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Introduction

Hello, I’m Pakdi Decnud, and I work as a technical SAP CRM consultant for SAP CRM gold partner Cernum, based in Belgium. Since its foundation in 2002, Cernum has become a leading actor in the field of CRM, engaged in delivering integrated end-to-end solutions to boost Sales, Marketing and Service environments.

Cernum logoAt Cernum we highly value the strength of innovation in any way. Having a leading position in our business field we believe that early adoption of cutting edge and innovative technology is a must, in order to be able to continue delivering high end services for our customers.

We were very delighted and honored to be the very first partner to work with the Ajax Composition Platform, also known as “Ajax weaver”.

Business case

A small business case was created to get some first experiences with the “Ajax weaver” environment. We decided to make a mini CRM application that covered the basic aspects of Business Partner Management and Activity Management.

speedCRM logoWe needed a mobile application fitting perfectly within our in-house awarded SpeedCRM solution, which is based on SAP CRM 2007. Basically, this an out-of- the-box, ready-to-use CRM solution with an implementation time less than a month, fixed price.

One of the key elements is the mobility part: we wanted to add a mobile application that was able to retrieve customer and activity data from SAP in a user-friendly and easy way.

The application is an asset for sales teams that are now able to search for marketing attributes such as the last time they visited a customer or retrieve the customer factsheet to obtain crucial business information.

Mobility, that’s what everything is about: having the ability to access your SAP data from anywhere you want, anytime you want. We used an iPhone to test the application. But the great news here is that an application, deployed with “Ajax weaver”, is available on almost any mobile platform! Speaking of portability, the only prerequisite you need is a device with a browser that supports Ajax.

1) Business Partner management

The images hereunder are some screenshots of the application. On the first screen we can choose to search for customer by lastname, firstname, city, … If results are found we can easily access customer details and even edit them. The application perfectly blends with the features of the iPhone such as Google Maps, to find your way to a customer for example or PDF viewer to view your customer’s factsheet.

 Business partner search

2) Activity management

Following pictures give an idea how the application searches for activities. You can search by activity type, description, timeframe, … In the activity details view you can find additional information like start date, end date, status, employee responsible, … A cool feature is the integration of Cernum’s dynamic surveys framework, based on SAP’s CRM Survey Suite.

 Activity search

Experiences with “Ajax weaver”

Working with “Ajax weaver” was quite a nice experience. At first, I was a little skeptic about it. But I guess you never can judge something without checking it out first. So once I got used to the workflow, I was really impressed by the ease of use of this tool . The user interface is quite intuitive. The look and feel of “Ajax weaver” is actually what we would expect of an application in this category.

But the most important fact of all was the speed of solution delivery, which was amazing. In no time we were able to come up with an application that perfectly matched with our business requirements.

You can simply drag and drop UI elements from a vertical toolbar on the left to a canvas on the right to achieve a working application without any single line of code within the composition platform.

Of course we had to create our ABAP logic in advance first. After exposing them as webservices we were able to use their logic within “Ajax weaver” very easily. In a very competitive timeframe we came up with a working application. Of course we faced some growing pains of the application. But after all “Ajax weaver” was still in pre Alpha that moment.

Ajax weaver

Conclusion

Mobile web is a real hot topic today. This market has a huge potential and is still growing in a very fast pace. When creating mobile applications the main bottlenecks are usually the poor user experience, latency issues, compatibility, etc … With the introduction of Mobile Ajax technology these kind of issues are now reduced to a minimum, which will boost the potential of future mobile web applications to a higher level.

“Ajax weaver” is the perfect tool to maximize this potential in a business context. It really makes the consumption of SAP or third party web services a lot easier and results in immediate benefits in terms of faster product delivery to end users.

We are really looking forward to the Beta version of the composition environment as we believe in the future of this prototype. Our victory at 2008 Demojam in Berlin in partnership with SAP Research proves that a bright future is to come for “Ajax weaver”…

 

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3 Comments

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    1. Pakdi Decnud Post author
      Hi Robin,

      It’s great to see you enjoyed reading the blog. Feel free to add your own thoughts about the future of mobile web ….

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