SAP and The Matrix: an analogy

When you think about it, working in SAP is much like The Matrix (the ABAP side at least, and to ensure a good analogy, let’s exclude BW from the picture or focus just on ECC).

The users out there are like the people plugged into the Matrix, who don’t know that they’re a part of it. To them, the reality of SAP is just what they see. They take everything at face value (though there are the few who question what is behind it).

Functional consultants are like Morpheus and his crowd, the free people, who on occasion are those who took the red pill. They are the ones who see the Matrix objectively, from the outside (they realize there is an outside), and constantly have to dive into the system to try and help those on the inside.

Now for the crowning glory of the analogy: ABAP Developers are like Neo. They see the Matrix as it really is, with all that streaming code and stuff (see picture below). They understand the Matrix from the inside. What’s that? You need to find out what configuration option of yours caused this program to do go haywire? Let me debug that for you.

I haven’t thought of how agents fit into the analogy. Based on my experience at my current client, I’m starting to think they are Basis or Authorizations personnel. It’s a constant battle to overcome these custodians of the system to try and get one’s job done. Often you have to pull out your best kung-fu moves, and even then they always come back in greater force.

Well, that’s about where the analogy ends. If you try to draw it any further, if falls apart completely, because Neo and the gang on the outside were trying to free people from The Matrix, and I’m trying to make life comfortable for SAP users.

It makes you wonder though: Does The Matrix have a Dev, QA and Prod environment? Probably not. They rely on applying changes by glitches rather than transports. Mind you, I’ve worked on SAP sites like that.

ABAP Matrix

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  • John Watt

    As little as I remember about The Matrix, perhaps we (us ABAP developers) could help Neo to free people from The Matrix. The anology would be to make them so extracted from SAP that they have no idea they are even using it (our front end here does that!).

    Nice blog, though!

  • Nhlanhla Ndlovu

    The matrix definate has dev or playpen, man. Remember when neo was being trained to jump? He ended up hurting himself though, which makes you wonder why such a thing would happen in a test environment.

    But I’ve seen people brake the test box (in SAP) to the point where ‘The forces at play’ decide that you will not have test data @ all in dev or that you can no longer create your own transports – or edit ones assigned to you.

    It’s scary – but I never thought I could consider any one stupid (*cringes) until I came across the notion of SAP user.

  • Excellent post. I fully agree with the comment about Basis and Authorization consultants.