Today I’m very happy to announce that SAP IT just released a new mobile app in the iTunes Store called SAP Help Portal Reader. You can find it in iTunes if you search for “SAP Help Portal” or “SAP Documentation” or just access the following link:
This mobile app was implemented by the team I’m part of at SAP IT, the same team that was also responsible for the SAP Help Portal platform http://help.sap.com. The app is dedicated to everyone who works with the official SAP documentation and wants to have it handy on an iPad device. In this blog I want to give a short overview about the key features and the user interface of the app.
The Home screen
There are three main screens in the app that can be reached using the icons on the bottom of the screen. The first one is the “Home” screen, which provides an overview of all SAP documentation areas that can be accessed using this application. Unfortunately, not all documentation available on the SAP Help Portal, is available through this application. This is based on the fact that the app is made to work together with the features provided with the new SAP Help Portal framework, so only documentation integrated into the new SAP Help Portal is available on the main screen. To learn more about the new SAP Help Portal framework you can read my blog: http://scn.sap.com/community/help-portal/blog/2012/07/12/the-sap-help-portal-transformation
Nevertheless, new documentation is only published in the new SAP Help Portal framework and we are still migrating old documentation to this framework. So you can expect more and more documentation made available via the app in addition to the current 43 documentation areas.
Once you have selected one documentation area on the left hand side you can select one topic from this area on the right. In some cases you will see only one topic (i.e SAP NetWeaver 7.4) in others you can find many topics (i.e. SAP CRM 7.0 EHP2 for SAP HANA) to dive into the documentation. In addition to those entry points you can also see on this screen your list of bookmarks and downloaded PDFs related to the selected documentation area.
By clicking on the Edit button on the upper right hand side you can delete your own bookmarks and downloaded PDFs.
The Web screen
The second screen of the app is where you actually read the documentation. Of course you will notice here the big “Make Available Offline” button. As we believe one of the main use cases of the app is to read SAP documentation everywhere, with or without Internet connectivity, we wanted to make the option for offline download very prominent and easy to access. You will hopefully also notice the “navigation pills” from the standard web site, which allows you to keep track of the navigation history. New pills will always open when the left hand navigation of the page changes.
Additional functions are available behind the icons on top of the page. Click on the icon next to the refresh page icon and you will see buttons for “Add Bookmark”, “Print”, “Tweet” and “Open in Safari”. This option might be interesting if you have Internet connection and would like to open a page without navigation. For this, you just click on the “Fullscreen” icon when the page opens in Safari.
The Downloads screen
The third screen of the app provides a summary of all the PDFs that you have generated and downloaded via the “Make Available Offline” functionality. On this screen you can monitor the whole PDF generation and download process. If you experience problems during the PDF generation you can hit the refresh button to retry this again. Note that the same restrictions apply here as on the SAP Help Portal platform: The PDF document contains the selected topic and all its subtopics in the selected structure but only up to 150 pages. If the selected topic contains more than 150 pages you would need to manually download different subtopics separately.
In order to remove downloaded and not needed PDFs from your device, in order to free up some space, you can again use the Edit button.
I hope that even without this short introduction the iPad app is intuitive and easy to use, and provides great value to everyone working with SAP documentation.
If you have any questions or feedback, we are very happy to hear from you and would appreciated your ratings in the iTunes Store. 😉
As the SAP Help Portal will soon be replaced by a new website, SAP has decided to remove this app from the Apple Store by end of April 2016. Hopefully a new app will be developed with the upcoming website for SAP documentation.