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Switching to SAP from a Java design & development job

I have about 4 years of experience in design and development of enterprise applications using J2EE technology. I want to switch to SAP. What should be the migration process? What sort of training do I need? How do I get a job with a certification on SAP plus additional 4 years of experience with enterprise apps?
SAP certification doesn't really do a whole lot for you as far as guaranteeing you an SAP position. What you need to do is to spend some time studying the Web Application Server development platform and figure out how your skills are relevant to SAP enterprise environments. The good news is that many Java-related skills are now relevant on cutting edge SAP development projects. For example, did you know that the upcoming release of Web Application Server includes a J2EE server option? This is a good development for J2EE folks looking to break into SAP, and there are other SAP-Java projects out there as well. One SAP staffing expert tells me that he sees a constant demand for SAP programmers with Portals-based development experience, including iViews, Java integration and BAPI-type SAP skills. So, there are some buzzwords for you to pursue. Your best bet is to apply for perm jobs with companies running SAP that are trying to "extend" SAP via the Internet. Your skills may prove relevant to those projects, and frankly, it's your Java/J2EE skills that give you the best prospects for breaking into SAP. Getting an SAP certification might help you a bit, but it's not the key. The key is finding a company running on SAP that values your current skills and wants to pull you into their SAP development team.
This was last published in October 2003

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