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Preface
This new blog series tries to highlight the most interesting aspects and capabilities of Web Page Composer (WPC). In this first part we’ll give a short introduction to WPC and talk about the basic concepts behind it. Please be aware that all the information given below is subject to change, as WPC hasn’t been released yet and several parts are still in the development phase.
If you’re also interested in other, already published blogs of this series, please follow these links:

Introduction to Web Page Composer
The whole process of creating, managing and publishing web content (e.g. HTML, news, articles) in the portal has not been very consistent. Using standard NetWeaver technology always users from both worlds – business as well as IT – had to be involved to build web pages, edit them or hook them into a role.

Web Page Composer (WPC), the new WCM tool for the portal, enables your business users to manage most of the business-relevant WCM tasks (e.g. creating and updating web sites, pages, content) in an easy and effective way without the involvement of IT. Only the necessary and technical tasks (e.g. creating additional page templates, layouts and styles, offering application content) are dedicated to appropriate people of your IT department.

As WPC is completely integrated in the user and role concept of the portal you’re completely free to use the predefined standard roles or modify and extend these with custom roles (e.g. approver for web content) that fit your specific WCM processes. For example, a site manager would be responsible the administration of a web site, an author would create or update web content like articles or news, and a web content manager would be responsible for building and updating pages and choosing the corresponding layout.

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Figure 1: All tasks of your WCM process can be assigned to dedicated roles.

From a technical point of view WPC is based on the standard portal and knowledge management capabilities of SAP NetWeaver. Thus, sites, pages and content are managed in knowledge management, whereas user and role management, page building and rendering are facilitated by the portal. The big advantage of this concept is that WPC combines the existing capabilities of both and extends them with valuable WCM functionality. For example, the integration of additional content repositories can easily be done by using different connectors for the repository framework of KM.

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Figure 2: Integration of additional content repositories using the repository framework.

In contrast to the more document-centric content provided by KM the tight integration of Web Page Composer with the portal also allows you to use application content (e.g. iViews providing dynamic reports, stock quotes, etc.) on your web pages which is available via the portal content directory (PCD). In addition, all capabilities of the external facing portal (e.g. light framework page, short URLs) are supported by WPC which enables the realization of intranet as well as internet scenarios.

Major Building Blocks
Now let’s take look at the major building blocks of Web Page Composer: First, WPC comes with a new XML editor framework, which enables the authors of web content to easily create new or modify existing web content. Second, there’s the WYSIWYG page editor of WPC for building and updating web pages. Third, the new runtime components of WPC facilitate together with the portal runtime the technical assembly and rendering of the pages including navigation. Last but not least, there’s a site administration concept which helps the site owner to manage all the content, pages and structure of his/her web site.

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Figure 3: Major building blocks of Web Page Composer.

Prerequisites & Availability
Web Page composer will be available for SAP NetWeaver 2004s and subsequent releases (usage type EP). In Q2 2007 there’ll be a restricted shipment of WPC as separate add-on based on NW04s SPS12 until WPC will be generally available as of Q3 2007 (NW04s SPS13). During the restricted shipment of WPC (Q2 2007) only single-language scenarios can be implemented, but all of the standard portal languages are supported (see http://service.sap.com/pam). As of SP13 multi-language support on the level of content, pages and navigation is planned to be available.

Feature Summary (Part 1)

  • customizable WCM roles (e.g. author, web content manager)
  • document-based content as well as application content
  • support of intranet and internet scenarios
  • external facing portal capabilities
  • repository integration via the repository framework of KM

Outlook
In the Web Page Composer – the XML Editor Framework (Part II) of this blog series about Web Page Composer we’ll focus on the new XML editor framework of WPC and discuss in more detail how to define, create and update web content.

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23 Comments

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  1. Simon Kemp
    Thanks for the blog. This tool is of great interest to me, in particular I would like to know if there is any other technical documentation available. I am currenly migrating an old intranet site into an EP7 portal and would like to make sure that it will be easy to start utilizing this tool once it is available.

    Thanks in advance,
    Simon

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    1. Christopher Kaestner Post author
      Thanks for your comment. As always the technical documentation is written in parallel to the still ongoing development process of Web Page Composer. So most likely the details you’re interested in won’t be published much earlier than the official launch of the tool.

      Best regards, Christopher

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  2. Paul Tomlinson
    This looks excellent.  KM has been missing Web Content Management for ages (apart from the expensive consulting add on) and has been what many customers have turned down SAP KM in favour of MS Sharepoint for.

    Look forward to the next blog.

    Paul

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    1. Christopher Kaestner Post author
      Hi Raj,
      because of the integration with upcoming products and resulting dependencies to the NW04s code line it has been decided to release Web Page Composer only for NW04s and future releases of SAP NetWeaver.
      Best regards, Christopher
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    1. Christopher Kaestner Post author
      Hi Dmitriy,
      the first version which will be generally available (unrestricted shipment) is planned to be part of support package 13 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (2004s).
      Best regards,
      Christopher
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      1. Christopher Kaestner Post author
        Hi Dmitriy,
        specific customers and partners have been invited by SAP to participate. Sorry, you’ll propably have to wait for the unrestricted shipment: It’ll will be inlcuded in support package 13 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0.
        Best regards,
        Christopher
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  3. Vijay Thiruvallur
    The recorded demo has the detailed navigation hidden when the page loads. What is the setting/configuration needed to do this? It’s not clear from the documentation.
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        1. Christopher Kaestner Post author
          You have to create a WPC runtime iView (com.sap.nw.wpc.runtime) manually and use the iView property “RID of compound document” to map the KM RID of your page to this iView. Then you can maintain all the iView properties manually.
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    1. Christopher Kaestner Post author
      Yes, with the latest version it’s possible. Configure an entry point for the PCD (via PCD repository manager) and expose a dedicated PCD folder containing this KM iView. Then drag’n’drop this on a container where the Web resource type iView is allowed (or change the rules accordingly). BR, Christopher
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  4. Leonardo Aquino
    Hi Christopher!

    After i qualified the objects from pcd into km, i tryed to include an iview in the container.
    But the container didin’t show the iview and got locked for clear.
    Any suggestion?

    Thanks

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  5. Gesine Triesethau
    Hi there,
    could you give me an overview which connectors are available to connect external repositories? In detail – I would like to know if there are possibilities to connect the content store of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).

    Thanks a lot
    Gesine

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