Working with the SAP Enable Now App Launcher
The Big Bang you might have missed
If you’re a SAP Enable Now cloud customer, you might already be using the SAP Enable Now App Launcher. If you’re still using the Java Applet, please read this blog carefully – you might have missed the big news. This was announced in the 2105 version What’s New documentation (Help Document | Blog). Due to the discontinued support for Java Runtime Environment 8,
starting with the upcoming SAP Enable Now release 2111, Desktop components can only be started with the SAP Enable Now App Launcher.
If this is old news for you, great! Maybe you will still find interesting bits of information further down in the installation and roll-out sections.
If this is the first you hear of the upcoming change and you are unsure about what the SAP Enable Now App Launcher is and how it works, or if you want to find out how to implement and activate it, you’ve come to the right place. The most up to date and current information is always found in the SAP Enable Now App Launcher help document.
A bit of history and background information
With the 1905 release of the SAP Enable Now Cloud product, the SAP Enable Now App Launcher was introduced. It is used to unpack and launch the Producer, Instant Producer, and Desktop Assistant files for the cloud version of SAP Enable Now.
Since this release, customers had a choice about which technology to use. It was either the JAVA Web Start technology or the SAP Enable Now App Launcher.
To start any of the desktop components in the cloud version, users click on a link to download a small file. This file is either a .jnlp (JAVA Web Start) or a .senl (SAP Enable Now App Launcher) type of file. It contains information about
- the type of desktop component
- the Manager
- the workarea
- the user
- the language, and
- a digital signature.
Using this small file, both of the tools can unpack and install or open the desktop component. The JAVA Web Start, however, will be deprecated.
Starting with the 2111 release of SAP Enable Now, planned for Q4 2021, all cloud customers will need to switch to the SAP Enable Now App Launcher.
Installation, Roll-Out, and Settings
Before making any changes to the Manager server settings (which are covered further down), you need to plan and execute the installation and/or roll-out including packaging of the SAP Enable Now App Launcher.
The installation file itself can be downloaded from the Manager. If you have not activated the Launcher, you can download the most current installation file (.msi) from your manager anyway. Sign in and go to the home screen. Then remove everything after .sap and add this to your URL
So if your manager URL looks like this:
Then after adding the text above it should look like this:
Now you have the installation file. There are two ways to install the SAP Enable Now App Launcher:
- Individual Installation
- Installation via Application Rollout
I will describe both ways.
This means an individual user, for example yourself, installs the SAP Enable Now App Launcher on your own client (laptop) with the .msi installation file.
The good thing is, you will only have to install the App Launcher once. Future updates are deployed automatically.
Installation via Application Rollout
This means the installation file is rolled out by the customer IT team. It is usually packaged, which is another word for bundling the installation file with others and automatically installing it on the clients of a specific user group.
There are two ways to roll it out in a packaged installation.
- To rollout the application without auto update functionality, run the rollout with administrative permissions as silent installation by your preferred rollout mechanism.
- The auto update functionality is only activated when the installation file is run from the currently logged in user. Hence, to enable the auto update in a remote application rollout the installation needs be started on user login. The property MSIINSTALLPERUSER=1 is supported to run the installation in the per-user context. Further instructions are in the SAP Enable Now App Launcher Guide.
Enabling auto update means that the SAP Enable Now App Launcher will update itself to the newest version when started and will not have to be updated with a new packaged installation.
How to turn it on
After you have gone through the preparations for using the SAP Enable Now App Launcher, it’s time to turn it on in the Manager settings. Go to Administration > Server Settings and look for that checkbox almost at the bottom in the Miscellaneous section:
Once this checkbox is checked, every user in your Manager will be using the SAP Enable Now App Launcher when opening desktop components.
Other useful information and Summary
Since it’s either JAVA Web Start or SAP Enable Now App Launcher, some of you might ask – well, how to test it? Actually, as with all releases, there will be a 4 week preview period before the next release as well in which you have access to the preview version of the Manager. You can turn on the SAP Enable Now App Launcher in this preview version and test it for 4 weeks.
Auto Start of Desktop Assistant
If you’re using Desktop Assistant, you might also be using an auto start task to launch it automatically for users (described in this blog). This might include a link to the JavaApplet to open the downloaded navigator.jnlp file. Please keep in mind that you willhave to adjust the auto start task to reflect the changes to the file name (navigator.senl) and the application used to launch this file (SAP Enable Now App Launcher).
Registry Entry to automatically open .senl files
If it bothers your users to have to click on the downloaded .senl file in the browser to open it or you feel that they might miss that, there’s a way to have the browser open that file automatically with the SAP Enable Now App Launcher. Check chapter 4 of the SAP Enable Now App Launcher guide from the help portal to find out more. This is possible on single registry level and also via group policy.
More useful information
Here is a list of other useful information about the SAP Enable Now App Launcher.
- No administrative privileges required for installation
- Signatures and Certificates are provided with the installation .msi file
- XML protection: Launcher files are protected against XML attacks
- Signed binaries: All application binaries of the SAP Enable Now cloud applications are cryptographically signed by SAP and accordingly verified by the App Launcher
- File transfer between server and client machine is encrypted with TLS 1.2 exclusively
- All SAP Enable Now cloud applications use session verifications (nonces) with short lifetime, usable only once
- No personal data is transported, processed, or stored at any time
- There is also a KBA available: 2797766 – How to use SAP Enable Now App Launcher
I hope this blog was useful to inform you about the functionality of the SAP Enable Now App Launcher. (At least you should remember what it’s called now that I’ve used the term 23 times in this blog 😉 )
Remember, starting with the 2111 release planned for end of Q4 2021, the SAP Enable Now App Launcher will be the only option to start your cloud desktop components! Please consider switching to this tool for launching your SAP Enable Now cloud desktop applications as soon as possible.