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Business ByDesign: How to customize the Cloud and develop your own Apps within the Cloud?

In this article I want to give you a short overview on how you can adapt and enhance your Business ByDesign system by customizing it and developing applications on top of it. There is a wide range of possibilities to customize your Business ByDesign system. These possibilities range from simple adjustments which can be done within the actual system to more complex enhancements which are done with the help of additional software. Now I just want to give you a basic introduction in these various possibilities. In my future Blog entries I want to go more into detail and maybe even provide some tutorials which show how customizing and developing is done.

There are two general types of customizations available. At first there are customizations that can be done with the key user tools which are part of every ByDesign System. They allow you to do simple adjustments right within the system. The more complex customizations have to be done with additional software. In the next section I want to outline some components of a Business ByDesign system which are customizable and give examples in what way they can be adapted. I also want to point out the according tools which are used for customizing these components. This is just a selection of customizable elements in Business ByDesign.


Customizing the UI and developing of Add-Ons

First of all there is an Adaptation Mode that allows normal users and Key Users to do standard modifications to most UIs but these capabilities are limited. If you need additional fields and modifications beyond the standard features you will have to start developing with ByDesign Studio and the UI Designer. That way it is possible to add / modify new UIs or entire work centers. That enables you to build entirely new business scenarios on top of Business ByDesign.

Adaptation Mode: Every user can use the Adaptation Mode to change the general look and feel of his Business ByDesign UI. They can change the theme or adapt the company branding image. They can also show and hide fields and sections, rename fields and sections and change the basic layout of fields, sections and tables of certain UIs. Key Users can do even more, for example they can force specific layouts to entire user groups. Blog article that gives a short introduction to the Business ByDesign: UI Adaptation with Key User Tools.

ByDesign Studio: If you want to do more complex adaptations you will have to use ByDesign Studio. ByDesign Studio is a development environment of SAP Business ByDesign. With ByDesign Studio you can add new fields to existing business objects or create new business objects. It is also used to implement the necessary business logic of your custom solution. This enables you to create whole new business scenarios in addition to the standard solution.

UI Designer: The UI Designer is used to modify and create the UIs of your business applications. The UIs can be generated automatically based on your Business Objects. After that you can adjust them according to the corresponding business requirements.


Customizing print forms

The layout and the content of print forms such as purchase orders, sales orders or warehouse picking lists can be adapted. It is also possible to create new print forms or create new language versions of your print forms. For every print form exists a template within the system. Theses templates can be modified using the EasyForms Editor or Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

EasyForms Editor: The EasyForms Editor is a build in Editor that allows you to do simple modifications to your print forms.

Adobe LiveCycle Designer: To do more complex modifications or to create new print forms you need the Adobe LiveCycle Designer. A recommended way of editing print forms is to export them as Adobe Acrobat XML Data Package Files (XDP), modify them using Adobe LiveCycle Designer and then upload them again into the system.


Customizing of analytic reports

It is possible to create new or to modify existing analytic reports such as financial reports or sales reports. This is usually done within the ByDesign system.

Report Wizard: The Report Wizard is a build in Wizard that allows you to create new reports step by step. It allows you to select and define data sources, key figures, characteristics and variables for your reports. You can also prepare your reports for mobile devices via the Report Wizard.

Formatted reports with Crystal Reports: If you own Crystal Reports you can also create formatted reports by using the ByDesign Add-In for Crystal Reports.

Reports for custom data sources: Partners can develop custom add-ons and solutions for ByDesign which contain their own data sources. The Report Wizard is also used to create reports for these custom data sources.

Customizing of Excel Export Templates

The functionality to export data as a Microsoft Excel file enables users to locally manipulate and analyze the exported data based on specific requirements. The way the data is exported is determined by so called Excel Export Templates.

Microsoft Excel: First you need an Add-In for Excel which is provided with every Business ByDesign system. This enables you to maintain the form templates according to your individual needs. Then you can download the template you want to change from the ByDesign system, modify it with Microsoft Excel and upload it again to the system. In the future generated Excel Exports will use the new template.


Further Information on Business ByDesign

SAP Business ByDesign community members wanted – Blog post that summarizes the ongoing efforts to establish a Business ByDesign Community:

SAP Business ByDesign community members wanted

Good ByDesign Studio Overview:

SAP Business ByDesign Studio – Short Overview

Business Center for OnDemand Solutions of SAP:


I am looking forward to do more Blogs about the adaptation and customization of SAPs OnDemand solutions in the near future.

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