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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It is frightening to think that a significant proportion of the world's large corporations and government entities are running their operations using SAP's product. I had the misfortune to participate in a SAP implementation at a $700 million manufacturing company a few years ago. One of the more banal stupidities of SAP was that all of the shortcut acronyms were based on German-language phrases; great if you are German but hard to remember otherwise. Another outrage was related to a training class that the company sent me to as part of the implementation. The class cost the company about $1,500 and I had to share a PC with another person throughout the 5 day class. For that kind of money I expect to be able to work by myself, thank you very much.
    • SAP is a dog's breakfast...

      You're right, all the tables, column headings and transaction codes are based on abbreviated German and make no sense if you don't speak German. Internally the code is antiquated, poorly documented and when it is commented it's in non-basic German - Google turns it into gibberish in English.

      The training courses are VERY expensive, with poorly written course notes and I experienced lots of technical difficulties when I was at their UK headquarters. On balance I'd have to say th

      --
      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • One of the more banal stupidities of SAP was that all of the shortcut acronyms were based on German-language phrases; great if you are German but hard to remember otherwise.

      Welcome to the rest of the world.

      Sorry, but I can’t feel much sympathy for you there. :-)

      I have no trouble making sense of the predominantly-English world of programming, but living in Germany, I see plenty of people struggle with it in exactly the way you describe. The only difference is that language-wise, the tables are

      • I know it's unfair to expect everyone else to code in one's own language. However given the cost of the product the fact that much of the core technical documentation isn't available in the customers languages is a bit much.

        Even if you exclude the language issues, SAP is very poorly written and a lot of the customer extended code is even worse. SAP themselves don't even encourage good coding practices, it's very much an attitude of cut'n'paste is best - thinking is not required...

        --
        -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
        • However given the cost of the product the fact that much of the core technical documentation isn’t available in the customers languages is a bit much.

          Oh yeah, no argument at all about the docs.

          • As a counterexample, my understanding is that Novell in its heyday put a lot of emphasis on something they referred to as "localization", which I believe meant adapting the software and documentation to the language of their target markets. The idea being that they were likely to sell more product if language/cultural issues were minimized. Of course, we all know that Novell put together great products but couldn't market them literally to save their company.

            SAP of course does its selling to C-level exe

            • Having a good product is a sure fire way to go bust...

              Look at Microsoft: mediocre products, grossly overpriced and huge profits. Admittedly they have often been given their monopoly by the incompetence of their competitors and/or their own dirty tricks, but you do get the feeling that the crap will inherit the profits...

              --
              -- "It's not magic, it's work..."