SAP GUI, Web GUI, SAP Screen Personas – how they play together
Many of the questions we receive about SAP Screen Personas relate to how this solution is connected to SAP GUI for Windows (SAP GUI) and SAP GUI for HTML (Web GUI).This determines the benchmark of how people perceive SAP Screen Personas in terms of functionality, performance, and usability.
Sometimes these inquiries expose inconsistencies among SAP GUI and Web GUI. This blog will discuss why some inconsistencies exist and why certain differences should be expected among the different members of the SAP GUI family. And, you will learn what to expect from SAP Screen Personas relative to the other SAP GUIs.
Architecture determines performance
Desktop applications such as SAP GUI (for Windows) and Web-based applications such as SAP Web GUI have completely different architectures. These architectural differences have a significant impact on rendering performance. Rendering differences are amplified by the size of the data set moving between the client and the server as SAP GUI and Web GUI have different channels and communication protocols for moving data between the client (or browser) and the server. In addition, compared to SAP GUI, the Web GUI has additional processing steps such as preparing XML for the browser, transferring data over the network, and rendering time. These steps take extra time, depending on the size of the data set being rendered on the screen. These are some of the reasons that SAP GUI is faster than Web GUI.
Minimize data flow to speed performance
To optimize performance, we recommend keeping the size of the data coming to the browser as small as possible, without compromising on the business flow. Using SAP Transaction variants (SHD0) is a great way to achieve this. This recommendation applies regardless of whether you are using SAP GUI, Web GUI, or SAP Screen Personas. SAP has documentation on how to achieve this.
Functionality similar, despite minor visual differences
Independent of SAP Screen Personas, there are some visual differences between SAP GUI and Web GUI. You can see that the SAP GUI (top) and Web GUI (bottom) have similar structure, but different buttons on the top. This can cause confusion for some users as they move between different ways to access transactions in SAP.
This behavior is similar on transaction screens. For example, in transaction SU01 (user maintenance), after I enter my user name (“PERSONAS” in this case), the action I need to take to access the main content is subtlety different.
But, while the top-level items are different (icons vs. labels), the icons inside the tab container are virtually identical. But, note the position of the “Assign Authorization Profiles” label. In SAP GUI, it is below the icons and in Web GUI it is above. Enough of a different to cause confusion? Probably not, but a visual difference, nevertheless.
Moving from SAP GUI to Web GUI or SAP Screen Personas may take some adjustment
Some of the differences go beyond purely visual. For example if you type the backspace key in SAP GUI, you will see a list of your most recent entries. If you perform the same action in Web GUI, you will delete what is in the field (as you might expect the backspace key to work, outside of the SAP GUI context). This same functionality is also available in the Web GUI, using the up and down arrows. In spite of these minor differences, most users should be able to make an easy transition from SAP GUI to Web GUI, if they choose.
SAP Screen Personas 3.0 planned to be integrated into Web GUI
For SAP Screen Personas 3.0, we are planning to use the Web GUI as the rendering engine. What are the implications for you?
- Start working with the Web GUI to understand the minor differences from SAP GUI.
- Get a feel for the performance of Web GUI, as that will be the benchmark for SAP Screen Personas 3.0 performance.
- If Web GUI performance does not meet your expectations, ensure that your ITS sizing is correct.
- Time your end-to-end process using Web GUI. This will be the “before” metric that you will use to determine your productivity improvement (both number of clicks and time) after you deploy SAP Screen Personas.
There will be some learning curve for your employees that are familiar with running SAP through the SAP GUI rather than the Web GUI. Once you start modifying the screens, your users will experience further changes. But they will ultimately thank you for making the screens more intuitive and streamlining process flows to improve usability.