Recently, I received an email announcing the SAP Usability Test topics that are available for participants at this year’s TechEd in Vienna. There was also a SAP Usability Test Center at SAP TechEd Vienna from Martin Hofmann, the head of a team responsible for SAP user interface design for tools and technologies, announcing these tests.
The TechEds are exciting events where atendees can participate in a variety of sessions (ranging from hands-on to informational sessions) that usually focus on technology that has already been released or which will soon be released. There are often huge crowds at such sessions.
On the other hand, I’ve participated in a number of usability tests and am always amazed at the low level of interest from most TechEd participants in them. Let’s take a look at the description of such tests:
SAP developers and employees from the SAP user experience team are giving you the opportunity to try out and provide feedback on new SAP solutions by participating in a test. The aim of the test is to improve user friendliness, thereby increasing satisfaction among SAP software users. The test examines components under development and products from various SAP development areas.
Instead of being passive and complaining about SAP products once they have been released, you have the ability – irregardless of how limited- to take an active role in determining how future products are developed. Of course, the items being tested are often prototypes but it is at exactly this stage that you as a end-user may influence how such developments evolve.
My Selection of Usability Tests interesting for BPXs
I’ve selected those tests that I feel are of greatest interest for BPXs. The blog from the head of UI testing had only a list of the topics being tested. I’ve added details from the more detailed description of these tests.
Note: If you want even more details (Involved roles, etc.) on these tests, then please examine the more detailed description provided by the Usability team.
Overview of improved interfaces in selected fields of SAP Solution Manager
• Discuss the usability of SAP Solution Manager functions and investigate prototypes of improved user interfaces in the following areas:
• Innovation management – A new evaluation and blueprinting environment provides an alternative way to:
– Browse, search for, and assign business processes and selected content for an SAP Solution Manager project
– Upload (multiple) documents to a project
– Graphically model business processes
• Solution documentation – Centrally document your new or critical business processes, interfaces, and custom developments with the business blueprint and configuration functionality. Based on an analysis of your application, the solution documentation assistant helps you to newly create and verify your existing solution documentation.
Administering and monitoring applications for processes and tasks in the SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management component
SAP NetWeaver Administrator provides a set of administration and monitoring applications for the SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management (SAP NetWeaver BPM) component. These applications enable users to, among other things, administer process and task definitions, instances, and availability and to troubleshoot BPM servers.
Run and monitor a business process and its tasks
SAP NetWeaver BPM is a key component of the SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (SAP NetWeaver CE) offering that provides a complete business process management suite to support human tasks and automated services, business rules, and business activity monitoring. This session focuses on triggering, running, and monitoring processes from a business user’s perspective.
Modeling simple business rules in the rules composer
The rules composer in SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio allows developers to model business rules using “if-then” constructions in English (such as language, decision tables, and graphical rule flows).
Extending an SAP Business Suite process using common process layer tools and the SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment offering
An emerging set of tools provides customers with the ability to explore and adapt business scenarios and processes provided in SAP Business Suite to reflect their own IT landscapes. One of the goals is to facilitate business blueprinting activities already known to SAP Solution Manager users. This allows them to better understand, plan, and execute changes to their systems by leveraging this content throughout the entire application lifecycle.
This test explores prototypes for such new tools that integrate with existing tools to provide a consistent and content-oriented user experience that aids in understanding the as-is system, eases the creation of to-be business blueprints, and carries this content-rich experience over into the development environment. This allows users with different responsibilities to access a common base of accurate content with the tools appropriate to their activities. Efforts made in the initial stages of a project can feed through into later phases, so there is an unbroken chain through planning, implementation, testing, and monitoring.
The scenario in this test will focus on the planning and implementation of an SAP Business Suite application extension using SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment.
Modeling a human activity as a part of a business process
SAP NetWeaver BPM is a key component of SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment that provides a complete business process management suite to support human tasks and automated services, business rules, and business activity monitoring. This session focuses on modeling new business processes and defining human activities and includes the generation of user interfaces.
You will work on a prototype that allows you to generate human activities from given process data.
My Note: This session is of interest and might be associated with new UI-related functionality (UI generation, etc.) associated with Visual Composer in the 7.2 environment
I’ve focused on those topics that are of more interest for BPXs but there are a variety of other tests that are being offered as well. For those of you interested in Business By Design, for example, there are also a few interesting offerings (for example, “Guided Activity to Set Up or an Organizational Structure” or “Print Form Adaptation and Printer Queue Management”).
These tests are an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.
For me, participation in such tests provides normal users with the ability to participate in SAP innovation. It is just like a normal election, if you don’t vote then after the election is over, you can’t complain about the outcome.