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One of the Rapid Deployment Solutions SAP offers is to get default sidepanel content for the NetWeaver Business Client up and running. For this the rapid deployment solution offers the following (SAP Documentation):

The SAP® rapid-deployment solution of side panel content in SAP NetWeaver® Business Client software offers packaged content to enhance the user’s experience with SAP applications. It provides context-related business content including master data, analytics and related services, along with supplementary information (including external) and takes SAP ERP transaction data to the next level.

First of all, let’s make clear that an RDS is not some magical out of the box solution of pre-packaged content that implements NWDS and Sidepanel content in a breeze. While the solution package related to this RDS (RDS_UI_RENOV_NW731V1 ) does contain quick guides and some role definitions, it is important to realize that an RDS is not a how-to guide or a short track to content delivery. RDS is basically a clearly scoped solution developed by SAP (and/or its partners) targeting an accelerated and predictable deployment of pre-packaged software. Such a solution contains SAP Software, Predefined Services (for implementation), Pre-Configured Content (for accelerated deployment) and Enablement Content (such as quick guides, best practices and showcases), made available to customers for a fixed price. Services include scoping, project preparation, implementation, testing and training activities.

Main features for an RDS to deliver on promise are a clear scope, pre-configured content and accelerators. Let’s see how the RDS of Sidepanel content for NetWeaver Business Client behaves in this regard.


Scope

The scope for this RDS is limited to standard Sidepanel content for some basic roles delivered by SAP. Main focus here is on some default sidepanel definitions such as Notes and Attachments, SAP Streamwork (collaboration), Masterdata (materials, customers) some (financial) reporting and business object related (web)services (i.e. customer, vendor and cost center).  Default NWBC specific sidepanel roles which are part of the scope include Financial, Logistics and Quality Management.

The RDS thus targets the initial setup of the NWBC as well as the required configuration of default sidepanel roles as described in the quick guides. It must therefore be considered as an initial startup for deploying NWBC and sidepanel content within the organization. In scope are the setup of the required deployment scenario configuration as well as the identification and setup of the predefined sidepanel roles and related authorizations. Out of scope are the required activations and configurations required to leverage the CHIP functionality of individual sidepanel CHIPs. Required backend configurations such as data source and extractor activation and configuration relevant for pre-defined reports, or setup and configuration of the SAP Streamwork Enterprise Edition server can be included in the customer specific service offering as defined in the RDS agreement resulting from the discovery phase.


Pre-configured Content

The roles delivered with the solution package are actually pretty thin and can merely be used for reference and for quick sampling the related applications. The package does not contain pre-configured content, which with regard to the dependency of the Sidepanel content on backend functionality might be considered strange. However, keep in mind that the actual content and functionality shown in the majority of Sidepanel CHIPs is actually part of either standard SAP functionality, part of the activation or configuration of business functions (sets), or delivered within another Rapid Deployment Solution.

The roles delivered as content with the RDS are:

SAP_NBPR_MM_PUR-SPC

Procurement with side panel content

SAP_NBPR_QM-SPC

Quality Management with side panel content

SAP_NBPR_SD-SPC

Sales and Distribution with side panel content

Surprisingly (and contrary to their names) these roles contain no sidepanel content, no CHIPs, no POWLs, not even WebDynpros, but only transactions :

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From the quick guides and related documentation, it is clear that the main content for this RDS is delivered through different SAP Solution and Support Packages. For relevant content, please check the SAP_BSSP* roles provided by SAP as of EhP4:

SAP_BSSP_FI_CO_FSCM

Side Panel: Financial Accounting, Controlling, Financial Supply Chain Management

SAP_BSSP_FSCM_SIDEPANEL

Side Panel: Insurance – Claims Management

SAP_BSSP_FSPM_SIDEPANEL

Side Panel: Insurance – Policy Management

SAP_BSSP_ILM_SIDEPANEL

Side Panel: Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)

SAP_BSSP_LO_SIDEPANEL

Side Panel: Logistics

SAP_BSSP_LO_SIDEPANEL_EXT

Side Panel: Logistics

SAP_BSSP_SD_SIDEPANEL

Side Panel: SD (Transactions and WD Applications)

In addition, check the Side Panel Content Browser [BSSP_CONTENT] for additional Sidepanel availability and role assignment.

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These SAP_BSSP* sidepanel roles contain the actual sidepanel definitions and have pre-configured attributes for the related applications. Combining the SAP_NBPR* and the SAP_BSSP* roles is definitely a good starting point for NWBC discovery, but you don’t actually need the RDS for this since the roles are delivered with the standard upgrades for SAP ECC as well or can be downloaded with SAP Note 1656753 – SAP RDS of side panel content in SAP NWBC.

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SAP or the RDS partner should be capable to implement the required backend functionality for the different sidepanel elements provided in the RDS and through the default SAP roles. This will require expertise and possible implementation effort in areas like setting up the information system (i.e. data extractors, data sources), Role and Profile maintenance (PFCG) and Document Relationship Browser. When the scope of the NWBC implementation is being extended, other capabilities like Pagebuilder and WebDynpro (CHIP) development will also be relevant to bring into the project.


Accelerators

The RDS contains several accelerators describing the solution as well as quick guides for 4 building blocks contained in the solution:

  • General RDS Quick Guide describing the building blocks and the technical prerequisites
  • Side Panel General Configuration Guide (building block U30)
  • Side Panel for Sales and Distribution Configuration Guide (building block U31)
  • Side Panel for Procurement Configuration Guide (building block U32)
  • Side Panel for Quality Management Configuration Guide (building block U33)

The accelerators are definitely not complete implementation “how-to” guides and contain a lot of references to online documentation (containing good information on the different in-scope sidepanel elements). Details on dependencies, related backend functionality and relevant authorizations are however hard to find and must be part of the expertise SAP or the RDS partner brings to the project.


Conclusion

The RDS of Sidepanel Content for NWBC is a pretty thin RDS compared to other solutions in the RDS offering from SAP. The RDS itself brings little new content or information to the NWBC implementation effort and added value will mainly be determined by the additional scoping agreed upon during the discovery phase. The RDS does however provide sufficient ability to kick start NWBC initiatives by setting up the minimal configuration of the required scenario and systems. The RDS provides a solid foundation to build in-house showcases and to determine the expected impact on existing role maintenance.


Implementation of this RDS will strongly depend on the quality of the discovery phase and the ability of the RDS partner to clarify the scope of the RDS.

  • Is backend configuration of individual sidepanel elements in scope or not?
  • Which end user scenarios will be in scope and to what extend will the end user roles be enhanced with NWBC and sidepanel content?
  • Are discovery and implementation of business functions (sets) and POWLs in scope for the RDS?

These are important questions which will have to be answered before the RDS agreement can be finalized and the project can start. If not, the RDS cannot deliver on promise due to an unclear scope and an unpredictable effort and deployment. Therefore it is essential for SAP and its partners to clearly define the scope prior to signing the RDS agreement. Furthermore the goal of the implementation must de very clear. Is it the kick start for NWBC, providing quick added value to existing SAP end user roles or is a redesign of existing end user roles for optimized NWBC and sidepanel usage the goal. The first option would be great for this RDS, the last one will have much bigger impact and will require a much stronger effort than the maximum of 3 months for a RDS implementation and definitely for the targeted 3 weeks for the implementation of this RDS.

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