One question popped up several times, in various guises: Is Business Client about to die?
Not surprisingly, I’m going to say no, it’s not; however, I am going to point out the scenarios where we recommend it, and those where we don’t.
First, the scenarios where SAP BC is not the best client. This was very much on my mind, listening to Björn’s keynote (which was a real eye-opener for me), attending lectures on Cloud and IoT and so on.
We recommend SAP BC for on-premise, ABAP, transactional scenarios, in the Business Suite. For Cloud applications, including Success Factors, we recommend HANA Cloud Portal. (Ifat Schwarz talked about this in UX107 “SAP HANA Cloud Portal: Overview, Scenarios, and Enhancements“; see replay here). Analytics has its own, dedicated clients.
The phrase “in the Business Suite” is key, too. If you mainly work with development or admin transactions – “Basis transactions” SE11, SE37 etc – then there is no real reason to work in SAP BC – all the UI innovations, like side panel, POWLs, Fiori apps, are in the Business Suite transactions.
I’ve covered this in detail in When to use NWBC…, if you want to explore this issue in detail.
So you can’t consume SAP BC on Mars; that’s my recommendation, anyway.
So: Business Client – what is it good for? If our UX strategy is increasingly pointing to Fiori, and our offering in the Cloud is growing at a great rate, why should you consider SAP BC?
In reality, while most customers like what they see with Fiori, at present they are still largely working with SAP GUI transactions ( and occasionally FPM). SAP BC bridges the gap. From the BC index page, you can open all your usual transactions , side by side with your Fiori apps. Or you can integrate your Fiori launchpad as the BC home page, and from there open both Fiori apps and SAP GUI for Windows transactions:
(click to enlarge)
I will be blogging about this shortly; in the meantime, I have created this slide deck, SAP Business Client and Fiori Integration.
In summary: Business Client is not the destination, but it is a bridge between your on-premise, ABAP, transactional world and the new Fiori UX world:
(click to enlarge)
Watch the replay from Las Vegas (Johannes Wasserfall, featuring 3 live demos):
Decide whether SAP BC is the right client for you: When to Use NWBC – and When You _Really_ Shouldn’t
If so, download SAP BC from Service Marketplace: http://service.sap.com/installations , then search in A-Z Index under B. (not N).
For a detailed guide to setting up SAP BC 6.0, see SAP Business Client for Desktop 6.0 Setup (slide deck)
(all updated for Fiori integration)
For an overview of NWBC, see: SAP NetWeaver Business Client 5.0 Overview (Slide deck).
(soon to be updated)
Questions and Answers
One big question: Is SAP Business Client 6.0 a new product, or an evolution of NetWeaver Business Client 5.0?
Yes, SAP Business Client 6.0 (SAP BC) is the latest version of NWBC. The main new features are here: SAP Business Client 6.0: Released!
Integration – Fiori
I have SAP BC 6.0, with Fiori Launchpad as my entry page. If I open a new app by clicking a tile, how is this opened: in-place, new tab, new window?
This depends on the application type:
– Genuine intent-based applications, such as Fiori apps are opened in-place.
– Older applications, like SAP GUI transactions or FPM applications, are opened in a new tab by default. (For these older applications, you can specify their behavior in PFCG: Navigation Tree – User Interface Add-On for SAP NetWeaver – SAP Library ).
Integration – Personas
Can I consume SAP Screen Personas flavors in SAP BC or NWBC?
Yes. In fact, in Personas 3.0, it will shortly become even easier. In Personas 3.0, we moved more of the processing into the ERP server away from the browser. This means that any rendering engine has access to the Personas resources – flavors, themes, etc.
=> any screens you edit in Web GUI can be rendered in any flavour of SAP GUI – SAP GUI for Windows (SAP GUI), SAP GUI for HTML (Web GUI), SAP GUI for Java (Java GUI). For more details on this, see Peter Spielvogel’s blog:
(Note: This feature is partially available since Service Pack One for Personas 3.0; it will be fully supported in a future patch level of SAP GUI for Windows).
Is there a performance hit?
No, if the system is configured correctly, there should be no difference between Personas in a standalone SAP GUI client and Personas in NWBC / SAP BC. In fact, the new service pack 1 for SAP Screen Personas 3.0 improves performance : As I said above, we have moved more of the processing to the server. This means that only Personas-relevant elements are sent from server to browser. For example, if you have hidden fields in a Personas flavor, then these will not be sent to the browser 😀 – to the point where performance may be faster than SAP GUI for HTML (“Webgui”) !
Integration – Other
Can I consume S/4HANA, on-premise edition in NWBC / SAP BC? When will this be available?
Yes you can. As of now!
I will be updating the blog When to Use NWBC… to discuss this asap, probably just after Christmas.
Can I consume Cloud applications, eg Success Factors, in SAP BC?
In theory, almost any content that can be accessed by a URL can be consumed in SAP BC.
However, SAP BC does not use a standalone browser, but rather the MS Web Browser Control.
SAP BC 6
When will SAP Business Client 6.0 be available?
Now! It was released on 28th October, 2015. (ie between the Techeds Las Vegas and Barcelona. One day we will reflect on the wisdom of doing 2 Techeds and a major release in the same month 😉 ).
How can I migrate from NWBC 5.0 to BC 6.0?
The frontend installation is easy: Just download from SAP Service Marketplace: http://service.sap.com/installations , then search in A-Z Index under B. (not N).
For the back end, make sure you have the right system: For SAP Business Client 6.0, you need SAP NetWeaver 7.5 or SAP NetWeaver UI Addons, Version 2, Service Pack 1.
For details on how exactly to distribute and configure BC 6.0, Sandra Thimme has updated the Setup Guide.
Is the Edge browser compatible with SAP BC?
No it is not. You must have MS IE 9-11 installed to use SAP BC.
Is there a version of SAP BC for Macintosh or Linux?
No, sorry, only Windows.
Is touch enablement available for SAP BC / NWBC shell?
For details of NWBC 5.0 patches, see SAP Note 2030419 .
Support for touch enablement within the content area depends on the application.
That’s it for now. If you were present at Teched and would like to ask a question, please post it in the comments.