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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:

IndexPageToFioriApp.png

(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:

2PathsToFioriUX.png

(click to enlarge)

Next steps

Watch the replay from Las Vegas (Johannes Wasserfall, featuring 3 live demos):

UX108: SAP NetWeaver Business Client, Release 5.0: Strategy and Outlook | SAP TechEd Online


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:

SAP Screen Personas 3.0 Is Generally Available, including Service Pack 1

(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.

Other

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?

Yes, for NWBC  from PL5 onwards. For details, see SAP Library: What’s New in SAP NetWeaver Business Client .

For details of NWBC 5.0 patches, see SAP Note 2030419 .

Support for touch enablement within the content area depends on the application.

Resources:

Running an Application Standalone – User Interface Add-On for SAP NetWeaver – SAP Library

http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/2103156

Configuring Navigation – User Interface Add-On for SAP NetWeaver – SAP Library

Fiori Reference Apps Library – Configuration Information


That’s it for now. If you were present at Teched and would like to ask a question, please post it in the comments.


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3 Comments

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  1. Fabiano Sandaniel

    Dear Julie,

    I’m starting a new SAP S/4 Hana Implementation Project in a large Healthcare customer in Brazil.

    Currently we are finishing the Explore (Business Blueprint Phase) and I’m wondering which is the best strategy for us to implement the UX layer, should I adopt SAP BC for everything or Fiori Launch Pad? I read your articles (by the way, they are great!!!) but I still not so sure about which client to use.

    Some important details regarding this implementation scope: SAP S/4 Hana with Finance, Logistics (MM, PP, PS, PM, QM) and receivables management (FICA-X). ~2000 users. Green field (There is no SAP experience in the company at all).

    Help me on that.

    Thanks and Best Regards.

    Fabiano.

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    1. Jakob Marius Kjær

      Hi Fabiano,

      Just a few comments on your question.

      I would probably recommend SAP BC for heavy users and fiori launchpad for the lighter users. You can always integrate the fiori launchpad into the SAP BC, so one doesn’t leave out the other. However if you have heavy users that needs to access many applications, then the launchpad can get quite cluttered and hard to navigate, here i would recommend using the more “native” SAP BC and then integrate the fiori apps into PFCG and therefore into the index page.

      But it will be interesting to see what SAP recommends you. Please share your thoughts and experiences after the project.

      (0) 
    2. Julie Plummer Post author

      Hi Fabiano,

      If you install BC6, you can offer users both, depending on the connection type:

      – NWBC connection type with Index Page , including links to SAP GUI, WDA , and Fiori apps. This would be ideal if your users want mainly SAP GUI / WDA applications with occasional Fiori apps. This is probably the default for most users.

      – Fiori Launchpad embedded inside BC, including tiles for SAP GUI , WDA, and Fiori apps. This is ideal if your users want mainly Fiori apps.

      – NOTE1: I am assuming your applications are all on-premise. If you are using Cloud or lots of Analytics, then SAP BC would not be suitable.

      NOTE 2: SAP BC is role-based. You need to plan your roles carefully, just as you would in a Portal implementation, usually with a good partner. Please read this write-up to see what I mean: NWBC, Roles, and Finding UI Innovations

      Broadly, I would agree with Jadob – NWBC for “heavyweight” ie transactional applications / SAP GUI TXs. , Fiori for lightweight. (This may well change in future, since we are expanding the reach of Fiori apps). I would just like to point out that you can now use links instead of tiles on Fiori Launchpad, which allows you to pointo to more applications on the home page. However, if you have too many links – eg more than 50 – then this will still be ugly and cumbersome.

      HTH

      Best wishes,

      Julie.

      (0) 

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