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OK, it’s time to reveal what’s new in the latest versions of the portal, and even reveal some behind the scenes stuff. The features described here relate to SAP NetWeaver 2004 SP Stack 20 (out to customers as of late April), as well as SAP NetWeaver 7.0 SP Stack 12 (out to customers as of late May). By the way, SAP NetWeaver 7.0 is the new name for SAP NetWeaver 2004s.

The Feature List

Drumroll please … the list of new features for 2004 SP20, which also were added to 7.0 in SP12 or earlier (I will dedicate upcoming blogs to providing more details about the first two features):

  • Portal Localization: Anonymous users can now set the portal language with a dropdown list in the portal masthead. Administrators can enable/disable this feature with a property in the masthead. And developers can write applications that set the language by modifying the sessionLocale session property. More on this in an upcoming blog.
  • Dynamic (Forced) URLs for URL iViews: You can now define the URL of a URL iView at runtime. More on this in an upcoming blog.
  • Navigation Cache: A new implementation of the navigation cache has been intorduced, improving performance even more, especially in cases where there are great number of role combinations. The new implementation also provides greater control of caching, providing configuration per connector and better adminitration tools. The new navigation cache mechanism was described in my blog Changes in the Navigation Cache.
  • Keeping the Navigation Panel Closed: A new property value has been added to the Initial State of Navigation Panel property of the detailed navigation iView (DTN) so that pages/iViews are always displayed with the panel closed, even if there is content in the panel and even if the user has opened it previously. image
  • Related Links Wrapping: A new property called Enable Text Wrapping in Related Linksenables text wrapping in the related links iView, so you do not get a scrollbar that would otherwise be needed to view long navigation node names. This property already exists for the DTN.
  • Link in Page Title to Let Users Report Problem: You can use a new property in the Page Title Bar to display a link that enables users to create error messages that appear in the SAP Solution Manager. For more information about setting up reporting by end users, see Creating a Service Message
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  • Desktop Editor: Now you can quickly locate the framework pages and themes that are part of a desktop. In the desktop editor, select the item and click on Locate in Portal Catalog. The item is then selected within the Portal Catalog. image

SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (SP12) Only

The following features were added to 7.0 only:

  • Floating Aliases: Sounds spooky, but its actually quite simple: each system defined in the PCD can have one or more aliases. When a system is deleted, its aliases are deleted. But if a system is in an improper way, the system may be deleted but the aliases remain. And the aliases can no longer be used, or deleted. This can happen, for example, when deleting a system with the PCD Inspector tool.
  • The floating alias editor — located at System Administrattion –> System Configuration –> Floating Aliases — enables you see any floating aliases, and to remove them. image
  • Federated Portal Network (FPN): A whole mess of stuff was updated for implementing a federated portal network, to much to detail here. In the next several months we hope to dedicate an entire month of articles to the important topic of FPN, so keep a look out. When SP12 is released, later this month, you can check the portal release notes for more details about the FPN changes.
    • XML Content and Actions: One small change was that many of the FPN objects and tasks can be accomplished with the XML Content and Actions tool — creating a consumer, registering to a producer, setting proxy settings. The current documentation on the XML Content and Actions tool is located Portal How-to Guides for SAP NetWeaver 2004. Look out for the new version of How To Automate Content Creation when SP12 is released.
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    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      During the migration process problems have been reported for this blog. The blog content may look corrupt due to not supported HTML code on this platform. Please adjust the blog content manually before moving it to an official community.
      (0) 
    2. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your note, I appreciate it. I will keep writing them.

      By the way, I highlight the most interesting new and changed features. For a (hopefully) complete list, check the release notes in the Help Portal when the new SP is released.

      Daniel

      (0) 
    3. Gali Kling Schneider
      During the migration process problems have been reported for this blog. The blog content may look corrupt due to not supported HTML code on this platform. Please adjust the blog content manually before moving it to an official community.
      (0) 
  1. Richard Hirsch
    Hi,

    Now that you’ve got my mouth watering to try out these new features, can you give any details regarding the release planning for SPS 12.  When can we get our hands on these new features?

    Thanks.

    Dick

    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Dick,

      According to service marketplace, 2004s SP12 is is expected in calendar week 21, which is next week (May 20-26). I don’t have an exact date.

      Daniel

      (0) 
  2. Guillaume GARCIA
    Hi,

    I have read in the SAP Insider that the Portal was about to get forums similar to SDN forums and that was part of SP12.

    Did I read correctly ?  😉

    Thanks.
    Best regards,
    Guillaume

    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Guillaume,

      Yes, there is a forums featurein 2004 SP20 and 7.0 SP12, which I saw a demo of, and is based on the Jive implementation fo forums (obviously integrated with portal user management).

      I will try to get posted material on this as soon as possible.

      This feature is part of KM, which I tend not to include, but in the future we will combine the feature lists.

      Stay tuned.

      Daniel

      (0) 
  3. Prem Mascarenhas
    It’s nice to have the new feature for portal localization. In the past we had to develop features to do the switching between languages.
    Will the guest user property in config tool still have to be edited?
    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Prem,

      If you mean the named anonymous user property (uniqueid) — I believe not. The system determines that you are in anonymous mode, and the language is stored in the session. All that happens is the language dropdown will save the new language to the session.

      If I misunderstood, please write again.

      Daniel

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      1. Prem Mascarenhas
        Hi Daniel,

        Yes, I meant that we have to configure named anonymous users e.g. Guest,english,german in config tool. When I had to configure it i had create 2 named anonymous users for the 2 languages and used to switch between them by ending the session. So if we dont have to create named anonymous users for the 2 languages its really good.

        Just another query will the new drop down function similarly to what we have in Personalize for language change e.g. If we are on role 1-> iview 1 then navigate to role 2-> iview 1 and then change the language, will it go all the way back t role 1-> iview 1 and thus not stay on the same page

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    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi,

      Navigation cache was originally introduced, SP15 I think, as one of a bunch of features to make the portal perform better, especially in EFP scenarios. However, navigation cache is not just for EFP.

      In any event, the new cache can be used with EFP.

      Hope that helps.

      Daniel

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  4. Debasish Sarkar
    Hi Daniel,

    Is there any features comin up in EP 7.0 that will automate the assignment of PCD content like iviews/pages/worksets to roles.

    Regards
    Deb

    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
    2. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
    3. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
    4. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
    5. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
    6. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
    7. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
      1. Debasish Sarkar
        Hello Daniel,

        Our requirement is something similar to Automate Content Creation via XML. But we want to automate Assignment of this contents.

        We have two requirement:
        1> Assignment of users to roles.
        We have a large no. of users whom we want to assign to different roles. We generally get a excel sheet which contains which users to be assigned to which roles. It is a tedious task and consumes a lot of time. Is there any tool through which we can automate it.

        2> Assignment of PCD objects to roles.
        We create a lot of ivews by using the method “Automate content creation via XML”. Now we want to assign this PCD objects iviews/pages/worksets to different roles accoeding to some predifined excel sheet send by client. Can this assignment process be automated as well.

        Is SAP coming with such tools in its future releases.

        Regards
        Deb

        (0) 
        1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
          Hi Deb,

          Have you not found what you need with the XML Content and Actions feature (as described in Automate Content Creation via XML)?

          There is a handler for specifying roles (Roles semantic object). This you can look at the how-to guide I mentioned above.

          There is also an action handler for assigning users to roles. This is in 2004s only. I will find the documentation on this and post it back to this blog.

          Let me know if this meets your needs.

          Daniel

          (0) 
        2. Michael Nicholls
          Hi Deb

          I’ve got a portal component that does user/group/role assignment by XML file. If you think this would help, let me know and I’ll post it as a blog (or code fragment)

          Cheers

          (0) 
          1. Debasish Sarkar
            Hello Daniel,

            Thats exact our need. I have gone through the guide ” How to Automate Content Creation via XML”. But there the Role/User/group Assignment is missing. It will be great if you can post the document/blog. Please add the link of the blog/code fragment here, so that I can easily refer to that. 

            We have one more requirement i.e. to Automate the Assignment of the iviews/pages/worksets to roles. Does SAP has any document/tool on that.

            Appreciate your suggestions.

            Regards
            Deb

            (0) 
                  1. Debasish Sarkar
                    Hello Daniel,

                    I really appreciate the suggestions you had made. I can now autoamte the assignment of user-> role assignment and PCD Objects. We are able to generate a valid XML for the task.

                    Now our client will be sending the details in an EXCEL sheet. Does SAP suggests/provide any tool/API to handel the conversion of the EXCEL to XML.

                    Once the XML is created is there any way to automate the upload of the XML and its execution also. We want to automate the periodical execution of the XML without any manual intervention.

                    Hope I am not asking for too much automation. 🙂

                    Regards
                    Deb

                    (0) 
                    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
                      Hi Deb,

                      Unfortunately, I cannot help too much with your tasks.

                      As to the first, SAP does not provide any tools for converting Excel to XML, nor for generating XM, though I think you could somewhat easily develop a macro for doing this.

                      As for automating the sending of the XML, at present there is no official way for doing this (in future versions there will be a Web service and Java API for running the XML). I have seen this Using the XML upload content and actions dynamically suggesting a workaround.

                      Daniel

                      (0) 
                      1. Debasish Sarkar
                        Hello Daniel,

                        When we are clicking the Execute button under XML Import Tool, it must be caling some function.

                        Now we want to write a program that will call that same action and fetch the XML from a predifined source. Can’t that be auotomated.

                        I don’t have much of development exp. , so excuse me if I am going wrong anywhere.

                        Regards
                        Deb

                        (0) 
                        1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
                          Hi Deb,

                          I just learned of the following code snippet — https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/wiki?path=/display/snippets/component+to+upload+xml+file+with+pcd+objects&

                          which enables you to upload the XML from a command line.

                          I have 2 main answers: For better or worse, the portal does not offer an API to the upload. And, therefore, it is up to you to come up with a solution. The XI solution may work, but it requires its own set of knowledge, so I don’t think it would be the best solution.

                          Daniel

                          (0) 
              1. Debasish Sarkar
                Hello Daniel,

                To be more specific, our client send the users and the roles to be assigned in a EXCEL sheet. We need to automate the assignment of user-roles from the EXCEL sheet directly.

                The requirement for iviews/worksets are also same. They send a excel sheet. While we have automated the creation of the iviews through a tool by parsing it to XML and then uploading it, for assigning the iviews to the roles, the details of which are also provided in the EXCEL sheet, we still need to automate it.

                Regards
                Deb

                (0) 
    8. Community User
      Hi Deb,

      I’m not sure what you mean by assigning. When do you want the content to be assigned? What criteria?

      Can you explain your scenario?

      Daniel

      (0) 
  5. Trevor Carlow
    Daniel,
    Since you are trying to focus more on the straight enhancements to the Portal, is there anyone we can contact (or can you muscle them into writing a similar blog) about the new features being released for KM in SP12?
    (0) 
  6. Trevor Carlow
    Daniel,
    Since you are trying to focus more on the straight enhancements to the Portal, is there anyone we can contact (or can you muscle them into writing a similar blog) about the new features being released for KM in SP12?
    (0) 
  7. Trevor Carlow
    Daniel,
    Since you are trying to focus more on the straight enhancements to the Portal, is there anyone we can contact (or can you muscle them into writing a similar blog) about the new features being released for KM in SP12?
    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Trevor,

      My ability to muscle people in KM (let alone in the rest of SAP) is somewhat limited, even if I am nearly 2 meters tall and 220 pounds.

      However, I did in fact ask my colleagues in KM and they tell me there is, essentially, one new major feature for KM in these release — forums, similar to the forums in SDN.

      There will be a blog on the new KM features, as well as several blogs/demos on the forums — maybe even this week — and we will display them on the portal page.

      Stay tuned.

      Daniel

      Daniel

      (0) 
  8. Joann Bobincheck
    Where can I find documentation on how to setup this new feature in SP12?  I can’t seem to find any information on how to do this in portal. Any help is much appreciated.  I have a Content Adminstrator role in our portal and I have about 300 .html documents I need to display in portal. This seems like the easiest way to do it but I need some instructions.  Any help is much appreciated.  Thanks in advance! 
    (0) 
  9. Fred Slattery
    Did not see any mention of the new CTS iview for transporting web objects via standard STMS transport process will you be covering this new feature in SP12.
    (0) 
  10. Prem Mascarenhas
    Hi Daniel,

    We just upgraded to SP12 and I selected the Report a Problem option in the page title bar of the default framework page usnder Standard Portal users. However despite logging of and a restart I couldnt see the link in the page title bar. Anything else, I gotta do?

    (0) 
  11. Dominik Witte
    Daniel,

    just a shot question:
    Can this URL parameter-provided feature be combined with server-side fetching of the URL iView’s contents?
    If so, this IMHO might rise a security issue, as then a user could use the URL iView as a kind of reverse proxy towards web applications that are not in direct reach from client – but from the portal.

    What is your opinion about this?

    Cheers,
    Dominik

    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Dominik,

      Yes, you could reach the application, but you could also reach it from your own Web browser.

      So, essentially, your asking if when I access the backend application via the URL iView, am I gaining any authentication because it is going through the portal. But I believe you still would need to authenticate, based on the current user, and this wouldn’t change because you are using the URL iView.

      Please explain more fully how I can get automatically authenticated via the URL iView?

      Daniel

      (0) 
  12. Sumanth Thunga
    Hi,

    We are using this Language option for our EFP with Anonymous Users.

    When we swith between the languages where ever the resourse bundles are used in Masthead and TLN only those are gettign changed and not the content.

    We have the KM Document Iviews which we want to change automatically the language.

    Is this possible with some configuration as the demo example shows the change of the content also.

    Thanks & Regards
    Sumanth

    (0) 

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