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The open screen project:
I just read about the Adobe OpenScreen Project at
www.openscreenproject.org

A summary :

Predominantly driven at establishing standards in the development of content largely aimed at Mobile Handsets and smart devices . This is because these devices are the next in terms of personal experiences.

All this translates into greater usage of the ADOBE FLASH Platform and since the same is free , it opens up a lot of new vistas in terms of building engaging rich user interfaces be it on the web or mobile.

What it means to the SAP Community :
Basically we all share one common thread with the web and ERP applications – the end user.
The same end user also accesses his / her mails on a blackberry / windows mobile system etc and also access the same VA01 / VA02 screens for his / her day to day work…

Now we have options for UIs which have to be taken advantage of :
Imagine : An Xcelsius dashboard gets e-mailed to the person through mail and the same can be opened via a blackberry / smart phone … and the same opens up in the way its meant to be ( Have not tried it out but assume that it is possible )

But then if the same user wants to access his ERP screen then you have the same old screens unless there has been some flash islands developed for the same …

I am basically a BI guy … looking at things from the BI perspective …
Why can we not have an ADOBE FLASH landscape where we can pull in the queries we need and make our own dashboards …? basic ones – This might sound as heresy in the view of Xcelsius being offered – but then a web interface is still missing – something like an openscreen kind of framework tries to address the same…

Ok… you can have Xcelsius dashboards exposed on the web … but then I just created my first dashboards using FLEX and for the informed – FLEX gives me a greater sense of control and of course it is more development intensive but then the tradeoff is cost of deployment…

But then I guess the market is primed for a solution that harnesses the power of FLASH for enterprise reporting… more built on the FLASH platform and creating the much needed maturity in organizations to take their user experiences forward..

I started with the openscreen project because it is an attempt to standardize the tools used to create the UIs for all platforms – having one framework / SDK to develop applications for the Web as well as the mobile phone…
Similarly we are in many cases confused with so many UI choices and only the well informed can actually make an informed choice as to what is actually required…

A typical example would be to build a dashboard – I once had a client of mine insisting that we install Visual composer so that he could see charts – but then we developed the same using web application designer and it satisfied the requirement. I am not favoring or disparaging tools here – but then with so many tools available it is easy to get confused . What do you choose – Visual Composer ? Web Application Designer ? Crystal Xcelsius ? Adobe FLEX ? Widgets ? – I have given 5 choices for creating dashboards and the end user will not know what he / she is viewing …

Maybe a sort of standard UI framework for all user interfaces which will be rolled out across applications? a similar UI for a R/3 transaction / application / BI Report ..?

Maybe too much to ask at this time ?

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4 Comments

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  1. Adam Szigeti
    Although I am new to SAP, let me share my thoughts regarding this article I really liked! I believe in Internet. Browsers are taking over the role of Operating Systems. The latest web standards enable sophisticated web applications have the same behavior in whatever browser you run them.
    To be honest, on long terms, I do not count with either SAPGUI for Java, nor with SAPGUI for Windows. To me, the HTML GUI seems to have the best chance to become the ultimate client for SAP. I am somewhat disappointed with the current release of SAPGUI for HTML, however. Being an SCM consultant, I simply cannot use this client, since the most of the Transactions are designed to use such technologies that are only supported in the Win client… Regarding Adobe’s technologies: I prefer AJAX 🙂
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    1. Arun Varadarajan Post author
      The reason that I quoted FLEX was because you can use either PHP / Actionscript / AJAX etc… and still get your output ..

      this way :
      a. The SAP space opens up for a lot more people
      b. It makes it easier to build the UIs that people usually praise Microsoft for ( I have heard it a lot many times… so I think I can quote the same ..)
      c. It makes a lot of economic sense by way of providing a platform for UI development for SAP that can be used for other non SAP applications as well…
      my 0.02
      Arun

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  2. Anton Wenzelhuemer
    hi,
    I followed you link given and read and read and read over there and still don’t know what exactly is ‘open’ in Adobe® Flash®? Is MS Word open just because a user is free to create a document with it? Are all the ‘partners’ cited at that page who chose to use Flash one or another way constitute anything like a standards body?

    I don’t get it…

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    1. Arun Varadarajan Post author
      Anton,
      I had intended to highlight the fact that there can be a single UI development standard. Open or not Open is more judgemental.

      Something like – a unified design IDE / environment where I can develop R/3 screens as well as BI screens and something that is easy to develop .. wishful thinking but maybe ..?

      If you look at the FLEX SDK it is open source and can be used with Eclipse and its likes , but then open source is one thing and ‘Open Standards’ is a different issue all together.

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