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Hi everyone,

Earlier this year, I talked to the UK and Ireland User Group (UX Special Interest Group) about SAP BC 6.0.

For those of you who are not already aware of this, the UX SIG is relatively new but very active. The main focus is not just on specific UI technologies, but on how user experience can be applied to solve real-world business problems. It is run by customers for customers and is chaired by Steve Rumsby of the University of Warwick who brings his own considerable experience to bear.

So  if you are a UK or Ireland customer, and you are interested at all in any aspect of user experience (UX) I can thoroughly recommend this SIG.

More details are available here: https://www.sapusers.org/learn/sigs/user-experience

And, at long last, the recording and slide deck for this webinar are now available:

SAP BC: How it integrates with Fiori, Enterprise Portal & Personas (slides)

SAP BC: How it integrates with Fiori, Enterprise Portal and Personas (recording)

(I apologize for the delay; there were technical problems processing the recording.)

I have also tried to summarize the questions that were asked below. If you have any further questions, please feel free to add them to the comments.

Thanks to Steve for the organization, and thanks to everyone who attended.

Questions and Answers

1. Is Single Sign-On available for SAP BC?

Yes, we recommend SAP SSO 2.0. More details are available here:

NWBC (4.0) meets Single Sign-On: Simplify Secure Data Access (Part 1)

(This is for NWBC 4.0, but still valid for 5.0 and 6.0).

2. Can I access more than one system from the same instance of SAP BC or do I have to open several instances?

Yes, you can access transactions / applications from several systems from one instance of SAP BC. You need to designate one system as your role system and create an RFC destination to the other systems using SM59. You then need to create a menu entry in a PFCG role for each remote transaction / application. For more information, see: Connecting 2 Backend Systems, Part One: RFC Connections (SCN) and NWBC Role Maintenance (SAP Library), especially “Navigation Tree” and “Remote Systems”

3. Are there any plans to offer a SAP BC for Desktop for Mac or Linux?

No, SAP BC is very dependent on MS technologies, in particular the MS Web browser control and IE security settings. These technologies are unfortunately not supported on Mac / Linux.

4. I’m confused about the versions of NWBC / SAP BC? Which one should I use?

Current versions are: NWBC 5, BC 6. BC is the direct successor to NWBC 5.

BC 6 is the newest Business Client version for both SAP BS 7.x (and BS 6.x) AND SAP S/4HANA.


If you are currently on NWBC 4 (no longer supported), we recommend upgrade to BC 6.

If you are currently on NWBC 5 (latest patch), we will continue to support you.


Both versions support Fiori app integration, but only BC 6 allows you to integrate a Fiori Launchpad as your home page AND launch SAP GUI for Windows native transactions from it (This is covered in more detail in the slides and recording).


Both NWBC 5.0 and BC 6.0 PL1 now support Win 10.

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6 Comments

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  1. Joachim Rees

    Thanks for the info, here is some feedback:

    1.

    No, SAP BC is very dependent on MS technologies, in particular the MS Web browser control and IE security settings. “

    Isn’t that a very sad answer!? 🙁

    2.

    I’m still confused about NWBC 5 vs. BC 6:

    I do understand that they are both supported, but I don’t see why one would want to stick with NWBC 5 (something old, but still suported) instead of going to BC 6 (the latest and gratest).

    So what’s the benefit of NWBC 5 over BC 6 ?

    Is maybe BC 6 less stable?

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    1. Julie Plummer Post author

      Hi Joachim,

      Thanks for this (very speedy) feedback.

      1. Well, obviously, I am not going to endorse this ;-); you are not the first to be unhappy about this. However, when we first developed NWBC 1.0, IE was the clear market leader, so it made the most sense. Now, of course the environment is very different. We are monitoring the situation, but realistically, creating a cross-platform desktop client would involve creating our own browser plugin, or at least substantially adapting a 3rd-party one. We have looked at this, and have not found anything that fits our requirements as closely as MS Web Browser Control. Therefore, sad or otherwise, we simply don’t have the resources to offer a Mac/ Linux client.

      2. No, BC6 is not less stable. ie we have not seen an increase in OSS tickets, nor have I received any customer feedback regarding this.

      If you do not yet have NWBC, or if you are on NWBC 3.5 or 4.0, then, yes, you should upgrade to BC 6.

      However, many of our NWBC 5.0 customers have a large number of licensed Business Suite customers (in some cases, > 100,000). For these customers, upgrading is a biggish process (often involves also upgrading SAP GUI), so they schedule upgrades eg every 6 months. We will continue to support those customers until January 2018.

      Does that make more sense?
      Best wishes Julie R Plummer.

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      1. Joachim Rees

        Hey Julie,

        thanks for the clarification!

        Yes, this makes a lot more sense now! (As so often) I had only my own situation in mind: we’re playing around with NWBC and BC, some of us trying to use it as often as possible, others probably not using it at all, yet

        I didn’t think of huge installations running live on NWBC 5 and beeing happy with it – of course I can see that in such a situation you would not start a big project, just for having the latest software version.

        But let’s turn the question arround: If NWBC 5 and BC 6 provide the same functionality, how can I motivate people to use BC 6?

        Best

        Joachim

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        1. Julie Plummer Post author

          Hi Joachim,

          😉 Yep, I think we all do that.

          Anyway, re “What is the benefit of BC 6.0?” – well, full details are in the recording ;-D – but to summarize: BC 6 allows you to fully integrate the Fiori Launchpad in a desktop client (SAP BC).

          So you get both:

          • New Fiori look and feel, nice personalization options etc. (You configure this once, in FLP Designer, then consume it everywhere – Desktop, Browser, Portal, Mobile)
          • AND launch SAP GUI for Windows native transactions (other clients by default launch SAP GUI for HTML (“Webgui”))

          So, rather than 100 little features, it’s really one new feature, but if your users mainly work on ABAP on-premise Suite systems, then it’s a big one.

          HTH Julie.

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  2. Simon Kemp

    Thanks for sharing this Julie.

    One thing that struck me while watching was the enormous effort required to add a single transaction code as a tile into the FLP in SAP BC. I think it was 4 steps in your slides. Currently in NWBC/BC via PFCG you can add a transaction in just one step. Can anyone imagine adding 100s of transactions this way?!?!

    Also I think end users are going to be very confused with the 4 different connection types, although many will be happy to have the SAPGUI connection type available I’m sure – then they can go straight to SMEN and not worry about all this new fangled stuff 😈

    Finally I am also wondering about the different behaviour when opening a Fiori app via the index page and via FLP embedded in BC. In the case of he index page the Fiori app opens in a new tab, but via FLP embedded in BC it will open “in place”, meaning you can only ever have one Fiori app open at a time (I realise this is standard FLP behaviour even without BC). However, in my experience users often have multiple apps open and frequently switch back and forth between them, seems like a bit of a productivity killer not to be able to do this.

    Once again thanks for sharing this very informative session, I loved the demo.

    Cheers,

    Simon

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    1. Julie Plummer Post author

      Hi Simon,

      Yes that’s an interesting point.

      However, apart from creating the catalog, all the other steps are in the FLP Designer.

      Would you like to raise this as a discussion in the  Jam group, of which I think you’re a member ?

      It’s probably better coming from a customer / partner than an internal.

      Finally I am also wondering about the different behaviour when opening a Fiori app via the index page and via FLP embedded in BC. In the case of he index page the Fiori app opens in a new tab, but via FLP embedded in BC it will open “in place”, meaning you can only ever have one Fiori app open at a time (I realise this is standard FLP behaviour even without BC). However, in my experience users often have multiple apps open and frequently switch back and forth between them, seems like a bit of a productivity killer not to be able to do this.

      Yes, you are not the first to notice this. As you say, this is behavior that we inherited from the Fiori Launchpad. Again, I think the best forum to bump this up the agenda is the Fiori Jam group.

      I’m not trying to fob you off: I will subscribe to any discussions you raise, and notify the SAP BC PO as necessary.

      Just my personal view: I think we are perhaps bumping up against the problem that we want to create a consumer-grade UX, but expert users and consumers don’t always necessarily have the same needs (even if they are actually the same people –eg creating Sales Orders in the day, looking at Spotify on the couch in the evening). I still think we are right to move forward on creating a completely new UX for SAP products, but we need input from real customers and partners to make this work.

      Thanks for these points,

      Julie.

      PS:

      Carola Steinmaier, Stefan Loetterle  – would you like to comment on Simon’s points?

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