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An entire life cycle sounds like a lot to work on. But isn’t that too ambitious and challenging for us? And how is “life” related to IT? As one of the students of Hochschule Harz University of Applied Sciences in Wernigerode, Germany, I sit staring at “our” Business Process Life Cycle …

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Web Dynpro goes iPhone

We were done with our workflows. But what is coming next? Our professor said, he wants to have a web application, to create our Business Objects like Purchase Requisition (BANF) and to automatically start the corresponding workflow with the according event. Honestly we were a bit shocked. How should we create a web application referring our Business Objects ? But not long after that, our professor solved the mystery by presenting WebDynpro for ABAP!

Please click on Galina’s WebDynpro for higher resolution !

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WebDynpro is a technology with a user interface for creating web applications. It is using the MVC pattern and a model driven development approach. That means minimum coding and maximum design! Because of that we could concentrate more on “how does it look?” more than on “how to make it run?”.

The most time we spent in finding out, what attributes were needed to create our Business Object and how to connect it with the workflow from before. It was indeed a bit tricky. We needed to test the create method from our Business Object and understand the SAP error messages. After that the only challenge left was the ABAP-method in WebDynpro. Oh yes, not the whole coding was taking away from you! That’s normal though. How should SAP know, what you want to do with your web application? But after that was done too, nothing could stop the workflow from starting after we created our Business Object in a web application.

Responsive Frameworks at GBI

For future business the presentation design of information with WebDynpro is capable of reacting to trends like mobile and ubiquitous computing.

For WebDynpro there are possibilities to design themes with stand-alone software, for instance with an Eclipse-Plugin (themeEditor32). On small high resolution displays information presented with “Portal Theme Editor” themes can result in a poor readability because of pixelation and small font sizes. If it is possible to change button layouts, colors and so on, it should be possible to implement a basic design reacting to different browser sizes.

This could be reached by taking advantage of technologies like responsive frameworks (e.g.”Twitter Bootstrap”), which is based on technologies like CSS3, Html5 and Javascript. At the present those frameworks are capable of “reacting” to user devices from smartphones up to large desktop displays by delivering the correct font size and layout. This responsiveness is an approach of web design providing an optimal viewing experience.

Like in Wroblewski and Marcotte described, the responsive design method scales the html content for a wide range of displays in a very ergonomic way. In most cases a new display size means only a few changes in the stylesheet (CSS). The integration of basic responsive technologies in WebDynpro could lead to even more user acceptance in terms of readability and overview. As an general example the next image shows the same content on 3 different devices.

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