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The Boring Enterprise Nerdletter #25: RIP ABAP, Google Cloud, DSAG, SAP Connectors, AI for Flows, DORA DevOps

Jelena and Paul
Jelena and Paul
Hi there,
Welcome to the Halloween Spooktacular issue of the Boring Enterprise Nerdletter. Look out behind you! A scary nerd is watching you as you open this very email!
We hope you enjoy this frightfully good collection of nerdy tidbits. Don’t forget to haunt us on Twitter, or terrify us on LinkedIn!
-Jelena and Paul

A Tale of Two ABAPs
Gone too soon
Gone too soon
To borrow from Dickens, last week in ABAP “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
Let’s start with the worst. SAP ABAP Developer Edition got gone officially. This is extremely disappointing, especially for those who are stuck with old versions of ABAP at work. From what I see, this leaves ABAP enthusiasts with either very limited Cloud trial option (used in the openSAP classes, for example) or free-not-free systems in SAP CAL. I hope more information from SAP is forthcoming, ideally before TechEd.
On a more positive note, Devtoberfest is now in full swing and there are some interesting ABAP sessions. My recommendations so far:
There will be more coverage of Devtoberfest content in our next issue(s), stay tuned! JP
Google Cloud Next Crystal Ball
Google Cloud Next 2022 just happened. I’m always on the lookout for major tech events - especially these days when you can see all the goodies online. The developer keynote really caught my eye, as they were offering 10 concrete, short-term tech predictions with a “by the end of 2025” expiration date. Here are some I found interesting: 
  • Eric Brewer (yeah, the CAP theorem guy!): 4 of 5 enterprise evelopers will use some form of curated open source.
  • Kamelia Aryafar: AI is going to be the primary driver of moving to a 4-day work week.
  • Irina Farooq: 90% of data will be actionable in real-time with ML.
  • Amin Vahdat: over half of cloud infra decisions will be automated based on org’s usage patterns.
  • Steren Giannini: ¾ of developers will lead with sustainability as their primary development principle.
  • Jana Mandic (business applications): over half of all business applications will be built by users who do not identify as professional developers today. 
Of course, each prediction was joined with Google research or product availability. Still, they offer insight into where Google sees the world of software moving. 
Here are my two cents on a few.
  • I see it being possible to move to a 4-day work week for many jobs by 2025, but it’s a stretch to imagine most employers doing that. Let’s get some good data on that.
  • Half of cloud infrastructure decisions based on org’s usage patterns? I hope so. It seems like most WAY overspend.
  • I dearly hope that not only developers but every slice of professional life can lead with sustainability as a primary motivating principle. 
  • Over half of all business applications will be built by people who don’t identify as developers today - I can see that being pessimistic. Depending on your definition of business application, this could climb much higher. 
I like predictions as intentions. These aren’t just crystal ball fortunes to be tossed away - they’re announcements of vision and action that are leading to a place they believe to be better (or yeah, more profitable). But it’s better to announce and strive than to foretell and shrug. PM
Fun for the whole family!
Fun for the whole family!
The world’s most outspoken SAP user group DSAG recently shared interesting survey results.
93% of surveyed customers said that “SAP on-premises solutions were of high or medium importance” while 42% consider the same importance for SAP Cloud solutions. Probably surprising numbers for some folks in Waldorf but not for the SAP practitioners. On-premise still rules the world (quite literally, considering the size of SAP customer companies).
DSAG’s press release was also asking SAP for “binding statements and roadmaps for product strategies for cloud and on-premise solutions”. Heck yeah! Customers and SAP professionals alike need to have clarity on what to invest in, what to learn, and how exactly will we sail into the bright “hybrid” future.
The bullet point “IT departments lacking manpower” went unnoticed by the SAP pundits but I believe it directly correlates with everything above. The need to support 50 years of SAP tech and non-SAP products on different platforms, with uncertainty ought to put strain on both man- or woman-power of IT. And killing the ABAP Developer edition while on-premise is clearly important won’t help here either. JP
The State of SAP Connectors
SAP exists in this weird place where it’s a central backbone system for thousands of enterprises, connected and integrated to thousands of applications, yet its inner workings are mysterious to everyone but SAP insiders. As enterprises continue to move to cloud-based infrastructure, platforms, and SaaS solutions, the problem of making SAP data available where it’s needed continues to grow. 
In the past, this problem felt almost intractable. As cloud grew, it felt like the natural meshing you’d expect between those services and SAP wasn’t happening. For the last few years, however, we’ve been seeing the dam burst. Hyperscalers, SaaS solutions, and smaller vendors have joined the fight to make legacy SAP data available. 
We’ve got things to love for AWS, lots to love in GCP, and TONS to love in Azure. The big players get it, both making sure they partner with SAP and making sure their ecosystems are welcoming to vendors who enable SAP connectivity. SAP itself is also waking up to the fact that they need to speak cloud - from infrastructure on up - and makes their features ready for their own cloud offerings as well as plugged-in to hyperscalers. 
I’ve worked in small startups and large enterprises. I can see the incredible power of on-demand, scale-up/down, cloud-powered computing, and I can see the value of SAP’s immense data treasure trove. Getting them working together - finally! - is a key to the business tech future we’ve all been dreaming of. PM
More MS AI: Power Automate Flows
Microsoft Ignite happened, and tons of stuff was announced. I keyed in on one corner of the Power Automate announcements: a natural language-to-code translator that can create Power Automate flows. And another ancient city’s walls come a-tumblin’ down. 
This is another in a quickly growing line of natural language-enhanced application building tools that have sprung up lately. Here are some of the things you can do now just by typing or drawing things: 
Do you see what I see? Do you see the path that’s taking shape here? In isolation these are cool little tidbits. Together, they form the beginnings of a truly all-are-welcome anyone-can-play world of software development. There will come a day when you can conjure up any app, for any purpose, with your voice alone. PM
DORA The DevOps Explorer
State of DevOps report published by Google’s DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) team has some observations that I think are profoundly important and applicable in the SAP world as well:
We found that the biggest predictor of an organization’s application-development security practices was cultural, not technical: high-trust, low-blame cultures focused on performance were 1.6x more likely to have above average adoption of emerging security practices than low trust, high-blame cultures focused on power or rules.
We’ve all heard how culture “eats technology for breakfast” and “eats strategy for lunch”. A high-blame culture will feast on your DevOps all day long.
At one point in my career, I went from no-blame job to a job where a corporate version of Among Us was played on a regular. Then one day, when the virtual angry mob approached the development team demanding to give up the “owner” of the code that caused a production issue, our manager said: “we own it and we will fix it”. The mob was surprised and disappointed. But we stood our ground and soon, the Blame Game was not played anymore. Many other positive changes followed but removing the blame was the turning point. You cannot innovate on fear. JP
PSA for PSL?
If you love this newsletter, right now is the perfect time to warm our hearts with a nice cup (or two, since there are, you know, two of us) of a pumpkin spice latte. We appreciate your support! 
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Jelena and Paul
Jelena and Paul @BoringNerds

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-Jelena and Paul

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