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UI5 – Looping through JSON Data

My latest trick in UI5 has me one step closer to my dynamic screen.  Today I figured out how to loop through the JSON model.  Turns out, once I had things in place, not as bad as I thought.

var oModel = this.getView().getModel(“config”).getProperty(“/results”);
if (oModel.length > 0) {
for(var i = 0; i < oModel.length; i++) {
var obj = oModel[i];
console.log(oModel[i].Field);
}

some things to notice.  When you set oModel, be sure to use the getProperty(“/X”); where X is the group name.  For me it was results, but if you aren’t sure, just look in debug mode and you’ll see what it should be.

Beyond that, it’s pretty easy.  I added the console statement in here, just so I could see in Debug that it was looping through my table.

Thanks for reading,

SAP – Resetting the Export button in ALV

I recently ran into this again in a current project, and of course, I had to look it up to remember how to fix it.

When you are in an ALV grid in SAP, you get the nice little export button.  The first time you press it, it gives you the full list of output formats.  it also has a check box to make it the default option. What they don’t explain is that once you press this check box, it’s not easy to get back and change it.  In fact, the only way that I know of is to run a program.

SALV_BS_ADMIN_MAINTAIN

Inside this program, you can find the user and either change or delete the default for them.  Seems strange, but it’s the way to fix it.

Thanks for reading,

Different Forms of Capital

I recently listened to a podcast that started talking about all the different forms of capital, and how each is incredibly valuable.  I thought I’d spend a little time talking about the concept, and I’ll likely go into detail over future posts on what each of them means.

  1. Intellectual
  2. Spiritual
  3. Social
  4. Material
  5. Financial
  6. Living
  7. Cultural
  8. Experiential or Human

the idea behind this is that money isn’t the only thing of value.  Especially when you look at starting a business.  If you don’t have all 8 forms of capital is at least some form, you can’t expect to have wild success.  For example, it’s taken me a long time to understand the value of social capital.  Social capital at it’s heart is working with other people.  If you don’t have this, you have no choice to do everything yourself.  This includes building the product, building a sales and marketing pipeline, finding all your own prospects, closing the deals and on and on.

Being in a small business, I’ve tried to do this.  It doesn’t work.  The logic is very simple.  No one has the time or aptitude to be great at all of these things. I used to shy away from the idea of partnering with other companies, thinking it would hurt my profit margin, and after all, I could do it myself.  Nothing could be further from the truth. By companies that I can work with symbiotically, we can all win, instead of just flopping around trying to learn just enough skills to keep me afloat.

Some of the list is pretty obvious… others are require a little more thinking.  But the bottom line is, what forms of capital are you currently leveraging?  and how you leverage other forms of capital that you have overlooked?

Thanks for reading,

UI5 – Reading oData Models into JSON

My UI5 journey has gone slower than I would like, but I’m still making steady progress.  My latest obstacle to overcome was being able to read in my configuration tables, so that I could use them to dynamically alter what is shown on the screen.  Obviously, the first thing I wanted to do was to be able to read in those tables, but I had a secondary objective, and that was to locally store all the values so that I wouldn’t need to read them in every time the application fired off.  It took some digging, but I finally got there.

// Config Settings
// Using a local model for offline data capture
var oConfig = new sap.ui.model.json.JSONModel();
jQuery.sap.require(“jquery.sap.storage”);
//Check if there is data in the Storage
if (oStorage.get(“config”)) {
var oDataConfig = oStorage.get(“config”);
oConfig.setData(oDataConfig);
} else {
var urlCon = “Config”;
oModel.read(urlCon, null, null, false, function(oData, oResponse) {
oConfig.setData(oData);
}, null);
}
var oDataConfig = oConfig.getData();
oConfig.refresh(true);
oStorage.put(“config”, oDataConfig);
oView.setModel(oConfig, “config”);

 

so, if you take a look at this, the first section creates a JSON model (please note, that I have already connected to the service that contains everything.  Now I just need to read it.  the jquery.sap.storage is the cool class that is provided to locally store things in a browser.  You will have nothing in here the first time the app is run from any browser (or if you clear the cache), but once it’s there, it will be read in, without a service call.  The if statement above is what handles that.  Note, that the url will have everything from the original model, I just needed to tell it what service to execute.  In my case, Config, with no inputs.  After the If statement, it is putting the data into the JSON model, and making the model available to the rest of the application.

Pretty easy, once you know the tricks.  Next up, dynamically creating input and output fields using this data.  But I have more homework to do before I can talk about that.

Thanks for reading,

Getting Back in the Groove

Sorry for my absence of late.  It’s been a crazy string of vacations, and today I’m finally back to the real world.  Vacations are great, but it is damn tough to jump right back into everything.  If you’re like me, there is always a never ending stream of daily tasks that I focus on.  Suddenly, when you disappear for a full week, that means a lot of things got put on hold.  Granted, I kept up with the most critical while I was out…  but that left a lot of little things that I’m trying to get back under control.

Happily, my list has high, medium and low priorities…  but when I see a huge list of things that all need my attention, it’s easy to get caught up in doing low priority tasks.  I can’t lie… it’s how I spent the first hour of my day today…  weeding through emails, and trying to check easy things off of the list.  The problem is that it might make me feel a little better, I’m not getting the really important things done.  But at least it helps me settle back into the routine…  and if I can get away from the overwhelmed feeling, it makes it easy to start to tackle the more important things.

Moral of today… don’t beat yourself up.  =)

thanks for reading,

ROI of Maintenance Plans

Today I wanted to talk about the maintenance plans.  At first glance, the maintenance plan is more of a feature than a benefit.  Now in marketing 101, I’ve had it beaten into my head, benefits not features…  Well, the concept of the maintenance plan actually fits both concepts…  at least if you look at it the right way.  The maintenance plan becomes a huge time saver if your business does any sort of repetitive service.  Let’s go with an example everyone can relate to, oil changes…

In the auto service industry, everyone is familiar with the idea that you should change your oil every 3000 miles or 3 months.  Well, using a maintenance plan, you could have a notification generated every 6 weeks.  The notification would be for someone to send an email or a coupon to remind the person they have an oil change coming up soon.  Now the amount of automation you build into this is up to you.  But I’d be willing to bet that if you look at your industry there is at least some repetitive tasks that you could schedule.

Now, creating a notification or service order doesn’t really take that long, neither does sending an email.  What does take time is monitoring a list, running a report, or checking a database to see who is who should be contacted, or who should be receiving a notification of upcoming service.  If you set a plan one time, then you get to “set it and forget it”.  This has multiple benefits, you get the obvious benefit of not having to babysit your marketing.  But far more important, you move into the automated marketing world of keeping yourself in your customer’s minds.  You get the chance to remind them of the value of “regular oil changes”, you get to offer them a discount if you choose, and you build a stronger relationship with your existing customers.  The stronger the relationship, the more likely your customers will talk about you to their friends…  giving you that perfect opportunity to get new customers and take care of them just as well as your existing customers.

Pretty solid ROI in my mind.

When it comes to Service, ECC or CRM?

A couple months ago, I was emailing with a client that I helped blueprint their service.  Well, about 18 months went by, and they still hadn’t started the project (glad I didn’t wait around for that gig).  I emailed back and forth to see how things were going, and he asked me my opinion on CRM service.  I was straightforward with him.  I’m not a fan.  Naturally, since they were thinking of implementing it, he wanted to know why.  Well, here’s my opinion…

  1. Implementing CRM is no walk in the park.  You need hardware, software, licensing, consultants to teach you how to configure it and keep it running.  This all takes time and a lot of money.  We’re talking potentially int he millions, depending on how long it takes and how expensive you consultants are.  And, don’t forget training all your people to manage and use the new system.
  2. Middleware.  This is one of my least favorite aspects of dealing with CRM.  Inevitably, things always get lost in the middleware.  Idocs get frozen, some strange piece of data crashes a bunch of records, and then you need someone to try to figure out what happened.  Was is CRM?  was it ECC?  was it a network issue…  who knows?!?
  3. Functionality, I just haven’t seen enough in CRM to make me believe it can handle all of the pieces in service.  I confess, I don’t know every business model, and I believe there are some legitimate uses for CRM.  My issue is always that you need a lot of ECC to handle the backend of service.  Even if you are only dealing with the field, you still need inventory, you need scheduling and MRP, and all of these pieces are in the core ECC.  When you deal with CRM, now you either need to replicate a lot of data, or you have to spend time in two systems to really get the full picture.

Now, admittedly, I’m biased.  I like ECC (well as much as anyone can like a computer system), and I think it has a solid foundation.  The only thing really missing, IMHO, is a nicer interface.  This is obviously where CRM beats ECC hands down.  But, an interface can be built.  Between Fiori, personas, and UI5, I can build the same look and feel in ECC as I can in CRM, and I didn’t have to pay the 6 or 7 figure price tag to make it happen.  Want to see it action?  email me and I’ll give you a demo of just how nice you can make service in ECC.  If there’s functionality in CRM that you need, talk to me first.  I bet I can deliver it for a fraction of the cost of implementing CRM.

mpiehl@gojaveLLin.com

Thanks for reading,

An Interesting Tangent, Trying to get rid of Cable

Well, my most recent distraction has been trying to see if I can get rid of cable.  Unfortunately, this comes with a lot of logistics that I need to prove out first, partially for myself, and mostly for my family 🙂  If you are anything like me, your cable + internet bill is usually around the $200/month (or more).  Now, the biggest thing I complain about is that I’m paying well over a $100/month plus equipment rental fees, and in reality, I watch about 10 of the 200+ available channels.  I’ve had more and more friends do this, so I thought I’d start to see what I could do.

First off, here’s a great post with tons of information that I’ve been using to get started.

The Ultimate Cable TV Alternatives

Of course, things are never as easy as I would like.  My first issue was that my uverse modem was old, so my speeds and connections were average at best.  So after an hour or more with AT&T, I finally get a new router shipped to me.  This was great, finally signal strength for the whole house, AC coverage, etc.  Well, needless to say, that caused me tons of headaches for my SAP servers.  A new router means all different settings.  I think I finally have things working on that front, but starting yesterday, the internet keeps dropping.  I have wi-fi, just no internet.  As soon as I restart it, it works again.  So great, I need to restart my router multiple times per day =(

the next big issue is that I decided to get rid of the wireless uverse box upstairs in my office.  So far, all I’ve used that for is the Ethernet ports.  Of course, that lead me down a whole different rabbit whole of how to get signal to all my computers upstairs.  I’m wireless on most of the devices, but the servers don’t really run that well (and one won’t run at all unless it’s hardwired).   So I think I’m going to go with a wi-fi extender with an ethernet port, then connect that to my switch so all my servers have connectivity.

NETGEAR AC750 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Range Extender (EX6100) 

if anyone has experience with doing this, I’d love to hear from you.  The sheer number of options are mind boggling, so a lot of my experiment is trial and error.

Next up, my Roku and antenna are on the way…  so I’ll have more to talk about after I start experimenting with those.

Thanks for reading,

 

Getting some ROI out of that big investment

Yesterday, I started talking about the huge investment of an ERP system.  The biggest point I hope I got across, is that the cost is very high, and if you don’t use effectively, the cost is MUCH higher.  I know the service world very well, but I guarantee, it’s the same everywhere.  The smaller you are, the more hats you have to wear.  This means that you need every advantage you can get to keep things running smoothly.  Often, the people down in the trenches aren’t “consulted” when a new computer system is being implemented.  They usually get the memo when the consultants start showing up to “configure the system”.  This means they often have to live with the best the consultant can give them.

All of these factors are why I started making my own applications for service management.  Working in many small to midsize firms, made me quickly realize that 2 people can’t enter in all the data required for a repair and still do their normal “day job”.  In general, the service groups are some of the best I have met in terms of getting the job done no matter what.  The problem is that often they end up working outside the system, just get everything done.  So, now this big expensive system that is supposed to capture all this data is being supplemented by some Excel files, and notebooks in the manager’s office.  Try pulling those reports!!!

The best answer I came up with was a way to streamline the process.  Make data entry as easy and straightforward as possible.  That meant some programming work.  I started down the path almost 10 years ago (at least that’s when the first idea started).  Granted, there was a lot of ramp up time, learning curves to get past, systems to set up…  But about 3 years ago, things got serious.  Proximity became the dashboard for the repair depot and field service.  Giving the managers a single spot to run the entire shop from, and giving technicians a simplified yet more complete view of their jobs.  Renovation did the same thing for the call center and customer service.  Creating applications to make lives easier has a much broader impact than I expected.  It literally starts giving ROI to that big expensive ERP system.  Instead of jumping from transaction to transaction or hiring a temp to transcribe paper into SAP, you get more info than you ever had before and the ERP finally becomes a help, not a hindrance.  Am I saying you’ll instantly love SAP with all it’s rigorous checks and painstaking processes?  maybe not…  but at least you can start recognize some of the value that everyone promised when the purchasing decision was made 🙂

thanks for reading,

Big Software price tags, little returns???

In my years consulting, I’ve often found that so often someone in an organization gets “sold” on a piece of software that is going to revolutionize their business.  It could be a manager, a director or a CEO.  Inevitably, that software comes with a huge price tag, not just for the licensing, but for the implementation, the maintenance, etc.  At the end of the day, you can feel like your leveraging your entire business, just to pay for the software you will use to run it.

Now, being the SAP world for as long as I have, I’ve come to understand how expensive the implementation is for any ERP software.  Trying to find a good set of people that can make the software match your business is a HUGE challenge.  I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of good companies.  And there are a few that standout in my mind that should never have implemented SAP.  The reason I say that is because they were willing to invest in the people that are required to keep a system up and running.  The bigger and more flexible a system is, the more permanent resources (or permanent consultants) you need to keep it running day to day.  And this doesn’t even cover all the areas where configuration can’t make your life any easier.  SAP is clearly a German built piece of software, and the Germans are very good at processes.  However, must of the design is built around having a lot of people doing small portions of the data entry.  The smaller your business is, the less likely you are to have 5 people entering data, but rather 1 person doing it all.  And while, it is “doable” to have a single person creating a help desk ticket, creating the sales order and even creating the delivery to receive the goods in, that person is likely responsible for a lot more things than just data entry.

I saw this so often working in the service world.  There were 10 people to do everything.  That meant taking the customer’s call, doing the pricing, fixing the units, purchasing parts to complete the repair, and handling their own shipping in and out of the units.  Now, if you have to do the  real work, and then do all of the computer work…  what do you think ends up happening???  Either, you need to hire people just do the data entry, or the quality of the data becomes pretty questionable.  Either the data is incomplete, because only required fields were populated, or the data might not get entered for 4 days…  I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time remember what was for dinner last night… now try to remember what job numbers you worked on, and for how long…  There might be paper in place, but now you spend time writing down what you did, just so you or someone else can punch it into the computer later.  Efficient???  hardly.

so what can you do to help???  I’ll continue this tomorrow.
thanks for reading,