Using the SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal and NetWeaver Business Client: Technical and Business Advantages
Line-of-business leaders will become the driving force of enterprise service-oriented architecture. In order to enable and accelerate this change, SAP is making the benefits of enterprise SOA more visible and tangible for business users. The goal of this blog and enclosed White Paper is to provide a clear understanding of the User Interface strategy SAP is pursuing, and how to take advantage of the personal productivity benefits that enterprise SOA can deliver. The flexibility of the enterprise SOA model makes it easier to integrate business processes, adopt new business models, and deliver new applications. It makes it easier to do business in a way that is unique to your enterprise. This same flexibility and adaptability can be delivered not only to the enterprise as a whole, but to every end user. Each user is unique. Each person’s work is unique. Enterprise applications must allow people to do their work, their way. SAP is addressing this topic. The core UI technology in SAP NetWeaver is evolving to provide UI services and building blocks that can be consumed through multiple channels and clients while advancing the application user experience to become more adaptive, contextual and intuitive. In the last 15 years, the SAP software serving the needs of accessing business application UIs has evolved from the SAPGUI to today’s SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal and Web Dynpro. The customer investment in our existing UI technology will continue to be leveraged in the enterprise SOA era. The SAP NetWeaver Portal will continue to serve as the aggregation hub for governed, role-based content and will continue to deliver SAP’s web-based user experience. But the portal will also be opened, to deliver content and services through new access channels, giving users many more options to support their natural way of work. Ensuring your strategic enterprise SOA platform supports this flexibility is critical as part of an integrated enterprise strategy to maximize user productivity while minimizing the total cost of IT. Several groups in SAP gathered to co-author a White Paper which covers the SAP NetWeaver UI strategy and disclose in further details the following topics:
Project Muse (the first business browser on the market, the SAP NetWeaver Business Client)
The future of browser-based access (continuous innovation in the SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal)
Targeted business users
A day in the life of a business user
Underlying UI technology
Road map and timeline
» Using the SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal and NetWeaver Business Client
There is going to be a series of White Papers that we are looking at publishing which have more focused approach on a particular topic in the UI space. The second White Paper we are working on is the topic of "Building SAP enterprise applications with best practices for the UI technology used". One of the scenarios we are trying to describe is how we (or the customer and ISV) would tackle the support of AJAX and other scripting technologies like PHP and ActionScript (Flex) while having the benefits from enterprise UI frameworks like Web Dynpro (for capabilities like data retrival, buffering, transaction and state handling, drop-down value helps... that are too complex to re-invent).
Would be more than happy to get your input / expectations from a scripting language experience. Feel free to contact me over email: email@example.com
Thanks and stay tuned for more info on the valuable topic you raised.
Perhaps as you noticed in the White Paper, we're still short of public information on the timelines for the NetWeaver Business Client. I can just tell you that internally in Development, we already have versions of the client that is offered to select SAP applications to use and test their content with.
In general, we're looking at the beginning of 2007 to make it available with pilot customers and select applications / industries. Please stay tuned for updates on SDN regarding the availability of the NetWeaver Business Client.
First off, thanks to Filip for this white paper.
I wanted to ask, if anyone has a link or book-proposal on further technical information related to this subject. I'm tracking new UI strategies at SAP with high interest, especially this one. I just read a book about the development of SAP-Applications with Adobe Flex and want to know how Flex/ActionScript is integrated in Muse for example. All information I found is more or less an abstract, but doesn't provide a deeper insight into the subject.
Thanks for any links or similar.
Unfortunately, we haven't had the chance yet to write a book as we're first focusing on delivering an "enterprise 2.0" product like Muse to the market that is desirable and viable for customers. The books will come later, I'm sure.
Regarding your concrete question on Flex, we're using the client abstraction layer of the SAP UI programming model to deliver Flex / Flash capabilities without negative impact on the applications (i.e. the app developer doesn't have to learn yet a new programming model, use new toolsets, or require more server infrastucture). The white paper talked about the Business Client Protocol (BCP) and XML we use to communicate with non-browser, rich client environments like Flex.
If you need more resources at this time, there are several books written about the SAP UI technology -- just check out the SDN sections on Web Dynpro and Enterprise Portal.
All the best, Filip
I attended sessions at TechEd recently where the Business Client was discussed, and demonstrated. I also read this paper, and just wanted to make sure I understand correctly... Is it true that this Business Client will replace the SAP GUI client that we are already familiar with ? If so, will there be a similar front end tool like the SAPlogon, and will it be possible to configure the applications I want to logon to using a saplogon.ini file ? Also, will SNC authentication still be supported for SSO purposes ?
in the enclosed White Paper it states:
"A detailed roadmap and timeline will be published by SAP in the near future."
Can you point me to where this is, because I cannot find it.
In particular I am interested in:
"L-frame containing the portal navigation tree can be cached in the browser"
"browser will receive a face-lift to modern, AJAX-based UI and behavior"
I have found a document called:
SAP NetWeaver Portal:A glimpse on New Features for Collaboration, Content and Communities