I’m very fortunate to get to introduce the newest SAP HANA Distinguished Engineer – Tim Champagne. I had the pleasure of first meeting Tim during a presentation he gave at ASUG annual conference. I see a lot of presentations at a lot of events, but Tim’s stood out. It wasn’t just the excellent content, but also his natural and approachable presentation style. Tim has since presented at TechEd and SAP has even invited him to present to our internal development teams on the HANA projects which he is involved with at Lockheed Martin.
Tim’s knowledge, but more importantly, his willingness and ability to share that knowledge is exactly an example of the cornerstone that the SAP HANA Distinguished Engineer program is built upon. We can all look forward to future contributions Tim has to make to the community.
Tim Champagne, Lockheed Martin
Software Engineer Staff
Tim Champagne is an SAP Development professional with over 8 years of SAP experience including ABAP, ABAP Web Dynpro, Hana, SQL and Java Scripting. He has completed multiple SAP full lifecycle implementations and has over 13 years IT experience.
1.) Tell us a little around your background in the industry
I’ve been working as a developer of SAP since 2008, primarily in the Aerospace & Defense industry. The majority of my work up until 2013 was with ABAP Web Dynpro and object oriented classes. Since then I’ve been focused on HANA native development with custom applications utilizing data modeling, core data services and HANA XS Classic.
2.) How did you get into the SAP HANA space?
In late 2012 I began to hear about SAP HANA and that we were going to try it out as a sidecar to enhance performance. I recognized that this was an opportunity to specialize and if it took off I would be in a great position. So I began reading and training on my own and was able to take SAP HANA training in early 2013. From there I began development on performance enhancements using data modeling and ADBC calls from ABAP. In late 2014 I worked on my first HANA XS application and have been working in that area ever since.
3.) Can you tell us a little about the projects you are working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a multi-year project that is a suite of SAPUI5 applications hosted with HANA XS Classic. These applications are consolidating multiple other existing web applications that do not communicate with each other. These applications are intended to help users manage years of accounting data and communicate it to them in a manner that is easy to see trends and problems. We give instant feedback after user input via tables with custom cell highlighting, tooltips, charts and graphs. Some examples of functionality we have implemented so far: variant management, table cell highlighting, export and import of user inputs.
4.) What advice would you give to people looking to learn SAP HANA?
Over all other advice, I say actually developing has been the best way to learn for me, whether it’s just practice, a proof of concept or project work. Focusing on a specific development topic is probably the next task. There are lots of free training topics out there on SAP.com. Also the developers.sap.com community has lots of content including the download of HANA Express which removes many of the barriers to trying out HANA yourself.
5.) Tell us about one of your SAP HANA war wounds!
Asking the real questions here! Surprisingly, performance of larger interdependent data models has been a real learning curve. HANA is very fast and end user expectations are always faster. Learning to build lean, simple yet flexible data models that still accomplish all of the complex requirements has been a long process.
6.) What do you see in the future of SAP HANA?
I would say continuing to close the differences between on premise and cloud. If these two are closely related then the risk to change from one to the other is lowered.
7.) If there was one change you could make to SAP HANA, what would it be?
Maybe more direct access to SAP processes/logic from native HANA. For example the SAP Factory calendar can be interacted with SQL Functions like WORKDAYS_BETWEEN and ADD_WORKDAYS. Or you can generate your fiscal calendar data to a table in HANA using the Generate time Data function in HANA Studio. More of this is always helpful in my native development.
8.) Tell us a bit about yourself outside of SAP HANA and work?
I’m happily married to my wife of 10 years, we met in the summer of 2002 while participating in the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. I have taken over our garage as a woodworking shop and have been making furniture for our home using walnut that I helped cut down and haul to a saw mill when I was a teenager. Projects so far have been an entertainment center, office desks and a king size bed frame.