Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Troy Cronin

EP: UWL – Button & Tab Translation (Language)


When using the SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) within an NW Environment in a large organizational landscape business requirements may require different linguistic and language settings for multiple user bases. The Universal Worklist is fundamental for task and workitem assignment and processing and can be utilized by different locale groups throughout an organization all of whom may work with different locale settings.

UWL Display Elements & Language

If you are familiar with the UWL you will be aware that the Interface display through which end-users interact with the worklist incorporate a wide arrange of different display elements and icons. These include UWL Decision Buttons also known as Action Buttons, Drop-down Navigation Menu, Footer Menu (dependent on version) and textual format graphics.


Portal Languages & How They Are Maintained

Now regarding this scenario and the languages used in the Enterprise Portal there are a few important points to highlight. The language that the portal is displayed in depends on the following hierarchy, with the languages at the top of the list taking precedence over those at the bottom.

  1. Component (iview) language (defined in the portalapp.xml)
  2. Portal Mandatory language (defined in the
  3. User language (defined in the user#s profile).
  4. Request language (defined by the browser).
  5. Portal Default language (defined in the
  6. System Default language (default locale defined by the OS).

So for example, if you have your portal user language (as in point 3) set to German, but the language of the iView that is the logon page (as in point 1) set to English, that logon page will be displayed in English.


UWL Specific Element Display

Let us say for the case of a working example you’re organization utilizes the UWL in a diverse region environment i.e. the Portal is being used in multiple countries now using several languages for End Users.

To carry on from this example let us imagine that there are four languages in place here English, French, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese and you have set the translations (as per the 6 points above) but you notice a discrepancy in the display.

In your setup you notice that the Decision Buttons are not display in the correct language setting. If you login to the Portal & Navigate to the UWL (in Traditional Chinese) you soon notice that the the texts are instead displayed in Simplified Chinese.

UWL Language Inconsistency – High Level Analysis

  • Firstly start out simple and see what the browser language is defined as (at present)?

If there is a discrepancy this may be causing the defined change not to become apparent. In these type of scenarios as you can see (based on the 6 points above) there are various locales to maintain the languages therefore a setup discrepancy can be encountered on some occasions.

Issues similar to this have been noted, highlighted and resolved in documentation such as that outlined below:

  • SAP Note: 1661391 – Portal 7.3 is not displayed in the configured language
  • SAP KBA: 1696439 – Changing the Default or Mandatory Locale for a 730 Enterprise Portal

UWL Known Issues

Now I would like to reference the UWL in particular here also as I am aware some minor aspects of the interface itself are indeed  hard-coded (in terms of language/grammatical display) however the following documentation can be used as a reference point to resolve various UWL language display issues and problematic scenarios.

  • SAP Note: 2055108 – Forced Language Request not working in the UWL iView from Browser Favourites
  • SAP Note: 2012105 – How to find the language used to retrieve the work items
  • SAP Note: 1806134 – Changing language does not affect UWL decision buttons text
  • SAP Note: 1801857 – Wrong language- country variation for UWL Webflow workitems

From a high level perspective in the past there have been issues regarding the UWL and the translations. In particular several issues have been encountered with the “decision buttons” and “menu roles” translations both of which have been resolved via documentation outlined above.

After reviewing the notes subsequently I recommend clearing the UWL cache and the browser cache before attempting to reproduce the issue.

  • Steps to clear the UWL cache: please go to “System Administration” “System Configuration” -> Universal Work list & Workflow -> Universal Workflow Administration -> Click on cache administration page -> Click “Clear Cache” button.

Now the UWL itself is a Web Dynpro application and normal behaviour for Web Dynpro applications means that to refresh the language a portal logoff and re-logon is required.

  • Alternatively the change of user’s locale will take effect either after an automatic cache refresh is triggered, or when the user triggers the refresh manually by pressing the “Refresh” button.


Certain tabs are “hardcoded” i.e. it is not possible to modify the language outside of the standard delivered SAP translations.

UWL Date Language Format

We do not control this in the Universal Worklist. The format of the date field is controlled by WebDynPro. From UWL side we only create an input field of type date.

When deciding which format to be shown to the end user, then only the setting in UME language/location/region is considered, but also the language setting of the browser may also be used. One key point to check here is personalization for end-users. If checking the personalization doesn’t help, then the format is controlled by one of the other sources (discussed below) and it should be changed at the source.

The formats are dependent upon a couple factors, webdynpro, PC settings, browser settings, and backend settings.

  • Now in terms of the UWL and how it deals with workitems and there associated details i..e Date Format Display we have to remember some key points here. The UWL gets the “sent” attribute for the item from the backend and converts it to a java.util.Date object.

Then the UWL uses java.text.DateFormat in order to convert the Date object to a String. This is done with the DateFormat’s standard method “format(Date data)”. When the DateFormat object is created, the timezone and locale of the logged on user is used. So the UWL uses standard java functionality for this conversion and the fact that the “sent” is shown in different time format for different locale/timezone is the normal behavior of java.

Assigned Tags

      Be the first to leave a comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.