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Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel

SAP Screen Personas Performance vs. SAP GUI

/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/stopwatch_262650.pngOccasionally we hear the question about how SAP Screen Personas compares to SAP GUI in terms of performance. Some people have inquired about what infrastructure and tools to use for setting up a benchmark test.

In my opinion, the only comparison that makes sense involves observing business users interacting with SAP in their natural environment. When you talk about SAP “performance,” you are considering a system that includes both user time and system time. To measure this, observe a SAP GUI user completing a transaction or series of transactions to complete a typical business process. Then, re-run this business process using SAP Screen Personas.

Which will be faster in this case? It depends on several factors.

  • How skilled is the person running SAP GUI?
  • Do they know all the transaction codes or do they need to spend time looking them up?
  • If you are running a series of transactions, how much time does the person need to spend entering the same data for each transaction?
  • How much time do you need to spend training the person to run the transactions?
  • How many typos does the person make that introduce data quality problems downstream that require additional time to fix?


You can use Personas to greatly improve a person’s productivity on SAP by:

  • Launching transactions with clearly labeled buttons rather than typing transaction codes that the user must memorize or look up.
  • Prefilling fields to avoid typing the same information more than once
  • Using pull-down menus to speed entry of a limited set of data, which also eliminates keying errors
  • Caching information in tables to avoid multiple calls to the back end
  • Merging tabs so all key information appears on a single screen rather than distributed in tabs that require multiple clicks, scrolling and calls to the back end
  • Automating a series of keystrokes to skip over screens and eliminate round trips to the back end

We recently ran some tests with a large energy company. For the create notification transaction, here is what we found.


For other transactions, we had similar results. Taking all these factors into account, we believe that a person using screens optimized in Personas will generally outperform someone running unmodified SAP GUI screens.

If you run any side by side comparisons, please post your results as comments in this blog or write your own post that includes a complete description of the methodology and results. If you want to post your numbers but remain anonymous, just email to me(standard format) and I will post them without mentioning your company.

For SAP Imagineering, Peter Spielvogel.

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      Author's profile photo Tobias Queck
      Tobias Queck

      There is another interesting blog post about a specific example in which Personas has been used to reduce the time of a task by ~90%:


      Author's profile photo Jordan Boen
      Jordan Boen

      I've loved the utility that SAP Screen Personas gives us at our company. We've started out small - edited main screen (SMEN), combined tabs on customer/material setup screens - but we're hoping to take it to the next level soon.

      Thanks for the post Peter!