Archive for July, 2006

Presenting Today at ASUG Illinois Chapter Meeting

Thursday, July 27th, 2006 | SAP | 1 Comment

I am in Chicago right now and met last night with Mark Smithson, independent SAP consultant and SAP forms guru. We are presenting today together at the ASUG Illinois Chapter Meeting in Palatine, IL and will compare the different SAP forms tools SAPscript, SAP Smart Forms and SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe.

Thomas Jung, the top SDN contributor, will be there as well presenting ABAP Web Dynpro and I am looking forward to talk to him again.

Crossing the Chasm by Giving Away Software for Free?

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 | Adobe, Technology | 3 Comments

Over on Zee is discussing ideas how to increase the adoption of Adobe LiveCycle software. LiveCycle is Adobe’s product family of J2EE server software for forms and document creation and management in the enterprise.
Zee writes…

“Well, first the product managers have to realize that grass-roots adoption matters even for enterprise prodcuts…

Hopefully, core products in the LiveCycle lineup such as the form server and the workflow engine could all be made free by the LiveCycle 8 release.”

I agree that it is important to ensure that enterprise developers get easy access to the software for evaluation and prototyping through a Developer Network. However the decision to introduce new enterprise software applications in a productive evironment includes other factors. I would argue the license fee of enterprise software is typically only a minor factor in Total Cost of Ownership considerations.
An important element to enterprise adoption is the requirement that the new software integrates seemlessly with existing enterprise applications (what I like to call “being a good corporate citizen”). IT departments are busy maintaining and updating existing software; Introducing new software means stress and uncertainty.
Making it easy to deploy, integrate and maintain the software in an existing infrastrutcure will lower the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership of the software) and therefore make a decision to introduce new technology easier.

Therefore Adobe decided to partner with other enterprise software companies. Specifically our strategic partnership with SAP is an important element to accomplish wide adoption of LiveCycle… and yes I am biased since I am the Product Manager for the SAP Adobe partnership. Over three years ago we started to work with SAP to tightly integrate forms functionality into SAP applications. I actually spent two years in the SAP headquarter in Walldorf to facilitate the integration and evangelize Adobe software.
Today SAP is shipping core componets of LiveCycle (incl. the LiveCycle Designer and modules from LiveCycle Forms) as part of their SAP NetWeaver application platform. It is called SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe and actually is included in the default installation of the SAP Web Application Server. Interactive Forms provides the infrastructure for both print forms (e.g. invoices, orders, paystubs, tax forms) as well as interactive PDF forms in SAP applications. SAP is currently migrating over 2000 print form templates from legacy technology to Adobe based forms technology (about 900 forms are already migrated and available with mySAP ERP 2005). It is just a matter of time (since it takes SAP customers a number of years to upgrade to new releases) till every SAP customer will use Adobe forms technology. Given that SAP owns the majority of the enterprise software market I would argue that this is a pretty good strategy to cross the chasm.

So to a degree we are actually already executing a twist of Zee’s idea. The core forms technology is delivered free to all SAP customers as part of SAP NetWeaver. The license allows SAP cutomers to use the technology free of charge for print forms. Only if customers want to use interactive PDF forms in a production environment they require an additional license (which is distributed by SAP).

Finally since Interactive Forms is based on LiveCycle Forms technology other products like LiveCycle Policy Server or LiveCycle Barcoded Forms will be of interest to SAP customers as well.

“I doubt any LiveCycle product manager would be reading my blog, but like I said, grass-roots matters.”

Well, I am reading your Blog and I also forwarded it to the LiveCycle Product Management team.

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More Heat News – 121!

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 | BayArea | No Comments

Today we decided to try to escape the heat and head over to Santa Cruz. It was clear that we would end up with thousends of others on Highway 17  in a traffic jam, but it was worth it. But the heat outside was unbelievable. When we left Palo Alto at 12:30pm it was about 90 degrees (32 C), near Los Gatos the Audi measured a record temperature of 121 degrees (49 C).122 Fahrenheit

Even acknolwedging that this was in a traffic jam in the sun it was pretty scary. Up until the summit the road was lined with cars which broke down from overheating.

In Santa Cruz the temperature was about 90 F when we arrived but it cooled down in the evening to about 70 F (nice!). Now (10:15pm) we are back in Palo Alto and it is still 85F…


Heat = Insomnia

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 | BayArea, Private | No Comments

The heat this weekend is unbearable. It is 1:00am and without airconditioning and a fan there is no way I can sleep. This reminds me of the heat wave in Europe when I lived in Heidelberg three years ago (and apparently also this year). Humid and it does not cool down in the night.

The record heat wave comes two months after San Jose suffered through one of its coldest and rainiest Aprils ever. And if that isn’t driving your inner thermometer wild, consider the unusual spike in humidity that’s turning Northern California’s pleasurable summer nights into sleepless tosses and turns. Tormented by the heat, many have resorted to sleeping in briefs or buck naked. | 07/22/2006 | Unusual mugginess makes heat feel worse

Well I guess I am not alone…

So I figured out I head to Santa Cruz or half Moon Bay tomorrow to cool down …

“It’s not even really that cool out on the coast,” said Half Moon Bay State Beach park assistant Amy Riley. “It’s 74 degrees, which is better than the other places, but usually we’re fogged in.”She said hundreds of people filled the parking lot at Francis Beach in Half Moon Bay by 11 a.m. Saturday. The CHP reported bumper-to-bumper traffic along Highway 92, right now the Peninsula’s only major link to the San Mateo coast | 07/22/2006 | Heat records set as misery rises

So much about that idea, but at least I can go to the local Rinconda Park swimming pool…

There was a backup of a different kind in Palo Alto, though, where parents and children lined up for about a block outside Rinconada Park swimming pool Saturday morning, waiting to get in. The place was nearly full within 30 minutes of its 11:15 a.m. opening. | 07/22/2006 | Heat records set as misery rises

Thats it I give up.

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Kevin Lynch on the Adobe Engagement Platform

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006 | Adobe, Technology, Web 2.0 | No Comments

Kevin Lynch recently disucssed the Adobe Engagement Platform with Knowledge@Wharton

And that is the core of what we’re trying to enable people to do — engage effectively. That’s what bringing our software together is about. All of our tools, our servers, our client [software], and [our developer] frameworks — all that stuff is to help people engage better.

And so we call that the “Engagement Platform.” It’s basically the collection of software you can use to create these experiences and engage people.

Kevin Lynch on Adobe’s Plans for a New Generation of Software – Knowledge@Wharton

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Mussels with Fries @ Chapeau!

Thursday, July 20th, 2006 | Food, Private | No Comments

Chapeau! in San Francisco is currently Karen and my favorite French restaurant. The food is excellent and the value of the $33 3-course menu is excellent.
Mussels and Fries

Welcome to my Blog

Thursday, July 20th, 2006 | Misc | No Comments

Well it is actually not my first Blog. Yes I have started a number of Blogs in the past, but now it is for real.

The first one I started way back in 2003 (without really knowing what blogging is), the second one is on the SAP Developer Network and therefore deals with SAP tech related infos, and the third one is my official Adobe blog.

But now I have my own managed WordPress instance and can do whatever I want… Yeah!
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