WWI / Still seems to be the most “troublesome” tool in SAP EHS
still WWI seems to be still the tool with most of the interest here raising many questions (even in 2019).
Many consultants seems to try to use complex WWI options to handle WWI output. Yes you can do it and yes you can use the many features as existing. But try to make it simple. As simpler as better you can support.
Experience shows that for MSDS/SDS more or less the same questions are addressed here quite often.
To a certain extent with is true for GLM as well (e.g. questions like “how to generate multi language WWI reports).
There is an indication that many people love to use “if/else/endif” logics. And yes we have topics as “Trade Secret” or chapter 16 (R-Phrases / H phrase) etc.
Below only a small list of questions raised in this context are listed.
Please check as well the many WWI blogs existing on WWI topics here.
Overall: On regular basis questions are raised in context of
- Report Distribution
- WWI Server set up / WWI jobs
- Local WWI / WWI on server installation
- Unicode topics
- Performance topics (many in the area of GLM)
seems not helping the community.
The questions might be:
- Is the tool to complex?
- Is the demand from customer to complex?
Looking into future (and looking on the option of the e.g. using “Idea place” of SAP to share ideas):
- What are your wishes of a future solution in S/4 HANA?
- What could be simplified?? Optimized ?
- What is missing?
Please share your ideas/doubts etc. By using this option: may be SAP can provide a better solution
This is a list of examples of threads in relation to WWI which have been selected by “random” and clearly arfe only a sublist of the many ! threads discussing WWI topics.
I have added now some further thread discussing WWI topics. Please use teh search options availble here before you ask questons.
https://answers.sap.com/questions/108109/sap-ehs-reports-are-stucked-in-generation-possible.html (WWI Server / WWI jobs)
https://answers.sap.com/questions/35867/sap-ehs-transfer-and-check-printers.html (GLM topic)
THEREFORE: please checl the many blogsand threads to make sure that yopru question/doubts hasn’t been addressed yet.
I can think of multiple reasons why people struggle so much with WWI so much.
I deal with WWI for over 10 years. I have not yet come along a requirement that couldn’t be solved with it...
It is a very powerful and therefore complex tool. If i do WWI layouting work I still learn new things. Do I love it – for sure not! It drives me nuts every now and then. It’s more a love hate relationship. But in the end you can create relay good results with it!
For S/4 that I want a tool with the same capabilities but:
many thanks for your feedback. I can confirm most of your doubts (and your feedback on the several topics as well). From my point of view I would like to add this “issue”
Using SE80 (and anything around ABAP) the SAP system as such is helping you to handle changes very good (you have transports, versions etc.). This is not the case in WWI.So if you do not document (somehow) what you do/work on (and which version is “active”) it can be a painful “ongoing support”
Many people “ignore” that WWI has a history (currently WWI SP43 is in place). So many WWI reports have be generated with “old WWI” versions in the past. This adds complexity to WWI environment
Personally. WWI does have some flexibility. But even if i always try to avoid to use the flexibility there are many case cases in the past in which we have had the need to set up “customer specific WWI report symbols).
One such example is the “if/else/endif” story. This is nothing “WWI specific”. We know that from ABAP as well (and it is common for sap script and other techniques). But it is not easy from “support point of view”. If you “simply” check the document you need to have “deep knowledge” of the WWI layout story (in combination with generation variant and other stuff) to explain why this (and not a different value) is printed in WWI.
This complexity (i have the feeling) we can not avoid (even looking on S/4 HANA).
So I agree. If there would be no server no Word no local WWI no gen WWI life can be much simpler. Currently: I have no idea how SAP will solve this topic (I might imagine a XML driven story in SAP.. but who knows). As you may be know: with Enhancement packge ) there is the option available to use something different than WWI to print etc. BUT ALL IS CUSTOMER SPECIFIC. Never heard of somebody using this option
Especially in the area of GLM at least: the tool provided by SAP must be flexible so that we can create whatever look and feel. Especially Labels are a “pain” factor in WWI (do not forget SOPs and all the otehre WWI repors you need)
So let us hope (and cross fingers) that SAP might come up with a good idea for a follower of WWI
You have Versions for your WWI Templates and Include Templates. However these are limited to 100 versions - which is not enough unfortunately - at one point you would need to restart numbering with 0. This is really a thing SAP could change to make things more workable!
You can import and export WWI templates so you do not need to do manual changes in the production system on the WWI Templates. But you need to change the generation variants - which can be hundreds.
I would recommend:
But I agree - handling changes in WWI could be supported in a more integrated and straight forward way!
I agree - if you want a flexible layout with lots of logic in it you will end up with a more complex WWI coding. Same as in every other language.
I have never seen a client using something else then WWI completely. Some create XML via WWI and print the XML.
An XML based output would be a great thing for S4.
Very interesting discussion you've started. I can agree to what you (and Mark) have stated before. Maybe just to add my two cents:
WWI is indeed a powerful and flexible tool, but also incredibly complex. And for a total newbie, to be honest, totally scary. (MS Word generating data out of SAP...uhm...yeah, right)
The Cookbook is an absolute must and a good starting point. But one can still get a bit lost. There is also plenty of other valuable documentation out there - most of it from yourself ...;-). Whether it really is "unwillingness to read the existing documentation" as Mark stated - I don't quite know. Perhaps to a certain extent. But because WWI is "just different", it makes it time-consuming and frustrating to actually get going. It can take days (or weeks, as in my case) to even just get a „Hello World“ report.
A best practice document would be awesome. There are so many different use cases which WWI can cover. But there are also really simple scenarios that do not require a highly sophisticated WWI landscape.
Skillset is also a major obstacle. One almost requires a combined functional consultant + technical consultant + Basis administrator + Windows administrator. Good luck with this job hunt!
Related to this, perhaps another aspect which I had faced in particular. If a project manager sees in an implementation project the requirement to develop reports, he will typically just throw some ABAPers at it. These poor guys will face a tough landing, since WWI has (almost) nothing to do with the rest of their ABAP world. In my mind, WWI reports should be developed by the EHS consultant instead and planned accordingly.
in context of “. But because WWI is “just different”, it makes it time-consuming and frustrating to actually get going. It can take days (or weeks, as in my case) to even just get a „Hello World“ report.”
This finding from you is surprising to me. I will need may be need 30 min to get something like “Hello World “printed. If the person acting does not achieve this goal with in max 1 hour using WWI then the person should not start an EHS career (at least not a WWI career).
The “x min” include: maintain data on spec. Prepare WWI layout. Prepare gen variant
IN context of;
“A best practice document would be awesome. There are so many different use cases which WWI can cover. But there are also really simple scenarios that do not require a highly sophisticated WWI landscape”
I am sorry to say: WWI is one of the “hard core” applications in EHS. The issue is. it is used to generate whatsoever report…. (E.g. SDS, LAbel etc.) Therefore a kind of”best practise” document is nearly not possible. What you can do is to write down a list of (a kind of FAQ)
1.) do it like that
2.) don’t do it like that
3.) and “test cases”(refer to my blog EHS WWI for beginners)
In context of:
“Skillset is also a major obstacle. One almost requires a combined functional consultant + technical consultant + Basis administrator + Windows administrator. Good luck with this job hunt!”
Yes this is really the highest painpoint you have raised. Once again (in live system) we “struggle” with WWI (WWI server crashes etc. etc.). Here the worst is to work on the “reason for this”. Even assuming that SAP will try to help you: the “local” issues you have to consider is “endless” (and this was shown once again in the last weeks in live system; Mark has talked as well about these kind of issues)
This is one of the reasons why i “hate” the synchron approach in WWI. You have no chance to check:is any WWI server up and running (in mormal mode). You must always check “deepr” (this is waste of time etc.)
In context of:
“Related to this, perhaps another aspect which I had faced in particular. If a project manager sees in an implementation project the requirement to develop reports, he will typically just throw some ABAPers at it. These poor guys will face a tough landing, since WWI has (almost) nothing to do with the rest of their ABAP world. In my mind, WWI reports should be developed by the EHS consultant instead and planned accordingly.”
You expect to much from a “project manager”. It strongly depends on the skills of the person. If the person is managing e..g. normally SAP SD driven projects then he need clearly help from you (acting as function or technical person) that ABAP is not WWI
In context of
“The Cookbook is an absolute must and a good starting point. But one can still get a bit lost. There is also plenty of other valuable documentation out there – most of it from yourself …;-). Whether it really is “unwillingness to read the existing documentation” as Mark stated – I don’t quite know.”
My “WWI blogs” seems not to help (at leats once a month we have a new thread in context of WWI) the community. To a certain extent. some persons seems to have the trend: i start WWI (not really knowing the WWI basics) and then “crashes” most likely at first day. For ABAP: this is might be an approach; but for WWI: it is the wrong approach
Honestly the sap online help is a “starter”. BUt even for a beginner:it is not good enough (the help gives you guidance; but that’s it)
May be to add some more wishes to SAP:
A follow up tool of WWI need to support these “core” processes:
1:) we should be able to define whatsoever kind of layout
2.) it must support bar code, logos etc.
3.) it must support the process to retrieve data from data base (either EHS or other SAP modules)
4.) the result should be stored in data base
5.) can be used in e.g. GLM. report distribution
6.) the customer should have the chance to “enhance” the solution (e.g. own report symbols)
7.) we should not need a “gen Server” but must have some control on “generation” mechanism (to know that generation is ready etc)
8.) especially the tool must support the many GLM needs (most complex part of WWI)
May be you can add wishes (on that high level) as well
PS: Last but not least: if you look on “market”. it is not easy to get an experienced EHS person EHS is generally a SAP module there it is helpful to have “chemical” background. This “skillset” is not easy to find. For WWI: this adds challenges as well
Hello EHS world. I have not seen any thread the last yeasr regarding the “relevance flag” (in context opf WWI). Are you satisfied how SAP solved the “change mark” topic?
I ask this question because looking on a recent project I have once again seen a “customer specific solution” to handle the “relevance flag”
PLease provide as well feedback on this topic (which is a must for MSDS generaiton.
Are you aware of 1119071 - FAQ for change marking for EH&S reports ?
SAP "recently" introduced "time-specific change marking" which gets rid of one of the major shortcomings SAP had in this area IMHO.
I agree with Mark. For one: If you start programming with C, Java, ABAP or anything else, you accept from day one that the matter will become complex. But when it comes to WWI, most People complain about the complexity. Just accept the fact that it is a programming language that one can only learn by using it. So create reports with WWI, play around with the Symbols, look at the results and quite soon you will have lost your fear of too much complexity.
I do not really agree that MS Word is a bad choice. The whole layout of a Report can be changed easily because WWI is based on word. Tink about different Fonts, font sizes, tables, page numbering ad so on. This all can be changed by the push of a button.
I agree again that the set up of a Generation Server is a burden which shouldn't be necessary if only WWI Reports could be generated within the SAP System.
All in all, I like WWI. It's not that easy to learn, but once you have understood how it works, you can create almost any kind of Report, though sometimes you may Need the help of an ABAPer.
True: it has it strong points as WYSIWYG editor.
But also true:with a push of an Microsoft Security update for MS Word everything breaks down. Or a new Word Version - new WWI issues. Or new windows version new WWI issues ...
thanks for your feedback. The "trick" might be to combine the many skills in one person so that you can to do the "whole" job.
The other option is not a bad choice as well. So you could have one person only ! responsible for correct WWI server set up, one that is preparing the "layouts" and a different one who support using ABAP (for custom symbols).
In any case: as explained by you: you use a "starting point" of knowlegde and day by day you will increase your WWI skills. On the top it is not a bad idea to know the dependencies of WWI to MSDS disptach process or for GLM process... at least you need some basic knowlegde in using CG02.
I am very interested if SAP will provide a new solution with S/4 HANA (not based on Winword etc.)
IN some areas they have managed to "change" approach (e.g. EHSM... and other examples)#
Let us wait and see
My personal opinion is, that WWI will be replaced by something different in S4 for the new PS solution. (The old CG02 stuff will of course still rely on WWI in S4):
The whole data structure will be changed, and therefore one would need to re-write the whole WWI logic...
1119071 – FAQ for change marking for EH&S reports ? => may be not really "known" OSS note. Thanks for bringing thsi up once again. And yes: we have some other imporvements for "Change flag" in WWI.
IN context of; The whole data structure will be changed, and therefore one would need to re-write the whole WWI logic…
What we know so far of new solution: at theend a more or less new logic will be there (for managing the data based on new data model). This might be one chance fo look for a replacement of WWI. For e.g. EHSM and other EHS "driven" solutions: we still have nice Adobe options there.
In context of: "
But also true:with a push of an Microsoft Security update for MS Word everything breaks down. Or a new Word Version – new WWI issues. Or new windows version new WWI issues …
" => this is really a challenge. If you check the many "issues" discussed here for WWI update, Word update and many similar topics
What ever SAP will deliver: we can only hope that these "issues" will not come up any more
We need to load a large amount of data into a template in CG42. We would love to be able to use excel to do this is possible for the macro capability. Is this possible? if not, is there any way to do mass entry in this transaction?
a.) please start new thread
b:) no idea what you would like to achieve. Using "Cg42" you describe a document. So do you not load "data". In any case: You can to "import" ofWWI templates. But this is only useful if you do"layouting". What is your definition of "data" in this context
... and think that they were at the beginning only two bits 0 and 1..... 🙂