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There are several blogs on SDN covering the topic “Widgets at SAP”. You can also find background information here.

As you can read there Widgets are “small, simple applications that allow the user to perform common tasks or monitor important information.”

Why are Widgets interesting in a healthcare environment?

Actually there are a lot of tasks in a daily work healthcare environment where only one distinct functionality or one piece of information is needed. Widgets do perfectly satisfy these needs.

The main benefits from a “runtime” perspective are the following:

  • Widgets are easy to deploy,
  • easy to use and
  • running directly on the desktop – providing better user experience 

No installation is needed – just copy one file and double click on it.

From a “designtime” perspective Widgets are very attractive because they are

  • easy to build
  • easy to customize

What do I need to run a Healthcare Widget on my desktop?

If the Widget you want to run uses integration into an SAP Backend you also need the SAP Widget Foundation.

Data Security is always an issue in healthcare. To assure security the connection to SAP backend systems is handled by a piece of software called SAP Widget Foundation. You can find a description and download the software here.

What do I need to develop my own widgets? 

It depends….there are two ways:

Using SAP Widget Development tools

If you do have some knowledge in  

  • Javascript
  • XML
  • HTML

then just download SAP Widget Development Tool and Guide here. You simply add the plugin to an existing Eclipse installation. There is a step-by-step explanation in chapter 2 of the SAP Widget Development Guide. The plugin provides a new Project type “SAP Widget”

 

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and a new Perspective.

 

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A first example for a Healthcare widget built with the SAP Widget Development Tools is in place. In December 2007 a SAP Widget Contest took place on SDN and the second price winner was Paolo Romano with his “Clinical Workstation Widget”. This Widget shows information from a SAP Patient Management Backend directly on the desktop. In this case the information is provided by a RFC-enabled Function Module but it’s the same idea with Enterprise Services – which are provided by SAP.

You can get more information about it (and download the Widget!) here.

Using the Widget Composition Platform

Never heard about it?

This might be due to the fact that SAP Research just developed this tool. The WCP is still a prototype at the moment but I was able to have a first look at it (and use it!).

It provides an environment for composing Widgets in the same easy way you already know from Visual Composer. You just drag the elements you need into the workplace, combine them and arrange them on the background image. 

 

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You can import Web Services from different sources including Enterprise Services.

 

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When you’ve finished your work you can deploy it

 

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and run the resulting *.widget file directly on your desktop.

 

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I made the screenshots above when I prepared a small demo for our Public Services Ecosystem Summit 2008 using one of the Enterprise Services of our new Solution CHN (Collaborative Health Networks). I’m going to present the Widget and the way to build it using the WCP in depth in a seperate blog soon.

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