From Mobile First to SAPGUI HTML5 client with Neptune Application Designer 3.0
In the three years our company Neptune Software has existed a lot has happened in the world of HTML5. The prominent design philosophy of the time was “Mobile first” and the first iPad had been released a year before. Steve Jobs had paralyzed Flash and Silverlight for mobile – effectively crowning HTML5 as the de facto standard for RIA frameworks.
For SAP customers HTML5 support for browsers was limited due to the “Sorry, your browser/program is not supported by Web Dynpro!” message. Smartphones and tablets came out as major players in the consumer market and the rapid replacements of new devices assured HTML5 support way ahead of W3C.
So our product strategy of mobile first was a no-brainer at the time and we started out with jQuery Mobile and Phonegap as our first frameworks for the designer at the same time as John Moy wrote his first blogs on the subject.
Now, three years later, we are releasing our 3.0 version (keeping our promise of a major release a year) with loads of new functionality. Since even the IE browsers of SAP customers are starting to get to an acceptable level of HTML5 support and SAPUI5 has matured to a premium framework for responsive design we are embracing enterprise desktop usage of HTML5 in a big way.
Njål Stabell will cover the new application management features in another blog so I will focus on two specific features of the 3.0 release – The Neptune GUI Client and our new HTML5 enhanced application designer.
Our idea for using HTML5 in the SAP GUI is actually a few years old, but is was reignited by Maximilian Schaufler when he visited the inside track in Oslo and had some nifty SSO2 setup to prevent additional login and session handling for the user. As opposed to the Nordic countries we found that SAP customers in the DACH region rarely use portal or NWBC and the majority are primarily using the SAPGUI as client for their SAP systems.
Neptune GUI Client
The Neptune GUI Client is a configurable and customizable client where the menu is dynamically displayed for the end-user based on Roles in the SAP system. The same menu can also be used in Neptune created mobile hybrid apps giving the users the same functionality no matter which device they connect to their SAP system.
In some ways it can be viewed as an NWBC for the SAP GUI. You can add Neptune Applications, URL’s or even SAP Transactions as items in the Neptune Application Management transaction and limit the access by connecting them to policies based on your SAP roles
We have added branding functionality to the menu, so that the end customer can be aligned with the company’s design guidelines. Let’s face it – end-users are more loyal to their employers than their software vendors. You can easily change colors and logos for the menu.
Lastly we have added an easy to use translation tool to be aligned with the easy translation of apps in the general application designer
The enhanced Application Designer
The editor comes with Syntax check, autocomplete and also a UI5 helper with all properties and events for the SAPUI5 controls.
A big thanks to Mark Teichmann for assisting us with implementing this feature!
Neptune created snippets for fast coding
There are tons of more new features in our 3.0 release and you can find some in Njål Stabell ‘s upcoming Application Management blog but you should also check out our release notes for a list of all of them. Hopefully you will get the chance to test out the new features and remember that developer license are free.
We have planned our release date for 3.0 (November 10th) to be aligned with SAP TechEd & d-code Berlin where we have a booth to show the new features and do some on-the-spot training if you are interested.