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Technical aspects of POWL´s

This third blog refers to a series all about “POWL´s”. The first blog gives an introduction into POWL´s and the second one “Structure of POWL´s” explains functions and features.

This blog is all about the back-end integration to the SAP ECC system.


System environment
Independent whether a POWL is located in SAP Portal or in the Business Client environment a POWL is hard coded in ABAP. However, for further execution there is a distinction between the set up in SAP Portal and the set up in the SAP NetWeaver Business Client.

Using SAP Portal the so called “Portal Content Directory (PCD)” of SAP Portal is the relevant component to be activated. All POWL´s are stored here and also another important step is pre-configured: the navigation and the corresponding system action regarding a business object. Both – navigation and system settings – are maintained and stored in the “Object Based Navigation (OBN)” of the PCD. Here it is fixed whether a business object will be opened in display or change mode or whether a new object shall be created or changed.


 OBN setting


The same logic applies if you want to run a POWL out of the Business Client. However, two things of course differ: The POWL is not stored in SAP Portal but in SAP ERP and the corresponding trigger to display, change or create object types is done in the Business Object Repository (BOR).



Origin of data

Without diving too much into technical details you can say that the central idea is that all properties of a POWL can be specified via one central, standardized class (the so called feeder class). The feeder class communicates with the SAP ERP database selecting specific data, forwards the data to a POWL list’s internal cache and refreshes the list on the user’s client on demand. Moreover the feeder class includes the handling of actions initiated by the user while pressing a button.


Data Exchange

      Image: SAP ECC Back-end integration to POWL via feeder class



Embedded into a well defined framework the feeder class is the central and most important place while developing or modifying POWL´s. Therefore developing an own POWL in principle means developing an own feeder.

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  • Thanks a lot Frank for this series about POWL.

    It would be great to have a step-by-step guide that help to understand how to define a custom OBN.

    It would be even nicer if the guide will include the Report Launchpad (/nLPD_CUST).
    I’m especially interested into the use of NWBC connected to the ABAP stack (e.g. /sap/bc/dal/demoA).
    Speaking about custom applications, I’m also looking for a step-by-step guide about maintenance of the table AGR_HIER_BOR.