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A New Approach to Integrate WebDynpro Java Applications into NetWeaver Portal (Part I)

In this blog, I would like to introduce to you the new Application Integrator-based WebDynpro Java iView which integrates remote WebDynpro Java portal pages into a central portal. Before diving into the details about the iView, I would recommend you have a read of Aviad Rivlin’s blog of Best Practice for Integrating SAP Applications into the SAP NetWeaver Portal to get a big picture of all major use cases of application integration in NetWeaver Portal.


This blog is the first part of my blog series on this topic.


A recap of WebDynpro Java (WDJ) integration techniques in portal


In the past, we had two major WDJ-portal integration techniques:


1. Tightly-coupled local integration

This technique is used to integrate locally-deployed WDJ applications into the portal,  which takes advantage of WDJ interaction with local portal runtime, thereby offering advanced integration features such as Split View, etc. Many business suite applications such as ESS/MSS heavily use this type of integration technique. For details about how WDJ applications can interace with a local portal runtime, refer to Integrate Web Dynpro into your SAP NetWeaver Portal to create dynamic, flexible applications.


On the other hand, obviously, the drawback of this technique is its deployment limitations becuase the WDJ applications have to reside on the same AS Java engine as the portal.


2. Loosely-coupled remote integration

This technique is based on the widely-used Application Integrator iView in the portal. In essence, it is a URL redirection mechanism enhanced by rich parameter passing/handling during the redirection. This option offers great deployment flexibility, i.e. the WDJ applications and the portal can reside on different AS Java engines, but it lacks of the advanced “interaction” between the WDJ application and the portal runtime.


Do we need a third integration approach?

Over the years, people (customers and SAP) have developed a lot of WDJ applications that interacts with local portal runtime, such as ESS/MSS.  Furthermore, many of such WDJ applications are deployed onto seperate portal systems other than the central portal, due to various reasons such as maintenance/performance considerations. It is often a natural requirement to integrate those remotely-deployed WDJ applications (together with their corresponding tightly-coupled iViews) into the central portal.


Traditionally, we had to rely on Federated Portal Network (FPN) features such as Remote Role Assignment (RRA) or Remote Delta Link (RDL) to do this. However we need a simpler approach to avoid implementing and administering an FPN setup, especially when we just want to integrate a few remote WDJ applications.


With the new advanced Application Integrator introduced by EP 7.01 SPS6 (and EP 7.02 SPS2), you do not have to setup FPN in order to integrate remote WDJ iViews (tightly-coupled) any more. The trick is, the entire remote WDJ portal page is integrated to the central portal with an innovated Application Integrator mechanism.


Demo Setup

In my demo setup, I have two portals:

– Central Portal:

– Remote Portal:


On the remote portal, I created a small Webdynpro Java application called Useful Web Sites; additionally, I created a tightly-coupled Webdynpro Java iView to integrate the WebDynpro application. After that, I added the iView to a WebDynpro portal page. The following is a screenshot of the WDJ application inside the remote portal:

Access remote portal directly


Let’s see it in action now. 

First of all, I have setup unidirectional Single Sign-On (SSO) from the central portal to the remote portal. Unlike the FPN setup, here we don’t need bidirectional SSO.


Secondly, I created a system object in the central portal to represent the remote portal. Then I add a system alias for the remote portal as “RemotePortal”. Note that we need to add “End User” permission to the central portal users for this system object. In this demo I added the End User permission to all Authenticated Users for simplicity reasons.

ACL of system object


Now let’s create the iView on the central portal. In the iView wizard, choose Web Dynpro Java Application.

iView Wizard Step 1


In the next step, select “Remote” as Application location, and pick the remote portal’s alias that we created. Select “Advanced” as application type.

iView Wizard Step 2


In the next step, the central portal will retrieve the remote portal’s PCD structure to the wizard, and you can choose the remote WebDynpro Java page desired. Here I will select the Useful Web Sites WDJ page. Note that you can’t choose a remote WDJ iView – you have to select a remote WDJ page.

iView Wizard Step 3 


Then I will add the above-created iView to a role called Useful Info as a delta link. Note: do NOT assign the iView to a portal page, as “page in page” setup will cause bad user interface.


As you may have guessed, the next step is to assign this portal role to a user. Here I will assign it to my user ID dongpan.


Are we done yet? Not really. As the end user (dongpan) will launch the remote WDJ page, he needs to have End User permission for that page in the remote portal.

End user permission on the remote portal


A common misunderstanding is that the above step can be replaced by assigning to the user a role that contains the page (in the remote portal). As this page is a standalone page, not a page that was copied(or delta linked) to the role, assigning the role to the user (in the remote portal) would not help.


Now we have finished the configuration. Let’s logon to the central portal as dongpan, and here is what he will see:-).

Access from central portal


Conclusion & Outlook

In this blog we have successfully setup and configured the advanced application integrator iView to integrate a remote Web Dynpro Java page (tightly-coupled), without the need to setup a Federated Portal Network. This feature offers great flexibility when deploying WebDynpro Java applications in your landscape.


In my next blog, I will discuss a common issue that you may encounter when making use of this iView: how do we deal with internal links in the remote WDJ pages?


Stay tuned…

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  • Hi Dong,

    This is a nice blog, really helpful to connect to remote portal instead of FPN setup.

    But we are facing a problem in the setting, the infrastructure we have is the central portal in EP7 and remote is CE7.1.
    We have created a system for the remote portal to access WebDynpro Java application for creation of WDJ iviews but while in iview creation wizard its not listing any WDJ application, is there any specific settings required.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Smita Das.

    • Hi Smita,

      Thanks for your comments.

      If the central portal is on the right version and you have followed all the preparation steps mentioned in this blog, I believe you have hit the issue described in Note 1423065. If you can't patch the portal for the moment, you can use the following steps to easily workaround the problem:
      1) Change your browser's locale setting from xx-xx to xx, e.g., from en-us to en.
      2) For certain browser versions that a two-character locale setting is not possible (e.g. IE8), you can change the locale setting in the Personalization settings of the user on the portal.

      After that you should be able to see a list of remote WDJ pages in the wizard.


      • Thanks a lot for the quick reply,
        Now I can see the folders under the table "Available remote Web Dynpro pages", but alas!! one more error.
        When I am selecting my folder its giving error "Verify that the selected system is configured correctly to a trusted remote portal" .

        Am I missing anything?


        • Hi Smita,

          It seems that you might not have configured all the prerequisites correctly. If you still have the problem, please take it to the corresponding forum where it is more appropriate to discuss and troubleshoot the problem.


  • Good to see that the stuff is now also well-described here in the SDN - we had a lot of discussions about this in the past during development of this new feature ,-)

    Best regards


    • Hi Jochen,

      My honor to have your comments here. I learned a lot from your articles on this topic before.


  • Nice article, and good new capability.  I am wondering how this could be leveraged or extended to support remote WebDynpro for ABAP iViews.  If not, is this a future consideration?
    • Hi David,

      Thank you for your comments.

      The WebDynpro ABAP (WDA) iView has always been based on Application Integrator, like the "Loosely-coupled remote integration" approach for the WDJ iView mentioned in the beginning of the blog. You can always integrate a remote WDA applicaiton from a central portal. Therefore there is no need to further develop this iView - again it is already based on Application Integrator.


  • Hi Dong

    I still don;'t quite understand the difference between selecting Local or Remote in the Application type when creating the iView in central portal.

    I have my ESS/MSS BPs installed on a central portal and I have ESS/MSS WD4J apps installed on remote portal.

    By choosing Local or Remote for Application Type, I can still achieve integration of the WD4J from central portal to remote portal.

    For your kind advice.