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SAP Gateway & Device Agnostic Reporting

In this blog I am going to share my experience in implementing multiple device agnostic reports and dashbords at one of our clients in partnership with SAP.

Every company wants to remain ahead of the competition in business practices and the internal processes. As part of this effort my client started looking for a solution to meet the requested reporting requirement for 5000 managers. Among the few criteria for the solution selection was scalability, security, reusability, low cost and high ROI.  When we proposed the solution using SAP Gateway, it found a natural ally and as the concept developed the greater traction it took with the client. Successes of the first solution lead to the development of multiple solutions across various platforms and greater adaptability across the complete enterprise landscape.

Since we are talking about the landscape here, let me talk about a little bit about the landscape which we developed to support this solution.  After the initial proof of concept, the initiative was taken to set up a dedicated landscape for SAP Gateway. The first step in this effort was the system sizing. Since the client is a SAP shop, so it was natural to accept the concept of three system landscape for SAP Gateway i.e. Development, Quality Assurance and Production systems; although sandbox system was also part of the landscape. The landscape systems were installed and configured as the solution went from one stage to another i.e. from development to quality assurance to production.

The solutions were built for BI running on an SAP HANA environment.  One of the client requirements was that the solution must use the existing BEx
queries. So the idea that the solution must be able to reuse the SAP delivered and custom objects was tested from very beginning. This adaptability is SAP Gateway very important features, so you are looking at a product which can use the standard and custom objects with the same ease. This is a big cost savings; look at it from the client side, how much they have invested in all these years to develop the SAP objects to meet their specific business needs. And here is a solution which is using those same objects to deliver a new age device agnostic solution. So you are moving from a blue screen to the new User Interface at fraction of the cost.

I will not say that the first implementation cycle was without any challenges, we had our share. A few stakeholders had their concerns; setting up the security roles was a major milestone. But once we had the SAP Gateway configured and setup the process was pretty clean with a few bumps on the way for which we had SAP team to support us (Thanks Tobias Griebe and Peter Ng for their help and support).

Once the services were setup for the backend components, we exposed them to the frontend as JSON instead of standard XML, they are more light weight and frontend team was able to absorb them to provide the required user interface.

We did move the SAP objects through the CTS layer using SAP transports so the client standard change management was applicable on all our changes. We also took every effort to create as much documentation as possible as this was a new technology introduction. Once we had our software components
in Quality System we did integration and regression testing. And after reaching production, since it was a new system, we did both regression and stress testing to make sure that the system can support the load of close to 5000 business users.

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