April 11, 2013

SAP at Merge 2013: Don’t be a Bottleneck

MERGE User Conference

sap logoBeing not only one of the world’s largest business software companies, but one of the oldest since its founding in 1972, SAP strives to balance the “eat-your-own-dog food” mentality of many ISVs with the desire for cutting-edge agility for distributed teams. Choosing Perforce as its enterprise version management solution is part of that balance — and the next stage is empowering developers to own that choice themselves.

“Self-service enablement of lean processes for development teams has become a central topic at SAP. We see that there is a shift in the role of central departments within the entire organization away from a ruling, guiding role towards a service-oriented offering to development teams. This trend also touches our production department responsible for operating the Perforce server instances,” says Wolfram Kramer, development architect for the Central Infrastructure team in Technology Development at the German company and a speaker at the Merge 2013 Perforce User Conference.

At SAP, self service automatically creates new development projects in Perforce without the need for approval by a central team. The service prepares a project folder within a Perforce depot and creates the necessary permission groups for read and write access. Group maintenance is decentralized and handled by dedicated members of the development team.

Wolfram has helped SAP’s enterprise versioning approach evolve over the last 14 years. He joined SAP in 1999, focusing on quality management, software configuration management, and optimizing central build processes. After participating in teamwork to define the software development lifecycle, he is now in charge of architecting the Perforce server landscape. The keys to decentralized success, he advises, are to establish standards, enable the teams and “Don’t be a central bottleneck. As a Perforce administrator, don’t do everything by yourself. Let the end-users do it.”

Hear Wolfram's and other Perforce stories at Merge 2013, The Perforce Conference, April 24-26 in San Francisco.