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Author's profile photo Simon Kemp

The NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) – A Portal Consultants Guide

Introduction & Background

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while but at lunch today in Sydney with my friend and ex-colleague Marco Furlanetto I got the impetus I needed to get started – thanks Marco! Some of you who know me will probably know that I’ve been an SAP Portal person almost since the beginning of the portal, I worked with the portal predecessors namely the TopTier Portal and the mySAP Workplace and went through EP 5.0, 6.0, 7, etc… etc… it’s been a journey.


While the technology changes the problems it is trying to solve haven’t changed that much, so when recently I started using the NWBC more seriously (I had played around with it for a while) I kept seeing similarities with the way the portal works and drawing parallels between the two. I have also been asked lots of questions from people who aren’t sure when to use the Portal and when to use NWBC and which one could do what.

This post isn’t about which one is better (I firmly believe they both have their strengths – and can be used together to provide the best possible user experience), this post is about highlighting some of the features and functionality of the NWBC and linking them back to how similar results would be achieved in the NetWeaver Portal. I suppose you could call it a “Portal person’s guide to NWBC”.

Format and Content

I’d like to structure this as a series of posts, each one focussing on a different aspect or feature where I have been able to draw a comparison between the two. I’ll keep this post as the intro to the series and update it whenever I write another “chapter”. To start with I’d like to write a little bit about Portal roles vs. NWBC roles so:

Table of Contents

Part 1 – Portal roles vs NWBC roles

Part 2 – Accessing multiple systems in NWBC
Part 3 – NWBC Authentication & Single-Sign-On (SSO)
Part 4 – NWBC Troubleshooting and Debugging Tips
Part 5 – NWBC Branding and Theming
Part 6 – Object Based Navigation (OBN) in the NWBC

I’m not writing this as a definitive guide to NWBC or Portal, but more as a way to introduce people to NWBC who may already be familiar with the Portal concepts and to share my experience as a long time portal guy using NWBC.

Subscribe & Provide (your feedback)

Subscribe to this post for updates and you will be notified when I update this page. I hope you find it useful. If you have any comments or suggestions please let me know below.


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      Author's profile photo Aviad Rivlin
      Aviad Rivlin

      Looking forward to reading ur blogs. This is a hot topic for some time already... I am sure a lot of people will find it useful.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I'll be keenly following this as it develops - its always important in my eyes to understand how "other" SAP technology works with the Portal.



      Author's profile photo Marco Furlanetto
      Marco Furlanetto

      What an honour being mentioned in this blog post  😆 ! Next time we meet will be in Manly surfing 😉 . This series certainly will be very useful specially because it's a practical perspective of evolving the UI from Gui + Portal to NWBC + Portal or only NWBC. I am sure several organisations that are not ready for UI5 would be interested in these alternatives. All the best, Marco

      Author's profile photo Sandip Agarwalla
      Sandip Agarwalla

      Hey Simon

      Thanks for sharing your findings. It would be an interesting blog series.

      For long, I have trying to get an opportunity to work on NWBC - didnt really take a look..Never came across a client who wanted NWBC 😉



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Simon

      Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece of Info ℹ in docs. Keep coming more such things.. It's really helpful.

      Cheers 😉


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      How did I miss this?! Thanks for putting your expert knowledge out there for us to learn. Inspiring as always.

      Raj G

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Simon,

      You are doing a great job. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. My company is looking forward to work on NWBC and I will be handling that. So  I am waiting for upcoming posts.

      Cheers 🙂


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Simon,

      Very great helpful blog .Keep posting.


      Katrice 🙂

      Author's profile photo Maheshchandra VVNS
      Maheshchandra VVNS

      Hi Simon,

      Great Blog, Handy for Portal consultants. Waiting for the other series blogs.



      Author's profile photo Anthony Poltera
      Anthony Poltera

      I love all the SAP UX technology components SAPGUI, Portal, NWBC, Web Dynpro, WebClient, Screen Personas and now Fiori & SAPUI5 (and dare I add WEBGUI).

      Please share in a future blog the best use cases as it can be a bit confusing.