"Working as Designed"? So who thinks it's designed?

Working as designed? Who thinks it's designed?

An editorial comment, Copyright © by Steve Schneider

When's the last time you submitted something to OSS only to get back the cryptic reply "Working as Designed"? It doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does, I get very frustrated.

Consider the recent statements made by SAP at the November CWG such as "One of the largest focus areas for SAP is user experience"..I'm not quite sure that message has made it down to the rank and file developers, nor the support folks working OSS. Consider this situation;

As of release 4.6C, table KSSK has been modified (by SAP) to allow changes to sort sequences when multiple classes are assigned (field ZAEHL). Good idea, especially in situations where configuration is not impacted, such as classifications used for searching, catalog layout, etc.

For example, your company is building a class hierarchy, using a class type 001. The intent of this hierarchy is not to configure, but to enable easy, feature base searching of the product set. Secondarily, this same hierarchy is being utilized to build the layouts of a product catalog in the SAP Retail extension.

Wonder of wonders, one of the things users need the ability to do in the above scenario, is to "resequence" the classes containing nodes of the layout set. Perfectly feasible, since table KSSK allows this by simply renumbering the sequence field (ZAEHL). Oh wait....It allows this in transaction CL22N and even MM02, but not in transaction CLHP?? Or transaction CL24N? Or transaction CL6C?? What's this??

Take 3 guesses...

Working as Designed!!

Yup, the answer received from, not one, but 2 levels of support is that the system is designed to sort by alpha numeric name..Doesn't matter that the sort sequence is there and available..Oh, you can change it?? Tough...

Oh, we said you can change this as of release 4.6C and you're on 4.7? Still too bad..We didn't bother to tell you that we only modified one transaction within classification and "forgot" about the other transactions that are doing the same kind of maintenance..And by the way, the one we modified is the one that DOESN'T ALLOW YOU TO SEE HOW YOUR CHANGE AFFECTS ANYTHING ELSE!!

Wow, what a lousy "user experience"..I've got all these cool transactions that allow me to see all the classes at the level I want to change, and the only transaction that works is something that only allows me to see ONE CLASS out of all the classes at this level????

Oh, by the way, that's now part of the "Core components" and we just don't change those anymore...

So, user experience?? Not quite..Reducing the TCO?? Not quite, we have to mod the software. Designed?? Not hardly.

Imagine designing your product structure with only Sales in mind, then, when it doesn't work well for Manufacturing, telling them "bummer, it's working as designed"...Think that would go over well??

Remember, this is coming from a company that expects us to pony up Millions of dollars or euros to upgrade to the "wonderful, glorious, MySapErp20xx"....Hmm, I wonder what my design for that needs to be???And how my design will affect SAP's "User Experience" of getting my money??

For details on this scenario, take a look at OSS Customer message 110249 Comments to: Steve Schneider, VC Editor