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The Boring Enterprise Nerdletter - #9: Women's Day, Python, GoodData, SAP Event Mesh, Carbon Footprints

Jelena and Paul
Jelena and Paul
Hey there!
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and we would like to take a moment to express thanks to all the incredible women in our lives. Jelena, herself a womanly force to be reckoned with, has more thoughts below.
Other things you may find worthwhile this issue: Paul getting cranky, Jelena tangling with Python, and some carbon footprinting. Paul takes two separate opportunities to link to his own work in other places, so we might have to take steps to keep his ego in check.
Until next time!
-Jelena and Paul

Women in IT: Thank You For Showing Up!
March 8th is the International Women’s Day and I wish our women readers (all 5 of them :) ) happy holiday! In SAP Community every year we celebrate International Editable SALV Day even though for over a decade SAP has ignored our pleas. I feel Women’s Day can be the same way. We celebrate and talk the talk but then it’s just April.
But unlike SALV, women’s rights issues have no expiration date. And I still hope that if we keep chipping away at the patriarchy monolith, eventually it will become smaller and smaller.
In 2019, I wrote that there is no “magic sauce” for women in IT. Just like there is a “broken window syndrome”, the opposite is true: when we see other women being happy and successful, we want to join them to have a similar experience. To all ladies in tech: the hardest part is over, you showed up. Thank you for that. Cheers! JP
Head-First Into Headless
A typical enterprise BI initiative
A typical enterprise BI initiative
Deserved or not, the term “business intelligence” stirs conflict in my head. On the one hand I recognize the power that timely information holds for knowledge workers - on the other, I hear stories and have experiences of BI initiatives that didn’t meet their potential. diginomica’s Phil Wainewright (who I think might have a similar mental BI conflict) talked to Roman Stanek, CEO of GoodData, about “headless” BI and composable analytics.
Headless BI means that GoodData is API-first. They provide a “future-proof microservices architecture” (from their site) as the core of development. From there, it moves into “composable” by providing other data components such as streams, data lakes, integrations, and a self-service low-code/no-code UI builder - with Stanek indicating that “it’s all about giving the end user the freedom for business innovation, so they can actually take and combine these Lego blocks.”
As a developer, this all sounds nice. But convincing your average nerdy developer is one thing - GoodData is playing in this Lego-block-land with tons of competitors. Everyone wants a piece of this low-code/no-code pie. For BI solutions, at the end of the day you have to get the people who know how to build the thing together with the people who know the thing. The winners in this API-driven building-block world will be those who create platforms where the builders and the knowers are the same people. PM
Smash That SAP Event Mesh!
Discover Event-Driven Integrations with SAP
Discover Event-Driven Integrations with SAP
As Karsten Strothmann put it in a recent SAP Community call, “almost real time is good but often not good enough”. Over the years, SAP tried to solve the “not good enough” problem by introducing a variety of tools, such as change pointers, background job events, or workflow BOR. What they had in common were the pain points. Job events got “swallowed”, change pointers would suddenly fire up for no reason but wouldn’t work when you needed them, and don’t even get me started on the workflow. More recent invention, ABAP Daemons sounded cool on paper but had too many limitations to be useful in many scenarios.
Now SAP Event Mesh (former SAP Enterprise Messaging service) is meant to remedy that and bring all the benefits of event-driven architecture to the SAP world with CloudEvents 1.0 standard. It is available as part of SAP BTP not just for S/4HANA systems but even for the older SAP ECC systems, using a Netweaver add-on.
I highly recommend watching the above mentioned call and reading this blog post that offers tons of helpful information on SAP Event Mash. If it actually works as promised, it might have better ROI for enterprises than many buzzwordy tools. It looks like DIY custom events using ABAP RAP development are a planned feature and I look forward to checking it out. JP
A Mission To Reduce Emissions
If this doesn't make you think about nature/environment/etc, I don't know what will
If this doesn't make you think about nature/environment/etc, I don't know what will
Jelena wrote about sustainability a few issues ago. I was reminded of that when I came across an announcement from AWS about its “Customer Carbon Footprint Tool”, which lets customers view the carbon emissions generated by their AWS usage. I think it’s neat that you can see what individual AWS services like S3 or EC2 are generating. For businesses running their workloads in AWS, it should help them examine their own carbon footprint. 
I think the cloud hyperscalers have a great opportunity to lead the way here. Datacenters use lots of power, so any research that cuts that use has an enormous impact. From the AWS news piece, they can break down the carbon savings based on AWS’ efficient computing. Microsoft actively researches things like underwater datacenters, which are both cooling efficient and computer hardware resilient. And Google’s DeepMind uses machine learning to reduce Google datacenter cooling power usage.
I encourage organizations using cloud computing to explore ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Start by thinking about your cloud use in platform terms, not just infrastructure, and you’ll be well on your way. PM
Python: Simple Is Better Than Complex
Python in 100 Seconds
Python in 100 Seconds
Python, the language known for its simplicity and popularity in data science and AI/ML applications, is slithering its way into the SAP ecosystem.
While using a Python app for “fetching the data from SAP tables” most likely won’t fly with the local SAP Security team, it can be totally used in a variety of scenarios that require integration with an SAP product. (There is also a short SAP HANA Client for Python tutorial available.)
Personally, I’m very excited for the upcoming openSAP course Python for Beginners, presented by Christian Drumm, one of the world’s coolest professors, long-time SAP Community member, SAP Code Retreat and Code Jam enthusiast. Don’t miss this course live for a chance to ask many questions about all the different ways SAP professionals are using Python.
And for more Python stuff, join PyCon conference on April 27th. JP
(Editor’s note: You can buy a whole freaking book that has Python, SAP, and data science all over it. It also includes a data fetching example. PM)
Old Developer Yells At Tech Companies
"Cloud" fits here, so all I did was add my face.
"Cloud" fits here, so all I did was add my face.
I saw a story about a co-innovation partnership between Lemongrass and Microsoft, geared toward modernizing SAP in Microsoft Azure cloud. It got me thinking: I’m sort of done being excited by any announcement of “partnerships” or “co-innovation”. Especially when that announcement includes a phrase like “maximizing the value of clients’ investments in SAP technologies while also creating new opportunities for digital transformation and innovation”. My brain just turns into pudding and I hear static when I try to read that sentence.
This is probably true of anyone who is in any tech ecosystem long enough. For me it comes into focus through the SAP lens. I remember a video with Eric Schmidt as part of an SAP SAPPHIRE NOW keynote back in 2015 - whatever that was deflated into pretty much nothing. SAP and Microsoft had Embrace, then not so much. Before that was Duet, then Duet Enterprise. Tim Cook got up on stage with Bill McDermott in 2019 to talk about an expanded partnership between SAP and Apple, and so far I think that’s been constrained to a few SDK updates. 
(My former and Jelena’s current employer, Mindset, was mentioned in that 2015 SAPPHIRE news post as a collaborator in the SAP-Google mashup space. I was so pumped about this that I wrote a too-excited blog entry!)
Before I dissolve into a pile of cranky muttering, I’ll just say this: if you’re announcing a partnership or co-innovation, you should have something amazing to show for it. PM
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Jelena and Paul
Jelena and Paul @BoringNerds

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-Jelena and Paul

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