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In recent times I’ve had the opportunity to trial the new SAP NetWeaver Business Client 4.0 (NWBC), and I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve seen.  Here I share my thoughts and findings …

Pre-requisites

These are the technical desktop pre-requisites listed in the latest documentation for NWBC 4.0 (check SAP’s documentation for the latest advice on this) …

  • Microsoft .Net 3.5 SP1
  • For Microsoft Windows XP SP2: Hotfix 919477
  • For WTS Installation: Hotfix 955692
  • SAP GUI for Windows 7.30

In relation to what back-end ABAP server release is required, the documentation is unclear.  However, I have been testing against a ABAP NetWeaver 7.31 system (ERP6 Ehp6). 

Within the Internet Communication Framework (ICF) on the backend server, use transaction SICF to activate nodes on the ICF server under the path /sap/bc/nwbc.  For more information, refer this link.

Download

Follow the instructions in OSS Note 1707626 to find and download the latest NWBC 4.0 from the Service Marketplace.  You should also download and install the new SAP GUI 7.30 (released in June 2012).

Documentation

You can find the on-line version of NWBC 4.0 documentation here.

Now for my thoughts and findings …

First Impressions (desktop edition)

The first thing that surprises with NWBC 4.0 is that the user interaction paradigm is vastly different (and in my opinion improved) over the previous versions of NWBC.  Here is what I see when logging into the NWBC 4.0 desktop edition (and after assigning some work centers to myself via transaction PFCG) …

NWBC landing page.png

In the above example the default start page is an Index Page, which displays my assigned Work Centers.  Clicking on a Work Center expands the options under it.  You can see that SAP have sought to maximize the screen real-estate for navigation elements using this technique. 

Clicking on any content option opens that user interface in a new tab.  This is in my opinion an important usability feature, because it seeks to tackle the classic problem which occurs when users open applications in new windows and consequently lose context for where they should be.  Instead opening applications or transactions in new tabs keeps things contained and reduces confusion for the user as to what applications they have concurrently open. This now resembles the behaviour of modern day browsers (such as Google Chrome).  So for instance, opening the Cost Center Manager -> Master Data -> Cost Center option reveals that application in a new tab (note that the original Index Page remains available as the first tab) …

NWBC cost center search.png

In the above example, right clicking on the tab presents the option to ‘Pin Tab’.  Doing this means that the Cost Center Search tab (in the example) will always be automatically available as a tab when you launch the NWBC.  I can imagine users pinning multiple tabs for their most highly used screens.  Of course users can also have the option to press the star icon in the top left to flag all their favourite screens.

Of course, one of the key benefits of NWBC is that you can have native SAP GUI transactions co-existing with newer Web Dynpro ABAP applications.  Here is a SAPGUI transaction in the NWBC 4.0 – notice the alignment with the new Corbu theme.

NWBC with SAPGUI.png

You can also elect to add a new tab (just like in a modern browser).  Doing so presents you with a useful default page, which includes a listing of your most frequently used applications, and your last opened applications.

NWBC with frequently used.png

There are many other useful features offered by the NWBC 4.0 desktop edition which have been carried over from earlier editions, such as integration of search providers (in addition to transaction code search for the ABAP system), side panels, etc.

First Impressions (HTML edition)

If you are not already aware, there is a HTML edition of NWBC served directly from the ABAP server.  This effectively serves as a lightweight ‘applications portal’ – without the need for a SAP NetWeaver (Java) Portal.  Of course, with NWBC for HTML you don’t get the heavier portal features offered by SAP NetWeaver Portal such as KM, Collaboration, Federation, Wiki etc.

Firstly, ensure that the ICF node is activated under path /sap/bc/nwbc (as per pre-requisites above).  Secondly, navigate to table NWBC_CFG using transaction SE16 and add an entry like the following to activate the Corbu theme for your NWBC for HTML (special thanks to john soden for this useful tip) …

Configuring Corbu Theme.png

You can easily launch NWBC for HTML using transaction code ‘nwbc’ from a SAP GUI session.  This will launch a browser session.  Click on the option ‘/nwbc’.  This will launch your NWBC for HTML with the Corbu theme (sample screen shot below from within browser) …
NWBC for HTML Cost Center Search.png
One of the very useful features offered by NWBC for HTML is an ability to embed content into other web portals, such as Sharepoint or IBM Websphere. In the example below I have tested embedding a single application with a thin NWBC container into a non-SAP web page.

NWBC for HTML in Intranet.png

To achieve the above, the following URL pattern was included within the wrapper web page …

<iframe frameborder=”0″ height=”800px” width=”100%” src=”http://SAP_SERVER_NAME:SAP_SERVER_PORT/sap/bc/nwbc/~canvas;window=embedded/wda/hress_a_persinfo/?WDCONFIGURATIONID=HRESS_AC_PERSINFO&sap-client=010&sap-language=EN“></iframe>

One thing I have noticed is that the start page for my NWBC for HTML edition does not commence with an ‘Index Page’ equivalent to that which the NWBC 4.0 for Desktop edition displays (refer my first screenshot above).  I’m hoping that this will be aligned eventually.

Hopefully through this post you can see the potential benefits of the latest incarnation of SAP NetWeaver Business Client.  Feel free to share your own thoughts or experiences with NWBC 4.0 in the comments.

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Thanks Vasiliy,

      Yes I have configured my SAP GUI that way also.  I’m not convinced that Corbu is much of an improvement for the SAP GUI itself, however I really like it for the Web Dynpro applications.

      Cheers

      John

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  1. Mark Teichmann

    Nice article! I always wondered what the NWBC is used for because none of our clients is using it.

    At least I think I would like it having seen the features that you demonstrated here.

    After an initial dislike I am used to the Corbu design now and it is nice to see that it is used in more and more SAP products now.

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Mark,

      My gut feeling is that NWBC 4.0 is the release which will tip the scales for many customers in relation to adoption of NWBC instead of SAP GUI.  Although it is early days for this release, since it was only released to customers last week.  I did notice that in SAP’s UI Guidelines 2.0 for SAP Business Suite, it now states quite firmly that ‘SAP NetWeaver Business Cient 4.0 is the standard desktop client for the SAP Business Suite’.  So clearly SAP is strongly targeting this release for adoption by customers.

      Regards

      John

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    2. John Soden

      hi Mark

      I have always been a fan of HTML NWBC but, like you and until recently, wasn’t convinced about desktop NWBC, two things changed my mind…

      1. the transaction search with auto complete functionality

      2. the ability to integrate SAP / non SAP or even SAP / SAP apps using the side panel

      hi John

      great blog, and thanks for the mention 🙂

      john

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks for the kind words. This blog was relatively straight forward.  It took one evening to pull together, which is much quicker than some blogs I have produced in the past.

      Regards

      John

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  2. Simon Kemp

    Thanks John. I like how SAP are “borrowing” design concepts from browsers like Chome and Firefox (e.g. the Tabs and default page), good job they aren’t borrowing from Apple or they might have a lawsuit on their hands!!! 😆

    Do you think this is an easy upgrade for customers? My personal feeling is that it is a pretty big deal – esp. when you change what something looks like (I won’t be redoing the screenshots in the help guide!). Don’t get my wrong, I think it is the right direction and like it a lot, just want to play devils advocate a bit!

    Thanks again,
    Simon

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Simon,

      You raise a VERY good point. I am working at a customer site which is looking at NWBC.  A few months ago, the only GA release was NWBC3.5.  But you are right, NWBC4.0 is very different, and to such a degree that I thought about the same concerns you raised in relation to having to rewrite training material etc.  The differences are so substantial that any customer going live now on NWBC3.5, probably won’t be able to jump to NWBC4.0 soon because of the change impact, at a time when straight after a go-live customers are already experiencing enough change anxiety.

      So that leads me to suggest that if at all possible, if customers are landing on NWBC for the first time, they should target NWBC 4.0 as long as they are comfortable it will work for them without any major bugs within their go-live timeline.  Note that OSS Note 1707623 (https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1707623) indicates that on current plans, SAP expects to release two cycles of patches to NWBC4.0 (currently at PL 0) by the end of this 2012 calendar year.

      Regards

      John

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      1. John Moy Post author

        In relation to the planned patches referenced in my comment above, I should probably re-iterate SAP’s standard disclaimer …

                                IMPORTANT NOTE                           

        The dates given in this note are just estimates and can change  

        anytime. We cannot give you definite shipment dates for patches 

        since the patches undergo a Qualification before being delivered.

        In case of deviations being found during the tests of a patch the

        shipment of the patch has to be postponed until defects have    

        been corrected and a successful retest has been executed.       

        In general patches for both SAP NWBC 4.0 are                    

        shipped every 4-6 weeks, but depending on the results of our    

        tests this may vary.

                                                     *

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      2. Simon Kemp

        Thanks John,

        Do you have any more clarity on what version of the back-end ECC/ABAP system you need you say in your post

        In relation to what back-end ABAP server release is required, the documentation is unclear.  However, I have been testing against a ABAP NetWeaver 7.31 system (ERP6 Ehp6)

                           

        I just wonder if this is also a hurdle for user adoption or not? Companies tend not to upgrade at the drop of a hat 🙂 as it requires outages, testing etc…

        Thanks,
        Simion

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        1. John Moy Post author

          Hi Simon,

          I was convinced I had seen somewhere that an ABAP NetWeaver 7.31 was mandatory for the backend system, however when writing this blog I spent quite some time looking for that and couldn’t find it!  I have noticed that some people connecting to a 7.02 system are having troubles, although that could be due to other reasons (eg. not meeting other pre-requisites, such as SAP GUI 7.30).

          You are right, if indeed it turns out that an ABAP 7.31 is mandatory then many customers will still be waiting for upgrades before they can adopt this.

          Regards

          John

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        2. Damean-BF Chen

          Simon … I been using NWBC 4 with NW 7.02 \ 7.2 (ERP6.5 & SolMan 7.1) for some time now; both works fine. However, there’s several backend dependent features that I am missing with this combo.  This would include advance SidePanel functions and some of the Personalize options such as Easy Access Favorites (as Menu \ Work Center), Use of SAP Menu instead of User Menu etc.

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    2. Claudia Binder

      Hi Simon and all others that are uncertain about the backend requirements of NWBC 4.0:

      Like all other versions of the desktop client, NWBC can connect to all backends from NW 7.00 SP21, NW 7.01 SP06 on upwards.

      It is just the delivery that is tied to some NW release. However, as Damean already noticed, there are some features like the context sensitive Side Panel, usage of SAP Easy Access Favorites and SAP Menu and different modes to launch an application that require a NW 7.03/7.31 WebAS ABAP backend.

      Example:

      You connect with NWBC 3.5 or 4.0 to a NW 7.02 backend –> the option to merge the Easy Access Favorites into the Favorites menu will be deactivated.

      Regards,

      Claudia

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Jarret, I don’t believe NWBC take-up is that high to-date.  I am thinking that NWBC 4.0 might give it a real kick though, at least for new customers or customers doing major upgrades.  In relation to Portal customers, I presume it would be a decent percentage (I am too scared to guess) … but I have heard there are a proportion of customers refusing to install SAP Portal because they have a staunch one portal policy and that the incumbent technology might be based on Microsoft Sharepoint or IBM Websphere for instance (which, when you look at it, explains why SAP may have opened up NWBC for HTML to integrate content into those portals).

      I have started drafting a blog about SAP Portal, not sure when or if I will actually publish it. 😉

      Regards

      John

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  3. Damean-BF Chen

    Cool … A few thing that still bothers me (NOT sure this is a bug or I am just missing something)

    a) “Index Page” Sequencing – User still can’t change the sequence of the Work Center list in the Index page

    b) User Customizable Work Center – Work Center customization is still pretty much a configurer\developer activity. Hopefully, some day, user themself will be able to add their own portlets and mix and match contents from multiple work center (without Enterprise Portal).

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Damean,

      Thanks for your thoughts.  My responses below …

      a) I have only been trialling with a single NWBC role, with multiple subfolders copied from SAP roles.  In that context of course when you move the subfolders up or down, the order is reflected on the Index Page.  Of course this is not refective of what I would deploy to a live environment.  I have yet to try a merger of separate PFCG roles.

      b) You are right.  However, when I compare with the days of portals when a project needed to rely on the few persons capable of creating portal iViews, Worksets etc. , the creation of content here in PFCG is much easier in my opinion, so more people can do this (even if end users can’t).

      Thanks

      John

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  4. Louise Woodbry

    Hi John,  Fantastic to find your blog.  I am currently doing a lot of work with NWBC at the moment for a new implementation.  I have been working with 3.5 as that is all that was GA at the time however last week I downloaded the latest 4.0 version.  We are using the same system  ABAP NetWeaver 7.31 system (ERP6 Ehp6) however I am continuing to get a Whitelist error message.  Have you come across this and any information on how you fixed it would be great.

    I have populated the HTTP_WHITELIST table with a number of entries and this worked perfectly for 3.5 PL4 but any version higher than that it’s a no go.

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Louise,

      I have yet to configure any white list entries (I did look at it, just haven’t entered anything) so at the moment my HTTP_WHITELIST table is completely empty.  I am interested to know what specific thing you are doing which is triggering an error message?  I can try to reproduce it.  You probably should post your question separately as a discussion.  Just add a comment here so I know when you have created it.

      Regards

      John

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      1. Louise Woodbry

        Hi,  We found that by adding the server address to the trusted sites in IE it stops the whitelist error messages.  I have yet to see what happens if I remove the entries in the whitelist.

        Regards,

        Louise

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        1. Paul Hardy

          That worked! I now get a different error message “SAP GUI failed to start transaction XYZ” which is odd as I have SAP GUI 7.30 installed, and that is supposed to be able to handle the NWBC 4.0 maybe it is something to do with me not being on SAP 7.31 as yet, I am still on ECC 6.0 EHP5 7.02

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          1. Paul Hardy

            If other people are getting this to work on 7.02 then maybe I have the NWBC files downloaded in the wrong place in the programs folder. It’s in the SAP folder at the same level as :frontend” and I didn;t choose that it just installed itself there, so I presumed it must be correct.

            Has anyone else had the “SAP GUI cannot start transaction XYZ” error?

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            1. Louise Woodbry

              Hi Paul,  It has been a while but I would like to know if you resolved the issue with the error message “SAP GUI cannot start transaction XYZ”?  I have a user that is running the same versions of NWBC and GUI that I am and he is getting the error but I don’t. 

              Thanks Louise.

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              1. Paul Hardy

                No, it still does not work and I have no idea why. I had presumed it was that I am only on 7.02, but some people claim that NWBC 4.0 works perfectly for them on that version. I would love to get this working!

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                1. Louise Woodbry

                  Paul – Finally got to see the user that had the issue.  When you are setting up your connections to NWBC the name MUST match EXACTLY to the name you have as the description via GUI.

                  Try this and see how it goes for you.  Issue solved in 5mins.

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                  1. Paul Hardy

                    That worked perfectly, so many thanks. Of course, in the interim our system has changed to single sign on, and NWBC does not like that one little bit, but I can just click through the assorted error messages and enter my password and the transactions in NWBC actually seem to work.

                    I was rather hoping that when I opened a Web Dynpro application such as BRF+ it would actually open inside the NWBC rather than asking me for my password yet again and opening in a seperate internet explorer session, but oh well, never mind.

                    But anyway, one step at a time. Once again, many thanks!

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        2. John Bjerke

          I can confirm that adding FQDN of your SAP server in the “trusted sites” in IE removed the error about whitelist. Now I can actually work with NWBC 4 on a NW 7.02 ERP system.

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      2. Caspar Laar

        Hi Louise, thanks for posting the solution, since we were expereincing the same issue. Everything worked in NWBC3.5 and in NWBC4.0 suddenly these whitelist errors started popping up. Very tricky that the NWBC is so much relying on the IE settings & technology.

        This is probably also the reason that our SAPUI5 applications are not rendering in NWBC… I was hoping this would have been solved in NWBC 4.0, but unfortunately this is not the case and probably also due to the inability of IE to render HTML5 properly…..

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  5. Said BILGEN

    Dear John,

    Great blog and eye festival with the new look and interfaces, Thanks for bringing up. Looking forward to have some time for our little mobile project also 🙂

    Regards.

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Karin,

      Thanks.  I think there will be plenty of interest by customers in this new NWBC.  I just hope there are no ‘show stopper’ issues which I haven’t seen in my brief time with it.

      I’m amazed that this blog has had over 1000 views in only a couple of days … that in itself illustrates the interest in this subject.

      Regards

      John

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  6. John Bjerke

    I have tried NWBC 4 on two computers. My server has SAP_BASIS 7.02. The first time I log in it will work on anything other than SAP transactions. It will complain that all the links to my server (https://server.domain.ext:443/sap/bc/…) is not in the whitelist. The worst problem is that the second time you log in to the server it is not possible to log in at all (even if you do not change the registry whitelist). Even in older versjons of NWBC. Uninstallation of version 4 does not helt. Your windows user profile is now useless. I have not found any settings files or registry entries to delete to fix this problem. I have sent SAP an OSS on this issue.

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi John,

      That’s not good!  I hope SAP fix that for you.  I’ve heard of others having difficulty connecting to 7.02 ABAP systems, so I’m really beginning to think this isn’t supported.  I just couldn’t find the words from SAP saying that.

      Particularly concerning is how it creates a persistent issue in your operating system build. If you do get it solved by SAP, I would appreciate you adding a comment here for the benefit of others.

      Good luck

      John

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      1. Paul Hardy

        I am on a 7.02 system and get the exact same problem as described above i.e. that you cannot jump to any transaction as they are not on the “white list”. My gut feeling is that 7.02 is not supported, and if it does work for some people it is just a *lucky for them”) fluke. You would think somebody at SAP would know one way or the other.

        I saw an SAP note about installing this, and, in as far as it is possible to undertand what any SAP note is trying to say, it seemd to imply you need a 7.31 back end system.

        The other key point is that in the “blurb” presentations and the like on SAP’s UI roadmap, when NWBC gets a look in, in between the other 54 competiting UI technologies SAP seems to be working on and actively promoting as “the go-to UI technology”, a claim is made that the NWBC can not only copy over the role menu, but also your favourites menu as well and this will “ease transistion”. You bet it will. If a new end user logs into the NWBC for the first time and their favourites menu is gone they will be on to the help desk faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

        Having the favourite menu copy over is obvious – I meaan really obvious – it should have been the first thing SAP concentrated on, not an afterthought.

        All that aside, I think this looks really promising. Also, I shouldn’t complain if something doesn’t work the first week it is released, that is why it gets released, so the public community can find all the bugs.

        Cheersy Cheers

        Paul

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        1. John Bjerke

          After getting the whitelist error messages did you try to log out and back in to NWBC? Have you tried logging in with nwbc 3.5 after trying 4? I cannot use any nwbc after trying 4. I need to recreate my windows profile to clear out any registry entry nwbc 4 has made. uninstalling or manually deleting any referanse to nwbc 4 in registry does not help. Removing the entire whitelist does not help. My first answer from SAP was of course just something totally irrelevant to extend their response time.

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          1. Paul Hardy

            Luckily for me no damage was done to my PC by trying out the NWBC. I can attempt to log back in as many times as I want, I still can’t od anything due to the “whitelist” messages but at least it does not break anything else. I never tried the NWBC 3.5 or lowr as I didn’t like the screen shots that I saw, most of the screen space seemed to be filled with stupid pictures of houses and the like, thus leaving little room for actual application data. This one at least fills the entire screen and follows the new Microsoft ideal of trying to minimise the distracting “chrome” round the edges of screens.

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          2. Simon Hansen

            I have exactly the same problem with the new 4.0.

            The first login was possible, but then i got this “BLANK” “FROZEN” Screen when trying to login. Also to reinstall the 3.5 Version appears the same issue.

            I will wait for your post!

            Thanks

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            1. John Bjerke

              For some strange reason all my NWBC versions work again. I can log in multiple times. Maybe windows has deleted some temporary files or the latest windows update did something. I will try to add the server in my trusted sites in internet explorer. My sysadmin must update this list. I will report back if this is a success for me.

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      2. Philipp Koelsch

        Hi John,

        great blog and I was also really amazed of NWBC 4.0, when I saw it for the first time.

        When we were trying it out in the SAP course, I think Thomas Jung mentioned that it is fully working from 7.03 onwards.

        Regards

        Philipp

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    2. Geoff Visentin

      Hi John,

      I know it’s been a while since your post, but I have the exact same issue now with NWBC 4 as you described here.. I am wondering if OSS ever got back to you and if so, what the fix was?

      Thanks in advance.

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      1. John Bjerke

        I have not had any problems with the latest patches for NWBC 4. I cannot find my oss-message, but I dont think I got an answer on it. The problem went away in some PL and I just reportet that back. Check PAM for requirements for Internet Explorer and service pack stack on server.

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        1. Geoff Visentin

          Just a bit of additional feedback if anyone is interested..

          the issue with NWBC that a few people were experiencing, where no content would display after confirming the “show secure and unsecure content” message was fixed when I installed NWBC 4.0 PL 10.

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  7. Tom Van Doorslaer

    Thanks for the info John,

    I immediately downloaded and installed it.

    The first thing I notice is that the desktop version also seems to use the ITS interface to SAP. Which is a bit annoying. (although this may be a wrong impression on my end, due to the corbu theme)

    What I loved about the previous version, was the fact that it embedded the desktop GUI (ideal for development tasks) and it retained your session, even if your connection was briefly interrupted. (remove laptop from docking station and switch to WIFI, for example)

    But I’ve only played with it for 5 minutes… 🙂

    So I’ll first play some more before drawing conclusions

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    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Tom,

      Actually this version does also embed the desktop GUI.  That is working on my version.  It reverts automatically to ITS WebGUI if it can’t detect an appropriate SAP GUI 7.3 installed.  Do you have SAP GUI 7.3 installed? 

      Note that the new SAP GUI 7. 3 is not set to Corbu theme by default … you need to set that in the SAP GUI preferences.  However, I seem to recall that even if I had the SAP GUI 7.3 set to Signature Design, when it was surfaced in NWBC 4.0 it appeared as Corbu (although I am not 100% certain about this).

      Regards

      John

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      1. Tom Van Doorslaer

        Jup, you’re right, it’s actually the desktop sapgui (7.3) in corbu theme. It was the first time I saw the corbu theme on the gui, and it looked so grey and dull that I mistook it for ITS 🙂

        None the less, I’ve set the corbu theme now on my gui as well, and I’ll try it out for a couple of weeks. Let’s see if I still dislike it in 2 weeks. 🙂

        On a sidenote, I’m actually conencting on a 7.02 ABAP system, so no problem here… I think John Bjerke may be facing a profile/security issue or something. (but I’m no expert on the matter)

        2 more things I notice.

        You still can’t connect to multiple systems at the same time 🙁

        You still can’t store passwords (I know, It’s a security threat, but working on 20 different systems, I take the risk)

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        1. John Bjerke

          My SAP GUI 7.3 has the security setting set to “disabled”, and I was able to reproduce the problem using both a windows domain profile and a local administrator on the computer. I will post the reply from SAP when I get it.

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  8. Tom Van Doorslaer

    But the fact that you can use it as a browser is really cool. I’m writing this reaction, from inside my business client.

    Awesome!

    there are some things I miss though:

    – middle mouse button click to close a tab, or open a link in a new tab.

    – can’t change the browser settings from inside the BC

    – browser performs slower in NWBC

    – I think it uses IE render engine (my IE8 still has some issues with certain HTML5 features)

    – the web address doesn’t remain available in the navigation bar

    Also noticed that you can change the theme color scheme from dark to light. (it helps to ease the pain on corbu 😆 )

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  9. Claudio Di Salvo

    Thanks John, another great blog. NWDC 4.0 leaves me with mixed emotions, though.

    Although there’s a lot of improvements on the UI,i despair when i notice that 4.0 delivers the same limitations of previous versions on the number of abap stacks you can connect: one per time.

    so everything’s perfect if you consume transactions from, say, an ECC and some web content, but if you’d like to provide users with transactions from ECC(1), BW(2) and as ex. SolMan(3) in different tabs,

    well once you launch transactions from (2) or (3), you’ll loose the (1) sessions and NWDC will relauch itself…what!? 😕

    Is NWDC really intended to work this way or i’m missing something?

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    1. Damean-BF Chen

      Hate to say it; but based on my observation so far; this seems be true. E.g. When NWBC starts with the selected system, the system seem to only load roles from that system into the memory space.

      Only way for user is to go around is to start another session of NWBC & pick a new system from start.  I suppose a configurer could get around this by manipulating the role so as to enable to launch a new session; or BW URL etc.

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    2. Claudia Binder

      With regards to multi system capabilities, there is no difference between NWBC 4.0 and 3.0/3.5. The options to work with multiple systems are

      Starting multiple NWBC instances (if you have to work with several systems on a regular based, activate the system selector on startup in the user settings).

      SAP is working on a way to visualize the system information directly in the NWBC window.

      Working with target systems in roles

      This approach is described in the NWBC documentation chapter 5.11.

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    3. Caspar Laar

      Hi Claudio, NWBC is meant to be a single point of entry into many different systems. Main consideration should be to have a single entry system in which the end user roles are being defined, based on existing roles from the trusted target systems.

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  10. Andre Olivier

    Hi John,

    Great blog as usual. I am currently at a client where we have decided to go NWBC 4.0. The tip on the Cotbu Theme for HTML is very useful.

    Thanks again.

    Andre 

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  11. Jan de Kievit

    Hi John, very helpfull Blog!

    I’ve implemented the 40 next to the 3.5 The 3.5 version still works fine however the 40 gives me the whitelist error on SAP transactions not on others (websites etc). I have created a whitelist.ini but the 40 does not respond to this. The BE is on release 701. Any ideas?

    Thanks Jan

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    1. Caspar Laar

      Hello Jan, we encountered the same problem. Solution was privided by Louise Woodbry a few comments above. Disregard the error message, it’s got nothing to do with the white list not as an ini file, not in the HTTP_WHITELIST table. Add your hhostnames as trusted sites in the Internet Explorer settings and everything will work just fine again!

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  12. Jan de Kievit

    Thanks to the help of Louise Woodbry and Caspar Laar the 40 release runs OK now. Do one of you know how to change the icons in the menu? Ive tried already in PFCG but now luck sofar.

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  13. Peter Mols

    Hi John,

    I have also been testing the NWBC 4.0 and I also like the features you highlight in
    your blog. However I am not very happy with the new Corbu design. I simply find
    the white boxes around the input area annoying. when you call the VA01 a big gray screen appears with a white box where you have to do your input. It must be possible to make the look better (just my opinion 🙂
    )

    Do you know if it is possible to use the signature design in NWBC 4.0 ?

    Also my power lists still is in the blue coloring, do you know why ?

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    1. Julie Plummer

      Signature Design/Corbu Design in NWBC 4.0

      For the Shell : Corbu only

      For the Canvas, for SAP GUI : Corbu only

      For the Canvas, for Web Dynpro ABAP applications: Corbu or SAP Signature is possible. This can be configured in several places.

      I’ll try to find out about your POWLs – I have an inkling, but I’ll check.

      Julie.

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    2. Julie Plummer

      Hi Peter,

      As above: WDA applications (including FPM / Page Builder /POWLs) can be configured for Corbu (gray) or Signature (Blue). Can you check the parameter settings – See Note 1277000 – SAP Signature Design for Web Dynpro ABAP applications. (this describes setting the theme to Signature, but  the principle is the same to set it to Corbu).

      There is also a SAP Note about the SAP_CORBU theme:

      NoNote 1681286 – Visual design “SAP_CORBU” theme for Web applications

      ·         You may also find the following online Help Links useful:

      o   http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw73ehp1/helpdata/en/47/af752005c92fe1e10000000a42189d/frameset.htm  (Stylesheets in Web Dypro ABAP)

      o   http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw73ehp1/helpdata/en/73/142b2a79fb4884a4b4e87fa88f4115/frameset.htm (Application Parameters and URL Params)

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  14. Marcin Cholewczuk

    Hi all,

    My impression of desktop edition after first quick view.

    Plus:

    – I can see all cockpits on login page

    – Tabs

    Minus:

    – I don’t like the idea of one tab with all roles. Solution from 3.5 was more user friendly (detailed navigation, if not needed, one can hide it)

    – why there is no normal Menu? Instead I have to click in the top left corner

    – I can’t search with search provider that I want

    Marcin

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  15. Lindy Crawford

    Hi

    Excellent blog. Wondered if anyone knows how to remove the standard message on the index page “Here you can find all the information on your business” and workcenter “What do you want to do next” tab on NWBC 4.0

    Lindy

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    1. Claudia Binder

      The message on the Index page can be replaced by a different text, even with parameters.

      Use parameter WELCOME_MESSAGE in the backend configuration table NWBC_CFG. For more information about it, have a look at the NWBC documentation chapter 4.6 Configuration in Table NWBC_CFG

      The message on the New Tab page is fix.

      Claudia

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      1. Damean-BF Chen

        Claudia

           Looks like the “Branding” option in the NWBC Desktop shell is still limited. Welcome message seems to be only applicable for NWBC HTML. If I recall correctly, I could specify my own “work center”\”role” icon in 3.5; but this feature is now gone in 4.0? (Or I am just missing something).

           Hopefully, with the next release, both end-user and\or configurer will have more control over the background image, role icons, positioning\display\hiding of the roles within the Index Page  (Only way is to do it now is via PFCG) etc.

        Cheers

        Damean

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  16. Damian Gibbs

    Hi

    Entries in table NWBC_CFG such as THEME_NAME, BRANDING_IMAGE, WELCOME_MESSAGE, BRANDING_URL etc are supported on both the HTML and the Desktop Client. COCKPIT_TITLE is the only one that is specific to HTML.

    On another matter, The issue with SAPGui menu Icons not appearing correctly in NWBC Desktop Edition if the SAP_CORBU theme is used , is resolved in SAPGui 7.3 PL1

    Damian

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  17. Lindy Crawford

    Hi

    I have updated the welcome_message, but it does not replace the following message on the NWBC 4 desktop client – “Here you can find all the information on your business”

    Please advise.

    Thanks

    (0) 
    1. Damian Gibbs

      Hi Lindy

      It might be your language key that is causing an issue

      Below is a sample configuration based on my NWBC Configuration Table  NWBC_CFG

      IDX      COCKPIT      NAME                           LANG      VALUE

      001      *                  THEME_NAME                  *           sap_corbu

      002      *                   BRANDING_IMAGE           *          http://xxxxx//NWBCLogo.png

       

      003      *                   WELCOME_MESSAGE    *           Welcome &FULL_NAME&

      004      *                   BRANDING_URL               *           http://www.sap.com

      Note that the table is client dependant.

      This appears fine in my NWBC 4.0 Desktop and HTML

      Hope this helps


      Damian

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      1. Damean-BF Chen

        For the Welcome Msg, I got pretty much the same result as Lindy. Probably a Backend dependency? My backend system is ERP6 EHP5, SSP4 (NW 7.02). Also, the Help file (key msg repeated below) seems to be hinting that it only works for NWBC HTML; hence my conclusion. Glad to know that it should work on NWBC Desktop too.

        The welcome message is displayed in NWBC for HTML next to the Log Off pushbutton.

        The VALUE field contains the text. Y

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  18. Damian Gibbs

    Hi

    I think there may be a back end dependancy. If I set the welcome message on a ERP6 EhP6 SP4 (SAPKB73104) envirionment it does not work.

    If I then use EXACTLY the same configuration in an ERP6 EhP6 SP3 (SAPKB73103) envirionment it works fine.

    The branding image, theme and branding URL work fine in both envirionments, its just the welcome message does not display in the later basis release…

    Damian

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  19. Damian Gibbs

    Hi

    Been doing further investigation into this, and the way the welcome message is read and displayed has been changed in (SAPKB73104).

    This change is included in SAP Note

    Change is in the URL below ( DELTA003)

    https://websmp130.sap-ag.de/sap/bc/bsp/spn/corr_instr/correction_detail.htm?_CINSTA=0120031469&_CALEID=0001098128&_CPAKID=41&_PGMID=LIMU&_OBJ=METH  &_OBJNAM=CL_NWBC_RUNTIME35%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20IF_NWBC_RUNTIME%7EGET_USER_INFO&tab=2

    Looking at the new logic

    IF iv_fetch_welcome_message EQ abap_true AND

         me->cached_user_info-welcome_message IS INITIAL

    iv_fetch_welcome_message does not actually appear to be passed in to GET_USER_INFO (Default is ABAP_FALSE) so the welcome message will never be evaluated for display.

    This explains why it works in one of my systems (SAPKB73103) , but not my later one which has had this correction package applied

    Hope this helps

    Damian

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      1. Julie Plummer

        Hi Damean, and anyone else with this issue, I spoke to development about this. This is an issue. Could you please raise an OSS message about this – component BC-FES-BUS?

        Thanks Julie.

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        1. Damian Gibbs

          Hi

          Have just applied EhP6 SPS05 (SAPKB73105) to our system and the welcome message is now displaying correctly again in the Desktop and HTML Clients

          Damian

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  20. Shashidhar Pabba

    Thanks for sharing John. One quick question, is it mandatory to have SAP GUI 7.30 or does NWBC 4.0(SP2) work on GUI 720? I am trying to open dynpro transactions(like SE38/SE37) but it doesnt work correctly, whereas Webdynpro ABAP transactions open up without any errors.

    Thanks,

    Shashidhar.

    (0) 
    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Shashidhar,

      It is my understanding that per SAP’s documentation, SAP GUI 7.30 is required for use with NWBC 4.0.  Bear in mind that GUI 7.20 goes out of support next year anyway, so you should be thinking about upgrading your GUI soon.

      Regards

      John

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  21. Paras Arora

    Good Stuff …

    Thanks John, though I have been into evaluation of NWBC vs SAP Portal for a recent implementation.

    I fail to evaluate the impact NWBC for HTML or the poor man’s portal could end up with, on SAP Portal usage across SRM, HR, MDG ..etc. implementation projects

    …your thoughts on the same..?

    Thanks,

    Paras Arora

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  22. Wei Liang Yew

    anyone has any idea how I can disable the log off button on NWBC HTML?

    I want to put in the NWBC HTML into one of portals TAB.

    Currently I have 3 tabs

    1. ESS

    2. MSS

    3. NWBC HTML.

    Appreciate. Thanks!

    (0) 
  23. Amar Jadhav

    Thanks John,

                  For sharing such a valuable insight on NWBC 4.0. I have been using NWBC 3.5 for a while, and think one thing is missing in NWBC 4.0 . In 3.5 we can select the icons for the work center in 4.0 that feature is not available.

    Regards,
    Amar

    (0) 
    1. Claudia Binder

      Hi Amar,

      With NWBC 4.0 PL4 (coming in the next days), the end user will be capable again of changing tab icons.

      If you selected different icons in NWBC 3.5 or changed work center icons in PFCG, these icons should have been displayed already in former NWBC 4.0 patch levels.

      Claudia

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  24. Shreelakshmi R

    Hi John,

    It is really amazing and very informative blog.

    First of thanks a ton for posting this blog.

    From Ehp5 onwards the applications (ERP HR- portal based) can also be executed using NWBC with out the the portal installations like iview,workset etc.

    customers were given option to use portal or NWBC 🙂

    My question is if the customer is on EHp6, And what is the general requirement/installation  they need to have in place to use the above mentioned ERP HCM – portal based applications like ESS/MSS etc.

    To be more precise may be the back end ABAP levels etc.

    Best regards,
    Shreelakshmi.

    (0) 
    1. John Moy Post author

      Hi Shreelakshmi,

      Actually I’m not sure about the minimum requirements for ESS/MSS … you will need to consult SAP or the appropriate OSS Note.  On my site we are on the latest support packages.  However, one thing I can say is that if you wish to adopt the newer HR Renewals user interfaces, you will need to be on the latest support packages.  This means installation of NetWeaver Gateway and SAPUI5 components into the system, and it also means you need IE9 on desktop clients to be able to use the HR Professionals landing page.  I’m not a Basis person, so sorry I can’t give you a deep dive on all the ABAP components we have installed and at what level.

      Regards

      John

      (0) 
    2. Julie Plummer

      Hi Shreelakshmi,

      To the best of my knowledge, all you need is EHP5, with NW7.02 underneath it.However, I’ll contact the ESS/MSS team and get back to you.

      BTW – in future, could you please ask these questions in the forum , not as a comment in a more general blog. This helps other people find the thread later if they have a similar question, and it is more likely that your question will be picked up by the team. (I’m on the forum at least once-twice a week, and am in regular contact with the specialist development teams here in NetWeaver).

      Thanks a lot.

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    3. Julie Plummer

      Hi Shreelakshmi,

      Here is the detailed info from the team. (I’ve included some stuff that may not be relevant to you , in case it’s of use to others):

      If you want to use the new ESS/MSS based on WD ABAP then the backend EA-HR has to be upgraded to the relevant enhancement pack, appropriate BP’s have to be deployed and the backend Business Functions have to be activated. In your case I assume you are asking about Ehp5. I have included below the Business Package information for Ehp5 and above for ESS and MSS.

      Business Package Information

      ESS

      Ehp5 – Business Package “BP for Employee Self-Service (WDA) 1.50”

      Ehp6 – Same Business Package is relevant [Reason in the case of Portal ESS displays the applications configured via the backend Launchpad Role: ESS Instance: MENU in transaction lpd_cust]. A new version of Launchpad was released in Ehp6 and this takes effect automatically on installation unless a customer version has been created.

      HR renewal 1.0 – This is the latest release (now in Ramp-Up). Again no new Business Package. Customers continue to use the same “BP for Employee Self-Service (WDA) 1.50”. A new version of Launchpad Role: ESS Instance: MENU is released.

      MSS

      Ehp5 –  MSS was released on an Add-On package to Ehp5. In case of Portal you have to install ‘BP MSS Add-On 1.0’

      Ehp6- Nothing new the same Add-On package works also for Ehp6 backend

      HR renewal 1.0 – This is the latest release. No new Role is released for Portal. Portal has the capability to import backend PFCG Roles and create iViews, Pages automatically. So if customers want new functionality they have to upload the backend Role SAP_MANAGER_MSS_NWBC_3 into portal.

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  25. Mohan M

    Hi Everyone,

    I am running NWBC 4.0 with EHP 6-SP6.

    When I am trying to connect to SAP GUI  through the navigation via NWBC, it throws an error ” Potential security concern, this location is not explicitly marked as safe in internet explorer , as a result navigation is blocked”

    Do you guys have any idea, how can I fix this issue.

    Thank you

    (0) 
    1. Caspar Laar

      Hi Mohan, I think you can find the answer to this elsewhere, but just to be quick about it: NWBC is build on the .NET framework and uses parts of the Internet Explorer security settings. Therefore, add the NWBC URL to the “trusted sites” in the IE security settings. That will work. Furthermore, maintain the HTTP_WHITELIST table in your EHP6 sp6 system for all sites used in the NWBC.

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        1. Claudia Binder

          There is one situation in which you will get the oldSignature design with SAP GUI for Windows: If you have set the accessibility mode either in the NWBC settings (“Personalize”) or on the logon screen, SAP GUI will switch automatically to Signature because it does not consider Corbu as accessible (too low contrast somewhere).

          (0) 
        1. Richard Simoni

          Hello Everyone,

          My understanding regarding NWBC for HTML is that is we install the SAP UI Addon 1.0 in the backend (Abap) we now get NWBC 4.0 for HTML. NWBC 3.5 comes with NW 7.31 and the only way to obtain NWBC 4.0 for HTML is with the Addon. Is this correct?

          Thank you,

          Rick

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                1. Richard Simoni

                  Hi Samuli,

                  Ah yes, you are right. Thank you for that correction. So, I am still trying to find out what version of NWBC for HTML is integrated with the latest patch of the UI Addon. Is the latest patch, 4? If so, then it would be HTML 3.6. Is there a published roadmap of the next versions of HTML?

                  (0) 
  26. juan lee

    I have updated the table as shown this blog but i am still only able to display signature theme for HTML

    I am launching NWBC using URL (http://*.org:8000/sap/bc/nwbc/) instead of  transaction /NWBC

    when I try to launch through a transaction I get error message saying :

    “Error in configuration of SAP logon tickets”

    Any ideas?

    thanks

    (0) 

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