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HCP – Moving an Eclipse Application to the Cloud

Well, I knew that things could only be easy for a short amount of time :).  As soon as I attempted to move my eclipse application to the cloud, I was instantly met with challenges.  let me walk you through some of my attempts to make this work and the issues I encountered.

  1. I attempted to copy the existing application, then just overwrite the files.  No luck.  I ran into errors every time it attempted to display the project output.  It was related to not being able to read my services.
  2. I went into eclipse, and set up the hana server using: https://help.hana.ondemand.com/help/frameset.htm?60ab35d9edde43a1b38cf48174a3dca2.html  This ended up with the same results, but at least got me closer.
    1. Like everything, even this took a while to get the setting correct (mostly because my version of Java was too new)
    2. Once it uploaded, I could at least try it in chrome to see the errors.  I thought it had to do with my proxy/simple proxy.  So I did multiple changes, and kept uploading and trying again.  some of errors included
      1. Mixed Content.  I had HTTP and HTTPS (because my services are NOT HTTPS).
      2. Wouldn’t connect to the service, generic 401 http error.
      3. Invalid proxy
      4. and on and on…
  3. After some additional reading, I’m going to attempt using the cloud connector.  Stay tuned to the next round of trial and error 🙂

Thanks for reading,

HCP – initial investigation

Well, before I was ready to jump fully into the HCP world, I needed to play with it a little first.  I was pleasantly surprised that SAP has some great tutorials provided to give you the basics of using HCP.

https://hcp.sap.com/developers.html#section_5

I went this through application, and it really was pretty slick.  I liked the WebIDE, it was much like working within Eclipse, only the template generated most of my code for me.  Granted, I admit to not always knowing exactly why I was doing something, but I know I’ll figure it out the hard way when I go to apply my services and code here.  In general, I was really impressed with the templates available.  The easy layout made it pretty quick and painless to build the shell that I built “manually” within eclipse.  This approach is great for building a static application.  Of course, I can never do things the easy way, so my application is dynamic and based on configuration tables.

Next up, lets see if I can move my app to the HCP.  Wish me luck!!!

Thanks for reading,

Hana Cloud Platform – My newest experiment

Well, I’ve been working on UI5 within Eclipse for a while now.  I’m feeling pretty comfortable with how to do things, how they interact, and I’ve managed to completely replicate my original iOS application for production supervisor and make it as flexible as my GUI based applications.  I’m feeling pretty good about myself, so that meant it was time to challenge myself yet again.

Now, having an app isn’t any good if you can’t run it anywhere but locally.  So I started doing some investigation into making it an application, but I realized, the real power would be the cloud.  I’ve had an item on my todo list for a few months to figure out how to leverage the cloud.  So here I am.  I talked to a friend of mine, and he recommended I check out the HCP, Hana Cloud Platform.  Luckily for me, they have a free trial account that you can use as a developer.  So begins my newest adventure…  building a cloud application…  Stay tuned, my headaches have just begun 🙂

thanks for reading,

Cutting the “Cable” – My continuing tangent

Well, I think I started this exploration a couple months back now.  After playing with things, it’s starting to fall into place.  I think it’s nearly doable… of course, I just found out something new today that changed everything.  First, let me recap what I’ve done so far.  First off, got an antenna.  It works GREAT on one TV, my upstairs TV gets nothing, and the bedroom TV is OK.  But, at the end of the day, sports is about the only thing local that I’ll care about.  So if it’s good on one TV, I’m fine.  Next up, I ordered a Roku.  Heard great things about them, so gave the Stick a try.  It works great.  I love that I can easily move it from one TV to the other (while I test).  I also setup my Plex Server.  I personally love this because I have all of my movies in a digital format and I can watch them easily on the Roku (or even through their website).

My latest revelation was doing the SlingTV free trail.  let me just say that I was very disappointed with SlingTV.  The service works fine, but the interface is awful.  You can’t save shows that you like to any sort of menu, you have to page through everything.  You the on-demand content is weak at best for the shows I care about, and you can’t save anything.  I even talked to my wife, and she told me that she didn’t really care about the live TV aspect.  As long as we can DVR what we want, she’s happy.  So today, I started looking at buying a DVR for the antenna.  Tablo DVR’s seem pretty nice, but you are talking $300 for the box, and another $50/year for the guide.  Still cheaper than cable, but it’s another big expense to deal with.

Then I stumbled upon Playstation Vue.  (keep in mind, I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to).  If i understand it correctly, for $30/month I get the same channels (technically more, but the extras I don’t care about), and I get a cloud DVR good for 28 days.  If I understand correctly, its good for any of the channels, including AMC, and the other cable networks which you don’t get with SlingTV.  Now, of course there is a catch.  Vue doesn’t work with Roku.  It only works Fire TV.  So that means I would have to buy a different piece of hardware, which I think will happen soon!!!

If anyone has experience with the Vue I’d love to hear about it,

Thanks for reading,

Cloud for Customer – SAP’s newest approach

I recently sat in some sessions to start to learn about the new C4C, also known as Cloud for Customer.  Obviously, my interest was the piece of C4C called Cloud for Service.  From everything I can see, this is the newest approach from SAP to handle service.

Previous years, you hear about CRM Service or HANA, this year it’s all about C4C.  So, of course I needed to get a little info on it.  At first glance, it looks very cool, and I’m flattered to say that many of the features I have built in JaveLLin applications is showing up in C4C.  From what I can see, C4C is very good at taking over the notification portion of service, as well as the Field Service portion.  The biggest piece I see that is missing from C4C (and I doubt will become part of it any time soon) is the in-house repair portion.  Again, this comes down to handling all the deliveries.

One of the pieces that I”m excited about, and plan to exploit is the oData integration.  If you’re not technical, it just means that my stuff just needs a Netweaver Gateway service, and it can be called directly from C4C.  This means that if you use C4C, you can still use JaveLLin applications.  You might not need all the functionality, but since C4C does not cover everything we do, you can get the best of both worlds.  Or just use all of our pieces, and get a cheaper version of Cloud for Service 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Happy Birthday Julie

I wanted to send a great big Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife.  Today is her birthday, and even though she rarely reads my blog, maybe today will be the day.

Happy Birthday Julie!!!

 

 

Finding the Latest SAP Functionality

This might be old news to many people, but going to the EAM show in Denver turned me onto a new part of the SAP portal.  The Find Innovation portion will allow you to search for the new functionality by release or service pack.

https://zinnovationdiscovery-supportportal.dispatcher.hana.ondemand.com/#/innovations

You can drill down by application, by industry or business function.  As I am used to, service still needs to look in multiple spots (EAM, Service & SD).  I should be used to being the oddball, but I was really hoping for a single location to see all the enhancements.  I did find a few things that SAP is implementing that I’ve already done.  One of the noticeable features is the mass availability check.  Something that everyone in service as known forever.  Glad to see that SAP finally added something 🙂  but in general, much of the functionality we’ve added into Proximity still isn’t available, even from a HANA perspective.  Personally, it’s nice to know that I haven’t been replaced by Hana 🙂

Anyway, check out this site.  Never know what enhancements might be able to help you on your current assignment.

thanks for reading,

EAM vs. SM

After attending a show dominated by plant maintenance folks (EAM), I learned that it might be time to talk a little bit about the differences and similarities between the two different modules. Those familair with PM or SM within SAP probably recognize that there are many transactions that overlap between the two areas. In fact, as far as the technical tables are concerned, there is no difference between a service order or a maintenance order.

The best way I came up with to describe SM to the PM audience was the customer. In SM, the customer is outside of your organization, in PM the customer is internal to your organization. Of course, there is additional overhead when you deal with “external” customers. You need to be concerned with sales orders, deliveries to and from the customer, etc. But at the end of the day, a service order and a maintenance order are nearly identical.

In addition, EAM has quite a unique flavor that I don’t often see in the service world. It’s the addition of functional locations. In the service world, I’m more familiar with using the installed base, or nothing at all. This leads to even more master data, and more master data maintenance to keep everything in sync.

The other thing that in the maintenance world it “can” be a more planned approach. In the service world, it is typically more unplanned work. This means that the maintenance world can care a lot more about scheduling and optimization. Not that service wouldn’t want to do the same thing, but it’s much harder to predict how your customers will use their equipment. PM needs to focus a lot more scheduling, resource scheduling, component scheduling. This pieces are still important for service, but are much less under the control of the business.

So, while there is solid cross over pieces, there are quite a few differences between PM and SM.

Thanks for reading,

EAM Conference – Technical Take Aways

After going to the EAM show, I learned quite a bit. This show is as close to our niche that is available out there. However, much of it is still a stretch for us. While Plant Maintenance (PM) and service management (SM) share a lot of commonality within SAP, at the end of the day, it’s still quite a different audience. For example, I quickly discovered that many people within the attendees (and even the vendors) had no idea what SM was, and probably were a bit confused why I was there. At least until I explained just how similar PM and SM are in some respects. (But I’ll save that for a another post).

The first thing that really struck me at this conference was the emphasis placed on master data. Rightfully so, because like any system, master data will make or break your system. However, I often walked away from a session feeling like I was just in a college lecture where the professors preached about all the ways to make it better. I often struggled with it, because it’s not like people are trying to ignore master data, or intentionally ignore entering every bit of data. Rather, all the people that I know struggle with the balance of time vs. data. Yes, a technician could enter a lengthy description of what they did, enter in 5 different codes, correctly enter their time down to the minute for each operation. But that takes time. Is that time better spent typing in data into SAP? or moving onto the next job?

In general, my feeling is often that the system makes life more difficult in terms of data entry than it needs to be. For example, if you tell a tech they need to populate 10 fields, across 7 tabs and 3 transactions, and you aren’t even going ot make the fields required, how often do you think it will happen? Let’s all be honest here, if you don’t make it dead simple to enter in the info and make it required, it just isn’t going to happen. Techs have too many work orders to process to spend that kind of time and effort. Now, the encouraging thing I saw at the conference was that many companies have recognized this by making new mobile apps, or web apps that consolidated things down to an easy interface. Much like what I have done at JaveLLin =)

More to come in a later post,
Thanks for reading,

Lessons Learned from the EAM Conference in Denver

Recently, Jeff and I were out in Denver to attend the EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) Conference in Denver.  Overall, it was a good show for us to attend, and I wanted to talk a little about what I learned while I was out there.  Special thanks to Jeff for helping me out at the show.  Just having a social guy with me helped me to get out of my shell a little more too.

First off, I learned that you don’t need to have a booth to meet with people.  In fact, not having a booth was probably the best thing we could have done.  On top of the money we saved by not being a sponsor, it allowed us to be far more mobile in the show.  I felt free to attend sessions, rather than feeling like I was tied to the booth the whole time.  In addition, it was easier to go and talk to vendors and introduce ourselves because we could go at our own leisure.  In fact, Jeff managed to walk away with a $1000 cash from one of the drawings at the show.  Talk about a nice way bonus 🙂

The next thing I really picked up was the fact to talk to anyone.  A lot of times, I’d see a company name, or a vendor and just assume there was no point in talking to them.  Well, thank goodness that we still did.  We ended up finding some great connections from people that I didn’t imagine, and found some groups that I thought would be interested to talk to us that weren’t.  It just went to show me that you never know where that next friend, partner or customer might come from.

Last, I walked with some really great ideas and connections of where I want to take JaveLLin in the coming weeks and months.  I came home really excited, and look forward to nurturing some of these new connection.

Thanks for reading,