Caveat: All comparisons done here used a “pure browser,” basically a regular install of IE and Firefox
I recently read a AJAX @ SAP – an Old Hat!. That fact would seem to be true by date alone; I was able to find an article on SDN that talked about Web Dynpros back in 2003. However, the main point being made was that Web Dynpros did the same sort of thing as Ajax Applications. Let’s do a side-by-side comparison and you be the judge:
|Direct Connection to SAP||X|
Now that we see a snap-shot of each of their features, we can compare an application with a simple user interface containing two tabs and really only one function, searching for something and returning results.
Ajax — The UI
Web Dynpro — The UI
I would create two views one for each of the tabs of the UI. I would then just drag and drop a tab strip onto a view and link the two views onto that tab strip. Each time the user clicks on the tab strip it makes a call back to the server and sends down the next “view” in this case the tab-strip along with the “Options” view. Some flicker, some extra server noise. Very little, if any custom development.
Ajax — The search
Web-Dynpro — The Search
Assuming you have a function module for this “search,” creating the search is easy. Simply create a table on the main view of your web dynpro, attach an event handler to the find button, map all the inputs into the right inputs for the FM, then attach the FM’s output to the table you just created. Clicking find will cause your inputs to be submitted to the server, the browser waiting for the full HTML document is sent back, the screen will flicker, and the page will be displayed. A little more data carried over the wire, the same number of app turns but that pesky flicker is there again.
As you can see, Ajax and Web Dynpro applications both have their merits. Each one fits into a slightly different space in the spectrum of web-based applications. The one thing that should be clear is that Web Dynpros are not Ajax-esque, nor are Ajax applications as simple to create as Web Dynpros. About the only thing they have in common is they both use web browsers and web servers to deliver their user experience.
- Does Ajax require more custom development?
- Do Web Dynpros allow you to link to an SAP backend easily?
- Are Web Dynpros Ajax applications?
- Could enterprise applications ever be created using Ajax?
- Sure, would just require someone to create a reusable framework of xslt sheets and some time creating a SOAP package developers could use.