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SAP Web Dynpro Overview iView – a fast and flexible way to create pages in your corporate portal

<p>There are several ways to create overview/landing pages in SAP EP, eg. Workset maps, WPC pages, KM iViews etc. These are all valid options in different cases, but they come with quite some effort in order to acheive the desired result. Sometimes it is worth the effort, but on other occations the amout of work required is not justifiable by the benefits achieved. </p><p>Another tools is to use the SAP standard Web Dynpro Overview iView. In my exerience, this is an easy-to-use technique which has some significant benefits.</p>h4. Benefits

<ul><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>It is fast and flexible to create pages </div></li><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Pages can easily be personalized by end users </div></li><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>No coding is required </div></li><li>Compared to workset maps, it is much easier to create pages containing only a subset of the links available in the navigation structure</li></ul><h4 class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Drawbacks</h4><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Of course (as with all technology choices) there are some drawbacks with the Overview iView application. The most significant are listed below.</p><ul><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>No dynamic content/links as there are when using a Service or Workset map</div></li><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Manual entering of URL:s with navigation target parameter </div></li><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Look and feel can only be configured to some extent – no full graphical freedom (as with most SAP standard tools)</div></li></ul><h4 class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>(When) is this a good choice?</h4><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Some of you may argue that this is no fully fledged alternative or replacement of a Service or Workset map, due to the lack of dynamic content. I understand this point of view, and there are certainly occations where the Overview iView is not a valid option. On the other hand, I can also think of numerous occations where it is definitely a valid (if not even better) option when creating overview or startpages in a corporate portal. The Overview iView is especially strong in cases where you:</p><ul><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Don´t anticipate frequent updates to the content of your startpage</div></li><li><div class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Want to display only a subset of the total number of links in the navigation structure.</div></li></ul><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>I am very much looking forward to a lot of comments and opinions on this topic. In the meantime, below is a quick step-by-step guide of how to create a startpage with links to the most frequently used applications in your corporate portal.</p><h4 class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Step-by-step guide</h4><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>This example is based on using SAP EP 7.3, which to my knowledge is the first EP version containing the Overview iView.</p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>1. Create a copy of the SAP iView Page portal_content/<br />2. Create the desired categories (i.e. the sub areas that you like to divide your set of links into)<br />3. Create the links under each category<br />a. The format of the URL needs to be the following in order to keep the navigation tree in synch when selecting the respective link: /irj/portal?NavigationTarget=pcd: /irj/portal?NavigationTarget=pcd:portal_content/<folder_path>/<role_id>/<iview_id><br />4. Add the Page as default entry of the root folder in the desired Portal Role<br />5. Voilá – a custom landing page is created and displayed when the end user enters the corporate portal</p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>It is now also possible for the user to add or remove links and even categories if end user personalization is activated.<br />If you don´t want the end users to be able to change the content on the page, simply remove the toolbar in the top right corner and then select the checkbox “Disable end-user personalization of this iView” (using preview -> Context menu “User-settings” as an administrator).</p><h4 class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>Future enhancement to this blog</h4><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”>I will later enhance this blog with screenshots of a sample page.</p>

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  • Webdynpros wether java or better abap are a good developement technology for web intranet applications but there are, in my opinion, 2 very big drawbacks.

    The Internet Explorer Zoom Bug. IE freezes if the zoom level is not 100%. SAP tells it’s a Microsoft problem and Microsoft tells it’s a SAP problem…

    Bad support for web browsers and even for supported browsers there is a strong dependency from Support Packages Level.

    These 2 drawbacks prevent, in my opinion, the use of webdynpro on the Internet.

    • There are, as you say, some drawbacks with Web Dynpro and in some cases it is an inapropriate technology to use. However, I think it is too much of a generalisation to say that it should not be used at all on the Internet. My opinion and experience is that this needs to be decided based on facts in each specific situation.

      When I use the term “corporate portal” in this blog I refer to an intranet start page or similar. Sorry for being unclear about this.

      • Hi Lars,

        This is nice description, I have implemented the same solution to create links on Overview page. But I have one requirement of displaying  the links which are inside one Overview page,  in different window.


        If I have Page A with links Link1, Link2, Link3 then I want to display Link2 in separate window and Link1 and Link3 on the same content area. I am now able to change “

        Launch in New Window”  property of page which opens the whole page in separate window. But I need from individual link level how to control this.


  • Hi,

    I tried this and able to create with links but can I transport it?

    When I copy it comes with sap namespace and the objects with sap namespace cannot be transported.

    Could you please provide me the solution for this.