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The outlook for SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) jobs

Expert Jon Reed discusses the outlook for SAP XI jobs, when XI will be the preferred messaging hub and what to do with those skills in the meantime.

Hi Jon,

I have 13 plus years of Microsoft development experience with VB, .NET, SOA, Web services, architecture, business analyst, security, Web development, portals, stand-alone Windows applications and mobile applications. I have done integration of Peoplesoft to .NET for one of my clients. I have also worked on SAP portal iViews using the Microsoft.NET PDK (Portals Development Kit). I was also involved in a CRM intialization project for a client.

I just recently expanded my skill set to include SAP XI. I am reading SAP XI books to enhance more in the area. Having no SAP XI implementation experience, would I be able to make a switch into SAP XI?

I'd appreciate your input.

I'm glad you're looking into XI and doing the research into XI functionality. As you probably know by now, XI has an important place in SAP's new NetWeaver architecture, and chances are good that XI will be the preferred messaging hub in many SAP environments. Here's the way I look at XI: because XI is still establishing itself, and because SAP companies have alternatives when it comes to messaging systems for many systems tasks, I look at XI as a good addition to an SAP technical toolkit but not necessarily as a sole focus. I would wait on focusing solely on XI until we see more jobs that are focused in the XI area (we see some of these jobs now, but not a huge amount).

What's nice about your background is that you have other experience in SAP, including the PDK. A combination of Portals and XI skills could take you a long way. You may also want to consider learning more about iViews, and maybe even some BW development also. Learning more about the NetWeaver development platforms (particularly the NetWeaver Development Studio) could help you also. What you're looking for is a diverse set of technical skills that will allow you to fill the jobs that are hotter now (BW, Portals) but also put you in a good position for future SAP positions involving .NET, XI, and other areas.

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