I read a blog post on SAP Professional Journal author Ameya Pimpalgaonkar's personal blog the other day about Web Dynpro Java and its future within SAP. This is a subject of interest for Ameya -- he had posted about it a year prior in reaction to some announcements made at SAP TechEd.
I tweeted it out, along with its title, "Web Dynpro Java no more the strategic UI of SAP" and got some interesting reactions. SAP employee Yariv Zur (@vlvl) tweeted the following:
It was a good question. How can a UI be strategic, when you really think about it? I asked for more opinions, and SAP Mentor Dirk Hirsch chimed in on what Yariv had to say, to which Yariv basically agreed:
This is a good point -- the point of view is important for anything strategy related. We all know SAP's strategy hasn't always aligned with every single customer's (or potential customer's) own strategy. That also doesn't count SAP IT developers and consultants who have specialized knowledge in these areas.
I followed up with Ameya to get a bit more clarification, though he did address this a bit in his original post. Here's what he had to say:
What I mean by "strategic" is what is the best choice for a UI and what does SAP recommend? If you had asked SAP a few years ago about what UI framework you should use when you have R/3 calls, RFCs, and model creation, etc., Web Dynpro Java is the only answer SAP would have given.
Later when Web Dynpro ABAP was released, SAP moved its focus there and started to release Web Dynpro ABAP-based business packages. The ESS/MSS business package is now shipped in Web Dynpro ABAP, and not Web Dynpro Java.
I want to emphasize again here that SAP isn't wrapping up Web Dynpro Java. The picture is a bit gray. As SAP NetWeaver 7.3 support is going to be there until 2018, Web Dynpro Java support will be, too. If you're a Web Dynpro Java developer, you don't have to worry because migration is
still not an easy task for organizations. However, it's good to keep up with what's changing in your domain and what else you need to learn, such as Web Dynpro ABAP, AJAX, and even HTML5.
If you closely observe how SAP has changed its portal, one thing you can clearly note is UI. SAP wants to compete with other portals that now use JSON, jQuery, and other enhanced UI methodologies. That's why AJAX was brought up in 7.0 Ehp2.
So while Web Dynpro Java may not be a point of emphasis for SAP going forward, it still has quite a long while under support. But if you specialize in that area, it might a good time to start increasing your knowledge of these other UI technologies.