Additional Feedback on the Recent Message Pertaining to the Future Focus of Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer
Since SAP TechEd, there has been a lot of discussion about the news that was announced at SAP TechEd about the future focus of Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer. A few notable blogs on this topic are by:
The particular sessions at SAP Teched that announced this message were:
What is SAP’s future direction?
The high-level message pertaining to the future roadmap of these 2 UI technologies was:
Based on customer needs and feedback, SAP intends to deliver some round-offs to WDJ and Visual Composer. However, as these are considered mature technologies, no major overhaul is planned as of today.
In other words, after SAP NetWeaver 7.3, no major enhancements will be delivered for Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer.
I had already heard this information when SAP briefed the ASUG SAP NetWeaver UI Influence Council on this topic in order to gage SAP Customer/SAP Community reaction.
When the council first heard this announcement we were taken by surprise.
When the Influence Council first formed and we prioritized which UI technologies were the most important, Visual Composer was 2nd and Web Dynpro Java 4th out of the thirteen technologies that were in scope. In the Requirements Document we prepared and submitted to SAP for the first phase of the UI Influence Council, some of the issues cross-posted for both WDA and WDJ (ex. visual styling limitations), or, an option that was available in one Web Dynpro was requested to be made available for the other (ex. the enhancement framework is only available for Web Dynpro ABAP and it needs to be ported to Web Dynpro Java).
Another important item to note is that when the UI Influence Council sent out a survey earlier this year, Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer were the top 2 and 3 UI technologies that customers were going to use in the near future:
We didn’t quite understand SAP’s decision to no longer invest in Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer since so many customers indicated they were going to be using these technologies. So, we took some time to absorb this information and then provided SAP with our response.
Overall, we felt we were getting a mixed message from SAP of “yes, go ahead and use it (WDJ and/or Visual Composer), but, we are not going to continue to invest in it”. Some people in the council were confused and we were concerned that if the council was confused, it would confuse other people in the SAP community as well.
We continued this discussion with “OK, we understand the facts, it is no longer going to be developed or continue to get enhanced, but, we as customers need to strategically think about what that means to our business. Do we continue to use these technologies, or do we look for something else?”
But, as we have not been able to actually try it out, it is hard to form an opinion.
One thing to consider is that Web Dynpro ABAP will continue to get enhanced while Web Dynpro Java will not. So, the functional differences between WDA and WDJ will become greater with time.
In SAP NetWeaver 7.3, Web Dynpro Java and Visual Composer have been enhanced and SAP has made it clear that these technologies will continue to be supported. The question of what UI technology to use is still the same – you need to research all of the options and decide what is best for you.
This blog was written from the viewpoint of being the SAP Customer Lead for the ASUG User Interface Influence Council.