Below is my initial draft of an enhancement submission form to the SAP Customer Connection pipeline.  The initial requests have been culled from the ISUG-Tech enhancements and specifically relate to the datawindow.

SAP Customer Connection

Focus Topic Request Template for User Groups/ Customer Communities

Please note: Focus Topic requests for SAP’s Customer Connection Program need to be collected by the User Group/ User Group back office and then centrally forwarded to SAP (customer-connection@sap.com).

SIG Lead*/ Requester:                        Matthew Balent

E-Mail:                                                 mbalent@gmail.com

User Group, SIG:                                  ISUG-Tech

Country:                                               USA

Company:                                            [Company Name]

Submission date**:                             [Date]

*Special Interest Group Lead = German: Arbeitskreissprecher

**Date when Focus Topic request was sent to SAP

 
 

Focus Topic Definition

(Examples for Focus Topics: Banking –Consumer & Mortgage Loans, PLM – CAD Integration)

1. Name (examples see above)

PowerBuilder Datawindow Enhancements

2. Description

The following are a list of functional improvements for the datawindow control. These have been entered and voted on by members of ISUG-Tech for may years.

The specific enhancements are:

  • Change DW update properties only when necessary
  • Control Page Breaks with in DataWindow Reports
  • Allow references to child datawindows in nested reports.
  • DW Row highlight based on mouse over

And as a documentation change related to datawindows

  • Documentation of relative row in DW expressions

3. Scope (if information is available)

1. Solution component affected

Datawindow

2. Business Processes to be supported

Application development with PowerBuilder

4. Issue / challenges of installed base (to be addressed with Focus Topic)

  • Increased development time
  • Increased risk of defect introduction during development

5. Example for Improvement Request

Control Page Breaks with in DataWindow Reports

Submitted By:               Thomas Lamb [Healthware Systems]

Enhancement Id:          3072

Enhancement Description:        I would like the ability to have more formatting control over datawindows for reports.  Specifically I would like to see the ability with groups and nested reports to manage Widows/Orphans, keeping them together, keeping them together with the next group or nested report.

A widow is the last line of a group or nested report printed by itself at the top of a page. An orphan is the first line of a group or nested report printed by itself at the bottom of a page.

Additionally sometimes a group or nested report will knowingly be small enough that you want to insure the entire thing is kept together and not split over a page break.

Also sometimes you’ll have multiple groups defined where one group contains heading information for the next group.  If you can’t fit both groups together before the end of the page; then do the page break before you print the heading group.

Enhancement Benefit: Greatly improve readability and enhance presentation of reports produced by the datawindow in PowerBuilder.

Additional Details:      As a reference Microsoft Word prevents widows and orphans. To locate this option in Word, click Paragraph on the Format menu, and then click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Implementation:          Refer to Microsoft Words’ Paragraph formatting capabilities.

Current Votes

13 (68.42%) 5:Needed:

3 (15.79%) 4:Recommended:  

2 (10.53%) 3:Undecided:  

0 (00.00%) 2:Not Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 1:Not Needed:  

1 (05.26%) 0:No Vote (will not affect vote average):  

Average:   4.61

6. Focus Topic Potential

  • Total number of Improvement Requests expected:  50
  • Number of Improvement Requests already existing:  unknown
  • Customers assigned to existing Improvement Requests:              No
  • Priorities defined for existing Improvement Requests:                 No
  • Other SIG (besides the requesting) to join Focus Topic:

7. Targeted adoption of proposed Focus Topic / cycle

  • Expected number of customers contributing to Focus Topic: 20
  • Customers with special interest in the proposed Focus Topic and/or intension to subscribe ₁:
  1. 1.       Matthew Balent – ISUGTech
  2. 2.       [Customer name]
  3. 3.       [Customer name]
  4. 4.       [Customer name]
  5. 5.       [Customer name]
  6. 6.      

₁Subscribing on an Improvement Request means: the customer is planning to implement the developed Improvement timely after the release, volunteers to provide feedback to SAP and act as a possible reference.

  1. 8.    Past activities regarding the proposed Focus Topic with SAP (if applicable)

[Past activities]

  1. 9.    Additional comments you want to share with SAP

The following are the specific requests:

Documentation of relative row in DW expressions

Submitted By:           Jerry Siegel [Retired]

Enhancement Id:     3500

Enhancement Description:  The documentation of the use of relative row in a DW expression (column[+/-n]) is buried in Chapter 20 of the User’s Guide. It should be included in the main entry for DW expressions.

Enhancement Benefit:           This is a useful feature that few people know about because its documentation is so obscure. Please put it where it can be seen. It took an hour of searching to locate the existing entry so I could verify its existence!

Additional Details:   Referring to next and previous rows

You can refer to other rows in a computed field. This is particularly useful

in N-Up DataWindow objects when you want to refer to another row in the

detail band. Use this syntax:

ColumnName[x]

where x is an integer. 0 refers to the current row (or first row in the

detail band), 1 refers to the next row, -1 refers to the previous row, and

so on.

Implementation:      Just copy and paste into the help file.

Current Votes

18 (94.74%) 5:Needed:  

0 (00.00%) 4:Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 3:Undecided:  

0 (00.00%) 2:Not Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 1:Not Needed:  

1 (05.26%) 0:No Vote (will not affect vote average):  

Change DW update properties only when necessary

Submitted By:           Arnoud Oortwijk [Gloriant Belgium]

Enhancement Id:     3327

Enhancement Description:  When the SQL of a DW is changed the update properties are removed/reset when the SQL contains more than one table.

It would be easier should the update properties remain as they were unless they are no longer valid. For example when the updatable table is removed from from the query.

Enhancement Benefit:           Decrease development time. Decrease number of bugs caused by update properties which are not re set by the developer.

Current Votes

30 (85.71%) 5:Needed:  

5 (14.29%) 4:Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 3:Undecided:  

0 (00.00%) 2:Not Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 1:Not Needed:  

0 (00.00%) 0:No Vote (will not affect vote average):  

Control Page Breaks with in DataWindow Reports

Submitted By:           Thomas Lamb [Healthware Systems]

Enhancement Id:     3072

Enhancement Description:  I would like the ability to have more formatting control over datawindows for reports.  Specifically I would like to see the ability with groups and nested reports to manage Widows/Orphans, keeping them together, keeping them together with the next group or nested report.

A widow is the last line of a group or nested report printed by itself at the top of a page. An orphan is the first line of a group or nested report printed by itself at the bottom of a page.

Additionally sometimes a group or nested report will knowingly be small enough that you want to insure the entire thing is kept together and not split over a page break.

Also sometimes you’ll have multiple groups defined where one group contains heading information for the next group.  If you can’t fit both groups together before the end of the page; then do the page break before you print the heading group.

Enhancement Benefit:          Greatly improve readability and enhance presentation of reports produced by the datawindow in PowerBuilder.

Additional Details:  As a reference Microsoft Word prevents widows and orphans. To locate this option in Word, click Paragraph on the Format menu, and then click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Implementation:     Refer to Microsoft Words’ Paragraph formatting capabilities.

Current Votes

13 (68.42%) 5:Needed:  

3 (15.79%) 4:Recommended:  

2 (10.53%) 3:Undecided:  

0 (00.00%) 2:Not Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 1:Not Needed:  

1 (05.26%) 0:No Vote (will not affect vote average):  

Average: 4.61 

Allow references to child datawindows in nested reports.

Submitted By:           James Kollar [NightThunder]

Enhancement Id:     3686

Enhancement Description: 

PB12.5.1

Dot notation doesn’t cut it. Try wordwrapping a deeply nested data window with many comment fields. YUCK! GetChild could be far more robust and allow you do drive down into nested reports and have access to all the mothods and properties of the nested reports including getting children of children.

While your at it, fix the text cut off (in th epage clip area) that occurs when a datawindow is more than one page long. Another big YUCK!

PushCutControlToNextPage is not enough.

Reports would look much better and coding time could be reduced greatly.

Current Votes

6 (60.00%) 5:Needed:  

4 (40.00%) 4:Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 3:Undecided:  

0 (00.00%) 2:Not Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 1:Not Needed:  

0 (00.00%) 0:No Vote (will not affect vote average):  

Average: 4.6        

DW Row highlight based on mouse over

Submitted By:           Brian Prom [ACS]

Enhancement Id:     3493

Enhancement Description:  Would like to see a new property added to Datawindow bands that allows the band to be auto highlight when the mouse is hovered over the row.  Developers should be able to select the color of there choice (a gradient option would be nice also).  Also can picture controls and columns be visible based on if the mouse is over the row ( or header or footer bands ). 

Enhancement Benefit:           Would enhance the datawindow presentation to look and feel more modern. Windows Vista does this in windows explorer as does Firefox 3. Right now simulating this effect takes quite a bit of effort.

Current Votes

12 (57.14%) 5:Needed:  

9 (42.86%) 4:Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 3:Undecided:  

0 (00.00%) 2:Not Recommended:  

0 (00.00%) 1:Not Needed:  

0 (00.00%) 0:No Vote (will not affect vote average):  

Average: 4.57 

___________________________________________________

Next steps: if all requested data have been forwarded to SAP, the Customer Connection Program will process your Focus Topic Request. If the Focus Topic is approved, it will become part of SAP’s Focus Topic Roadmap and then timely communicated to the respective User Group contact.

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7 Comments

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  1. Bruce Armstrong

    I’m not quite sure what the form is supposed to accomplish, so I’m not quite sure how to comment on how well you’ve done it.

    One thing does leap out at me.  I’m concerned that too much be being lumped together into one request.  I don’t know if SAP handles these as a collection of requests or as a single request.  Does SAP do nothing if there are ten requests bundled together and only seven are feasible to implement.  From our side, what if there are ten requests in the bundle and I only care about three of them.  Do I express an interest in it anyway, and have to deal with the stuff I don’t care about just to get to the stuff I do, and then find that the stuff I do care about they decide not to handle?

    Knowning more about how the SAP process works would definately help.  Perhaps you could share some of that.

    Thomas Lamb, boy that rang some old bells.  Looks like he’s long since moved on:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomlamb

    (0) 
    1. Matt Balent Post author

      I don’t know how their process works either. 

      The purpose of this was to get something submitted to them in the format they require.  The attached items from the ISUG – Tech enhancement list all fall under the broad category of datawindow improvements.  Those attached were the highest vote getters/rankings on that list (other than ones which have already been put into PB which are still on the list).

      Mike Harrold from ISUG-Tech may be able so shed more light on the SAP process since he’s the one I got the official form from.

      (0) 

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