SAP Developer Challenge Fosters Co-Innovation and Global Networking

The topic of this year’s challenge, “Creating Simplicity: Innovation’s Great Paradox,” challenged contestants to develop new software based on, or extending, an existing SAP product that addresses one of four dimensions of simplicity: user interface, technical design, consumption or overall product experience. In a format designed to inspire co-innovation, strengthen global networking and facilitate knowledge transfer, 42 developers from Bulgaria, Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel and the United States were grouped in six multi-cultural, multi-disciplined teams to compete against each other. With the help of members of SAP’s Design Services Team (DST), the Developer Challenge teams worked through the week on developing new software and then presented their work at a Demo Jam, held at SAP’s Palo Alto campus. Solutions were judged by SAP development executives and SAP Executive Board member Shai Agassi.
The eight members of team “Mission Simplicity” took the top prize with a demo that connected an SAP back-end system running an online store to the Second Life virtual world, which is regularly visited by more than one million users. The Second Life client program provides its users (known as Residents) with tools to view and modify the virtual world and participate in its virtual economy, which concurrently has begun to operate as a “real” market.
In the winning demo, a Second Life Resident avatar initiated a transaction by gesturing at the product she wished to buy from a Second Life storefront. The winning team members – including participants from Bulgaria, Germany, India, Israel and the United States – also demonstrated how updates to back-end data were reflected in real-time in the Second Life storefront. In addition to being named Developer Challenge champion, the winning team has been invited to present its solution at SAP’s annual Developer Kickoff Meeting in February 2007.
Team “S.W.A.T.7.D.” took second place in the Developer Challenge Demo Jam, with an RSS system that aggregates data from SAP and non-SAP systems and the Internet, enabling end user to personalize and “pull” information into customized widgets running on the desktop. Widgets are task-specific, portable chunks of code that end users can install and execute without additional compilation. The third-place demo, presented by team “Abracadabra,” showed a sticky-note application that stores data contextually within SAP and non-SAP screens. “The Developer Challenge is a perfect example of how SAP embraces innovation and encourages out-of-the-box thinking,” said Aliza Peleg, managing director, SAP Labs US. “We have pushed the membrane of creativity to new limits. This is an exciting time for SAP and our colleagues in development.”

Source: SAP AG