I’d like to use this post to provide clarity on a topic that has gotten significant attention lately among customers and in the blogosphere: The future of UI technologies used in CE, particularly Web Dynpro Java (WD-J).
Firstly, I’d like to do some level-setting for those who may not be familiar with the UI technologies that can be leveraged with NW BPM:
- NW BPM leverages SAP UI technology of the SAPJava stack, Web Dynpro Java (WD-J) and Visual Composer (VC). By the way, you can also use Adobe forms technology with NW BPM, both on- and off-line.
- Both technologies can be used to generate and develop interactive user interfaces for process tasks (task UIs).
- The next release of NW BPM will also provide integration with Web Dynpro ABAP UI’s based on NW 7.3 and/or NW 7.0.2 (in Ramp Up with the SAP Business Suite 7 /2010 or EhP 5 of the Business Suite).
Now let me address the future of our Java UI technologies. First and foremost, further feature enhancements both for Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer (examples below) have already been delivered. For example:
WD-J: Execution Modeler in WD-Java, Snippets integration, Web Dynpro Flex enhancements
Visual Composer: Services Registry integration, model debugging, context-sensitive help.
Both technologies will continue to be shipped with CE/BPM and will be supported per the relevant SAP licenses (they will not be going away so soon!). SAP plans to further:
open up the UI technology usage for NetWeaver BPM, compliant with the overall SAP UI strategy (HTML5, JSF)
invest in tool flow and usability between task management and task UI in BPM.
CE and selected BPM-related feature requests will continue to be handled and prioritized via standard channels to SAP development (e.g. SAP user groups, customer engagement initatives). Partners, customers and, of course, SAP mentors will be engaged to actively participate in this evolution via these standard channels.
I hope this post makes our position clear. To put it in a nutshell, although our UI strategy will continue to evolve based on requests from our customers and trends in the market, our customers should feel comfortable using Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer to create UIs for business processes modeled and executed in NW BPM. SAP aims to enhance the existing UI offering with complementary capabilities based on new industry standards and technologies (HTML5, JSF).