In SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP06, we introduced the SAP Screen Personas Slipstream Engine. The release announcement focused on how the Slipstream Engine reduces kernel dependencies. This is true because the Slipstream Engine provides an alternate rendering approach to the SAP GUI for HTML (Web GUI). The biggest benefit of the Slipstream Engine is that it renders flavors on mobile devices. During our beta testing, we had customers, partners, and employees running SAP Screen Personas flavors on iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
Why did we build the Slipstream Engine?
For the past few years, customers have asked for a way to run their SAP Screen Personas flavors on mobile devices. Some did not wait for us to provide an official solution; they built flavors and ran them on iPads and Android tablets. But, these scenarios were not supported by SAP. The new Slipstream Engine changes all that. We built it specifically to render SAP Screen Personas flavors on mobile devices such as tablets and phones.
In addition, the fixes to some incidents required updates to both the client (applying an SAP Note) and kernel (replacing with a newer version). For some customers, this presented delays in obtaining their fix, as they need to schedule any kernel updates with their basis team, usually far in advance. While we did separate some of the UI libraries from the other kernel components over the past few months, to minimize disruptions, the Slipstream Engine goes further. It offers a clean separation of the rendering, doing everything on the client side with no backend dependencies, other than the interface through which we obtain the screen definitions.
What is the Slipstream Engine
The SAP Screen Personas Slipstream Engine is a UI5 application that runs in a browser. Similar to the SAP GUI for HTML, it obtains the screen definitions from the Internet Transaction Server (ITS). Unlike Web GUI, the Slipstream Engine was engineered to run on mobile devices, with the expectation that one of the main screen interactions will be touch. So, SAP Screen Personas flavors look like mobile apps when you run them on a tablet or phone.
If you choose to run the Slipstream Engine in the SAP Fiori Client, you gain access to supported native device capabilities, such as camera (for barcode scanning), GPS (location services), calendar, and contacts. You can set the security as needed to allow or block access to these native device capabilities.
What the Slipstream Engine gives you
The biggest benefit the Slipstream Engine delivers is the ability to (finally) run SAP Screen Personas flavors on mobile devices.
- Extend Fiori coverage in your SAP S/4HANA system. Now, you can run every Web-based transaction in SAP S/4HANA, including the advanced screens, on a mobile device. We recommend you simplify the advanced screens before running on a tablet or phone so your users enjoy the full Fiori experience (role-based, simple, adaptive, coherent, delightful).
- Give ECC users access to the Fiori UX. You can simplify and beautify your SAP GUI transactions – as you have been able to do with SAP Screen Personas for the past few years. The Slipstream Engine now allows you to run these flavors on mobile devices.
“My first impressions on the new SAP Screen Personas Slipstream Engine is that it’s brilliant! I am a big, big fan and I believe what we are seeing now is the start of a low code journey to a better UX.”
Dan Barton, Partner & Co-Founder of Bluestonex
Using the Slipstream Engine
You build flavors following the standard process that uses the SAP Screen Personas editor, which is built into the SAP GUI for HTML.
When your flavors are ready, you can view them using the Slipstream Engine. To access the Slipstream Engine, you use a different URL that gives you access to the flavor through the Slipstream Engine rather than the standard SAP GUI for HTML.
As with the other members of the SAP GUI family, there might be slight rendering difference between the Web GUI and Slipstream Engine. For a screen that looks perfect in the Web GUI, you may need to make minor adjustments to the screen to get the exact look you want in the Slipstream Engine. This is a similar process to the way customers develop screens for the SAP GUI for Windows.
Given the ability to run advanced screens in SAP S/4HANA (classic SAP GUI transactions) on a mobile device, we expect many customers to launch flavors from the Fiori Launchpad (as they do today) but render them on a tablet. To run the Slipstream Engine from the Fiori lauchpad, you just need to change the service that launches the transaction. Then your users can click a tile and see their GUI screens on the device of their choice, with or without a flavor applied. We recommend simplifying these GUI screens first to provide the best user experience.
While we are very excited about the new Slipstream Engine that shipped as a component in SAP Screen Persons 3.0 SP6, it does not instantly mobilize all SAP GUI screens.
- Many SAP GUI screens are quite complex (i.e. VA01, ME21N, MM03, and many more). You would not want to access them on your phone; there are just too many controls. However, simplifying them with SAP Screen Personas might give you a convenient way to use the functionality you want on the device of your choice.
- The Slipstream Engine is a new client to access your SAP ERP system. It provides a mobile-optimized alternative to SAP GUI for HTML, SAP GUI for Windows, or SAP GUI for Java. With the Slipstream Engine, you are still accessing SAP from a browser, albeit a mobile browser. As such, plan on using the Slipstream Engine to access your SAP ERP system under the same circumstances you would use another connection to the backend. That is, in a connected environment. As with the members of the SAP GUI family, the Slipstream engine is for online use only. There is no offline capability.
- To ensure an optimized experience, the Slipstream Engine works best with transactions we have whitelisted. This means we have tested and verified that these transactions render properly in the Slipstream Engine. Or, a partner or customer has reported that specific transactions work correctly. Initially, the whitelist includes SMEN and all the VA, SU, and LM transactions. This list will continue to grow as more people use more transactions using the Slipstream Engine. The whitelist is maintained in the SAP Screen Personas admin transaction. You can modify this yourself to include your own custom (Z-) transactions or other scenarios you test on your own.
Please see note 2557076 for details on Slipstream Engine limitations, along with the latest catalog of whitelisted transactions.
The Slipstream Engine is a component of SAP Screen Personas SP06, so the backend requirements are identical.
The Slipstream Engine is a component of SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP06, so the support is part of standard SAP Screen Personas support. This is a rolling 5-year support window, which is the same as SAP’s support for SAP S/4HANA.
System compatibility and kernel recommendations
The Slipstream Engine is a component of SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP06, so you can read the basis and kernel prerequisites in the SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP6 product announcement.
The full list of minimum system requirements to use SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP6 is part of the master note.
Upgrade to SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP6 (requires valid NetWeaver License) to gain access to the Slipstream Engine.
Sharing Your Success
Since the Slipstream Engine is brand new, we are looking for customers and partners that want to share their success stories. This can be in a blog, demo in the SAP Screen Personas Practitioner Forum, ASUG or other user group event, or SAPPHIRE / TechEd. Please let me know what you are doing and I can help you position your organization as an innovator.