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MDP Insights: An Interview with Our Web Team Leader

This week we sat down with our Web & Mobile Development Manager, Ahmet Buğra Okyay, to have a chat about what his team does at here MDP. Our Web & Mobile Applications Department was formed in 2016 and true to their name—they develop web and mobile applications. They’re also in charge of R&D and have completed some vastly interesting projects over the years.  


Tell us a little about your team and what you do…

Our focus at MDP has always been the client. This, of course, applies to the Web team as well. The client is the basis for the innovation we achieve here. Our motivation is ensuring that we address and exceed our clients’ expectations. Whether this is solving a problem or developing something specific, we go all in.

We describe the work we do as “tailor made products.” Although I have nothing against out-of-the-box solutions, that’s not what we do here. Much like a tailor, we take our clients’ measurements (figuratively speaking), assess the style and function that would best suit them, and produce a custom product that fits like a glove. Our clients are always pleased when they see that we incorporated some aspect of their corporate identity into a project.

 

We describe the work we do as “tailor made products.”

 

Are these services exclusive for clients that work with SAP?

Although we’re widely known as an SAP consultancy firm, we have clients that work with SAP and non-SAP.


It’s safe to say that your team is the creative side of MDP. How do you come up with ideas for projects?

We fuse widely accepted libraries and frameworks that have proven successful with the capabilities of SAP technology. We refer to best practices for guidance but create unique products. And it goes without saying that we work in compliance with globally accepted UI / UX standards.


What languages and frameworks do you use?

We have some truly great talent in our team— excellent in Javascript and ABAP. We started working with jQuery a couple of years ago, which then progressed into AngularJs and lastly React, React Native, and Flutter. We choose the language we work with based on what works best for the project or solution at hand.

Typically, for web applications that run on SAP, we use ReactJs, OpenUI5 (Fiori), Abap, Go, and NodeJS. For mobile applications that run on SAP, we use React-Native (Javascript) and Flutter (Dart). If need be, we work with Swift and Java/Kotlin to develop native mobile applications for specific uses.

As for our applications that don’t run on SAP, or work indirectly integrated with SAP: ReactJs for frontend web products; React-Native (Javascript) and Flutter (Dart) for mobile products; Swift and Java/Kotlin when needed; NodeJs, Go, PHP, and Pyhton for backends. The database we use varies— it’s either MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL or MSSQL, depending on the project.

How do these applications work with SAP?

We get this question all the time from clients.

Our web-based products run on SAP through SAP’s BSP technology. This eliminates the need for any extra servers (and server cost). So, these Javascript web applications that run on SAP work with RESTful services, which is the basis for any modern web design. We develop these services through BSP or by using Odata and ABAP.

If a customer has ABAP resources, that’s great for them because it means they can further develop our product without our assistance if they feel like it. The same applies with frontend developments – only in that case, they’d need someone who knows Javascript. Many of our clients feel reassured that we give them the source code to their projects, which makes us happy.

The workings of our mobile applications are similar. The main difference is: after compiling an application, it runs directly on mobile devices instead of BSP. Clients can opt to have their product on application stores, or we can privately share their files with IPA or APK extensions for clients that use IOS and Android devices, respectively.

 

Many of our clients feel reassured that we give them the source code to their projects, which is great to hear.

 

What about non-SAP products or products that are indirectly integrated to SAP?

This is where it gets interesting! We get to create without being bound by the limitations of SAP, so we have achieved some great projects in that respect.

We develop smart applications with Python that use Machine Learning. These applications have a tremendous capacity for learning and can make decisions based on the data that you put into them. We are hard at work with R&D and develop some truly unique products. These products can be provided via Cloud or through clients’ servers as per request.

 

Can you tell us about one of your R&D projects?

One of our in-demand products is an online employee suggestion box. It allows employees to turn in suggestions to better their workplace, fix a problem or present an idea. There’s machine learning algorithms and AI in play, which detect a variety of factors. The software determines whether a similar suggestion had been sent in before, and which department it relates to. Each input is automatically forwarded to the relevant parties by AI. Employees can follow the process through an online platform. This has helped many companies improve so far; some have even implemented new business ideas based on employee suggestions!

 

What’s your development process like?

We have strict working principles and standards. Version management tools like Github or Bitbucket are indispensable. And we determine Branching Model and Pull Request strategies at the very beginning of each project.

For non-SAP projects, we carry out the following operations: Unit Test, Docker Containerization, and CI/CD (Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery-Deployment).

 

Anything else before we wrap up?

We’re here because we want to develop solutions that make our clients’ lives easier. And we have fun doing it! If anyone reading this takes a special interest in what we do or has questions, they can feel free to contact me at bugra.okyay@mdpgroup.com and I’d be glad to have a chat.


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