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Standard user interfaces (UIs) often have one big pain point: they need to serve all users or function groups! For that reason, they are often overloaded with fields, information, and buttons – most of these elements are often only required by real power users who are working very frequently, i.e. multiple times a day with this UI.

But what about the more occasional users who access the same UI just from time to time to perform only some minor tasks on it? Every time, this user has to remember “what was the right selection field?” – “which parameter do I need to set?” – “where do I need to make my entries?”

Now, imagine you are an employee working in the marketing department. Your role also covers ordering some external resources and materials. For each of your purchases, a separate purchase order (PO) is created, sometimes also with very high amounts. As you are submitting the POs, you will be the “goods recipient” for these orders.

The controlling department asks you to build financial accruals for every order you’re responsible for, and that’s on a monthly basis. For that reason, they hand out a tool to maintain accruals, the so-called “accrual cockpit”.

Selection Screen GUI.png

Oh, cool! There is a tool which supports this process (and no Excel 🙂 ), but which of these 50 selection fields should you use to query and get your PO displayed to maintain the corresponding accrual values??

Well, now imagine you are not alone – there are many “goods recipients” also from other departments, and you’re asking yourself: “Is it really so much effort to create a UI for a specific function group like for me in my role as goods recipient? Can’t believe that!”

You are right – it is even very simple to do so!

The solution is SAP Screen Personas. SAP introduced the new browser-based rendering engine for classic SAP GUI transaction some months ago. It is a Do-It-Yourself toolbox that offers consumer-grade personalization features that enable IT professionals or end-users to simplify business application screens quickly and easily in order to improve the visual appeal, productivity, and performance of SAP.

More details on SAP Screen Personas here: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/Img/SAPScreenPersonas

Of course, some brainstorming is needed to evaluate how the final screen must look like so that it serves the needs for all goods recipients. The best way to find out what users need are interviews with these real end-users.

That’s exactly what we did internally in cooperation with SAP Controlling, SAP Marketing, and SAP IT. After several end-user interview sessions, we redesigned the Accrual Cockpit with SAP Screen Personas, always in alignment with the lines of business. We found out that just three selection fields are sufficient for every goods recipient. We were able to provide them an appealing and easy to consume UI, enriched with additional resources and information which makes their specific process to build accruals much easier and comfortable!

Selection Screen Personas.png

This blog only covers the selection screen; however, in my next blog post I will give you an insight of the accrual cockpit result screen. There, we also enhanced the result set with JavaScript calculated values and implemented additional features by using the SAP Screen Personas scripting functionalities. It will demonstrate how you can also “tune” standard SAP GUI screens which consist of just one huge table.

And last, but not least, also make sure to visit the SAP Runs SAP booth at the TechEd Showfloor for great discussions on how SAP Runs SAP internally and, of course, for a SAP Screen Personas demo! More details can be found in Eileen’s Blog.

Part 2 of this series about the result screen

Best regards,

Steffen Weber

Please connect with me on Twitter for more updates.

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10 Comments

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  1. Michael Bennett

    Hi Steffen,

    Thanks for the blog, it’s a good simplification of the functionality.

    I have question regarding this underlying Accrual Cockpit which is not related to Personas. Can you give some more details on how to get this Accrual Cockpit functionality in the first place? I have some exposure to the ERP Accrual Engine because we run CRM/IPM which uses the FI accrual engine but have never seen this functionality you refer to, which might not use the Accrual Engine at all, and it seems relevant to some of our other ERP related business processes we undertake now in a very manual way so I’m just wondering if this is functionality we have but are not aware of. Any comment would be appreciated.

    Regards,

    Michael

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    1. Steffen Weber Post author

      Hi Michael,

      good question! AFAIK the Accrual Cockpit (AC) doesn’t uses any engine in the background, but I’m not 100% sure about this because my part was more related to SAP Screen Personas. But I will contact my business counterpart who is responsible for the AC, maybe she can give a short comment…

      Keep you posted,

      Steffen

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    1. Steffen Weber Post author

      Hi Björn,

      yes, Personas comes as an AddOn/Component to the NetWeaver ABAP Stack. In the FAQ of the internal Personas Wiki pages you’ll find:

      SAP Screen Personas connects to the Kernel – regardless of the EhP version – all that is required is a Kernel version of 7.21.

      On client side you need to installed Microsoft Silverlight, at least for personas verion 1 ( means it can’t render on iOS devices). But with version 2 they have add a WebGUI / HTML version, so you can use both: silverlight or HTML. For more details on version 2 open: https://wiki.wdf.sap.corp/wiki/display/SAPPersonas/Personas+2.0(internal) or Peter Spielvogel Blog “Announcing SAP Screen Personas 2.0” (public)

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  2. Jesse Sims

    Looking forward to Adi Kavaler providing partners with the inside scoop on Screen Personas at the PartnerEdge Innovation Summit on Monday, October 21 at TechEd.

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  3. Rajendrakumar Gaikwad

    Hi

    This was long due.users always complained @ the SAP UI .

    Now with Personas we can provide them only the required fields and that also with a beautiful UI.

    (May be the users choose to have the photos of their loved ones as background image 🙂

    Regards

    Rajendra

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