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Will the portals area become standard, so it won't be a consulting niche anymore?

My background is in Windows-related system implementation and support. A year ago I moved to the SAP project team and have been involved in a wide range of SAP Windows-based solution implementations and support that include ITS and EP builds.

I have been moved to the SAP Basis team but will concentrate on the underlying technologies of Enterprise Portal (EP) with very little Basis work. I am being enrolled in numerous EP, SAP security and SAP Java-related courses to bring my skills up to date, but I'm not sure if this is the right move. Should I move to Basis or concentrate on the underlying EP technology as a long term career? Is there a market for people with EP underlying technology experience?

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I like the SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) area. It tends to expose you to Web-based programming but also keep you involved in SAP security and administration. The question with portals is, will it become so standard and "vanilla" that it won't be much of a consulting niche anymore? I can't say for sure.

I do know some successful portals consultants. It's not the most in-demand area, but it's pretty good. I like portals better when it's connected to other skills. I would certainly rather see you in portals than Basis, only because portals is a central part of the NetWeaver stack, so if you stick with portals, you'll likely run into other NetWeaver areas like XI or maybe even xApps. Anytime a company is sending you to numerous courses on their dime, you're not in bad shape. You're smart to be keeping your eyes open, and you may want to check in again six months from now; but as a rule, if you're working on the latest versions of SAP, if you're making money, and if your company is paying you to get additional training, you're in pretty good shape.

This was first published in December 2005

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