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NWBC and the Side Panel at TechEd 2012 – FAQs

NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) featured prominently at TechEd in hands-on workshops, Q+A sessions, a customer lecture and, of course, numerous conversations with customers and partners. As a result of these interactions we have identified some Frequently Asked Questions and would like to share our answers to them with you here.

Side Panel

Q: Where can I find a list of chips?
A: Here is a list of chips for NetWeaver:
The following note contains a PDF attachment with a catalog of 74 Chips released for EHP6, SP01. That is, this PDF does not refer to all the Chips available, but it’s a good start: SAP Note 1718873.
Q: Where are the chips for the side panel or a list of applications that use the chips?
A: Proceed as follows:
Go into your development system.
Call transaction BSSP_CONTENT. This is a support transaction for administrators/consultants.
Here you can find information about roles, side panels and transactions where they are used.
Use the generic search (for example, SAP_ for roles and BSSP_SP* for side panels).


Q: Our end users are using a SAP GUI standalone. Why should we move to NWBC?
A: NWBC uses SAP GUI to render dynpro screens so it can do all that SAP GUI can and
more. So it has a number of advantages over SAP GUI standalone. It:
  • Integrates “new” UI technologies such as
         Web Dynpro ABAP, Floorplan Manager, Power Lists
  • Provides power search functionality using
         internal and external search engines
  • Enhances existing applications with the
         Side Panel so you can display applications side-by-side on one screen
  • Gives the end user a modern, browser-like
  • Is free-of-charge
Q: When should we use SAP GUI standalone, when should we use NWBC and when should we use the portal?
A: NWBC uses SAP GUI to render dynpros but it does a lot more besides (see above).
That’s why we recommend customers to move to NWBC.
NWBC is most appropriate for scenarios focusing on SAP back ends although you can also
display anything that can be accessed using a URL.
The portal requires a greater investment than NWBC but has the following strengths.
It is ideal for scenarios:
    • Extensive theming and branding
           capabilities, for example an external-facing portal
    • Heterogeneous landscape, for example
           including Java applications
    • Collaboration functionality such as Wikis
           and forums
    • Content management
Questions about the relationship between SAP GUI, NWBC, and NW Portal crop up a lot, so we are hoping
to blog about this in the New Year (2013).


Q: We have an SAP NetWeaver Portal. How can we integrate NWBC into the portal?
A: It is important to understand the relationship between NWBC and the portal.
First, you can connect to the back end directly or via the portal. So you use roles either in PFCG (in the ABAP back end) or in PCD (Portal Content Directory) respectively.
You can also integrate NWBC and the portal more directly as described in the documentation:

Installation and Configuration

Q: We are a global company and we have deployed and use SAP GUI in a large number of locations. How do we deploy NWBC to all these locations? Do we use SAPInst or something else?
A: You install NWBC using SAP Setup, as with SAP GUI so the installation procedure is straightforward. You can find a useful blog and note here:
SAP Note 1583967 (Release Information Note for SAP Setup 9.0)
Q: What do I have to do in the back end when switching between NWBC 3.5 and NWBC 4.0?
A: Nothing.
If you don’t like the menu structure in NWBC 4.0 (index page and other navigation) then you could consider changing the role menus in PFCG.
Q: How often is NWBC updated? I don’t want to move to 4.0 if there is a new version just around the corner.
A: NWBC 4.0 is the go-to release for NWBC.
We are not planning a major new release in the next few months so we recommend using NWBC 4.0.
We intend to release updates to NWBC 4.0 roughly every three months but these are not major new releases.
Q: The colors in 4.0 are different. How can I revert to the old Signature (blue) theme?
A: With Web Dynpro applications, you can do this by changing the paramer WDTHEMEROOT. For more details about how to do
this, see the online help at :
Application Parameters and URL Parameters or in the SAP Note 1277000.


Q: I think the Rapid Deployment Package might help to accelerate the implementation phase for us. Where can I find more information about this?
A: SAP RDS are packaged solutions where you get software, a fixed price, fixed scope implementation service and our intellectual property including best practices and industry templates bundled up in a modular package. Most SAP RDS go live within three months.
You can find more information on the RDS for the side panel here:


Q: Is there a roadmap for NWBC?
A: Yes, you can find a roadmap as part of the standard NWBC slides on SDN:
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