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Author's profile photo Troy Cronin

EP: UWL Menu Elements Non Responsive – “HTMLElement is undefined”


The Enterprise Portal in it’s fullest form is an interface which boasts a wide number of different display elements and icons. We already know there are multiple aspects from the standpoint of display elements which can be edited, changed and tweaked. Unfortunately on ocasion issues can arise with the Portal display and its subsequent performance. By performance here we are making reference to the way in which end-users are able to interact (i.e. click) Portal Menu options & roles.

If you are familiar with the Universal Worklist from an end-users perspective you will know that the UWL itself serves as a centralized task management platform for a wide array of processes.The purpose of such task types or work-items varies surrounding business operations and can include sales orders, travel requests, leave requests or tracking setups. The management of such tasks is of vital importance as you can imagine due to the association they share to an organizations business operations and general practices.: Menu items are not working in the UWL

Let us imagine that you have recently performed a system change e.g. update or Patch implementation and you begin to notice that afterwards some HTML Elements of the UWL can no longer be used.

  • UWL Dropdown menus are no longer responding
  • Selecting other roles within the Enterprise Portal also display the same behavior.

You noticed an error..

Upon testing the behavior and performing some analysis you see that the Browser Console is throwing the following exception reference: “HTMLElement is undefined”

Lets imagine you have a workitem approval scenario for managers which revolves around different managers approving and rejecting overtime requests for employees.

If menu dropdowns cannot be selected this obviously impacts business processes and operations greatly and a quick resolution needs to be found.

Breaking the issue down:

  1. Determine firstly if the issue happens in all web browser platforms (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla).
  2. Determine if the issue occurs in both SAP Standard Themes & Custom Themes.
  3. Determine if the issue can be reproduced in all Portal Framework & Theme Combinations

Following the steps outlined above help pin-point the root source or the problematic scope which will be needed for further analysis and troubleshooting.

The issue only occurs with Internet Explorer

If this is the case the first point of interest here would be to review the current parameter settings being maintained within your IE setup.
From the perspective of IE11(commonly adopted version) I would firstly recommend reviewing the following Blog Posting from my Development Colleagues to ensure the correct parameters are maintained in the setup. The following blog posting is the core comprehensive guideline for the correct settings (kindly see the IE11 section):

IE and Portal – Standards/Quirks Mode Evolution (or Love-Hate Relationships) : .

Additionally SAP Note: 2114221 – UI rendering problems in Internet Explorer 11 is a good reference point in this instance.

So let us remember the following key points here (using the UWL as the example), IE11 is running in Standards by default and older Browsers utilized “Quirks”

Attempting to run old applications that require Quirks mode, will need to be run in a new headerless window or new window in order to see the content.

Regarding iViews and opening them within Standards Mode. If you wish to call the application in standards, you will need to use navmode=10 and check if the application can run in edge by adding the sap-ie=Edge in the application parameters.

If you want to achieve from a functional aspect “forcing” all Pages to run in browser document mode EDGE essentially here we are referring to standards.

To achieve this you would need to use the Standards Ajax Framework Page which is available from NW7.31 SP14 and 7.4 SP9. This is basically an Ajax framework page that runs in Standards Mode.

However this does not cover applications for example if you are using older HTMLB style applications these require Quirks Mode
The Browser Error “HTMLElement is undefined”  remains

Now from a Portal perspective you can implement SAP Note: 2333164 – IE raises exception when accessing HTMLElement in Quirks for your versioning and follow the 7.31 SP17 Patch level 22 for implementation and this should resolve both the error and the issue with the dropdown.

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