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Custom iViews Without Coding in Java… Introducing GUIMachine

What is GUIMachine?

GUI Machine enables the visual creation of portal pages and iViews without programming. From simple visual descriptions created with drag-n-drop ease, the system automatically generates and deploys executable code on the portal server eliminating the need for complex and costly programming.

The Challenge

GUI Machine offers model-based user-interface productivity solutions for SAP Enterprise Portal. Typically, the cost of customizing and maintaining a portal is at least three times the initial cost of the portal platform. The construction of new portal pages and portal components normally involves complex and time consuming programming.

Why GUIMachine?

GUI Machine’s primary objective is to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and therefore increase the Return on Investment (ROI) of the SAP Enterprise Portal. Today, much of the expense related to a portal implementation can be associated with content creation and maintenance. GUI Machine significantly reduces the complexity of content creation and maintenance by offering a visual design system that enables the creation of more complex pages without the need for complex and/or costly coding. As a consequence, the level of skills required to develop quality content is significantly reduced enabling partners and/or customers to utilize less skilled and less costly human resources to create content for the portal. The reduction in the skill level required, in addition to the increased productivity enabled by GUI Machine, leads to a quicker development and content maintenance process, reducing TCO and increasing ROI.

How Does It Work?

GUIMachine is currently installed as an add-on to the SAP Enterprise Portal. The GUIMachine enables content developers to divide the content development and deployment process into five parts making it more modular and generic.
1.Infoset Creation – Based on the underlying application, the content developers determine which functions they would like to utilize and what information should be retrieved. At design time, the connectivity framework provides GUI Machine the ability to retrieve and display the metadata of the information stored in the application. Based on the inputs and outputs that the application requires and provides to the connectivity framework, GUI Machine provides the content developer with all the information required. These information blocks are called “Infosets”.

2. UI Logic – Based on the required application, the content developer builds a UI Logic: creating Pages, iViews, and the connections among them and to the data sources (Infosets).

3. Layout Design – The content developer defines how the Pages and iViews are being presented in terms of layout, skin, and all other visual aspects. The layout design is being determined based on the targeted devices and their respective display characteristics.


4. Compiler – The GUI Machine compiler renders code that is then deployed to the SAP Enterprise Portal much like a business package.

5. Runtime – In runtime, the pages created by GUI Machine can retrieve information from the runtime connectivity framework and display and update this information, just like any other hand-coded portal page.

How Do I Get the GUIMachine?

The alpha version of GUIMachine is currently available in “Sneak Preview” or “Technology Preview” mode via SDN. The GUIMachine can be downloaded from the Downloads area or click on the following link: GUIMachine : Alpha Version”

Included in the download area are the documentation and a tutorial on how to use the GUIMachine.

The current avatar of GUIMachine works with SAP Enterprise Portal 5.0 (patch 1 hotfix 5 onwards) and can create iViews over SAP R/3 backend system.

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  • Hello,

    Will there be also a GUIMachine version running with the Portal Development Kit? Today I’ve downloaded GUIMachine and tried to install it on my PC where the PDK is running. But the PDK is not recognized by the Installer. A PDK version for demonstration purpose will be nice because we don’t have a Enterprise Portal yet.


  • Hello,
    I got a little bit confused regarding SAP’s strategy for web application development.
    I understand that with webDynpro you are able to do everything you can do with GUIMachine and much more.
    I also understand that webDynpro applications on top of WAS is the long term strategy for web application development.
    So the question is, why and when to use GUIMachine instead of webDynpro?


  • The SAP Documentation on the OLE Automation chapter says: When called from an ABAP program, the SAPGUI acts as OLE client, and the desktop application as the OLE server.

    The Portal by-passes the SAPGUI, and therefore the foregoes the OLE Automation.

    Does the GUIMachine re-enable the OLE Automation?

    Many thanks!