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How do I best utilize my ABAP and CommerceOne experience?

I have worked with Commerce One solutions for last two years (MarketSite/EBD/JAVA/XML). Before that, I have working...

in a big SAP project as an ABAPer for 1 year (Dialog/Workflow). My question is in the current environment how do I best utilize the skill set I already have?


E-Marketplace people from Commerce One and Ariba are in a good news/bad news situation. The bad news is that the e-marketplace outlook is grim; All that hype has turned to dust. The good news is that the key skills needed to install e-marketplaces, such as Java and XML, are non-proprietary and still quite marketable. In your case, you don't have that much SAP experience, so there's no reason to focus on SAP necessarily. If I were you, I'd try to get involved with either SAP, Oracle or PeopleSoft, working on projects like workplace portals, e-procurement, private exchanges, and application integration. Although you could use your Java skills in many different ways, I recommend continuing to tie your Java skills to strategic e-business applications. Involvement with large, "mission critical" projects put a premium on your Java skills. I recommend SAP, Oracle, and PeopleSoft because I like the prospects of these large vendors setting the tone by controlling the corporate desktop and managing Internet-based EAI for their clients. For a while, it looked like the Tibcos, Vitrias, and other EAI vendors were the place to be, but more and more it looks like it's going to be the big ERP vendors with their own EAI toolkits, combined with truly "open" architectures and protocols like J2EE and XML, that are going to rule the corporate landscape. Top EAI vendors like webMethods would be the next best thing, but I like idea of merging your skills with the ERP vendors better. And of course, SAP is a natural since you already have a year of ABAP under your belt. You'll notice that I didn't even mention Ariba or Commerce One. That's because both companies seem to have been relegated to the e-procurement niche. If I were you, I'd look to associate yourself with a bigger market play than that.


This was last published in September 2002

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