Pranav is based in Walldorf, Germany. Prior to joining SDN, he has been a part of the development teams of SAP NetWeaver components like SAP Enterprise Portal, Knowledge Management and Collaboration and Web Application Server.
What is SDN?
SDN stands for SAP Developer Network, which is the official community portal for SAP developers to exchange technical and developer related information with each other. It also acts as platform for SAP to roll out technical, developer related information for the huge number of SAP developers, worldwide.
How strong is the community?
We have more than 100,000 members. SDN started at the last year's TechEd, we have different areas in which people can collaborate like forums, where people get answers to their questions not only by SAP experts but also from other industry experts from various domains. The community is catching up, real fast and is a very strong community mainly because SAP is officially hosting it and all customers and partners are showing tremendous interest in being a part of it.
Content on SDN
We get content from everywhere, we allow people from outside to deliver content to us, of course we have our review process with our product management, in place. A lot of content though comes from within SAP.
In terms of articles we have e-learning material where we have rich content, we have SDN TV where technology experts talk about new concepts and innovations. We have downloads which SAP has newly started where people can download evaluation version of software for testing, there is a whole gamut of products. The regular stuff that one finds on a knowledge warehouse is all present on SDN, it also connects to portals that provide product information, or help you solve bugs and alike.
We have different areas of technology. The first page of SDN is actually a news page where we feature new content that has got published on SDN. The news is all SAP technology related, catering to the technology and developer community.
We also send out a monthly newsletter. We are very open to people outside and the community, it's absolutely free, there is no subscription model right now. People who have any technology related content are free to come and have it published on SDN, they can use SDN as a platform to share their knowledge. We may come out with a subscription model for premium content, like the Tech Ed presentation may be provided as e-learning material, at a price.
Collaboration on SDN
In the collaboration area we have weblogs, which are kind of journals where people can come and write about their own experience with SAP products. A lot of people generally visit these weblogs to read about the viewpoints of technology experts. The concept of weblogs has really caught up and I can say that we have been very fortunate that until now people have been very well behaved.
For very small high-value communities we have also created special forums called collaboration rooms where partners, SAP people and customers working on a specific project can come together and discuss, exchange documents. This is however done in a very limited, case by case basis.
Offline collaboration is through these tech events like TechEd. The content part is totally sponsored by SDN, we decide what goes in the training kit. Logistics are handled locally in most of the cases. That's our real world effort of bringing the developer community together.