Community Day BOF – Tips and Tricks for Customizing ESS/MSS
With SAP Community day in Las Vegas getting closer, I thought I would take this opportunity to invite you to a BOF session that I will be doing regarding ESS and MSS in ERP 6.0. With ERP 6.0, SAP has changed most of the underlying technology of the ESS and MSS solution. Almost all of the applications have been delivered in Java Web Dynpro. For any companies who have been using the ITS based services provided in recent releases, this is a big change.
History of Our HR System “Customization”
In 2002, we went live on HR for the first time in North America. We rolled out most of the standard backend functionality: Org. Management, Pers. Administration, Payroll, Time, Benefits and Compensation. We also rolled out a semi-custom performance management application. For our end-users, this meant they were accessing ESS via the ITS, and managers were using Manager’s Desktop on the SAP Gui.
From a development perspective, this really made customization quite easy. Everything we did to customize our solution was done in classic ABAP. With the flip of a switch in SE93, you could take and SAP transaction and easily enable it to be accessed via the ITS. To roll a custom functionality to Manager’s Desktop, all you had to do was write it and complete a couple of IMG steps and it was available. In a couple of rare cases we had to modify some IAC components. You were very limited on being able to use the IMG to really change the way your applications work.
Around 2004, we rolled out Travel Management (expenses paid through payroll and not AP). After a pilot roll-out of the SAP standard, we completely re-wrote the front-end to the travel application in ABAP. Everyone accessed this functinality through the SAP Gui and it was not integrated into our ITS ESS.
Fast Forward to 2007
Around the middle of 2006, I was approached about leading the development effort a completely new HR system. This time, we weren’t just talking about an HR System for North America, but a global system. We were the second region to go-live on the system. The decision was also made to implement ERP 6.0. At the time this decision was made, 6.0 was just coming off of ramp-up. From a developer’s perspective, this was great news. Finally we would get a chance to use all of those new technologies we have been hearing something about.
So we ended up with an Enterprise Portal rollout with ESS/MSS (Including Travel Management), LSO and another custom developed Performance Management Solution.
But with every project I have been a part of here over the last 7 years, SAP Standard never quite meets the businesses requirements. Since I have been predominantly involved in ABAP, I was not quite prepared for the vast amount of options and technology.
The Point of my Birds of a Feather Session
After 9 long months, a lot of learning, Java Modifications, BSP modifications, Adobe Forms, ABAP Web Dynpro, Enhancement Framework and even the IMG, we went live on ESS/MSS to around 5000 employees in North America.
Here are some proposed topics that we could talk about and share experiences:
- What technologies are being used
- How to prepare for a Java Environment
- How did you avoid “modifications” to SAP Standard
- What customization challenges did you face
- “Hidden” areas of the IMG that are less well known
- Why you should ensure your implementers are experienced on 6.0
I hope to see everyone on October 1st in Las Vegas.