Personal news update Nov/06

November 1st, 2006. Tagged: abap, News/personal, PEAR, SAP

So what I've been up to recently? Having a bit of a break, I guess. First, I'm not currently writing a book, after the last one for which I completed my chapter back in June. That's some free time (There is a very exciting book project on the horizon though, we'll see). Then, I'm not working so much on our new house. Now (August) that my family is back from Bulgaria, and the two little princesses are running around, it's next to impossible to do any construction work, however small.

I changed my job not so long ago, I'm working for SAP now, here in good old Old Montreal. Meeting smart people every day and learning new things, SAP has quite a bit going on and there's always something to learn. Take the proprietary ABAP programing language for one.

As always a PHP junkie, I looked into what's possible in terms of integration of PHP and SAP. Turns out it's possible and it's fun. There is this open-source SAPRFC PHP extension, that allows you to use PHP to connect to an SAP system and do stuff. Out of this interest a few things happened:

  • I published an article at the International PHP Magazine about a tool (or more like a collection of tools), called Scripting In A Box which is developed at SAP. It's one big archive (as in ZIP) which you unpackage to your C:\ drive and you get Apache, MySQL, PHP(+SAPRFC), Perl, Ruby/ROR, Python, Eclispse(+PHPEclipse), all pre-configured and running together. So you can start scripting in minutes. This tool actually gave me a chance to try out and love PHPEclipse, something I've missed, being so attached to my TextPad and ignoring any other way to do PHP. Now I can highly recommend PHPEclipse as a PHP IDE.
  • Next, some folks at SAP (Thanks Craig, AndrĂ©!) recognized my PHP experience and asked me to do a little demo of SAP+PHP at SAP's big event, called TechEd in Las Vegas. This was quite an experience! Las Vegas is one different place and the conference itself was pretty big with 5000 people, I think. I had a chance to meet guys from SDN (SAP Developers Network), which is quite a vivid community with something like half a million members. You know what's the everage response time when you post a question on the SDN forums? 7 minutes.
  • Then, I wrote another article for IPM, which described the demo I did at TechEd. (I'll add the source code and some screenshots at the bottom of this post.)
  • I also contributed one new container for the PEAR::Auth package, it allows you to authenticate users against an SAP system in your PHP app.
  • Another contribution to PEAR was the ABAP language definition for the Text_Highlighter package
  • Finally, I did a little ABAP console, but I'll blog about it seperately and will share the code, of course.
  • ... and my first posting on SDN was published today. The next one will be a sort of a cross-post here and on SDN about the ABAP console thingie.

I think that's about it for SAP. Otherwise, as usual, I get easily excited by different things, so I've been doing this and that, here and there, on my own terms, relaxing, without any deadlines preasure.

On the pipeline, I have a bit of stuff to do, again, small little things I enjoy doing, like helping with one article for the PEAR::MDB2 manual, assembling an extra intro chapter for the PEAR book, helping out with Text_Highlighter (I'm this package's official helper since a few days ago), also doing some work for the Image_Text PEAR package, as well as anything else that comes into the radar any given day. Yeah, this is how I understand relaxation, doing whatever you're passionate about, even if this means less sleep at night. Ah, and I have the test for Canadian citizenship tomorrow, so I should be reading as opposed to writing now (I always do this, the busier I am, the more interesting things I "shoehorn")

SAPRFC/PHP demo files

Yeah, the demo app uses YUI and a bit of AJAX and animation to make it a bit sexier.

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