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Author's profile photo Jochen Guertler

How to build business mashups based on existing business applications

Typical (business) mashup scenarios are built in a way that a set of “mashable” applications (call them iView, chips, components, mash components, MicroApps, …) are mashed up on a page or workspace. This page has typically a layout used to define the visual order of the mashable applications and typically you can also define some kind of data flow between the mashable applications (using in- or outports of these applications).

One main constrain for most of the existing solutions is the fact that the mashable applications are built “to be mashable” – and this is not only true in regards of available in- or outports (used for the data flow) but especially also for the visual representation and size. These mashable applications are typically “small” as otherwise the available space on the screen is not enough to mashup serveral applications.

The SAP suite on the other side provides several thousands (mostly full-screen) applications which could be a potential source of business content used in mashup scenarios as soon as there is a way to make them “mashable”.

The showcase presented in the screencam shows three approaches to make such business applications usable within mashup scenarios:

  • Enrichment of existing applications with meta data needed to define available in- and outports. In the showcase this is done based on tagging.
  • UI injection of mashable components into an application
  • UI splitting of applications to reuse only visual parts of the application.

Technically this showcase is implemented on top of Web Dynpro for Java. We heavily use so-called system components, which allows extensions of the Web Dynpro for Java runtime using standard Web Dynpro for Java components.

The main goal of this showcase is to present the general ideas – in the end this could be implemented in any UI technology of course (but the Web Dynpro components helped a lot of build it in an very generic and application independent way).


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