Earlier this week, I delivered a presentation on using InfoPath to address SAP usability issues at the Share 2010 conference in Sydney, Australia. Ten years after SharePoint technologies first hit the market, Share 2010 was really the first dedicated SharePoint conference entirely devoted to covering the business challenges around the SharePoint platform. Speakers included early evangelists of a more business-oriented approach to SharePoint such as Paul Culmsee, Michael Sampson, Dux Raymond Sy and Erica Toelle. Overall, Share 2010 was a resounding success and the vibe was unlike anything I have ever seen at the more technical SharePoint events around the world.
Considering Share 2010 was aimed at the SharePoint community, I wasn’t sure beforehand how big of an audience I would get to a session about a specialised topic such as SAP usability. But as it turned out, the positive feedback was overwhelming. Oxygen and IQX also delivered a presentation on SAP/SharePoint interoperability solutions and both sessions were very well attended. Since most attendees were from the business side, many were also regular users of SAP. If your business runs on SAP and SharePoint is your portal platform of choice, then it makes perfect sense to explore ways of surfacing SAP through SharePoint.
In my session, I went through how we can leverage the Winshuttle 10 platform to rapidly build data entry forms in InfoPath which post data directly to SAP. Data collected in these forms are posted to SAP via web services which are authored and deployed by business users with Winshuttle. I am not aware of any other technologies in the current marketplace that will effectively empower business users to build their own web services for SAP without writing a single line of code. The slide deck below provides some insight into how this works.
As a Product Manager for key components of the Winshuttle platform, I am obviously very keen to hear your feedback on all this. It is an approach which can be applied to hundreds of common use cases which are currently not very well supported by the more developer-centric and resource intensive options out there. I look forward to your comments below.