An insight into SAP SAPPHIRE
Tony de Thomasis commenced his lecture with his usual enthusiastic style, however this week he could not wait to tell us about his SAP SAPPHIRE trip to Orlando, Florida that was held over the 15th to 18th May 2011. Whilst in Orlando SAP mentors were informed about the content that was covered within the subject BCO6181. Mentors were impressed that topics such as: In Memory and collaborative tools were being addressed. Mentors were also impressed to hear that students were familiarizing themselves with the latest version of NetWeaver.
Guest presenter – John Moy – SAP NetWeaver Mobile technologies specialist
Tony then proceeded to introduce our guest speaker for the night, John Moy, currently the SAP User Interaction and Mobility Architect at Australia Post. John started off his presentation by providing a summary of his professional background. We soon discovered that he has worked in various roles over the past 18 years. These roles included: line management / leadership, solution architect, training, testing and implementation. John specializes in SAP Netweaver ABAP and JAVA development, SAP Portals and native iPhone development.
John aimed to provide an overview of the various stages of UI (User Interface) presentation; the following were included in his presentation:
- ITS (Internet Transaction Server);
- BSP (Business Server Pages);
- Webdynpro (ABAP/Java);
- IFbA (SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe);
- Custom HTTP Handler / NetWeaver Gateway;
- Sybase Unwired Platform.
He briefly spoke about the benefits and shortfalls of each product.
Highlights of what John Moy presented is following, including some images from his presentation.
John started off by describing ITS. This was SAP’s first approach to extending business applications to the web via a browser interface.
SAP processes converted Dynpro screens into HTML formatting, ITS middleware then allowed browser communication to SAP and visa-versa.
- Quick web enablement of existing SAPGUI transactions;
- Ability to translate ABAP applications for SAPGUI interfaces to HTML browser based formats.
- Old approach of taking SAP Dynpro screens and converting them into browser compatible screens;
- Conversion of native SAP Dynpro screens on occasions may not translate to the expected HTML output.
The next UI that John spoke about was BSP. He briefly explained BSP is a powerful method of developing SAP programs that are to be browser based applications.
A BSP contains inserted ABAP code that can reference BAPIs to gain access to the SAP system for the purpose of retrieving data.
- The ability to utilize existing ABAP skills to develop web based applications;
- Lends to the reuse of UI elements;
- Supports stateful and stateless models.
- Output only supported by HTML browser based applications;
- No layout editor.
Web Dynpro – Java
John explained that Web Dynpro is a web application user interface that has been developed by SAP. You can develop web based applications in either Java or ABAP. For the Java flavour, the UI is rendered via the Web Dynpro Java runtime environment, while the ABAP flavour is rendered via the web Dynpro ABAP runtime engine.
- Separation of layout and business logic;
- Abstraction from UI display formatting;
- Supports web services.
- Does not support stateless models.
Web Dynpro – ABAP
- Tightly coupled to the backend SAP system;
- SAP’s strategic UI development technology;
- Does not require a SAP Java server.
- Does not support stateless models.
John moved onto his specialty – mobility. He briefly described some of the challenges that companies face by providing business information to various types of mobile devices. A product that allows you to get around this issue is Sybase. With the Sybase unwired platform, you can create and manage multiple mobile applications that are able to securely connect to back end systems. Sybase unwired platform allows you the flexibility to connect various mobile devices within a platform that is consistent and highly adaptable.
- Ability to create mobile applications using development tools;
- Supports multiple mobile application platforms.
- Requires specialist developer knowledge for the Sybase product.
Although John only presented for an hour, he provided an extremely informative and concise presentation. As with previous guests, his material was made available to all participants and this has since formed a valuable point of reference for all.