SAP Screen Personas Roadmap update March 2014
We often receive inquiries about the roadmap for SAP Screen Personas. While revenue recognition rules prevent us from sharing specific product features, version numbers, or release dates, I would like to share some information about the general direction of the product and how development is progressing.
We have had many conversations with SAP Screen Personas customers about what they love about the product and what areas they would like to see improved. These are ongoing discussions that drive product development based on their feedback. Over the past few months, several categories have emerged. These are reflected in the key themes for the next major release:
- Tighter integration with Web GUI (SAP GUI for HTML) – Several customers have expressed concerns about the dependency on Silverlight, since Microsoft is only supporting it through 2021. So, we are working on a version of SAP Screen Personas that is entirely based on HTML. The plan is to leverage HTML5 features if the browser supports them, but still support some legacy browsers. It will run everywhere the Web GUI runs, because we plan to integrate Personas into the Web GUI, although still a separately licensable component.
- More powerful scripting – Advanced implementations of Personas generally include scripting. Some customers have pushed the product beyond where we expected when it came to automating keyboard and back-end actions. So, for these people, we are planning to deliver a more powerful scripting engine, along with an easier interface to access this functionality.
- Improved performance – A new, simplified architecture should deliver faster performance. Also, we are planning to change the way we perform certain actions, also with the goal of making Personas screens render faster. Since Personas is planned to be part of the Web GUI, this remains the benchmark against which any speed comparisons should be performed. SAP GUI may still be faster in certain cases, but we expect to narrow the gap.
- Further usability improvements – As customers rolled out larger scale deployments of SAP Screen Personas with more users, transactions, and flavors, they uncovered several tasks that we could have made easier. We plan to address these concerns by streamlining the admin user interface.
- Advanced properties easier to access – While it was always possible to do lots of very cool stuff by using the advanced properties editor, you needed to know how to open this window and find the various properties. We are planning to expose these items so everything will be accessible through the main menu structure. This would give more people access to these capabilities.
We are making steady progress on the next major release of SAP Screen Personas. The development team has grown to include developers from the kernel team and core UI team in addition to the custom development and SAP Imagineering organizations. This cross-departmental team ensures that the necessary integrations among the different components will work smoothly. Interestingly, the broader development team is what will allow us to deliver a simpler architecture, which we expect will deliver improved performance.
We are working with several existing Personas customers on the next version. They are providing their use cases (including screens and scripts) and we are testing these to validate functionality. They are also part of some design reviews to ensure that we continue to raise the bar on usability.
Let me also include the standard SAP roadmap disclaimer that everything mentioned here is subject to change without notice and we are not committing to delivering any of the functionality discussed above.
To avoid questions that will potentially take us into murky waters regarding revenue recognition, I have disabled comments on this post.