create_parameter_type.

* selection screen
* ================================================
SELECTION-SCREEN BEGIN OF BLOCK b1 WITH FRAME TITLE text-t01.
PARAMETERS: p_plnty TYPE plko-plnty DEFAULT 'N',
            "task list type
            p_plnnr TYPE plko-plnnr,
            "task list group number
            p_plnal TYPE plko-plnal DEFAULT '1',
            "group counter
            p_sttag TYPE plko-datuv DEFAULT sy-datum.
"keydate
SELECTION-SCREEN END OF BLOCK b1.

SELECTION-SCREEN BEGIN OF BLOCK b2 WITH FRAME TITLE text-t02.
PARAMETERS: p_matnr TYPE mapl-matnr,
            "material
            p_werks TYPE mapl-werks DEFAULT '7112',
            "plant
            p_verwe TYPE plko-verwe DEFAULT '1',
            "usage
            p_statu TYPE plko-statu DEFAULT '4',
            "status
            p_plnme TYPE plko-plnme DEFAULT 'ST'.

SELECTION-SCREEN END OF BLOCK b2.

g_parameter-matnr = p_matnr.
g_parameter-werks = p_werks.
g_parameter-verwe = p_verwe.
g_parameter-statu = p_statu.
g_parameter-plnme = p_plnme.
g_parameter-sttag = p_sttag.

* main program
* ================================================

* 1. load task list into internal EWB-buffer
PERFORM load_task_list
  USING
    p_plnty
    p_plnnr
    p_plnal
    p_sttag.


* 2. change the loaded task list
PERFORM change_task_list
  USING
    p_sttag.

* 3. save changed task list to database
PERFORM save_to_database.

COMMIT WORK.
WRITE: /'program ready.'.

*&---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*&      Form  LOAD_TASK_LIST
*&---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*       load task listr into internal EWB-BUFFER
*----------------------------------------------------------------------*
*      -->I_PLNTY  task list type
*      -->I_PLNNR  task list number = group number
*      -->I_PLNAL  group counter
*      -->I_STTAG  keydate
*----------------------------------------------------------------------*
FORM load_task_list
  USING
    i_plnty LIKE plko-plnty
    i_plnnr LIKE plko-plnnr
    i_plnal LIKE plko-plnal
    i_sttag LIKE plko-datuv.

  DATA: l_classes_in_workarea LIKE classes_in_workarea,
        l_tsk_plnty_selection TYPE cpsc_plnty_type,
        lt_tsk_plnty_selection TYPE cpsc_plnty_type OCCURS 0,
        l_tsk_plnnr_selection TYPE cpsc_plnnr_type,
        lt_tsk_plnnr_selection TYPE cpsc_plnnr_type OCCURS 0,
        l_tsk_plnal_selection TYPE cpsc_plnal_type,
        lt_tsk_plnal_selection TYPE cpsc_plnal_type OCCURS 0,
        l_tsk_selection TYPE cpsc_tsk_sel_type.

* objects for loading
  l_classes_in_workarea-mtk_inarea = 'X'.
  l_classes_in_workarea-tsk_inarea = 'X'.
  l_classes_in_workarea-seq_inarea = 'X'.
  l_classes_in_workarea-opr_inarea = 'X'.
  l_classes_in_workarea-suo_inarea = 'X'.
  l_classes_in_workarea-prt_inarea = 'X'.

* fill selection conditions - PLNTY
  CONCATENATE 'I' 'EQ' i_plnty INTO l_tsk_plnty_selection.
  APPEND l_tsk_plnty_selection TO lt_tsk_plnty_selection.
  l_tsk_selection-plnty = lt_tsk_plnty_selection.

  CONCATENATE 'I' 'EQ' i_plnnr INTO l_tsk_plnnr_selection.
  APPEND l_tsk_plnnr_selection TO lt_tsk_plnnr_selection.
  l_tsk_selection-plnnr = lt_tsk_plnnr_selection.

  CONCATENATE 'I' 'EQ' i_plnal INTO l_tsk_plnal_selection.
  APPEND l_tsk_plnal_selection TO lt_tsk_plnal_selection.
  l_tsk_selection-plnal = lt_tsk_plnal_selection.

* load objects into EWB
  CALL FUNCTION 'CP_CC_S_LOAD_COMPLEX_BY_TSK'
    EXPORTING
      i_class                        = 'P'
      i_classes_in_workarea          = l_classes_in_workarea
      i_cpsc_tsk_sel                 = l_tsk_selection
      i_date_from                    = i_sttag
      i_date_to                      = i_sttag
    EXCEPTIONS
      workarea_not_found             = 1
      workarea_wrong_type            = 2
      class_in_workarea_inconsistent = 3
      workarea_not_specified         = 4
      opr_not_found                  = 5
      no_selection_criteria          = 6
      invalid_selection_period       = 7
      key_date_required_for_ecm      = 8
      OTHERS                         = 9.

ENDFORM.                    " LOAD_TASK_LIST

*&---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*&      Form  create_task_list
*&---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*       text
*----------------------------------------------------------------------*
*      -->I_PARAMETER  text
*----------------------------------------------------------------------*
FORM create_task_list
  USING
    i_parameter TYPE create_parameter_type.

  DATA: l_tsk LIKE tsk_class_data,
        l_opr LIKE opr_class_data,
        l_vornr(4) TYPE n,
        l_mtk LIKE mtk_class_data,
        l_max_vornr(4) TYPE n.

* create task list header
* ===============================================

  CLEAR l_tsk.
  l_tsk-plnty = 'N'.                 "task list type

  l_tsk-plnnr = '50009041'.
  l_tsk-plnal = '01'.
  l_tsk-zaehl = '1'.
  l_tsk-verwe = '1'.
  l_tsk-werks = '7112'.
  l_tsk-statu = '4'.
  l_tsk-plnme = i_parameter-plnme.

  CALL FUNCTION 'CP_CL_S_TSK_CHANGE'
   EXPORTING
    i_ecn_s                     = ' '
     i_key_date_s                = i_parameter-sttag
    i_flg_tsk_check             = 'X'
    i_mark_txt_update           = ' '
     i_tsk_class_data            = l_tsk
    i_flg_collect_all_msg       = ' '
* IMPORTING
*   E_ECM_DATA_ERROR_TYPE       =
  EXCEPTIONS
    task_not_consistent         = 1
    no_authority                = 2
    no_valid_task               = 3
    task_not_locked             = 4
    ecm_data_not_suitable       = 5
    OTHERS                      = 6.

* material task list allocation
* ===============================================
  l_mtk-plnty = l_tsk-plnty.        "task list type
  l_mtk-plnnr = l_tsk-plnnr.        "task list group
  l_mtk-plnal = l_tsk-plnal.        "group counter
  l_mtk-matnr = i_parameter-matnr.  "material
  l_mtk-werks = i_parameter-werks.  "plant

  CALL FUNCTION 'CZ_CL_S_MTK_CREATE'
    EXPORTING
      i_key_date_s              = i_parameter-sttag
      i_mtk_class_data          = l_mtk
    EXCEPTIONS
      allocation_not_consistent = 1
      no_authority              = 2
      no_authority_for_material = 3
      task_not_locked           = 4
      no_valid_material         = 5
      no_valid_sales_document   = 6
      counter_overflow          = 7
      ident_already_exists      = 8
      no_valid_task             = 9
      path_incomplete           = 10
      ecm_data_not_suitable     = 11
      OTHERS                    = 12.

  WRITE: 'task list group ', l_tsk-plnnr, 'Updated'.

ENDFORM.                    " CREATE_TASK_LIST

*&---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*&      Form  SAVE_TO_DATABASE
*&---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*       save to database
*----------------------------------------------------------------------*
FORM save_to_database.
  CALL FUNCTION 'CP_CC_S_SAVE'.
ENDFORM.                    " SAVE_TO_DATABASE

*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*       FORM change_task_list                                         *
*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*         changes the short text of all operations to
*         'SIMPLE_EWB_TEST'
*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
*         --> i_sttag  keydate                                        *
*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
FORM change_task_list
  USING
    i_sttag LIKE plko-datuv.

  DATA: lt_opr_class_data LIKE tsk_class_data OCCURS 0,
        l_opr_class_data LIKE tsk_class_data,
        lt_opr_ident TYPE cpcl_tsk_tab_type,
*        l_opr_ident TYPE cpcl_tsk_type,
        l_opr_ident LIKE LINE OF lt_opr_ident,
        lt_opr_lock TYPE cpcl_tsk_lock_tab_type.

  CALL FUNCTION 'CP_CL_S_TSK_PROVIDE'
* EXPORTING
*   I_DATE_FROM             = DATE-MIN_GRG
*   I_DATE_TO               = DATE-MAX_GRG
*   I_PLNTY                 =
*   I_PLNNR                 =
*   I_PLNAL                 =
*   I_FLG_PROVIDE_INV       = ' '
* IMPORTING
*   E_TSK_INV               =
    TABLES
      e_tsk_class_data        = lt_opr_class_data
   EXCEPTIONS
     wrong_key               = 1
     OTHERS                  = 2.

* lock the operations and reload operations
  LOOP AT lt_opr_class_data INTO l_opr_class_data.
    MOVE-CORRESPONDING l_opr_class_data TO l_opr_ident.
    APPEND l_opr_ident TO lt_opr_ident.
  ENDLOOP.

  CALL FUNCTION 'CP_CC_S_RELOAD_BY_TSK'
    EXPORTING
      i_flg_set_lock        = 'X'
    IMPORTING
      e_tsk_lock            = lt_opr_lock
    CHANGING
      c_tsk_ident           = lt_opr_ident
    EXCEPTIONS
      reloading_not_allowed = 1
      OTHERS                = 2.

  IF NOT lt_opr_lock[] IS INITIAL.
    WRITE: /'error: some operations are already locked'.
    EXIT.
  ENDIF.

* again: provide all operations from EWB buffer
* reason: between first providing and locking another user can can
* change the operations
  CALL FUNCTION 'CP_CL_S_TSK_PROVIDE'
    TABLES
      e_tsk_class_data = lt_opr_class_data
    EXCEPTIONS
      wrong_key        = 1
      OTHERS           = 2.


* 3. change the task list
  PERFORM create_task_list
    USING
      g_parameter.


ENDFORM.                    " CHANGE_TASK_LIST

Space Primer

The new SCN comprises more than 300 “spaces,” which support small, self- contained communities. SCN communities are typically focused around a topic, an SAP product, or an industry. Spaces support these communities with a complete set of social networking tools including a discussion forum, a blogging area, and an area to publish and collaborate on documents.

As a logged-in member, you can go to any space in the SCN landscape but it’s likely that you will be interested in visiting and following a particular set of spaces that reflect your particular range of interests and where members who share your interests are likely to visit.

Get to Know Your Spaces 

  • The Root Space
    This is the place to get an overview of all the activity on SCN. Here you find national headlines as opposed to local community news. This space is curated and edited by our SCN editors. You can’t create content here, but you can catch the community's top stories, scan the latest blogs, learn about outstanding SCN members, get updates on events, webinars, and on new and popular content.

    image
  • Topic Spaces
    Topic spaces are like community clubhouses on the new SCN landscape. You'll go to a topic space because the focus topic interests you. Most likely, you'll develop a set of favorite spaces that you'll regularly visit or follow. For example, you might follow and regularly visit the ABAP Development space but follow and only occasionally visit the Web DynPro space.Topic spaces to  spaces are where you start discussions, where you create documents or blogs, and where you interact with your peers. The points you earn for your contributions and your SCN reputation roll up from the topic spaces where you are active.

    image
  • Your Personal Space
    Your personal space is about you. It's not really a space like the others, but more like an area where you manage your profile and manage how you interact with the community. Here you can get an overview of your activities and of the content that you've created. You can manage your connections with other members and get an overview of the places and content you are following.

    After we launch the New SCN, you will need to go into your personal space to update your profile, upload a recent photo of yourself, and set up your environment on the new platform.

    If you are a blogger, you'll find that all of your previous blogs have been migrated into the Content area of your personal space. After launch, you will need to go into this area and assign each of your blogs to a topic space that reflects the key topic. (More on this topic later.)

    After you log in to the New SCN, you can access your personal space simply by clicking your name at the top of the masthead.

    image

Be a Space Cadet

I'm serious about this. Your success with the New SCN depends on your ability to find the content, discussions, and interactions with other members on topics that matter to you. Don't go looking for the Forum area, the Blog area, or the Articles and eLearning catalogs. They won't exist anymore. You'll need to be a Space Cadet with a spirit of discovery and adventure. Explore and enjoy the new landscape of spaces. Browse, search, or drill down the navigation to find the topics that match your interests.

The Community Network team has been getting feedback for years on the ways you’d like to see the site change to better suit your needs. We know you’ve wanted simpler navigation, easier blogging tools and more a personalized information flow, for example. Well, we’ve incorporated allot of that feedback into the NEW SCN, which has elicited comments from members such as:

"Very simple, easy to use and impressed right away with the quality and thought that went into designing a new community"

“SAP was really interested in meeting with me and getting my opinion on how to make it even better. That is something new I haven't seen before."

“There was one feature I liked in particular with the new online community. It was the ability to follow, people, follow topics, customize topics and monitor activities I'm interested in.  Going to be very useful to use and I can't wait for them to launch it.”

We learned we can save users precious seconds by adding a few simple clues to speed acclimation - - explaining terms, features and procedures - AND how to make the site more welcoming and engaging...

Watch this three –minute video showing screen shots of the changing we are making because of you.

It goes without saying that all the technical functionality you want to have will be there too – this is just a highlight of some more visible changes.

We’ve got a wiki for open dialogue prior to launch and will have a space in the new site for feedback. We have monthly releases planned to address the feedback we get and add additional features. Stay tuned for more updates!

Are You Ready for the NEW SCN? Expand Your Profile to Get Ready!

We know you are as excited as we are to dive into the NEW SAP Community Network. Your experience on the new site will be awesomely different.   Read what other members have to say:

My experience in just one word: wonderful, and I hope it will be more than wonderful with the new features you'll be adding to the site – Erika Atencio, SCN Member, after previewing site.

Particularly the quality content based rating by the community is a big step forward. I like it and it will encourage folks to rate more and read rated content ;-) –Julius von dem Bussche, SCN Member

Expand your profile to take full advantage of the functionality to connect with and follow other members. All of your profile information will be migrated to the new profile on SCN – make sure it’s complete and describes your interest and skills.

First, login. Mouse over top nav item “My Profile”, to dropdown item “Update Profile/Business Card”

Here are the two areas you should update:

1.       Account Information (2 new required fields)

“Your Account” Tab

Company Name

Company City

2.       Business Card (to provide more background to allow others to find and follow you)

“Personal Data” tab

Personal URL

Professional Blog URL

Instant Messaging (Twitter Handle)

“Skills Profile” tab
Short Bio

Areas of Expertise

To become more familiar with the NEW SCN, go to:

Behind the Scenes of the SAP Community Network, by Mark Yolton

Behind the Scenes of the new SAP Community Network!

Tip in a Minute Video Series

http://www.youtube.com/user/SAPCommunities#p/c/7D4F61264B2E91FF

As many of you know, the SCN Team is hard at work planning a Better. Faster. Stronger.   The SAP Community Network ... Coming Soon on a New, Modern Platform! of our underlying community platform. Mark Yolton's recent Behind the Scenes of the new SAP Community Network! also featured a teaser video of what's to come. To continue giving you a "sneak peek" of this new environment and its many benefits, I'm happy to announce a new "Tip in a Minute" video series which will highlight key features and functionality in the new SCN. All in bite-sized videos of just 60 seconds :-)

 

To kick things off, our first Tip in a Minute will highlight one of the most common activities in the community: Creating a discussion (forum) thread.

 

I'll be posting a new video every week so watch this space for more SCN goodness!

 

 

(Please Note: Final site design for SCN’s implementation is currently under development; i.e, it won't look exactly like this...)

As SAP Community Network has become THE social network for SAP professionals, its blog area has become the desired destination for blogs authored by many NEW bloggers – including many solution and product marketers, partners and consultants. The best approach to blogging on SCN combines expert knowledge AND observations, opinions and experiences. There’s no formula – its blend of art and science.

I am asked daily what the ingredients of a good blog are – from newbies looking for advice. I’ve been a part of this community for four years now, so I have seen what works and doesn’t’ in our blogging universe. Below, I share my four tips and selected blogs that are effective for one of those four reasons. Hope this helps!

My four tips:

1.     Set the right tone

2.     Talk about your topic and not your product

3.     Add media, diagrams, videos, images to make it resource rich and engaging

4.     Be provocative in title and tone; present a challenge, end with a call to action

 

            1. Set the right tone: It’s always important to write in your own voice, for sure, but there is a tone that works best for our community.     Adjectives that come to mind:

·         Informative, educational, resource-rich

·         Friendly, helpful, personal with a pay-it-forward attitude

·         Engaging, provocative, controversial, unexpected

 

  Not your father's analytics, search and AI...."What is Watson? for 2000 please", Vijay Vijayasankar, IBM

 

                    The specified item was not found.Synergies between SAP’s OnDemand and OnPremise efforts, Richard Hirsch, Atos

 

                 2. Talk about your topic and not your product

  Bite but no Sting : HR-XML a widely used data modelJohn Kleeman, Questionmark

 

                 3. Add media, diagrams, videos, images to make it resource rich and engaging

  Analytics for Non-Profits - Introduction, Mahesh Sharma, Direct Relief International

                    HANA and BW 7.30 - Part 1, Thomaas Zurek, SAP 

 

                 4. Be provocative in title and tone; present a challenge, end with a call to action

                    Podcast: Straight Talk about HANA with SAP, Jon Reed, JonERP.com

 

 

                    SAP's HANA: Removing the Shackles from Terrible Data Design, Jamie Oswald, Sisters of Mercy Health System

                                    

 

Those are some of our top picks and the blogs I would show to inquisitive newbie bloggers. In addition I would suggest every newbie read all the great things my colleague Jeanne Carboni shared in her recent blog Build Better Blogs.

[Edited Jan 21, 2013]

 

“Between You and Me” is a series of blogs I have to share personal discoveries and views of the SAP community.

 

I’m a moderator in the SAP Community Network, which means I am one of over 800 topic-specific SCN moderatorsSCN Space Contact List reviewing blog posts submitted by SCN bloggers. Besides reviewing new blog posts, moderators also review documents and discussions in their topic areas to ensure relevance and quality. In this post, I’d like to share with you my personal criteria for evaluating the quality of blog content (and also what I do when I see a really good blog).

 

On our previous SCN platform, points were awarded manually by moderators. I liked how those who in my 'position' got the chance to award points. However, I also knew there were many others in the community just as  or more qualified (and maybe had a faster response time than me) to evaluate quality and award points. The major part of points for contributions is now awarded by community members at large, by rating and liking content such as blogs or documents. I'm liking the automation and letting the community judge quality and value of the content.

 

image (Image: SAP)

 

My personal criteria for judging blog quality (and points) revolves around critical thinking. I am looking for a Think-Blog-Think mindset exhibited by bloggers.

 

Here’s what I mean:

 

Think

I want to see critical thinking. To me, critical thinking is carefully collecting and using available information to form a belief or to guide a decision.  Sure, purely informational blogs are acceptable. To stand out, I look to bloggers to express their opinions and how they arrived at their conclusion, or share knowledge and discuss how this may benefit others. Bloggers should think about how their post may be of value to the community before posting.

 

The more clear the thinking, the more informed the opinion and the more convincing the statement.

 

Blog

Jeanne Carboni posted some guidelines to Build Better Blogs that I urge you to read through. I care about the same things that make quality blogs, yet I don’t sweat the small stuff when I review blog posts. Small stuff includes grammar and spelling, or using official SAP product names. English is not my first language, and I don’t expect it to be the first language either for others in an online community of over of 2 million members from over 200 countries. I’m looking for clear expression of your thoughts that shows how you have thought about what you’ve written.

 

Think

You’ve thought about what you want to say and why you want to say in a weblog. You said it. Now what?

 

Well, did you know posting a blog is just the start of a conversation? I’d like to see bloggers take some time to listen and read what others say before responding. Responsiveness shows engagement (a good thing), yet I look for thoughtfulness and reflection in how bloggers respond (a better thing I think). No one has all the answers, and there is just no universally correct answer for some questions. Based on these premises, bloggers should consider the opinion and feedback of others, add them to the mix of information and evidence gathered, and reassess their own position.

 

Critical thinking isn’t just reserved for bloggers. Blog readers also need to view these posts with a critical eye. I love that I can now give points to some of our blog readers who post comments to blogs. Whether it was a few words of encouragement, constructive feedback or sharing further knowledge, these folks have obviously put in the effort to read the post and done some critical thinking of their own. Even if members receive no points for commenting, it does NOT mean there is no point in commenting. For some of us bloggers (myself included), receiving encouragement, engagement, feedback, and different opinions are our motivators to blog.

 

What can you do to support SCN bloggers and those who comment?

  1. Rate their blog (My Rating - stars)
  2. Like their blog or comment (Thumbs up)
  3. Add a thoughtful comment - even if it's to say "Thank-you!" (Add a comment)
  4. Share the blog with others

 

I'm curious, what do you look for in a blog?

As you all know SCN is in the process of the move to Jive.

Read more in this wiki page: The New SAP Community Network - and other blogs:
As part of the move to Jive the process of uploading articles and Media items trough the  Content Submission System by the community members who are P and S users is going to change:

Today we are using a Content Submission System that requires both specific template and the review process by an expert which takes time…

In Jive we aim for the articles to be reviewed by the community and the space editors after the submission and make the process much easier and more users friendly.

What does it mean for you?

Starting Nov 7th we will stop receiving articles from community members and the link to the system will be closed.

Between November 7th and the launch there won't be new articles submission due to the migration and the final stages of the move.

We are very excited about the new system and looking forward to even more contribution after the go live.

As you can see we went live today (March 12th) and to all those who comment on this blog asking when we go live and when they can get their article published the answer is now.

Go to create a documnet and there you can upload your very first Jive doc. The CSS submissions should be uploaded manualy by you as a jive doc.

***Please note this is only for articles and media items that are uploaded through the Content Submission System.  The community will continue to be able to post blogs, blog comments, forum threads, forum responses, and wiki updates throughout this period.

santa claus

 

You spoke, we listened.


Thanks to hard work from the SAP Community Network's (SCN's) Collaboration Team, your Active Contributor Badge will show points based on a 12-month rolling period.  Yes, that means your badge status on SCN will not “reset” on January 1 next year or any year -- it will reflect how many points you’ve accumulated in the past 12 months.

 

This means you can continue to share relevant peer experiences, best practices, insight, and lessons learned to SCN’s 2 million members (and growing) on the SAP Community Network without skipping a beat and without losing your "status" as an active contributor.

 

I hope this will encourage members from all levels to contribute on a regular basis, and not to slow down at the end of the year.  I would love to see more members set a personal goal to raise their Active Contributor status to the next level by June 2011.

Visit the following pages for documentation about the SCN Contributor Program SCN Contributor Recognition Program Page and Contributor Recognition Program FAQ.

To refresh your memory on How to Contribute, just click and collaborate.

 

You are the “voices of the community” and I hope you will continue to connect, collaborate and contribute your valuable solutions, insights, and conversations. SCN has built, orchestrated and nurtured our communities by providing expertise and solutions to customers, partners and various lines of business across our ecosystem.  I hope this little change in the way points and status are recognized will let us continue this valuable momentum. 

 

As a reminder - after December 6, 2010 when the system is updated - the badges and points will be displayed as the following:


250-499 points: Active Contributor Bronze image
500-1,499 points: Active Contributor Silver image
1,500-2,499 points: Active Contributor Gold image
2,500+ points: Active Contributor Platinum image

If you have any questions or comments, please comment below.

Sometimes it takes a village.

Or as my friend and colleague Gali Kling Schneider says about our team: "We DO listen" (and I would add "to the voices of our villagers".)

Our villagers here on SCN drive quite a number of things: quality, improvements, topics that matter to them, topics they would like to know more about... (and they sometimes drive off unwanted stuff and unwanted stuff generators as well).

But as I love to focus on the positive mostly, I'm sure it's really gratifying when you have a "good idea" and find that it is indeed listened to and adopted and implemented. Now there is a central wiki place for you to check and see when those ideas are implemented (in case you were wondering).

A few weeks ago I was trying to post this announcement to you all that exposed a new wiki page meant to honor the promise to inform you, our users, about suggestions that were turned into enhancements and were being implemented and released.

Now we all know that when development is involved or iterative improvement cycles are in set in motion, it can take a bit of time to actually see a suggestion get translated into a functionality.

So it was to be with great pleasure that I announced to you all a few weeks back: the "Implemented Enhancements Wiki" page.

Only one small problem: when I went to find the place where this request was made to have a consolidated Wiki page for such announcements, I couldn't find the original thread where we discussed this in the forum.

Thankfully the friendly villagers did remember: (thanks Re: Resurrecting Dead POsts quoting Suggestions for forum improvements )

If the feedback from the community is truly important, I'd say that there should be a public system for posting bugs/feature requests on which people could vote. This should be prominently placed in the forums and would allow easier feedback. The voting feature could be used to possibly limit the bugs/requested features to look at (e.g. top ten list) and then be classified by SAP based on implementation effort (with the usual disclaimer that no feature might ever be implemented just because it's wanted). Needless to say that it should be easy to search for already existing requests, but in general I'd assume that fairly soon there would be more voting (on top requests) than posting new ones...

 

So we created a SCN suggestion space on Idea Place, voted up ideas and now we expose the ones implemented here in the Implemented Enhancements on SCN wiki page.

While we still have a way to go to making these new features more prominent, you can see them "announced" on the wiki page and hopefully some of you will recognize those generated by you, the community.

Thanks to the village!

The problem:

As a moderator in the ABAP spaces, I see many questions asked and answered (or more correctly attempted to be answered). I can tell pretty quickly which questions will be answered and which questions will sit for days with no response at all or with repeated requests for further information. So how can you compose a question that will attract good answers?

 

This blog owes a debt of gratitude to Eric Raymond and those who collaborated with him in creating How To Ask Questions The Smart Way . That document was the inspiration for this one, but the content of this is solely the responsibility of the current author.

 

Much of the information here is also in The Rules of Engagement but these rules are really a minimum - telling you what not to do. This will try to show you what you should be doing.

 

(A caveat - I'm an ABAP developer, so many of the examples here are drawn from my experience in the ABAP forms. Hopefully though, the points I am trying to make are applicable in all of the SCN spaces.)

 

First Things First

Before asking a question, ask yourself “Is it likely that other people have had the same sort of problem?” If the answer is “yes” (and it probably is), then your first step should be to see if the question has been asked and answered elsewhere. There are many places to seek out this information. The order in which I would do this is:


Check the online documentation. Is there an “I” button at the top of the screen? If so, pressing it will probably open a browser that takes you to help.sap.com. If it’s an ABAP problem, using F1 on a keyword will take you to the keyword documentation.


Do you have access to a book that could help?


If you have a senior colleague, asking him or her would be the next step if you still don’t have an answer. You can learn more quickly in a face to face discussion with someone you know than you can by trying to make your thoughts known to a group of strangers.


Is the problem with unmodified standard SAP code? If so, check for SAP notes. Notes will give you a SAP supported answer.


Try an internet search (using a tool like Google). There are many web sites that either cater specifically to SAP problems or have sections devoted to SAP.

Still nothing? Then it’s time to look in the SCN discussion areas. Select a specific area or sub-area for your problem. It’s not always easy to use a search facility, but you should at least try this before asking a new question. With some luck, you will find a number of discussions, documents or blogs that will help you.

It's a good idea to "lurk" for a few days before posting a question. This will give you an idea of what sorts of questions are typically asked and answered in the discussion areas.

 

Step 2 – Where to ask


Despite all of searching you have done, nothing really seems to help. You decide to post a question on one of the SCN discussion areas. But which one? You should go to document: (Finding Discussion Forums Blogs and Documents). This will give you a good idea of the spaces within SCN where you can ask your question. You may find more than one that seems appropriate. What should you do? First of all, don’t even think about posting the same question in multiple spaces (see below). But you can go through the questions in the different areas and see which questions seem related to or similar to your problem. If you still can’t decide, many areas have a top space for questions that don't seem to fit into the more specific categories.

Step 3 – What to Ask


Picking a suitable subject line may not seem important, but it is: people reading the forums looking for interesting questions to answer are going to skip over questions with subjects like “ALV Problem”, “Config Issue” or “Why does this happen?” Try to give a good brief (but informative) description (in seventy five characters or less). Subjects like “How to delete from an internal table with no structure” or “AC 5.3 SPM Owner not able to view SPM activity log” tell potential responders what the problem is and also indicate that you know what the problem is and only need some guidance to fix it and not a step by step procedure.

Object-deviation is a standard convention for creating subject lines. You first determine what object is causing the problem and then describe how this object deviates from the behavior you expect: "Program RFBIBL00 Produces no Batch Input Session."


Step 4 – Asking the question

The first thing to remember is that there are many people who regularly monitor the discussions and try to give advice. But the depth and breadth of knowledge of these people vary widely.  Most responders have day jobs and will not be willing to spend a lot of time trying to figure out something that is not clearly asked. If a question is well thought out, concise and to the point, it will attract the sort of people who can help you out. If it's not, it will not attract their attention and you will end up getting what you paid for. Worse, it may attract the attention of the moderators who can get pretty grumpy at times.

Take your time when composing a question. Get your thoughts together before you start writing. You have to explain your problem to someone you don’t know who may have never seen your problem before. Be clear, concise and specific. Show the discussion area that you actually have a problem and that you understand it. Give all the necessary information in the original post. Nothing is more irritating for someone who is trying to help you than to find out after half a dozen attempts that your problem is entirely different from what he or she had assumed. If you are looking for a function module in CRM, then make sure you say that in the first post. If you have problems writing an ALV report, let us know whether you are using function modules or OOPS technology.

But don’t be so specific that your question runs on and on. You should try to get your question across in just a few sentences. If it takes longer, break it into paragraphs. A question that takes up fifteen or more lines and is in a single paragraph will be difficult to read. Potential responders may lose interest halfway through.

 

Show what you have already done to try to find the solution. If you have applied notes, say so; if you have done configuration, say so; when you searched for answers, if you found some that seemed relevant, but ultimately didn’t help, say what you found and why it didn’t help. This will save both you and your responder’s time by not having to re-invent the wheel for you.

 

Like it or not, English is the language of SCN. Try to use correct grammar and spelling. If your first language is English, then consistently spelling “the” as “teh” is just going to show people that you don’t really care. Proofread your question and run it through the spell checker before posting. A better option is to compose your question using a word processing program; it should point out spelling and grammar mistakes automatically and will be more reliable than the ABC spell check button on the "Post Message" panel.

If your first language is not English, then do the best you can. Responders will try to take that into account but it may take them a bit longer to understand your question. There are language translation tools on the web, and while they can help, the results are usually not very satisfactory.

While you searched through the discussions looking for similar questions that might help you, you may come across a thread that is asking a question similar to yours. If it is very similar, feel free to ask a follow up question. But if it is a really old thread, the original posters and responders may not be watching it. Do not simply tack your question on to the end of someone else's thread. You will do much better starting off your own thread.

 

Don't post in ALL CAPS this is considered shouting and is hard to read.

 

Don’t simply post your requirements and expect others to do your work for you.

 

Don’t post homework questions. Don't post interview questions

 

Don’t ask questions like “Is it possible to.…” The correct answer is “yes”, “no” or “maybe”. Instead, ask “How do I … (something specific).”

 

Don't ask questions that have many possible answers. "What is the fastest way to ...?" isn't going to win you any friends. Instead you could say "I have done such and such. But because of such and such I am concerned about such and such. Are my concerns valid? Do you see a better way?"

The people who try to answer your questions are for the most part looking for interesting, challenging questions, so if your question is thought provoking, you will tend to get answers from those sorts of people. If you ask a lazy question, you may end up with lazy answers or a suggestion to think it out yourself.

 

But bear in mind that although the SCN areas are supposed to be for "experts", not everyone who tries to help has the same level of expertise. And not everyone has the same desire to help. Some questioners compose lazy questions and my experience is that lazy questions attract lazy answers.

If you have code that isn’t working, say exactly what it is that is the problem. A really bad question would be “I tried this code but it doesn’t work.” “I tried this code, but it dumps” or “it gives an error message” aren't much better. If it dumps, give the information from the dump that shows the problem”. If it gives an error message, post the error number, message type and error text.

 

If you have to post code, first use the ABAP pretty printer function in the ABAP editor. In the "old" SCN, there was a feature that allowed you to use code tags to format your code. Unfortunately, this is not available in the "new" SCN. However, you may format code by using the advanced editor and then pressing the ">>" button on the toolbar. Pick "syntax highlighting" and then whichever option seems best suited. A problem with this is that it doesn't allow responders to cut and paste your code directly into the ABAP editor. I would prefer not to format code.

 

Don’t try to use words like “urgent” or “ASAP”. The moderators will edit them out.

 

Don’t cross post the same question in multiple discussion areas. You can have two different groups of people working on the same problem without knowing it.

 

Each may put a fair amount of effort into helping you only to find out that you already have a solution. A legal way to get around this is to post your question in one area and then post the same in another area but with a link to the first question asking that potential responders answer the question in the first area. You should also include a request to the moderator asking that the second one be locked.

The moderators will lock or delete duplicate or cross posts.

 

"Thanks in advance." You really can't thank someone for something they haven't done yet. Responders know this and may think you are being lazy and won't expect much help from you in solving your problem.

Step 5 – Waiting for Answers

You’ve followed all of the above suggestions, posted your question but no one responds within the first five minutes. If your question is interesting, challenging and has not appeared before it will take time for potential responders to mull over your problem. Most of us have real jobs that consume most of the day. Do not re-post the question. The moderators will lock or delete the duplicate. SCN is world wide and responders live and work in all time-zones. Many of them will go back through threads posted earlier in the day looking for interesting questions. If, after a respectful interval, you don’t have any response, you can either edit your question or post a follow up. This is called “bumping” and will move your question to the top of the discussion list.

Step 6 – Getting Answers

You will probably get a number of responses. How do you deal with them?

First – someone has take time out of their day to help you – a perfect stranger. Take time out of your day to read and understand the answer. If the answer appears to help, let the responder know as soon as you can that you have read and appreciate the answer and have either tried it, are trying it or will try it shortly. If it doesn’t help, thank the responder and let him or her know that it didn’t help and why.

Some things to bear in mind:

If you get five or six answers that are almost identical within a few minutes of asking the question, you have likely disobeyed the rule about searching for an answer before posting. You may find the post locked or deleted by a moderator.

 

There is an “Abuse” button that anyone may press if they think your question violates one or more of the rules of engagement. If this happens, the moderators will look at the question and decide if it should be rejected or not.

 

This is the internet and you get what you paid for. Not all of the answers will be helpful. Some may be wrong and some may cause you serious problems if you try them. (I remember suggestions to update BSEG directly through custom programs. Ouch.) It’s up to you to understand the implications and test thoroughly.

 

You may get a number of answers that seem to be directed to a different question than the one you think you asked. This may be an indication that you didn’t put enough thought into the original question.

 

You may get a number of answers that repeat an earlier answer. This may be because the repetitive answers are from people who are “point hunting” (see below) or from people who didn’t bother to read the other answers.

 

You may get answers back asking for clarification. So, clarify – ASAP.

 

If you don’t understand an answer, say so, but say what it is that you don’t understand and why.

 

Try to avoid long threads that go nowhere. After five or six or nine or ten answers, threads become unmanageable for both you and the responders. It’s better to close this one and start a new one (if you must) but incorporate what you have learned into the new question! And close the original one first.

Step 7 - Back and forth

Quite often, the people who are trying to help don't entirely understand your question. Rather than immediately coming up with the best answer, they post a reply asking for more information. When this happens, try to provide the information that was requested as soon as you are able.

 

The responder may have misread your question and ask you a question that isn't relevant to your problem. Rather than pointing out his or her error, try to restate your question so that it helps the responder.

 

If a responder suggests that you do something and you don't entirely understand what is being said, don't post an immediate follow-up asking for clarification. Instead, think about it (the responder's first language may not be English) and try to see if you can get something out of it. Then if you still don't understand, you will be able to ask a better question back. A follow up of "Please elaborate" or "I don't understand" won't help your responder.

 

If you get a response that seems rude to you, resist the temptation to return the rudeness. It may be a matter of different languages; it may be a matter of personality; or it may just be rudeness. You still need an answer to your question and if you get in a flame war, no one will remember what the original question was.

Step 8(a) – You have your Answer: now what?

Congratulations – you have done everything right and the forum has helped. So post a follow up thanking those that helped. If more than one answer helped, but did not provide the end solution, mention that and also what the solution turned out to be.

Mark helpful answers. Generally, if someone has taken the time to try to help you, press the "like". Helpful answers should be noted and if someone has solved your problem, mark it as such. This gives the responders points and encourages people to help.

Step 8(b) – You got or did not get answers but ended up solving the problem on your own: now what?

Let the forum know that by posting a follow up that includes the solution you found. You may think of the forum just as a place to ask questions but it is really a place where people can exchange ideas. Someone else may come along with the same problem that you had. In the old SCN forums, there was a limit on the number of unanswered questions that you could have at any one time. This has disappeared in the new discussion areas but may be re-implemented.

 

Step 8(c) – You got lots of answers, but your problem persists: now what?

 

Sometimes a problem will have no solution that can be answered here. Accept that. Because of the limit on open threads, you will eventually have to close this by marking it as solved. If it is an old thread, please do not think that you have to add a comment. (Adding a comment will bring an old thread to the top of the list and push current ones down.)

If you are answering a question, not asking one

The strength of the discussion areas lies with the army of unpaid volunteers who give their time to help others. You want to take part in this. How can you best do this?

 

If you don't understand the problem but think you may be able to help, ask a question that asks specifically what you don't understand. But if the original poster did not give the question enough thought so that you can only reply "Please explain" or "Please give more information" you may want to ask yourself if it's worth getting involved.

 

If you think you know the answer, but aren't entirely sure, say so. It's OK to say something like "I think this should work" but haven't been able to test it. If you post an answer that you say is correct but someone else checks for you and finds that it doesn't work, you can expect to hear about that.

 

If you show someone how to solve a problem, it will do them more good than if you give a complete solution. Not everybody follows the advice given here and would rather be spoon fed a solution. Is this what you really want to do? Don't bother answering pointless questions.

 

If you don't have anything new to add, don't respond with a rehash of what's already been said.

 

Do not ask for points or rewards. The moderators will remove these requests anyway.

A few words about the Point System 

The point system was first developed to encourage people to help. People with problems could ask questions on the forum and then reward those who helped them by assigning points for useful answers.

 

Over time though, people began to think that amassing points is a useful end in itself. So we began to see answers to posts that showed that the responder didn't really understand the question but was probably just hunting for points. Other "point hunters" would post long list of links hoping that one or more might prove useful so that the responder might get some points.

 

Some individuals would invite friends to join SCN and ask simple questions that they could easily and quickly answer have the friend quickly assign the points.

The moderators are aware of things like this and actively take steps to stop it. The steps include warnings and in severe cases account deletion.

 

Finally

As I mentioned earlier, this is the internet; you get what you pay for. OK this is a bit cynical. But we all can try to make this little corner of the internet a better place by following these guidelines.

 

Happy posting (or should I say "discussing")!

Hi

I work for the Content Team in SCN and am responsible for the How to Guides Catalog.

We decided to Give a Facelift on the How to Guides catalog page and reorganized the home page in a new format:

We did three main changes:

  1. We added a box with the last five How to Guides that were updated / published on the site

  2.     We split the three main sections of the How to Guides in a table to make it easier to follow and find the relevant topic:
  3.       We split the SAP NetWeaver CE/MDM/Mobile/PI 7.1 How to Guides section into the different Capability Categories  and sub topics to make the list more user friendly,and the search easier therefore we have now 5 different pages: All, How-to Guides for SAP NetWeaver CE/MDM/Mobile/PI 7.1 How-to Guides for SAP NetWeaver CE/MDM/Mobile/PI 7.1 How-to Guides for SAP NetWeaver CE/MDM/Mobile/PI 7.1How-to Guides for SAP NetWeaver CE/MDM/Mobile/PI 7.1 How-to Guides for SAP NetWeaver CE/MDM/Mobile/PI 7.1 check out the new look of Development and Composition page:


    Go check the new look here:

    We hope you like the new look. Please comment below.

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