“Business objects from productive backend systems are friends, not food”
As Bruce, the shark from “Finding Nemo” would say: I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.
Object-based navigation, or OBN, provides the ability to navigate within the portal via context sensitive menus, based on the role that the users were assigned as well as the business objects they are accessing. It is an additional method of navigation based on business objects from productive backend systems.
Examples of business objects are: tables if we are accessing a database via JDBC (e.g. Authors from Ms SQL Pubs); Objects from R/3 (e.g. objects defined in the BOM such as KNA1 (customer), BUS1001 (Material), BUS1072 (Material Group), etc.); or 0MATERIAL from BW, etc.
Are there Shark business objects? Are there Piranha business objects? Well, I cannot make a statement about that but what I know is that Business Objects can be friends.
How do business objects get to know each other? Merlin from “Finding Nemo” would say: “It’s like he’s trying to speak to me, I know it.”
SAP Enterprise Portal 6.0 provides a tool to import the Business Objects from the systems available and accessible within the portal (systems created in system configuration, system landscape, for which you already have an alias defined and SSO established between the portal user and the backend system user). The business object importer provides an editor that enables manual or automatic selection of objects, which can be organized into folders as desired.
Where can I find the objects once imported? Dory from “Finding Nemo” would say: “What is it with men and asking for directions?”
Well, all imported objects appear in the Portal content catalog under Content Administration of Portal Content.
The primary capability offered by OBN is that the data returned to the user during navigation is role-based and accessed dynamically during runtime. While navigating in the portal, users receive different kinds of data from iViews based on business objects, according the needs and requirements of their role in the organization.
How can you tell what attributes, properties, or fields are the basis of the relation? What do two different business objects have in common?
Well, there are two options. One of them is that the business Objects help each other in reaching their goals or targets, navigating to other iViews via a context-sensitive link without limiting the target to specific selected data. This is purely a navigation mechanism called Object-Based Navigation. An example of this is to launch an iView that contains a business object and have the option to navigate to other iViews in the portal from one central location via a context menu.
The second option involves a context-sensitive menu which passes the selected object value to the target iView as a parameter. This is called Object Based Navigation with Relation Resolving.
The question is: How do Business Objects speak to each other?
Dory from “Finding Nemo” may say: “Maybe he only speaks “whale”. Mmmmoooooowaaaaah… and Marlin would react: “Dory, Dory, this is not “whale”. You’re speaking like “upset stomach””. This is SAP Enterprise Portal, Distributed Query engine, and Web standards-based languages!
Relations between different Business Objects can be set up in the Relation Editor. It enables retrieving an existing relation such as a foreign key (Merlin and Nemo); Automatic relation (an automatically generated link between two business objects that are not directly related by means of a foreign key) (Dory and Marlin); or creating a manual relation (Bruce and Marlin) between objects by generating a condition or where clause using operators and selection fields. Also, you may use expressions for adding SQL functions not covered by the tools of the editor.
How to make it role dependent? The end users will only see the operations for the targets they have access to within their role or roles.
From the same Business Object, different operations are launched based on the role and iViews that the user has assigned and permission to access.
I hope you use this very powerful functionality and that I could quote Merlin: “Apparently I must have done something you all liked”.