Skip to Content

Interested in the new sexy feature of the collaboration capabilities of SAP NetWeaver?

I promise that you will like our new forums. They will support you in creating communities of practice that allow your users and employees to find information, locate subject matter experts, and reuse knowledge.

The new forums are based on the same technology as the popular forums you might know from SDN.

ROADMAP and AVAILABILITY

Forums are available for unrestricted shipment as of SAP NetWeaver 2004 SP Stack 20 as well as SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (formerly known as SAP NW 2004s) SP Stack 12.

The forums are technically not part of a SP stack: they must be downloaded and deployed separately. You will find the two SCA files (Forums SCA and KMC UI Layer SCA) on Service Marketplace (service.sap.com) for download:

for SAP NW 04: alias swds: Download -> Support Packages and Patches -> Entry by Application Group -> SAP NetWeaver -> SAP NETWEAVER -> SAP NETWEAVER 04 -> Entry by Component -> Enterprise Portal).

for SAP NW 7.0: alias swds: Download -> Support Packages and Patches -> Entry by Application Group -> SAP NetWeaver -> SAP NETWEAVER -> SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 -> Portal Add-On SAP NW 7.0 -> Comprised Software Component Versions.

My tip: The “old” Collaboration discussion groups are still part of the product. But I recommend to use the new forums.

KEY FEATURES

User and Moderation Experience

The new forums allow users to discuss common issues and topics, post questions to the community, escalate questions to experts, and gain status. The interface is easy to use with a consistent look and feel and one-click access to commonly used tasks.

You will like the following features:

  • E-mail notifications: Users are notified when information is updated.
  • File attachments: Documents, images and other files can be attached to messages (note: KM documents cannot be attached to messages, but this feature is planned for further SAP NetWeaver stacks).
  • Moderation support and content control: Moderators review messages before they are posted in the forum.
  • Search on postings: Search is possible; integration with the Search and Classification Engine is planned for future SAP NetWeaver stacks.
  • Administration and Customizing

  • The new forums offer a Web-based administration tool: The admin tool makes it easy to delete, edit and move messages, manage permission levels and organize the hierarchy of categories and forums.
  • You can customize the initial content: The basic structure of the forum content can be set up by creating and defining the forum categories, as well as the forums, with their initial threads.
  • There is a permission concept: Access to administrative features depend on the permission level. While system administrators have access to all settings and tools, moderators only have access to a limited subset of features. Note: forums have a separate permission concept which is different from the portal.
  • You can adapt the look and feel to your needs: The look and feel of the forums can be customized by adapting theme fronts and colors and by customizing the various options, that have an impact on the appearance of the forums page; accessibility themes are also part of the delivery.
  • Contribution

    Unanswered questions are escalated: If a question cannot not be answered by the community after a defined time, experts answer the open questions.

    An integrated point reward system is also planned for further SAP NetWeaver stacks.

    Connections

    Forum members can locate other members (experts) by using the user search in the Portal. Users can contribute to forums through email: if a user is subscribed to a thread and – in case of an update or change – is informed by e-mail, the user can respond directly through e-mail and the e-mail can also be posted in the thread.

    Performance and Scalability

    Features like server clustering and performance tuning make forums ideal for high traffic or mission-critical environments. The new forums have a proven scalability (SDN with more than 500.000 users!!!).

    Security and User Management

    Forums are fully integrated into SAP NetWeaver’s authentification mechanisms and support SS0. SAP NetWeaver’s User Management is also integrated.

    Internationalization and Accessibility

    The following features are planned for SAP NetWeaver 2004 SPS 20 and SAP NetWeaver 2004s SPS 12: End user UI support for all 26 SAP NetWeaver languages and Admin UI support for the “A” languages (French, German, English, Japanese).

    Also planned: 508 compliance regarding accessibility and BIDI compliance for right-to-left languages such as Arabic or Hebrew.

    Tracking and Monitoring Activity

    You can create summaries of forum activity, including new messages, new topics, and forum popularity. You can also generate reports about forum usage, traffic and open questions.

    and the forums are database independent through OpenSQL compliance!!!

    SUPPORTED SCENARIOS

    You can use the forums to build a standalone community scenario for your company like in SDN. The integration into rooms is not supported. If you like to integrate forums into rooms you can do this only by a workaround (see links below).

    There are two how-to guides available on SDN describing a workaround for the integration of forums into collaboration rooms: See: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/402898af-f2f6-2910-1dba-e85c992d816b for SAP NetWeaver 2004 and http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/80e5bf16-fe22-2a10-15a2-a613b4bcef1b for SAP NetWeaver 7.0.

    AND WHAT ABOUT THE “OLD” DISCUSSIONS

    Discussion groups in rooms and outside rooms still exist in NW 2004 and in NW 7.0. SAP recommends customers to switch to the new forums, especially in case they plan to implement a new community scenario. Migration tools are also planned. Customers should consider that the new forums offer an intuitive user interface and a broad range of forum functionality which is missing in the “old” discussion groups.

    I hope I could make you a little bit curious about our new forums.

    To report this post you need to login first.

    34 Comments

    You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

    1. ALFREDO MORENO
      Are these forums the integration of Jive Software’s Jive Forums product?

      Recently, the Jive Software CEO had announced that SAP was OEM licensing their Jive Forums product.

      Thanks.

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Yes, the Jive forums are integrated into SAP NetWeaver Collaboration as our new forums.
        As the Jive forums are integrated into the SAP NetWeaver Platform, we have some differences: we plan for example the development of a point reward system which is not Jive standard but a new development. And Jive forums are of course integrated into SAP NetWeaver‘s existing authentification mechanisms and support SSO. The User Mangement Engine (UME)of the SAP NetWeaver platform is also integrated.
        (0) 
        1. Russel Barber
          Hi,

          we are using 7.0 with SP15 and have the Forums packages installed. I was hoping to see the reward sytem in this cofiguration, but it doesn’t appear to be available. Can anyone tell me which SP is necessary for this, or if it is even available yet?
          thx,
          Russell

          (0) 
    2. Patricia Rolón
      Hello,
      Do you know if the new forums features have been released? where do I have to check to be know about this? Will this release be a business package?
      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi,
        the SPS 20 delivery was postponed to beginning of May. The SPS 12 delivery is planned for middle/end of May. The forums are not installed by the SAP NetWeaver installer. They must be downloaded as SCA files from the SAP Service Marketplace and they must be deployed to the SAP NetWeaver Portal. But all this will be described in the documentation which will also be available when the product is released. To be informed just check this blog. I will try to keep it as up-to-date as possible.
        Regards
        Vera Gutbrod
        (0) 
          1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
            Hi,
            sorry but the unrestricted shipment for forums was postponed until middle of June. There are some unexptected issues with forums in a clustered environment and these bugs need to get fixed. Forums will be made available as SCA files on Service Marketplace for download (see the description in first paragraph of my blog “Roadmap and Availability”).

            Regards
            Vera

            (0) 
      2. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi,
        sorry, there is an unexpected postponement of the forum release until middle of June. We found some issues with forums in a clustered environment and the bugs need to get fixed. I hope that the forums will then be available by middle of June. Forums will be downloadable as SCA files from Service Marketplace (see description in the first paragraph of my blog).

        Regards
        Vera Gutbrod
        SAP NetWeaver Product Management

        (0) 
    3. Ken Miller
      Can you point me to the installation documentation? I can’t find it on the Service Marketplace.

      Also, has the documentation for integrating forms into rooms been released, and if so, where is it?

      Thanks!

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi,
        1. Here is the link to the installation documentation for SPS 20:
        http://service.sap.com/~form/sapnet?_SHORTKEY=01100035870000591425&_OBJECT=011000358700009400602004E
        Concerning the SPS 12 installation documentation I have to refer you to the customer note 1049553 -> https://css.wdf.sap.corp/sap(bD1kZSZjPTAwMQ==)/bc/bsp/spn/sapnotes/index2.htm?numm=0001049553
        2. The HowtoGuide describing the integration of forums into rooms is available on SDN for NetWeaver 2004: https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/402898af-f2f6-2910-1dba-e85c992d816b. The version for NetWeaver 2004s (7.0) will be available soon.

        Regards
        Vera

        (0) 
    4. Geert Wouters
      Hi,

      We have a techical question, hopefully you can answer.

      If we have a Portal system running in SP11 and we install on a seperate NWJ2EE SP12 the Jive Forum, can we integrate both systems. (Slide 12)
      OR is SP12 mandatory as a Portal system?

      Regards,
      Geert

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi Geert!
        The two-system setup for forums (Portal installation on one AS JAVA system and Forums on another AS JAVA system) is not supported at the moment. Please read also customer note 709354 for the details.

        Regards
        Vera

        (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi Steve!
        The integration into TREX/Portal Search is planned for SPS 14. Do you also ask for other kinds of integration?

        Regards
        Vera

        (0) 
    5. Andrei Smolkin
      Hi Vera,

      Is there are any public API to work with this new forums ? Is it possible, for example, to create some forum thread and assign user permissions using API or it’s not recomended ?

      Regards,
      Andrei

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi Andrei!
        No, sorry, until now there are not public APIs for forums. We have plans for future releases but there is no exact timeplan until now.

        Kind regards
        Vera

        (0) 
    6. Mathias Raffel
      Hi Vera,
      thanks for the great information on the new forums. We really like what we saw so far.
      How do we configure the spell-check for our forums?
      Currently the button is not available when I create a post.

      Thanks and best regards,
      Mathias Raffel

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi Mathias!
        Thanks for your nice feedback.
        Concerning the spell checker: there is only one configuration task for the administrator. You find the spell checker in the admin console under Settings -> Global Settings -> Spell Check Settings. Here the checker can be activated. For the end users there is nothing to be done. There is also no button as far as I know.

        Kind regards
        Vera

        (0) 
    7. Sandip Agarwalla
      Hi Vera,
      Can we use these new JIVE forums on Portal without installing KM & C…We are in the process of evaluating the use of KMC for JIVE forums. In case its not required , it would be nice to switch off KM to save system resources..
      We are on NW 7 SR2, which does have flexibility of installing the usage types EP Core & EP (which contains KM & C)..
      Do we need to install usage Type EP to use JIVE forums?

      Your help is greatly appreciated.

      Thanks
      Sandip Agarwal

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi Sandip!
        Here also the answer in SDN.
        Concerning your questions: no, you do not generally need KM and Collaboration together with the forums or as a prerequisite for forums. The installation of EP Core is sufficient.

        But be aware: beginning with SAP NW 7.0 SPS 14 the forums search is integrated into TREX.  In this case you need to install KM and TREX: otherwise the search will not work
        We recommend to use the TREX/Portal search instead of the forums search. The forums search can also lead to performance problems.

        Regards
        Vera

        (0) 
    8. sean coverstone
      My company is currently running a stand alone version of Jive Forums, which we have licensed for several years now.  We are hoping to move to the forums offered in SAP Portal, however, we are nervous after finding out from JiveSoftware they will no longer offer support for the product sometime next year and are pushing clients to Clearspace.  What is SAP’s plan for this?  I know SAP announced clearspace features in portal, but SAP is typcially slow to make GA. 

      I also have a question regarding custom development witin the SAP provided forums.  We have customized our stand alone Jive Forums to make the Polling features work for us.  Can the SAP provided forums separate out the Jive Poll into a separate iView for presentation on a non-forum page…like the home page of the portal?  Or is the only way to switch from the Quick Poll iView to the Jive Forum Poll to be if we direct users to a forum page?

      Thank you in advance for any answers you can provide.

      Sean

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author
        Hi Sean!
        We alraedy offer forums in SAP NW Portal since SAP NW 7.0 SPS 12. So they are generally available since a longer time. And we plan to offer them also in the future including support. So Jive’s plan to stop the forum support does not effect the forums offered in SAP NW Portal.

        Concerning your second question, I have to ask our development. I think that it is not possible at the moment. But maybe there is a workaround. I will ask and come back to you.
        Regards
        Vera

        (0) 
    9. Martin Sander
      Dear Vera,

      currently we are planning to display different forum categories at different portal pages in our SAP NetWeaver Portal (7.0 SPS 17). We wanted to use the Jive forums, which come with SAP NetWeaver Portal.

      Basically, the problem is that users who accessed a certain forum categorie at a certain portal page can navigate to other forum categories which are supposed to be displayed somewhere else in the portal by using the forum’s breadcrumb functionality or the “Back to forum list” (for details see this forum thread in SDN (/thread/1297590 [original link is broken]).

      Could you give some advice on this.

      Best regards,

      Martin

      (0) 
    10. Jack Fernendo
      Hi we are now in the year 2010, where can i get the latest info about the same, hope in these years there has been a lots of upgrade in this product. please provide info i m intrested in configuring the latest version.
      (0) 
    11. Nitesh Jain

      Dear Vera,

      Do you have a latest feature list of forums..

      I was looking at some enhanced permissions control.

      e.g. normally a post can be read by all members of the forum. I would like the functionality that a thread & its messages can be read only by the author and a user group/groups which can be configured. All members of the forum cannot read all posts.

      We are planning to use it for collaborating with our vendors for which i require the above enhanced control. Is it possible? Since the vendor base is large (300 to 400 vendors) creating vendor specific forums is not an option and at the same time the confidentiality of the Vendor questions to the OEM needs to maintained.

      Looking forward to hearing from u.

      regards

      Nitesh

      (0) 
      1. Vera Gutbrod Post author

        Hi Nitesh!

        A latest list is in the overview presentation: http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-7545. See the section on NW 7.3 features.

        Concerning the permission model: there is no change in it and it is also not planned to add this to the feature list in the next future. Permissions can only be assigned to forums not to single threads and messages within a forum. So the only solution is to remove the permissions from one forum (so that registered users cannot read it or create content in it) and to give the permissions only to a certain user group. This is the only scenario you could configure for your use case.

        Kind regards

        Vera

        (0) 
        1. Nitesh Jain

          Hi Vera,

          Thanks for your reply.

          Adding a new permission option ‘Read Forum threads created by me’ (me could be a specific user or user group) will add a lot of value to this fantastic collaboration tool. Scenarios such as mine which i am sure many businesses will have, will benefit immensely.

          regards

          Nitesh

          (0) 
            1. Nitesh Jain

              Hi Vera,

              I appreciate your initiative to take up this enhancement with the development team. Thank you for taking this forward.

              Kindly let me know the feedback of the development team. Hopefully they will agree to make this enhancement.

              regards

              Nitesh

              (0) 

    Leave a Reply