I used to hate Oracle, but now I hate SAP instead

  • We used to use Oracle at [company name redacted]. We used to complain about how badly it sucked, as end users. For example, if you want to print the same report for each one of a list of items, you have to do this crazy routine:

    1. Bring up the Create Requests window
    2. Choose the report you want to
    3. Enter the item number
    4. Enter the criteria for the report
    5. Run the report
    6. Lather, rinse, repeat for each item

    But getting date out of Oracle and into an Excel file for quick analysis was actually very easy! Our IT support could write a quick SQL script and get the data for hundreds of items in just a few minutes.

    But the Company thought SAP would do a better job. Ha!

    Try writing a query (remember, I'm a user, not a developer). Nope. You have to create an "infoset" first. But you have to get access to the Infoset transaction first. Fine, you get that. Now you have to figure out (through trial-and-error) which tables and fields to include. Then go back and set up the query, using the weird, non-intuitive query builder interface. OK, done that. Now run the new query. Did you get your data? NO, because you don't have the right infoset. So ask IT to do it. Nope. Can't be done. The data you want IS stored in SAP, but it is in some kind of strange text container, and can't be queried by normal methods.

    Suppose you have a query that actually works. By default, you get the data in an "SAP Viewer" table. But you want to export it to Excel, so you can do some work. Is there a simple "export to Excel" button? No. But you can export to a "spreadsheet," which opens in MHTML by default. Why?? And every query seems to have a different method for generating this spreadsheet. If you decide to set your export method as the default, you can't easily go back and change it. The option to change the export default is buried in some arcane configuration window far, far away from where you would expect to find it. However, if you change the "Layout" of the query to "Spreadsheet," you get a quick export to Excel, with an optional pivot table.

    The point is, the user experience for SAP (Dreamweaver) is terrible and bizarre. Mouse clicks and right-clicks don't follow global conventions (for Windows, Linux, or anything else). Query results in the SAP Viewer look very different from the Spreadsheet version (in some cases).

    And woe unto you if you do choose to use a spreadsheet view. There are at least 3 different ways to get to the spreadsheet. And if you pick one as the default, you will have unholy hell trying to get the other options back.


  • I've learned that asking "what could be worse than X?" is usually followed by the implementation of a system that is worse than X.

  • This might be the reason why SAP consultants are so expensive.

  • My first exposure to SAP 15 years ago or so was enough to convince me that we should just keep computers out of Germany, just to be safe.

  • I see a Godwin in 3...2...1...

  • I did Nazi that coming...

  • Is there a law or something that you can only hate one tech company at a time?

  • I remember sitting in a meeting and there was this 50-60 year old Software Engineer that had basically built a system in SAP that recorded the training a lifeguard had received, fitness tests etc.

    It took them 10 years to build this application and it sound like something you could knock up in .NET in about 2 or 3 weeks.

    I remember being horrified by when he brought up an interface that looked like something from the very early 90s and took forever to generate what was essentially a table.

  • About 10 years ago I worked in a small company that inherited some software written in FoxPro. As they knew the programs needed to be basically rewritten, they were looking around for something as a replacement, and SAP came up as one of the options. It was quickly scrapped however, because just to attend a demo, the company'd have to pay €6000 per person.

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said:

    Is there a law or something that you can only hate one tech company at a time?

    Single-core brain, maybe.

  • @FrostCat said:

    Is there a law or something that you can only hate one tech company at a time?

    Single-core brain, maybe.

    by the law of context switching (that I just made up) you can only actively hate one thing at a time.
    try to hate two things at the same time - your are going to notice the context switching in real time.

  • @Barry_Ford said:

    Try writing a query (remember, I'm a user, not a developer). Nope. You have to create an "infoset" first. (...)

    Reminds me of the fun days with Dynamics NAV. Hoo boy, the interface was slick, but the dev environment....

Log in to reply

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.