It has been on SAP Press’ web site for some time now, but it finally made it into the featured releases section. By ‘it’ I am referring to the book that I co-authored – ‘SAP Web Client: A Comprehensive Guide for Developers’.
About one year ago, together with my friends Armand and Sanjeet, we decided that it is time to put into use our knowledge of what is more commonly known as the CRM Web Client UI framework. We thought that this would provide us with a sense of achievement, while delivering information about a product that is widely used but yet poorly understood. The typical SAP ABAP developers know ABAP WebDynpro and probably BSP Application Programming but they often lack knowledge in the UI framework that powers CRM. Their only source of information was SAP Help and the SDN community. Well, there was also another book called ‘SAP CRM Web Client Customizing and Development’ but we felt that it is not that development oriented. Although I must say it provides quite a comprehensive overview of the framework and its customizing. In the meantime it turned out that our former colleagues Tim and Uwe are working on a similar project together with Michael Füchsle. But SAP Press assured us that there is room for two such books – one for the German and another one for the English speaking audiences. So if you prefer to read in German we encourage you to check ‘SAP Web Client’, again by SAP Press.
Those of you familiar with SAP CRM are very much aware of the Web Client UI. Few years ago the CRM organization figured out that ABAP WebDynpro cannot meet its specific requirement. As time was of an essence, the man in charge of CRM at SAP – Bob Stutz (a person that we all deeply respect) – decided that CRM shall develop its own UI framework. The framework would be based on the BSP technology and use some of the architectural principals of Webdynpro. CRM took an existing framework developed by the Interaction Center (IC) team and assembled development and product management teams. Armand, Sanjeet and I were part of those teams. This is how we got introduced to the framework, contributed to it and ultimately fell in love with it.
So what you will find in this book? The reader will be walked through various development concepts releted to the Web Client UI framework. First we give a general overview of the Web Client UI. But as of chapter 2 it becomes clear that the book is mostly about developing applications. We provide comprehensive and example based overview of the GenIL and BOL layers. Next we give the readers the basics of the BSP application programing and how it relates to building Web Client UI components. We cover not only the basics of the UI component development, but also explore topics like navigation, popups, search helps, etc. With that we introduce the readers to the foundamentals of the Web Client UI. Next we go into the customer enhancement concepts. The readers will learn how to programatically enhance SAP components. We slowly transition towards the tools that support that process and go into extensibility, rapid applications and mashups. At the end of these chapters the reader will be able to add content to the Web UI without writing a single line of ABAP code. The last chapters deal with groupware integration and levaraging Word and Adobe, together with CRM Web Services towards adding value for the end users. The last chapter deals with some “left-over” and yet very important topics like task based UI, actions on fields, transaction launcher, session management and others. You can see the list of chapters at the web page of the book:
Keep in mind that this is quite a technical book. The topic presentation always revolves around examples. We have tried to stick to one an imaginary use case that we implement via different techniques. As a result, the reader is not distracted by the story and can focus on the implementation task. Sometimes we deviate and present other examples but this is relatively rare.
The focus of the book is CRM 7.0 EhP1. This is the latest release (from this year) of the Web Client UI framework. Therefore, we believe that it will be useful even to the CRM gurus – simply because it covers the newest features.
To summarize, if you want to become a CRM developer or are just curious of this beast called the Web Client UI, go ahead and get this book. There is a 10% discount voucher for the SDN users when purchasing the book from SAP Press: WEBCLIENTSDN.