How to use SAP NetWeaver Business Client and SAP Screen Personas together
Users of SAP Screen Personas often ask if they can use this solution with NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC). The short answer is yes, NWBC and Personas are complementary but there ARE limitations. For more details, see the SAP Note 2080071 .
However, if you are interested in consuming Personas flavors in SAP BC, read on.
Some common questions include:
- Do Personas and NWBC work together?
- Is there a difference between NWBC for Desktop and NWBC for HTML?
- What are the limitations?
- What about the side panel?
If you are reading this post, I’m guessing that you know about the benefits of Personas, and of NWBC, and you want to know how well they work together. (If not, see NWBC (video), NWBC Overview (slide deck), and Personas (SCN Wiki)). So I’m going to answer each of these questions in turn.
First of all: Yes, they really work together. This is a screenshot of my own effort. I’ve taken the simplest transaction (SU01); given my flavor an imaginative name (JP_TEST_SU01_WPFCG); then added a background image, some colors, and a Launch… button. If you have eagle eyes, you’ll also see that this is not read-only – you really can post-edit a flavor in NWBC ;-).
How does this work?
Integrating a Personas 3.0 flavor in NWBC
As of SAP Screen Personas 3.0, Service Pack 1, integrating Flavors in NWBC is even easier than 2.0. This is because rendering is now done on the server. For more details, see Peter Spielvogel’s blog:
How exactly to integrate a 3.0 flavor in NWBC is covered excellently in this blog on the SCN Wiki by Tobias Queck:
The two flavors: NWBC for Desktop and NWBC for HTML
NWBC (for Desktop) is free to download and is installed locally. NWBC for HTML is a zero footprint client with no installer – to use it, you activate a node in the ICF. SAP Screen Personas 2.0 is a single download with a single installation process that installs both products. But, once installed, the products run independently and do not interact.
In both cases, there are two separate products that serve two different use cases. The 2 flavors of NWBC correspond to the two flavors of SAP GUI
- NWBC for Desktop embeds SAP GUI for Windows. NWBC for Desktop is fully functional and is intended for expert or everyday users of SAP GUI.
- Personas 2.0 Silverlight is intended for SAP GUI for Windows users who want to improve usability
- NWBC for HTML consumes SAP GUI for HTML, which works with SAP Screen Personas 2.0 HTML. NWBC for HTML is the zero-footprint, Web-based flavor with some limitations, and is intended for occasional users. Since this is completely browser-based, Personas screens just appear as any other web-based content.
So there is a pretty good fit regarding to the two use cases.
I hope to add more details about this soon. For the moment, check out this discussion thread: NWBC Side Panel and SAP Screen Personas
Integrating a Personas 2.0 flavor in NWBC
This is legacy, but may still be relevant.You basically need a short link, which you can then add to a PFCG role – either as a URL (Web Address or File) or within a BSP application. I’ll go into both these options below. I’m assuming you feel comfortable with both. (If not, see the SAP Library help – SAP Screen Personas, and ABAP Role Maintenance (PFCG) for NWBC).
- Start by creating a SAP Screen Personas flavor as normal. When you are happy, save and exit.
- Now you need to create the short link:
- Launch the transaction /Persos/admin_ui
- From the left panel, choose Short Link Maintenance.
- Enter the transaction code, system, and flavor; then choose Get Short Link. I then copied the whole link to Notepad for convenience.
- Now you need to embed the flavor in an existing role. Make sure you have created a role and assigned it to your user in PFCG. Open this role and switch to the menu tab.
- You have 2 options:
- Web Address or File – this is the simpler option. However, I don’t recommend it, except perhaps for testing purposes: Tthe flavor will appear read-only in NWBC – you will not be able to edit it. In the Web Address or File field, paste the whole link – in the form:
NOTE: The original link you have copied from the Personas admin transaction will be “…index.html…”. Make sure you change this to “nwbc.html”. Also include the parameter “frameless=false” – so the flavor appears in the NWBC shell, not standalone):
- BSP application – this option allows you to edit this flavor in the Personas Editor in NWBC. There is an existing BSP application you can use – /PERSOS/MAINAPP. Paste the GUID of the link in the form 005056830EDB1ED3A6AA8ED7565FB63A :
5. Save the role. Refresh the navigation tree, by choosing Ctrl+Help > Extended Supportability -> Cleanup -> Reload naigation tree from server.
6. Now test the link. You should see something like the shot above.
(Thanks to Tobias Queck for this really useful blog: How to Render Flavors in SAP NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC)).
Limitations in Personas 2.0
There are some myths about this. In fact, at present, there are two main limitations:
- The flavor is always system-specific, so transporting the flavors from the DEV to productive system is a pain – This is the big one. One thing to bear in mind though, is that Personas already has a mechanism for transporting groups, flavors, and media files from one system to another (See the SAP Library: Transport Objects ). So you can do 90% of the work on flavors, groups, and files in your development system, then transport them once you’re happy, then embed them in PFCG roles.
HOWEVER, this means that someone has to edit the role in the PRD system. One possible approach is to split your authorization roles from your navigation roles. One of our major customers considered this, but decided to wait. (Note that this does not answer the question: What happens after a system copy/refresh?)
In Personas 3.0 (for SAP GUI for Windows), however, Personas is a separate, native, implementation. Therefore, there is no need to wrap a flavor in a BSP. This means that the links are not broken, so the issue will be resolved. Currently, this version of Personas is in beta.
- Quicklaunch always brings up the default, not the Persona-flavored transaction. The workaround is to embed all your flavors in PFCG roles. This should also be resolved in Personas 3.0 for SAP GUI for Windows.
The following have been flagged as limitations, but actually work fine:
- If I navigate from one persona-fied transaction (including SMEN) to another in NWBC, the 2nd transaction opens standalone – not true.
- The Editor doesn’t work in NWBC the Personas flavor is read-only – as we have seen, this is true only if you embed the flavor as a URL. The Editor works fine in the BSP application.
And that’s basically it.