Ask the Expert

Where does MDM fit into an ABAP career?

I have been working in ABAP for a period of more than two years. Now I have an opportunity to be in an MDM project. I have heard that there is not much scope for ABAPers in future. What are the skills I need to pick up to be in the SAP flow? I have heard that MDM is going to have a great future. If so, what are the areas I need to concentrate on the MDM side?

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Master Data Management (MDM) is a key part of SAP's NetWeaver suite, and you see a lot of emphasis on Master Data in SAP's NetWeaver marketing literature. I like the idea of getting MDM experience, and, if you take this project, I'm sure it will lead you in good directions. To be honest, we have yet to see enough MDM projects to know for sure what kind of career path it will have for you. I suspect that MDM will be a bit like security or archiving -- a small percentage of folks will specialize in it, and a wider circle will have MDM as part of their toolkit. My suggestion would be to pursue MDM, but to see yourself in broader terms. See yourself, essentially, as a NetWeaver consultant who has some MDM experience, but is open to other areas in NetWeaver that may be related to MDM. As far as the future of ABAP is concerned, I am writing about that in the blog entries that go along with these questions, so check those out. The bottom line is that I think ABAP will be a part of SAP for the foreseeable future, but, at the same time, it's a great idea to broaden those skills beyond ABAP. So if you have the chance to do that via MDM, I would go for it. And you might keep your mind open to business intelligence and business warehousing specifically, since obviously mastering data management ties in well with these products.

This was first published in June 2006

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