Skip to Content
Technical Articles

Frequently Asked Questions – SAP Business Client

General:

Which features are available for which SAP NW AS ABAP SAP Business Client?

See here: SAP Library: Business Client Versions

 

Expected releases:

https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1707623

Prerequisites and restrictions:

https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1754946

SAP Business Client:

https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1707626

Download:

SAP BUSINESS CLIENT 7.0 PL13  was delivered and is available internally & for customers in SAP ONE Support Launchpad (SAP Software Download Center).

Authentication

Q: How does the SAP GUI protocol recognize the NWBC web logon (in PFCG mode)?

A: NWBC uses HTTP to contact the ABAP system, which then sends back a MYSAPSS02 or a SAP_SESSIONID cookie (assertion ticket). Value 3 is the default parameter in the kernel as of NetWeaver 7.40 to enable the AS ABAP to issue authentication assertion tickets and no logon tickets. We recommend you use this value.

This is then used to talk to the ABAP system. This should be in the documentation – See SAP Lbrary : 7.1 NWBC and Authentication

Caution:

It is the responsibility of the customers to make whatever security settings are necessary in the browser. Pay particular attention to your proxy settings. NWBC uses the security settings from the Internet Explorer. NWBC does not store or persistently keep any authentication data in any form.

Recommendation:

To make data access both simple and secure we recommend combining SAP Business Client with SAP Single Sign-On.

As of release SAP Single Sign-On 2.0, SAP  Single Sign-On offers support for SPNEGO for ABAP.

Leveraging this Kerberos-based single sign-on technology, you can implement an SAP Single Sign-On solution for your SAP Business Client quickly and easily, and without the need for a Java stack.

See how in the following blog by Sandra Thimme:

NWBC (4.0) meets Single Sign-On: Simplify Secure Data Access (Part 1)

Q: How to logon without SNC?

A: Once SNC/SSO is configured for a user you have to create an alias to logon without SNC. Use transaction SICF to create an alias. See how in the following blog by Sandra Thimme:

NWBC and SSO: Logon with/without SNC (Secure Network Communication)

 

Display of Error Messages

Q: Can you influence the position of error message?

A: No. Error message depends on the application’s UI technology. If this is dynpro (SAP GUI), message is displayed in a status bar at the bottom, for e.g. WDA applications, the message is displayed at the top. SAP Business Client cannot influence this.

NWBC for HTML

Introduction: SAP Library 2.13 NWBC for HTML , Wiki

Prerequisites and restrictions: See Note 1620576

Browser support

See Product Availability Matrix (PAM)

(SAP Business Client for Desktop supports Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chromium Web Browser Control and with the upcoming release 7.70 Microsoft Edge (based on Chromium).

Make sure you have the latest patch for your back end:

SAP Note 1353538: NWBC Patch Collection

Note: You have to activate the correct SICF node for your version of NWBC for HTML. For more details, see the UI Add On documentation.

Performance

General:

Sap Business Client does not change the performance behavior of the contained applications. The shell adds some additional performance on top but this happens in a constant way and does not relate to the performance behavior of the application. The application footprint is the same as if it were running in a standalone scenario.

Q: Can SAP Business Client manage over 10,000 users?

A: Yes, see the section in the documentation on the performance profile for SAP Business Client: SAP Library : 8
Performance Aspects

Q: What are the performance characteristics / bandwidth requirements for SAP Business Client?

A: This is explained in detail in the documentation, in chapter 8 on Performance Aspects and in
sub chapters.

Q: Does SAP Business Client support load balancing?

A: You could place a reverse proxy in front of your application servers to spread the load, and allow you to
later dynamically consider additional servers. Or start SAP Business Client for Desktop via the message server to
automatically lock onto the least busy application server.

This is described in detail in the documentation. SAP Library : 3.6 Using NWBC with a Load Balancer

Q: What sort of overhead is there that might affect performance?

A: The performance and overhead footprint of all applications running within SAP Business Client are still the same as if
they would run standalone. The question is what additional overhead does SAP Business Client add?

Q: Sometimes it seems, that it takes longer to open an transaction in SAP Business Client as in SAP GUI. Why?

A: To display a transaction SAP Business Client has to establish a connection to the SAP GUI server. >5.0 the connections will be initialized after the system connection is established.

SAP Business Client for Desktop: It accesses the server only once during startup to authenticate the user and then to
verify that the navigation tree in its cache is still valid. In the usual case, two HTTP requests are all that are
needed once a day for SAP Business Client for Desktop (extra features, such as searching for transactions, does add
additional requests to the server, but these should be the norm on a shop floor).

NWBC for HTML: The server renders the shell. Each interaction with the shell, for example starting a new
application, results in a small amount of network overhead to get a new shell rendered from the ABAP
server, plus of course the ABAP session.

ABAP runtime: The client fires a set of HTTP requests to the server. For the desktop client, it is the
sequence of requests to validate its cache. For the HTML shell it is the series of requests to trigger the
navigation. The ABAP runtime becomes stateful (keeps the ABAP session) for 15-30 seconds, before the
session is cleared again. As such, the overhead is very little on ABAP. (Keep in mind that the desktop client
only calls once on startup.)

In addition, with the v3.5 ABAP runtime (NW7.03+), we have added in memory objects to cache complex
role operations, which will dramatically speed up the HTML shell’s performance if this is preferred.

Q: What are the performance requirements for VPN-/MPLS connections using NWBC 3.0 or the
portal.?

A: The SAP Business Client client requirements are similar to normal applications. Initially, SAP Business Client for desktop loads the
navigation tree and caches it on the client. After caching the network traffic is the same as when an
application is run in standalone mode.

By default, SAP Business Client for desktop uses SAP GUI for Windows instead of SAP GUI for HTML.

Personalization

Q: Can I create own folder structures for my system connections (as  in SAP Logon)?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I change the work center/service map icons?

Yes.

  • In both 3.5 and 4.0, you can change the Work Center/ Service Map icons in Role Maintenance (PFCG):
    SAP Library: 5.5 Navigation Tree (scroll down to “Other Node Details).
  • In 3.5, you can also change Work Center icons by right-clicking the tab. See SAP Library : 2.3 Navigation
    (This is no longer relevant in 4.0).

Q: Can I add custom icons to the work center/service map?

A: No

Q: Can I change the welcome message?

The message on the Index page can be replaced by a different text, even with parameters.

Use parameter WELCOME_MESSAGE in the backend configuration table NWBC_CFG. See also SAP
Library: 4.6 Configuration in Table NWBC_CFG

Q: If an end user makes personalization changes in SAP Business Client are they valid for his or her user ID or for
his or her local installation?

A: All changes stored locally on a user’s PC (for example reordering of work centers / icons for work centers /
hide some work centers / font changes/ etc) do not work on another PC.

All changes within canvas applications are stored on the server and would work on another computer.

Personalization: Options are stored locally and are Windows-user specific. The sequence of the work centers
and the icons are even stored per connection and per user accessing the connection.

Positioning: SAP Business Client vs SAP GUI vs Portal

We have now summarized answers to these questions here:

https://blogs.sap.com/2017/09/18/why-and-when-to-use-sap-business-client-6.5/

Q: I have Microsoft Sharepoint/ IBM WebSphere. Should I use SAP Enterprise Portal or SAP Business Client in conjunction with these?

A: Both SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP Business Client (HTML Client) work with Microsoft
Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere. Which one you use depends on your other requirements – see above.SAP Business Client

To integrate  with either Microsoft Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere, see the following documentation:

9.1 How To Integrate NWBC into a Microsoft SharePoint Portal

9.2 How to Integrate NWBC into an IBM WebSphere Portal

Positioning : Desktop vs HTML client

What are the benefits of NWBC (HTML)?

Access to ABAP systems

Zero footprint

Use case for NWBC (HTML):
Extranet: eg Volkswagen runs SAP. Its component suppliers do not, necessarily. They can use NWBC for HTML To access (parts of) VW’s ABAP-based systems.

Q: What are the main differences between the HTML NWBC and the desktop NWBC (SAP Business Client)?

A: Desktop SAP Business Client performance is better, how much better depends on number of work centers, size of navigation tree, which browser is used, and the power of the PC:

HTML NWBC uses SAP GUI for HTML; desktop SAP Business Client uses SAP GUI for Windows

HTML NWBC has no overflow, no D+D of work centers, no search

All-in-One uses the desktop SAP Business Client

HTML NWBC does NOT use the portal, only ABAP systems

HTML NWBC is aimed at the casual user

The HTML NWBC has an address field for a URL.

Programming Aspects

Q: In the installation under C:\Program Files\SAP\NWBC\ there are a number of executables, dlls and
other files. What do they do?

A: NWBC.exe – That is what gets executed when you click on the icon on the desktop.

NWBCCore.exe – This is the main process to run NWBC.

NWBCSAPlets. Exe – This is an SAP widget engine for SAPLets (not productized)

NWBCURLHandler. Exe – This is a small launcher to react to a URL like: „sap-nwbc://“. It is used to start
NWBC against a specific server. The customer can create “sap-nwbc://xxx” link Web page and by click user
would start NWBC.  NwbcUrlHandler.exe offers no parameter documentation. Facing any issues with NwbcUrlHandler.exe you have to open a ticket.

sapAcfDummy. Html – Acf specific (Active Component Framework). Used for JGannt/JNett, Microsoft
Office integration

SAPAcfEolasPatch.js

Roles (PFCG)

Q: How much work is involved in maintaining roles in PFCG? Doesn’t that generate work and raise
costs for migrating from SAP GUI to SAP Business Client?

Before you maintain the roles you have to clearly define the business processes. You can then derive the
business roles from these and then turn them fairly quickly into PFCG roles. Creating the menus should
then be straightforward.

In our experience most customers need to spend more time defining their business processes. This leads to
concrete, time-consuming but crucial preliminary questions of the form: “Is Mr. X allowed to do Y or only
Z?” and “To what extent to we want to restrict our employees’ working environment?”

Q: What happens if roles are duplicated?

A: SAP Business Client uses a merging function, so there are no double entries.

Q: Can you import roles from one system to another?

A: Yes, using SM59 see SAP Library: 5.11 Remote Systems

Q: What are cockpits?

See SAP Library for details:

Cockpits – User Interface Add-On for SAP NetWeaver – SAP Library

To find all roles that relate to a specific cockpit; just look at table AGR_ATTS and search on the value = “NWBC.Cockpit={replace with your cockpit name}”

SAP GUI Scripting

Q: Does SAP GUI Scripting work?

A: Yes, with the following limitations:

  • Scripting works reliably only for ONE instance of NWBC. This is because, for each SapGuiProcess, there is a “SAPGUISERVER”-running object table entry (“ROT entry). If you try to fetch the scripting object (GetObject(“SAPGUISERVER”) , and if you have several instances open, pointing to different systems, it may not be clear to the system which instance is the right one
  • There may be limitations with remote connection handling.
  • There is a problem if the script points to SAP Easy Access: Currently, in SAP GUI standalone, if you keep hitting Back (F3), you end up in SMEN. You can then navigate somewhere else. In NWBC, if you keep hitting F3, you end up, finally , with a closed tab.

 

Side Panel (Parameter sapgui/nwbc_scripting)

The side panel in SAP Business Client is not only a new UI area located on the side of the content area but also an infrastructure to enhance existing SAP GUI transactions from older releases without modifications.

Tags are the basis for the extraction process (extracted via SAP GUI scripting). They define which screen properties are to be extracted from an application running in the content area, and with which name the extracted properties are passed to the side panel application . All tags are stored in the tag table. For more information, see 6.7.2 Creating Tags in the Tag Table .

Prerequisits:

You have installed and enabled SAP GUI scripting on the server

How to activate SAP GUI Scripting see here, chapter 6 :SAP GUI Scripting Security Guide

System Connections

Q: Is there a maximum number of systems?

A: There is no technical limitation to the number of systems.
But: The more systems you have the more complex it is to maintain. PFCG was not built to maintain lots of
systems.

If you have lots of systems use the portal. It has better tools.

Q: Can you access more than one system?

A: Yes, you can access 2 or more systems by opening 2 instances of SAP Business Client.

Q: While using SAP Business Client, how can I ascertain which system I am logged into (DEV, QA, PRD)?

A: Here, we have to distinguish between SAP Business Client for desktop and NWBC for HTML.

Desktop client : you can find out about NWBC using the menu options Help -> About Business
Client and then you can find out even more by clicking System Information. You can also click on the SAP
icon right at the bottom of the SAP Business Client to access system information.

But that does not tell you whether you are in a QM system etc.

In new versions if SAP Business Client for Desktop such as 4.0 or in the HTML Add-On our developers are working on
theming. For example, you could display the shell in a different color depending on whether the system is
a production system, a QM system or a development system.

With the HTML version you can specify a Welcome message. This message appears at the top of NWBC.

You could mention the system type (eg QM) in this Welcome message.

HTML Client: Welcome Message (currently only in NW 7.31), see docu chapter 4.6

Here is the technical background:

***

WELCOME_MESSAGE

At runtime, the system selects the welcome message in the logon language.

If no matching language entry is found, LANG=’ ‘ or LANG=’*’ is used as a fallback.

The welcome message is displayed in NWBC for HTML next to the Log Off pushbutton.

The VALUE field contains the text. You can use the following placeholders:

&NAME&: first name

&SURNAME&: last name

&FULL_NAME&: full name

&USER&: user name

&CLIENT&: client

&SYSTEM&: system ID

***

Q: Does SAP Business Client cause bandwidth problems?

A: Usage of the SAP GUI for Windows instead of SAP GUI for HTML results in a significant bandwidth
reduction. The SAP Business Client for Windows shell is rendered on the client side and the role XML is cached on the
client side. Therefore shell rendering is generally a bandwidth reduction compared with the
Portal shell. Web content (like BSP or Web Dynpro) running within SAP Business Client is unchanged in its bandwidth
requirements.
Q: Is there a maximum number of sessions/windows that can be open in SAP Business Client?

A: So far there is no limitation from the SAP Business Client side, except a memory limit. It is possible to open 100
windows, but be careful; some servers limit the number of open sessions. For example, by default, SAP
J2EE limits the number of open Web Dynpro JAVA applications to 20.There is a limit of 16 on the number of SAP GUI sessions.The default number is 6. Note: Each and every side panel is using an extra session. So the number of six might in any case not be enough.

ABAP Language (Enhanced) (BC-ABA-LA) (Further Changes).

For more information, see rdisp/max_alt_modes:
User Context

Q: Do the connections have to be defined for SAP GUI and for SAP Business Client, that is, twice?

A: No.

Q: Which client technology is recommended by SAP for customers running Linux if they use roles
that mix Dynpro and Web Dynpro applications?

A: SAP Business Client for desktop does not run on Linux. SAP Business Client uses SAP GUI for Windows to display dynpros. It does
not use the Java GUI.

However, NWBC for HTML does run in Firefox, which will work on Linux.

Citrix

Q: Does SAP Business Client support Citrix?

A: Yes, Testing@SAP” contains a SAP Business Client installation.

SAP Business Client for Desktop works on Windows platforms, also on Citrix. NWBC for HTML is browser-based (see
SAP’s browser PAM); it also runs in Citrix environments.

Integration

We have collected information on integration of content in SAP Business Client in the following blog:

The Big List: Almost everything you can consume in SAP Business Client

This section is intended only for information not included in that blog, so please check there too.

Adobe Reader

Q: Does the documentation specify which version of Adobe Reader has to be installed? Or does
SAP Business Client itself incorporate a specific version of Adobe Reader?

A: There are no specific requirements regarding SAP Business Client and Adobe Reader. When forms are displayed in
SAP Business Client then this involves forms integrated in Web Dynpro ABAP. For information about browser support for
Adobe Forms please read the PAM (Product Availability Matrix), available on SAP Service Marketplace.

Business Server Pages (BSPs)

Q: Are there are any technical restrictions when linking Business Server Pages within the SAP Business Client?

A: There is no limitation for BSP or Web Dynpro ABAP technology for SAP Business Client

Business Suite: CRM

Q: Can I integrate CRM Content in SAP Business Client?

Yes:

First, you need to set up a connection and trusted relationship between the two systems:

Connecting Two Backend Systems – Part One (RFC Connections)

Connecting Two Backend Systems – Part Two (Trusted Relationships)

Connecting Two Backend Systems – Part Three (Single Sign-On)

Then, you need to follow the documentation:

SAP Library: How to Integrate CRM Content in NWBC

Business Suite: ESS/MSS

“As of EhP5 for ERP 6.0, We officially support SAP Business Client scenario for ESS/MSS. For casual users like ESS we  position NWBC HTML since it is zero footprint client (no installation). However even SAP Business Client Desktop is supported.

“You can find the deployment options described in help portals.

http://help.sap.com/erp2005_ehp_05/helpdata/en/44/bfc5a026ea4689a964b14609bd4111/frameset.htm

http://help.sap.com/erp_mss_addon10/helpdata/en/2a/8dcc65a90444e2bf6ab0b39d05b455/frameset.htm

“We have also a consulting note 1450179 that describes all kinds of combinations possible.

“For SAP Business Client environment, we provide POWL for all kind of approval scenarios based on SAP workflow. For specific approvals like Leave and Time entry approvals there is better functionality offered compared to UWL (like multiple approvals in a single click).

“There are no restrictions from ESS/MSS WD ABAP application consumption perspective to use SAP Business Client.
However customer must decide switching from portal based on overall requirements like how much they do specific branding, theming, custom development & help content.

Business Suite: SRM

In general SRM – including OBN – works with SAP Business Client for Desktop or HTML. However, if you use SRM as an integration hub and then navigate to a remote system, then OBN will NOT work within the remote system.

See also SAP Note 2060102 for further limitations of NWBC for HTML.

You can also use SRM with the Portal Independent Navigation Frame, a client developed by the SRM group and based on – but not identical to – NWBC for HTML. See the Help Portal for more information: Portal-Independent Navigation Frame.

Business Suite: Web Dynpro ABAP-based Applications

If a screen has been converted to WDA can I still revert to SAP GUI if I prefer the old screen?

SAP does not convert each SAP GUI screen 1 to 1 to a new WDA screen. The new WDA screens are always
part of new process and engineered for support the new process. The assumption is that the SAP GUI

screen is replaced by the new process.
However, users are generally still able to access the old SAP GUI transactions. They are still available in the
system.

It may be the case that the old transactions are no longer part of the role.

Q: What percentage of screens have been converted to WDA? Is there a road map for this? Will all
SAP GUI screens be converted eventually?
With EhP6 we have more than 2000 WDA screens. The redesign depends always on the end-user needs
and the corresponding use cases.

Q: How much work is involved for the customer in converting SAP GUI screens to WDA screens?
It depends. As most WDA screens are related to new processes some minor end user training might be
required. As the end user can also personalize the screens, these features need to be explained.
It is possible to configure WDA screens via the Floor Plan Manage (FPM). The customer can also use the
FPM to create his own screens. If the customers uses for example our Business Object Layer (BOL) he can
create the UI via configuration of the FPM against the BOL framework.

Q: Are the new WDA screens automatically available when a new EHP is installed or does each
screen have to be activated?

You need to activate the corresponding Business Functions. Only after a Business Function activation the
new screens will be visible.

HTML5

Q: What does the roadmap look like for rendering HTML5 pages?

A: As of IE 9+ (with an HTML 5 rendering engine) SAP Business Client will render HTML5 based pages.

From SAP Business Client 6.5, PL5 onward you can choose between Internet Explorer or Chromium Web Browser control as the HTML rendering engine.

With version 7.70 you can use Edge (based on Chromium)

https://blogs.sap.com/2018/01/25/sap-business-client-6.5-pl5-released/

IBM WebSphere/ Microsoft Sharepoint

Q: I have Microsoft Sharepoint/ IBM WebSphere. Should I use SAP Enterprise Portal or SAP
 Business Client in conjunction with these?

A: Both SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP  Business Client (HTML Client) work with Microsoft
Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere. Which one you use depends on your other requirements – see above.

To integrate SAP Business Client with either Microsoft Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere, see the following documentation:

9.1 How To Integrate SAP Business Client into a Microsoft SharePoint Portal

9.2 How to Integrate SAP Business Client into an IBM WebSphere Portal

 Microsoft Windows XP

On April 8, 2014, Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP (for more details please refer to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help). This affects the operating systems and web browser platform valid for NWBC 3.5 & NWBC 4.0 within the PAM 2.0. Please see the PAM 2.0 for more details.

SAP Enterprise Portal

Q: How should we deal with users who access SAP both via Portal (casual HCM) and directly (primary job function)?

A: One option is for them to use the portal most of the time and then to talk directly to the back end using
NWBC for HTML. Another is to use just SAP Business Client for desktop but using a portal connection rather than talking
directly to the back end.

Third-Party Content

Q: What options are there for integrating 3rd party applications in SAP Business Client?

A: In general, you can integrate any third-party content that can be accessed by URL.

It’s possible to run/launch 3rd party application from Business Client by defining a new entry in
PFCG with “Web address/file URL” type (like Web Dynpro/Transaction/other types).

Transportation Management

You call SAP TM using SAP Business Client that is connected to an ABAP client.

More information: SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) –  Introductory Information

Related blogs:

TM Search Provider within SAP Business Client Quick Launch:

https://blogs.sap.com/2015/03/02/wks-how-to-use-nwbc-in-tm-search-providers/

TM Quick Search:

https://blogs.sap.com/2015/12/23/activate-the-tm-quicksearch/

https://blogs.sap.com/2016/02/10/integrate-the-tm-quicksearch-into-an-pfcg-role/

 

 

Related Content

SCN Space : UI Technology

Web Dynpro ABAP

SAP Single Sign-On

 

 

 

Be the first to leave a comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.