Introduction to Business Packages for EP
Please note this blog is for those who do not know what business package means and how it will be integrated with EP. I have tried to explain basic concepts related to business packages & the blog does not contain any advanced information.
SAP has provided number of out-of-the-box functionalities for Enterprise Portal (with ERP as its backend) in the form of business packages. The functionalities can be Self Service for employees, managers, HR administrator’s activities, Project Self Service, Sales Person Activities etc…
A Business Package, to be valuable for the customers; should be having following characteristics:
a) Should be as generic as possible, without which the whole purpose of business packages, “Develop once and can be used for maximum possible kind of organizations, with minimum configurations and minimum effort”; will be lost
b) Customizable to the needs of organization
c) Easier maintenance
d) Standardized and uniform user interface
e) Easier adoption to corporate design
Most of SAP Business Packages for Enterprise Portal are based on the concept of Roles and work center. In short, the business packages for EP will have the functionalities arranged in the form of different roles for different level of users in organization, services. More details regarding this concept can be found on http://help.sap.com/
From the above discussion, we can say that business packages are built in such a way that when a customer wishes to use business package for his organization (SAP has already taken care of developing the functionality from end to end): the only tasks he/she has to do will be configurations required for pointing the business package content to correct backend ERP system and define the target users for the business package. Once these two tasks are done business packages can be used right away as long as business packages are available for the version of Portal and ERP systems being used by the customer.
In general Business Packages provide options for:
- content administrator to customize the content to some extent
- Managers to execute the tasks if the module has some activities to be done by them and
- Employees who are the main users of business packages.
The general steps followed for configuration of business packages, provided the IT team has required hardware and software infrastructure is in place and has authorizations to download business packages from SAP site; are as following:
a) Download appropriate business Package from SAP site
b) Import business package to Enterprise Portal server
c) Configure business package content to point to respective back end ERP system
d) Provide access to the target users of business package
Business packages can be downloaded from service market place site of SAP (https://service.sap.com/swdc); provided you have required authorizations. As per SDN: Business packages are located according to their corresponding backend application (for example, all business packages for the Business Suite are available via Download -> Content -> Content for the Business Suite). Most newly developed Business Packages are now downloadable and installable via SAP Solution Manager (https://service.sap.com/mopz).
For configuration of business packages, there may be specific steps to be followed depending on type of business package being configured, version etc… SAP has exhaustive documentation for each and every business package on configuration related activities.