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Author's profile photo Kristina Kunad

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

/app/SAP-Enable-Now-Launcher.msi

So if your manager URL looks like this:

https://test.enable-now.cloud.sap/ng/#/home

Then after adding the text above it should look like this:

https://test.enable-now.cloud.sap/app/SAP-Enable-Now-Launcher.msi

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.

Individual Installation

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.

  1. To rollout the application without auto update functionality, run the rollout with administrative permissions as silent installation by your preferred rollout mechanism.
  2. 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

Testing

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.

If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment below, ask a question in this Community or reach out to your Customer Support Partner.

Take care,

Kristina

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      4 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Thomas Bjoernholdt Nakai
      Thomas Bjoernholdt Nakai

      Hi Kristina,

       

      We havent started using the App Launcher yet, but it is on our agenda this fall.

       

      We will probably start go with a individual installation and ask our authors/editors to download the launcher when we go-live.

       

      1. Do all our current authors/editors need to download the APP launcher when we do cut over? (We currently have around (250)
      2. Will it not be possible to start using java when we tick "Use SAP Enable Now App Launcher" in Server settings.?
      3. What is the easiest way to get the authors to download the app launcher prior to "go live". Should we send them this link (https://test.enable-now.cloud.sap/app/SAP-Enable-Now-Launcher.msi) ?
      4. How can I test that it works.?

      Your article and the supporting material is good, but we need some guidance on the actual cut over.

       

      Best regards,

      Thomas

      Author's profile photo Kristina Kunad
      Kristina Kunad
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Thomas,

      ok, good to hear. Just make sure everyone is supplied before the 2111 release goes live. Regarding your questions:

      1. Yes, everyone who is using the Producer, Desktop Assistant, Instant Producer needs the SAP Enable Now App Launcher.
      2. It will not be possible anymore to deselect the Launcher, the setting will probably just be removed completely.
      3. Yes, you can send this link. Or you can roll it out as a packaged installation.
      4. You will have access to the preview instance about 4 weeks prior to the release. This is the time you have for testing.

      Please consider reaching out to your CSP for guidance or join the next Ask the Expert session where I can explain in more detail. There is also a recorded webinar in the Info Center.

      Hope this helps and take care,

      Kristina

      Author's profile photo Thomas Bjoernholdt Nakai
      Thomas Bjoernholdt Nakai

      HI Kristina,

       

      Thank you.

       

      Just saw your webinar and most of it is more clear now.

      Just to clarify.

      1. Currently the App launcher setting is deselected. Will  all our authors have to download the App Launcher before i tick it, or will it still be possible to tick the box while some users ares still running on java?
      2. We are currently also running a offline copy of our online Infocenter. I guess that the users of the offline copy do not need to download the App Launcher.
      3. Unfortunatly we will do it as a individual installation as our IT department has classified it as a small system.
      4. When is the release, and when can I start testing?

      Thank you.

       

      Best regards,

      Thomas

      Author's profile photo Kristina Kunad
      Kristina Kunad
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Thomas,

      ok, good. I'm glad the webinar was helpful. To answer your questions:

      1. All authors will have to have the App Launcher installed before you change the setting in Manager. Once you change the setting, .senl files will be downloaded and those can only be opened with the App Launcher.
      2. Correct, library users don't need to have the App Launcher installed.
      3. That's ok and a common scenario.
      4. Please have a look here in the Info Center to check the latest release dates: Info Center Release Page

      Take care and have a great week!

      Kristina