SAP Cloud Platform Portal Developer Challenge: VANTAiO Extranet Portal
Dear SAP Portal Community,
With delight, we have read about the SAP Cloud Platform Portal Developer Challenge 2018-2019 and are joining 🙂
We from VANTAiO have a long portal history and are happy to share with you our ready-to-run Extranet Portal which is based on the SAP Cloud Platform Portal. With regard to our experience the SAP Cloud Platform is very well suited for lightweight external portal implementations.
Our blog post is divided in five parts as follows:
- Introduction / Business Case
- Features / Highlights
1. Introduction / Business Case
Extranet portals bundle communication and services to customers, partners and suppliers via a central web platform. The SAP-based VANTAiO Extranet Portal is a pre-configured and template-based solution that provides integrated access to information, documents and processes. Among other things, companies can provide information directly online and documents are easily exchangeable. Customers, partners and suppliers receive a comprehensive self-service and can, for example, view orders and master data or execute order confirmations online. The direct connection to processes in the company ensures a professional continuity in the information and process flow.
2. Features / Highlights
In this section you can see the highlights/main functionalities of our Extranet Portal template from the user perspective.
The most important page is the personalized homepage which provides individual information and quick access to the most important applications.
Custom Header (Logo, Language Switch, Profile, Logoff)
The header provides the usual functionality like custom logo, language switch, user profile and the possibility to log off.
Prominent Media Gallery
The most important information/highlights of the portal are displayed via the media gallery. The content of the gallery content can be maintained via the SAP Web Content Editor.
The user is greeted by a personal welcome message.
Display of an individual contact person for the user. This could be e.g. their sales or support contact.
Role-based Application Launcher
Via the module Application Launcher the user has quick access to their most important applications and portal pages. Via a custom icon and title the user reaches their app/service in no time.
The portal administrator can place this module/widget on any portal page (multi instance capability) and can add/reuse applications, which are maintained in the application catalog of the portal (Site Designer -> Content Management -> Apps) and portal pages (Site Designer -> Page Management – > Pages) to the Application Launcher.
Optionally the administrator can enrich the application with additional meta data, e.g. maintain a responsible contact person, and can configure layout/rendering options of the Application Launcher, e.g. choose between a tile or list view, configure the size of the tiles etc.
When the end user accesses the Application Launcher only the applications/pages are shown to which the user has permissions. We achieve that while the Application Launcher consumes the portal API in the context of the end user to consume/collect the applications and pages.
The footer contains the typical and obligatory information, like links to the social media pages and to the imprint etc.
Application Integration: SAPUI5 Application Integration
The unique differentiator of the SAP Cloud Platform Portal is the capability to integrate a vast amount of applications. In the following example you can see a SAPUI5 application which provides the user a comprehensive overview of their invoices, which are coming from an SAP On-Premise backend system.
Another top use case in an extranet is the cross-company exchange of documents. To achieve that requirement, one could integrate the SAP Document Center or build a custom solution based on the SAP Document Service (Neo), SAP Object Store (Multicloud) or one could integrate/use the best in class Content and Filesharing solution from the SAP Partner Egnyte. Following, you can see the end user view of the Egnyte widget integrated in our extranet portal.
Another criteria for success for a lightweight portal use case is the ease to change/maintain content. The basic components of the SAP Cloud Platform Portal can be maintained and configured via the SAP Site Designer. Following, you will find an example of the layout setting dialog of the carousel widget, were one can configure different layout options.
Video of Highlighted Features
The video will give you a live impression of the VANTAiO Extranet Portal powered by SAP Cloud Platform Portal.
The SAP Cloud Platform Portal supports two user experiences / site types. On the one hand SAP Fiori Launchpad Sites and on the other hand Freestyle Sites.
Our extranet template is developed/based on Freestyle Site Templates and uses the standard tools for operating the portal like the Site Designer (menu and page editor) or the SAP Web Content Editor. Furthermore, other SAP Cloud Platform services (e.g. Fiori Cloud Apps, SAP Jam Collaboration) or partner services (e.g. Egnyte) can be integrated.
SAP Architecture as Base of VANTAiO Cloud Software
Another good use case of the SAP Cloud Platform Portal, especially in an extranet use case, is the support of hybrid scenarios. One could give partners or customers e.g. access to data that is coming from an internal On-Premise SAP system, without exposing the system to the internet.
SAP Cloud Platform – Application Integration Architecture
The SAP Cloud Platform Portal and the application frontend (e.g. a SAPUI5 application) is running on the SAP Cloud Platform and the application can access data via a Destination through the SAP Cloud Connector from any internal data source (e.g. from an internal SAP OData Service). Furthermore the SAP Cloud Connector can be configured to support Single-Sign-On from the Cloud to the backend system via Principal Propagation.
We see in the future of course also more complex freestyle portal scenarios which could look like the following development preview on which we are currently working…
… and another top trend in the future will be SAP Fiori 3.0 based FLP “portals” were the new cards technology / UI paradigm will be a great way to pimp the “classic” tile-based landing pages of the existing FLP 2.0. Here we are currently working on some exciting extension modules… more maybe in another blog ?
We hope you enjoy our lightweight extranet portal approach to combine content, people and application/processes to ONE solution! One of the greatest things of a cloud solution are the low barriers to start/test drive a solution!
If you have questions/feedback do not hesitate to contact us!
All the best from the VANTAiO Portal Developers!