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SAP User Interface (UI) : Choose Best Recommended Approach

This bogs addresses pertaining to have some questions at this point.

  • Which UI technology should I use?
  • If I am using a certain UI technology, what capabilities can I take benefits of?
  • Are those capabilities in older releases as well?

The following below comparison strategies for SAP UI will help answer these questions and start out with a comparison of SAP GUI for Windows vs. SAP GUI for Java vs. SAP GUI for HTML. In this post, it will show up Decision support matrix for choosing a right SAP UI with any of the recommended approach.

There are 3 SAP UI Options:

  • SAP GUI for Windows
  • SAP GUI for Java
  • SAP GUI for HTML

A.    SAP GUI for Windows  

Pros: 

  • Meets needs of diverse users including developers, power users (transactions based) etc…
  • Friendly user interface, automatic workstation update available, controlling remote workstations and new command line parameters available.
  • Works perfectly with all Business cases, particularly with Microsoft Technology Integrations, BI/BEx explorer, BPC and reporting tools, etc.
  • SSO can be implemented using SNC through a partner product  such as Windows – NTLM & Kerberos, etc.
  • Citrix Terminal Service can be used with ONLY one SAP GUI.
  • Available for all supported back-end releases. 

Cons:

  • Tightly integrated with Microsoft OS platform.
  • Deployment and rolling out GUI is a nightmare.
  • Fear of EOL and applying patches.
  • ABAP Developers must have SAP GUI for Windows.
  • High network bandwidth is required.
  • SSO integration may not be smooth.
  • Automatic Patch software required.
  • User community needs to be regularly updated with changes.

 Impact:

  • Considerable footprint cost to maintain and rollout new updates.
  • If we decide to use one SAP GUI strategy then terminal services cost  (license, administration and maintenance) can be justified.  

B.    SAP GUI for JAVA

 Pros:  

  • Suitable for various OS platforms such as Windows, Linux, …
  • Friendly user interface and easy to deployment and manage with central configuration.
  • Works perfectly with all business cases with few exceptions such as MS technology integrations.
  • SSO can be implemented using SNC through a partner product such as Windows – NTLM & Kerberos.
  • Available for all supported back-end releases.
  • Deployment of Java GUI is much easier than SAP GUI for Windows since it is centrally managed.
  • GUI installation or upgrade is triggered through the Web page contents.  

Cons:

  • JVM compatibility and platform support can be an issue to maintain a uniform release.
  • Limitations exist in comparison to SAP GUI for Windows regarding BEX Analyzer, SmartForms, Advanced Editor Controls, Graphics, etc… are not available.
  • EOL of release is a great concern with platform compatibility.
  • Java GUI known to have numerous bugs/fixes.
  • JAVA GUI needs a sizable PC to run the client.
  • High network bandwidth is required.

 Impact:

  • Low cost compared to SAP GUI for Windows; still need to  maintain and rollout new releases when required.  

C.    SAP GUI for HTML  

Pros:  

  • Agnostic to OS platforms as compared to GUI for Windows and Java.
  • Zero footprint on the client systems, runs in SAP Web AS/ITS.
  • Well supported with Dynpro-based screen and iView’s/portal to HTML.
  • No work related to deployment and GUI distributions.
  • SSO can be implemented using various methods – SAP logon tickets, certificates, and other external authentication services.
  • Most transactions work perfectly.
  • Well used by non-power users and for portals.
  • Can be used with all SAP releases currently supported.  

Cons:

  • Sizable network bandwidth required with compare to Windows GUI.
  • HTTP traffic does not balance and extra overhead is on WAS/ITS.
  • SAP ACC will not work.
  • Does not support multiple sessions and need multiple logins.
  • Does not support ‘input history’.
  • MS Office integration is view ONLY.
  • Special purpose Windows features not available such as drag & drop, help search F4, IE 7.0 features, etc…
  • Keyboard navigation is limited in comparison to other web applications.
  • OLE automation is not supported.
  • Additional work required for SAP Web AS/ITS to handle and balance the load from  clients.
  • SAP systems may be vulnerable to security.  

Impact:

  • Footprint and infrastructure cost is almost zero since maintenance is not required; user PCs do not need much computing power.
  • Need to buy certificates; authentication and administrative support cost, etc….

 SAP UI Decision Support Matrix

 Here, you find Decision Support Matrix for choosing a right SAP UI.

PS: *** SAP UI not applicable to BOBJ****

Recommendations for Selection of UI

Not every GUI is the right for all business scenarios/cases-

User Type Scenario

GUI Recommendation

Advantages

Developers & Admin

SAP GUI for Windows

  • Windows Oriented- applications including Microsoft Office integrations for BI/BEx Explorer.
  • Application Load Balancing.
  • Minimum network bandwidth and faster response time.
  • Multi-Sessions in a single login.
  • Input Sessions’ History.
  • Terminal Services.

End user transactions

SAP GUI for Windows

Same as Developers & Admin

End Users Reporting with BEx Analyzer

SAP GUI for Windows

Integration with Microsoft Technology for  BI/BEx explorer

End Users Reporting without BEx Analyzer

SAP GUI for HTML

Only  Browser needed

Infrequent or rarely used and Non Microsoft Platform

SAP GUI for HTML

Only  Browser needed

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