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SAP Business One – the future of Browser Access

Dear Customers and Partners, 

It has been four years since we announced Browser Access for SAP Business One. It was our answer to your expectation on having a web experience added to your favorite Enterprise Resource Planning software. During these four years many changes have taken place in the market; from a business, user experience and technology perspective. Due to these changes, we are currently reviewing our product and portfolio strategy and are evaluating the possibility to stop further investments into the Browser Access as of SAP Business One version 10. This would allow us to focus our efforts on key areas to help move SAP Business One even closer to the cloud experience than ever.

There are many reasons why we are considering this change. Let me just briefly explain some of the most important ones: 

  • There is a significant number of limitations relative to the regular SAP Business One client 
  • Existing technology, both at SAP and in the market, is much better from the cost and scalability perspective in comparison to where we were some years ago. 
  • It would take additional efforts on SSP side to make extensions compatible and by this attractive for end-users. 
  • There is significantly lower usage of Browser Access at customer and partner side than we expected it to be when we released this component to the market. 

What’s instead?  

As you know from the SAP Business One Roadmap, we are putting significant effort on the cloud both from user experience and technical perspective. Just a word on key items: 

  • With version 10 we intend to provide a new native web client, based on SAP Fiori and SAPUI5 technologies. This will allow you to manage customers, items as well activities around sales ordering processes directly from the web.
  • Understanding the business side and cost structure for providing cloud services we have already delivered enhancements to improve management experience of SAP Business One. From the recently delivered items let me just highlight improved extension management, import and export of SAP HANA schemas or integration of Microsoft User Principal Name, which allows e-mail-based authentication into SAP Business One Cloud hosted installations. However, this is not all. At present our development is working on changes in resource pull sharing as well as advance stability, security and high availability, all of this to make SAP Business One Cloud more attractive and cheaper in operation. 

These innovations are available through two programs: 

  • SAP Business One Cloud hosted by Partners – available in all regions with basically unlimited combinations of provided software and services. 
  • SAP Business One Cloud hosted by SAP – standardised deployment of SAP Business One, empowered by Industry Packages to give you and your customer easy access to the best ERP solution for small and midsize companies. 

I hope that the roadmap which we have built as well as planned enhancements which we are working on will show you our commitment to deliver requirements which you are raising. 

Replacement or other options for bringing SAP Business One with cloud experience? 

Of course, we understand also that potential unavailability of Browser Access in SAP Business One version 10 may bring some difficulties. Therefore, let me share some ideas on how to overcome these. 

Our customers are expecting full access to SAP Business One from any location at any time via web browser when possible. The Value-Added Resellers would like to ensure that all add-ons are running without limitations as they were published via regular remote desktop. Solution Service Providers want to lower testing efforts and have the guarantee that whatever works in the on-premise environment will behave the same in the cloud environment. Many cloud operators that I know of are currently using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services. Not so longago Microsoft has delivered a Web Client for users to allow access to published application straight from the browser. More information on that option you may find on the vendor’s documentation page: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/clients/remote-desktop-web-client-admin 

There are also other options in the market allowing to access remotely published application via HTML5 interface by Citrix and Ericom, just to name a few. 

What is most important for Cloud Providers is the fact that there is no additional hardware required to facilitate the new way of accessing SAP Business One in the cloud. And for the user to get access to the cloud application, there is no need of installing additional software on their machines. Moreover, the 3rd party technologies are supported from the infrastructure perspective, so lower than only application level, which allows to ensure better scalability and security for customer data. 

Before implementing one of the available solutions, partners should check with their local contact about pricing and licensing of the available solution. 

After successful partner review, SAP Business One Cloud hosted by SAP was recently empowered for HTML5 access. 

More information? 

Heading to the 2019 SMB Innovation Summit in Orlando (Jun 18 – 20) I would like to give you an opportunity to meet and discuss any possible outstanding questions. Please feel free to contact me via message or e-mail or schedule a meeting via Meet-The-Expert Session, by blocking calendar at: https://tasman.site/clientes/sap/mte/. 

You are also invited to my session planned for Jun 18 at 5:05 p.m. in Curacao 3-4 room (please check final agenda as the room may change). 

Please note that the decision to remove the Browser Access in SAP Business One 10 is not finalized. I am looking for your honest feedback in this blog, via e-mail or in-person if you either prefer to keep the Browser Access or support the idea of moving into a new direction. 

Thank you and best regards,

Maciej Fuchs 

 

8 Comments
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  • I think while the Browser Access option was not a fully fleshed out / as robust tool as was expected, it was something that allowed SAP Business One clients to enable “remote user access” at little to no cost.

    Yes, Microsoft Remote Desktop / Citrix would be the best choice, but these solutions had additional licenses (costs $) and sometimes additional hardware (costs $) to maintain.

    Unless the new web client / Fiori / HTML 5 platform allows for FULL functionality in SAP Business One; be it for both MS SQL and HANA versions, this move seems to be in the wrong direction for both partners and clients.

  • Hi

    I think while the browser access is used by few PMC like us , we have customers who are using it full fledged and we have customized and optimized our add ons to work on the same, and we have a large base of users using the Browser access. As seen in the SMB summit, though the new Fiori app is great to use but i feel its more for sales functionality. Unless the web client is for entire application it is advisable to carry both together

    Sachin

  • Hi

    From our perspective as a partner we do have customers using this as it is very easy for them to deploy and cost effective, Whilst it does have some limitations around functionality, certainly during the sales cycle and demonstrations it does go done well with customers, especially when you stack it up against competitor software that is browser based.

    To be very frank, the SAP B1 GUI is very old and outdated, yes it occasionally gets a colour refresh, so when presented against modern looking competitor software it looks years behind. The browser was a good step in the right direction on look and feel.

    Competitor software has drag and drop capability in planning etc that SAP B1 is painfully lacking and I am not sure how you will compete against that in the current GUI. We managed to write a web based production planner that was drag and drop and fully integrated with SAP in about a week, so I am mystified how a company like SAP with its resource capability can’t do this.

    How old the software looks and feels is very often the first comment from customers after they have been demo’d competitor software, lets not even talk about the lack of pegging and hard allocations.

    By removing this this for me is a huge step backwards, especially given that the new browser client is not full function.

    When you should be investing in this function and making your product stand above or at the very least align with competitors, after all, opinions are formed in the first 3 minutes, you decide to step backwards. I have to question if SAP actually understands both its customers, but more importantly its competitors.

    Please don’t get the tone of this comment wrong, I absolutely love SAP B1 and most of its core functionality, it’s customisation etc. and I would not work for a competitors software, however it feels like SAP B1 is being blown to the dust by competitors in the same SME software range.

    Sean Martin

  • Hi,

    I agree a true browser client would be much better and a true step forwards.  However as there are many users using the current Browser Access client it’s really important that there is an adequate platform for them to move onto before the current one is switched off.

    As mentioned above, the new browser capability needs to offer every function that Browser Access does (i.e. all SAP B1 functionality) and needs to be available on both HANA and SQL.

    We can’t go to existing customers and explain that it’s being dropped with no viable alternative.

    I would suggest freezing Browser Access and still supporting it until the new one is up to full function.

    Regards, Tony Hilton

    • The new web-client will take years and years to get feature complete. Browser Access Real replacement is Microsofts Web Remote Desktop (WRDP). It offers more features than Browser Access (including supporting add-on that don’t even work in Browser Access right now as it mimics the entire Windows Experience and not just the SAP).

      Granted WRDP cost an extra license but offer a so much better product to the customer over Browser Access

      A small sample video of how WRDP Works is here (17min 49sec in): https://youtu.be/Latp5cirQBc

      Maciej Fuchs : Perhaps you should record a small video on how well SAP Business One using WRDP Works so everyone can see how much better an experience it is over Browser Access

  • I agree with this as a strategy. WRDP is available now and offers the full SBO client functionality that a regular RDP connection does.

    If SAP were to continue to support and develop the limited tech of browser access then the customers using it will get even deeper into an out of date solution which will make moving in the future even more difficult.

    From talks at the summit in Nice it appears that the web client development may be delayed due to the dev team having to concentrate on many many legal requirements that have been imposed recently.

    I for one don’t want them wasting time on something that can be done better already i.e. browser access being replaced by WRDP.  Let’s concentrate on a full web client.

     

     

  • We have tried to use Browser Access in some clients but it has performance issues. We have tried to solve the issues but the situation with clients didnt give us time and the product didnt show speed in solving things.

    I disagree with the option to stop investing in one way when SAP doesnt have a real WEB Client, it will need years to have stability in the new client.

    I cant belive that a corporation like SAP is just speaking about WEB Client, and years later we still dont have something to be used, just POC (probe of concept).

    The only reason to stop something is because there is something new that works.