TechEd Barcelona – harnessing the wisdom of the crowd on the way to the cloud
With all the SAP Screen Personas sessions packed into one day, there was plenty of time to meet with customers, partners, and colleagues to discuss market trends, innovation, and best practices. Being able to tap into the wisdom of the crowd is one of the best reasons to attend TechEd. In this blog, I will share the content of these conversations and invite you to add your ideas to influence the initial direction of the planned SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition.
Disclaimer: This blog contains forward-looking statements about unreleased software, “SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition.” We reserve the right to change our plans at any time for any reason on any dimension, including functionality, release date, product naming, and anything else.
SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition
At TechEd, we announced a beta program for SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition. We discussed the new architecture and the advantages of moving the client sources and flavor management to the cloud.
There are two main benefits from this approach:
- You can protect your back-end system. Since the rendering is processed in the SAP Cloud Platform, you no longer need to worry about kernel updates for SAP Screen Personas. In addition, you also don’t need to apply any SAP Notes as we handle that for you on SAP Cloud Platform. This eliminates the cost of kernel updates (generally trivial) and associated regression testing of your system (non-trivial).
- You gain access to SAP Screen Personas innovations sooner. This is certainly a more subtle point, but equally significant. There is no need to wait until your basis team has time to install the latest service pack. When we have new functionality, we will install it into the SAP Cloud Platform environment and you can use it immediately.
Since this is a cloud solution, we will incur costs to host the software, store your flavors, and manage the system. In contrast to the on-premise SAP Screen Personas, which is included with your NetWeaver license, there will be a licensing fee for SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition. Our current plan (see disclaimer above) is to license SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition based on the number of users. We will finalize the structure of the licensing before we release the product as generally available. If you have opinions on this, please email me to discuss. The many show floor chats I had at TechEd were very useful in understanding the many issues involved in cloud licensing. Thank to everyone who provided their advice.
The other hot topic of conversation at TechEd Barcelona was the Slipstream Engine. Slipstream Engine is a component of SAP Screen Personas that enables you to render flavors in a mobile browser. We introduced this capability in SP06 and it has been very popular ever since. Using Slipstream Engine to simplify classic SAP transactions and render them on mobile devices was the main focus of the interactions people had with SAP Screen Personas at TechEd.
- The hands-on session exercise allowed participants to simplify a complex SAP GUI transaction, ME51N, and create flavors for their phone or tablet. Thanks to SAP Mentor Steve Rumsby for assisting with this session. If you attended CGE362, we are keeping the demo system open for an extra week so you can show your colleagues the flavors you built on your phone.
- The Mini-CodeJam also had a scenario in which participants simplify a complex transaction, this time IW51, and create a version for their phone. Congratulations to Krists for leading the session and for surviving his first TechEd.
- In the usability lab, customers had the chance to test some scenarios in building flavors. This testing allows us to make SAP Screen Personas easier to use and more intuitive. On the mobile side, aside from the usual iPhones and Android devices, one customer even brought a Blackberry. This too worked with the Slipstream Engine. Kudos to Sylvia and Ina for their running the usability tests all day, every day, at TechEd.
Thank you to Tamas, Kranthi, Shailaja, and everyone else who worked behind the scenes to create the scenarios and maintain the demo systems for the exercises.
If you missed these sessions at TechEd, you can build your own mobile flavors in our openSAP course, Building Mobile Applications with SAP Screen Personas.
Building Mobile Apps
While we are very excited about the Slipstream Engine, as are our customers and partners, it is one of many options that SAP provides to let you consume SAP applications on a mobile device. While SAP Screen Personas renders in a browser, here are some options to develop native mobile apps.
- SAP Mobile Cards lets you mobilize enterprise data as microapps. This provides a native experience on your Apple or Android
- SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS simplifies development of enterprise-ready mobile native iOS apps.
- SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android lets you build native Android apps.
- SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services provides a complete mobile app development platform.
- SAP Cloud Platform Experience Maker is a set of integrated services to deliver delightful user experiences across various digital touchpoints.
In the lecture session, Sebastian and I gave participants three things to remember after TechEd:
As with most SAP conferences, there are a few people who have not heard about SAP Screen Personas recently (sign up for our product announcements or support newsletter so you know what we are doing) and assume the product is not evolving. Our 1500+ customers around the world know that we deliver innovation regularly. For those customers who join us on our journey to the cloud, you will receive functionality even sooner than our current twice a year release cycle.
As you can see, SAP Screen Personas has a very bright future ahead. I hope you will join us on this exciting journey as we provide another option for you to obtain a better UX for your classic SAP Screens. You will be able to choose between running SAP Screen Personas on-premise or in the cloud.
SAP Screen Personas, cloud edition
- If you are an existing SAP Screen Personas customer, I invite you to participate in the beta program for our planned cloud edition. Please email me to join the beta program.
- If you are not currently using SAP Screen Personas, stay tuned for more information on how you can leave your core ERP system (ECC or SAP S/4HANA) alone and innovate your user experience on the SAP Cloud Platform.
All it takes to improve your UX is an SAP Cloud Platform account on Cloud Foundry and desire to make your employees happier and productive with how they use SAP transactions in their daily work.
SAP Screen Personas (on premise)
- With no licensing fee, lots of free training, and a fast track to improve your classic ERP screens – what are you waiting for? Start with the Introduction to SAP Screen Personas openSAP course and start now.
On behalf of the SAP Screen Personas product team, Peter Spielvogel.
Good News. Assuming that a user subscribes to the Cloud Edition, how would they access the UI. Do they access the app from SAP Cloud Platform or would this not be visible to the users (meaning Cloud Platform behaves as an engine and processes the request).
The Screen Personas cloud edition application is hosted as a multi-tenant application and customers can subscribe to it from their Cloud Foundry sub-account. The Slipstream Engine is one of several apps that constitute the cloud edition application and can be accessed via the URL provided in the application subscription’s information page.
An application router app is responsible to dispatch requests from Slipstream Engine to other apps and to the on-premise system via the Cloud Connector. The end user needs to only know the URL of the Slipstream Engine application.