SAP Screen Personas

In my last post I already mentioned SAP Screen Personas as an impressing tool that allows to completely overhaul classical dynpros, without programming.

Now SAP Screen Personas is available, according to http://scn.sap.com/community/technology-innovation/blog/2012/12/12/sap-screen-personas-is-now-available.

This video replay from the Demo Jam at TechEd Las Vegas shows Screen Personas in action: http://www.sapvirtualevents.com/teched/sessiondetails.aspx?sId=3454

The following video on the other hand explains the technical backgrounds of Screen Personas. E.g. the ITS is used to read the screen definitions:

Finally, you can find more information on http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/Img/SAPScreenPersonas.

 

Update:

This demo from the SAP Imageneering team shows how to modify dynpros with Screen Personas:

 

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AJAX Design Strategies

This article from Sun gives a nice overview of the various possibilities a software developer has if he wants to incorporate AJAX-functionality into his application.

In short, the options are:

  1. Do it yourself, when you need fine-grained control over your web application’s AJAX functionality.
  2. Use a client-side JavaScript technology library (like Dojo or Prototype), when it can simplify the JavaScript technology code you would need to write for your web application.
  3. Use a client-server framework (e.g. Ajax4jsf), when you want to take advantage of tools such as the Sun Java Studio Creator IDE to build web applications by dragging and dropping components, or if you’re already using JavaServer Faces technology to build web applications.
  4. Do the “wrap thing”, i.e. wrap JavaScript widgets with JSP-tags or JSF-components (e.g. jMaki), when you already use JSP or JavaServer Faces technology in your web applications and need to access widgets from client-side JavaScript technology libraries.
  5. Go remote (e.g. with Direct Web Remoting), when you have business logic in server-side Java objects that you want to use to process AJAX requests.
  6. Go all Java technology (e.g. Google Web Toolkit), when you want to develop AJAX-enabled applications using the Java programming language exclusively.

SAP’s new “Business Browser” and future UI-Strategy

A recently published whitepaper gives us more details about “Project Muse“, the new SAP-GUI, and SAP’s UI-strategy in general.

ui_stack

The cornerstones of SAP’s UI-family:

  • Project Muse: Rich Internet Application (RIA) based on Adobe’s Apollo that integrates traditional Dynpros, WebDynpros and web-applications as kind of an alternative client for the browser-based Portal (“business browser”), but with improved user-experience and full desktop integration e.g. with MS Office
  • Browser-based access within Enterprise Portal: The portal will continue to be the central point for browser based access to SAP’s applications, but become a face-lift and performance improvements with the help of AJAX-technology
  • Duet: Access to some business processes from within Office-applications for casual, operational users
  • Underlying UI-technology: Tools to build, model and compose user-interfaces (e.g. Visual Composer and WebDynpro-Tools), UI “building blocks” (enterprise search, knowledge management, …) and UI runtime services (roles, i18n, navigation, …)

In former R/3-times, UI- and application logic used to be wired together in Dynpros and transactions. In today’s ESA-times, we finally see a clear separation of the presentation and business logic layers, which makes it possible to connect a lot of different clients to the the ERP’s business services. Perhaps, as Thomas Otter states, this will lead to “a world where the GUI will change often”. Clearly, UI-technologies (and trends) change more often than business applications do.

(from SDN)

More facts about “Project Muse”

First demo’s of “Project Muse”, SAP’s new user-interface, were shown at the SAPPHIRE in Orlando. Now some technical details were unveiled for the SDN-community in a blog.

The most important facts:

  • “Project Muse” is installed locally, but based on web-technology, namly Macromedia’s/Adobe’s Flash technology (more precisely, it is based on Adobe’s new Apollo)
  • “Classical” GUI-transactions, WebDynpros, web-applications, BW-reports and so on can be included as transactions within the GUI
  • The role-based menu, logon, Single Sign-On are handled by a Portal-Runtime (i.e. a Portal-Runtime is always needed for Project Muse)
  • Unlike the classical SAPGUI, “Project Muse” runs on Windows, but also on Mac OS and Linux (thanks to being Flash-based), and in future shall also be able to run on mobile devices

project_muse
Knowing all that, I think “Project Muse” could be seen as an alternative user-interface for the NetWeaver Portal, by-passing some limitations web-browsers implicate for professional applications.

The question is, why does SAP not rely on open standards (like AJAX or the Flash-alternative SVG), but makes itself dependent on a third-party vendor in such a central functionality?