New Kid on the Blog

by Mark Finnern

There are butterflies in my stomach writing this. Was it the right decision to accept the O'Reilly invitation to post my observations on their site?

After all I haven’t programmed for a while. Other than some HTML code, the last time I did a larger project was in ABAP/4. Today I had to think a bit about how to write ‘Hello World’ in it, but why think when you can search? Here it is:

*Hello world in ABAP/4 *
WRITE: 'Hello world'.

Also being from Germany (where I grew up, studied and have worked), English is not my native language. So please excuse any incronicities. (You are right; I made this word up :-)

But there are some things that I bring to the table, besides a fork and a knife and lots of hunger: an SAP perspective. The stress is on an rather than the SAP perspective. I work for SAP, but neither in Marketing nor in Public Relations. As Evan and others in similar situations have commented, I am struggling a bit with managing the balance between private and official blogging. So here is the disclaimer: Views expressed on this blog are my own. Period.

If you search for SAP in the weblog area of O’Reilly you come back with 17 hits, the first one being a story called “Apple Terminates Safari Seed Program" with the following quote: “…choose to take pity on the poor sap …” Talking about a poor choice for naming a company. The post is not even referring to the third largest independent software provider.

Given that SAP has more than 60,100 installations in 120 countries I think it will only benefit this community to learn more about what SAP is doing. These installations are not something that is done in a little department somewhere in a corner. In most cases it is the centerpiece of the corporate IT infrastructure. Companies are looking towards SAP to be their trusted partner/innovator to lead them in the right direction. It makes sense to check where this train is going or even to hop on it.

In addition I look forward to sharing what I learn from hosting the Bay Area Futurist Salon every month. This leads me to events like the Persuasive Computing presentation from B.J. Fogg. He said that in computers we went from technology (making it work) to usability (making it easier) and now the next step is persuasion (influencing the people using them). This might be for good causes like, which helps you quit smoking, or more questionable things like America’s Army, a first-person shooting game created by, surprise, the Army. Over a million people are playing it right now. It is a huge success for their recruiting efforts.

This is already more then I wanted to write. Let the dialogue begin.

WRITE: 'Hello O’Reilly world'.


2003-05-17 10:04:54
Not such a bad name
Sap has other meanings besides "loser". It's also the liquid that moves nutrients around in plants, which has much better connotations.
2003-05-18 09:04:32
Not such a bad name
What a nice metaphor for enterprise application software: "the liquid that moves nutrients around in plants". I overlooked this nice aspect of the name Sap, although when searching for company related information I sometimes added the search term "-tree" or "-maple" to "SAP" to get rid of news like this: Weather conspires against maple syrup producers

Thanks for pointing this out.

2006-12-17 23:26:50
thank you, I have add it into