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The best SAP development skills mix for the future: ABAP, Java and EP

Learn the best development skills for the SAP job market future of ABAP, Java and EP in this expert tip from SAP career expert Jon Reed.

I have more than three years of experience in SAP ABAP. Prior to this, I worked in Web technologies like "JSP", "ASP" and "PHP" for a year.

After reading some of your advice, I feel it would be wise for me to take up Enterprise Portal as next big milestone in my career.

Please advise me on path to get into EP.

I like Enterprise Portals projects, and I think EP is a good skill set to have. EP has a significant role in the NetWeaver technical architecture, so we can be sure that there will be some good EP projects as SAP continues to push its Portals project. I'm glad you've been combining your ABAP skills with some Web-based programming skills. In some ways, ABAP is looking a little brighter than it did a couple of years ago. In the latest NetWeaver scenarios, SAP has accounted for customers who want to continue working in ABAP. In a sense, ABAP can stand alongside Java and the .NET platform as three difference development approaches within an SAP shop.

So, the future for ABAP is looking up a bit from years previous where it seemed like SAP was phasing ABAP out. Having said that, I still think you are smart to combine your ABAP with Web-based skills and to continue to do that. I would look to get XML experience also, since that is so integral to SAP (and other vendors') Web services initiatives. Here's an example of how an ABAP skill set can expand: At SAPtips.com, we are working on an article now on how to enhance the user experience in Employee Self-Service (ESS) using EP and Web Dynpro. So, Web Dynpro skills will be good for you to have also.

Im sure by this answer you can see that you're headed in the right direction: straight towards NetWeaver and its "next generation" development environments. The skills mix you are shooting for can include ABAP, Java, and EP, but will also include other skills that help to "extend" SAP's functionality through practical and focused Web services.

This was last published in March 2006

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