You’ve probably noticed a huge change in the delivery of SAP Help documentation recently — the overhaul of the SAP Help Portal. While it’s an amazing upgrade from the previous delivery system, they are still working to improve it.

Search is a big area they are focusing hard on for improvements right now – both the ability to search/find topics via search engines like Google (SEO), as well as searching for content once you are in the Help Portal area.

Because all change is hard, even when it’s a good change, I thought I’d blog a few cool tips and tricks about the new Help Portal that aren’t immediately obvious. I base the selection of these tips and tricks based on the number of times I hear about something a user didn’t know how to do (not scientific, but at least indicative).

The title of this post starts with X because I don’t know how many there will be. I’ll add more as I learn them.

If you have tips you want to add to the page, please do so in the comments area. You may teach ME something, and will certainly be helping others as well.

 Tip: Download the 2.0 HANA Docs as PDFs

In the new Help Portal, each product/version has its own product page that lists the help available, grouped into categories. There is a dedicated category for downloads called Documentation Download. Links beneath it download the PDFs of the documentation, in a handy zip file.

Here are the HANA 2.0 SPS 00 and HANA 2.0 SPS 01 PDF bundles if you want to just download them from this post:

 Tip: Download the 1.0 HANA Docs as PDFs

You can find the HANA 1.0 PDF bundles (zip files) for HANA 1.0 releases under the Earlier Releases section of the HANA 1.0 SPS 12 product page. These are versions that pre-date the new Help Portan and were never posted there.

 Tip: View Older Versions of the HANA Docs

There’s a subtle little dropdown box called Version in the green area at the top right of a product page. Use it to move between version of the docs.

 Tip: Search Engine Search Results

While we have work to do on our side to maximize the ability of search engines to find and index our content, you can help your own searching by including things like SAP HANA in the terms you are searching for. In Google, you can also do things like site:help.sap.com.

For example: alter table statement sap hana gets you the ALTER TABLE Statement topic as hit #2.

 Tip: Improve SAP Help Portal Search Results

Searching for content from a product page like SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 01 platform page still needs some help – you might not find what you’re looking for. However, once you know generally which deliverables (books) you are really interested in, using the Search tool within them works GREAT. Click on book to open it, and then do your searches once inside.

 Tip: Leave Feedback about a Topic

Down the right side of the page, you’ll see a thumbs up icon. Don’t worry, clicking it doesn’t mean you’ll register approval of the topic. Clicking the thumbs up icon just starts up the feedback dialog. From there, you can rate all kinds of things and leave suggestions too. Your feedback is not posted to publicly, and is currently a one way conversation to us.

 Tip: Download the Book You’re Reading

If you’re on a topic in the SAP Help Portal and you decide you want to download the book it is in, use the little PDF icon on the right side of the reading window.

 Tip: Get Out of the Book You’re Reading

All of the text strings in the nice green and black header area of a page in SAP Help Portal are clickable, including the breadcrumbs and titles. Use them to get out of where you are and back to the fuller listings.

 Tip: Access Help on How to Use SAP Help Portal

Lots of hard work went into the introduction and overview items found on the main SAP Help Portal landing page. Waaay more info than I have in this tiny post. 🙂

 

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16 Comments

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  1. Joachim Rees

    Hey Laura,

     

    I think you could also (secondary-) tag this with “Using SAP.com” to increase visibility. (I only stumbled appon this via the frontapge-feature “Latest Blogs”)

    As far as I can tell, that tag is not only for the SAP Community, but “everything sap.com” like the new help portal.

     

    best

    Joachim

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  2. Denis Konovalov

    It would be nice to have some screenshots in the post as the site design is challenging and finding things on it are hard.

    For example – your tip # 1 – I can’t find download PDF area at all. Or does it exist only for hana docs ?

     

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    1. Laura Nevin Post author

      Hi Denis, and thanks for the great idea re screen caps. I’ve added some as you suggest. Let me know if they are(n’t) an improvement.

      The download PDF may not exist for some product pages, actually, possibly for valid technical reasons I’m not aware of (I author for the HANA product, so I am more familiar with what it provides).

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  3. Jürgen L

    I googled today for the term “logging of SAP GUI for Windows” to know about what this tag in the community is.

    The very first result in Google was this page from help.sap.com : https://help.sap.com/viewer/1fa9c76a138a4c22bb7a9cf3b92bd456/2.0%20SP02/en-US/3082e1cc32004d5b917225020afdf158.html

    it returned a blank page with a 404 sorry.

    So I tried another result from Google, which is hosted under uacp2.hana.ondemand.com  :

    https://uacp2.hana.ondemand.com/viewer/1fa9c76a138a4c22bb7a9cf3b92bd456/2.0/en-US/73f379a769ec43eabf117da0617fe744.html

    And here I found the information I was locking for.

    What is this uacp2.hana.ondemand.com which has not even SAP in its URL and why is it better than help.sap.com ?

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    1. Laura Nevin Post author

       

      Hi Jürgen,

      The first link is to the now-retired version of help portal, where our docs used to reside. The second link is the newly designed Help Portal (User Assistance Content Platform is in the url as uacp etc – to help you distinguish URLs in the future, until the old ones disappear off Google results).

      The new Help Portal is easier to navigate, and the format of the content is also much easier to read. There are other features coming as well. Here’s a link to more info about it if you want to read on: SAP Help Portal

      Thank you for posting about your experience.

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      1. Denis Konovalov

        I’m sorry, but new portal is not easier to navigate, as there is no navigation in it – it is all search. Rudimentary navigation that it does have is orders of magnitude worst than original portal.

         

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          1. Denis Konovalov

            Analytics.
            But really, from Home page there is no way to get to any “multi-branched” product directly by navigation.
            You can get to main product page. If you’re lucky, but from there the navigation is very limited compared to original help portal.

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          2. Joe Peters

            I’m with Denis – navigation in the new site is much more difficult than before.

            I use BusinessObjects.  It used to take 3-4 clicks from the home page to get to a page containing all the documentation links.  It wasn’t perfect, but I could quickly find the documents I needed.

            Now I first need to search for the product name.  I learned of a shortcut in which I can search for “ce pl”.  But this still displays “SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform” and “SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise / Business Intelligence Platform”.  I have to remember which one is for version XI3 and which one is for BI4. And if I want WebIntelligence documentation, it’s a completely separate product page.

            The product home pages contain a few, but not all, of the documents I typically use.  I can switch to “list view”, which does list all documents, but they appear to be randomly sorted.

            I have to say that searching has significantly improved since launch, at which point it was literally unusable.

            (2) 
      2. Steffi Warnecke

         

        I wonder who thought up “User Assistance Content Platform” or “uacp2” as a linkname. Why not make it easier for users and just name it “helpportal.sap.com”? The new one looks like a servername or something. :/

        Regards,

        Steffi.

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          1. Steffi Warnecke

            Thank you, Laura. Maybe they can create a redirection like that. Would help a lot of people, I’d say. “Help.sap.com” is such a known url, it would be a shame to start from scratch. 🙂

            .

            Regards,

            Steffi.

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            1. Laura Nevin Post author

               

              Hi Steffi,

              They’ve informed me that help.sap.com actually does take you to the new Help Portal. I think the URL you are seeing in search results may still show the old URL format, but you can use help.sap.com at any time.

              kind regards,

              Laura

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