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Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel

SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP14 – improvements to performance, usability, administration

With the number of customers using SAP Screen Personas on SAP S/4HANA continuing to increase, we are receiving some interesting ideas for product enhancements. Several of these have made it into SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP14. Improvements in this service pack focus on performance improvement, visual updates to boost usability, and functionality for system administrators.

Customer feedback drives development

After SP13, we received some feedback from our community. This influenced what we delivered with this new release. Here are some comments and how we responded.

  • “We always like further performance improvements.” We made it easier to send multiple requests to the back end in a single batch, which significantly improves performance.
  • “We would like to be able to set a preferred size of pictures.” We now give the SAP Screen Personas administrator the ability to define the maximum size of photo that a user can attach to their transaction.
  • “Why do my flavors freeze when my connection breaks?” We now detect network interruptions so users can continue to work without reloading the page.
  • “We want to change the button type for all flavors.” We added this and some other similar features to make flavor builders more productive.

The rest of this blog post will highlight these and a few new features we are especially excited about.

Scripting improvements improve performance

We added three new methods to the scripting engine: startSnapshotMode, takeSnapshot, and stopSnapshotMode. These allow you to gather data in one batch request, reducing the number of round trips and thereby improving rendering performance. For example, you would use this new functionality to read rows in a long table or collect info across multiple documents – all with a single roundtrip to the back end.

Here is an example from our testing:

The new scripting API reduces the number of round trips to the back end. This example is for reading all the rows from a long table.

 

Profiler tool helps visualize system activity

As customers use SAP Screen Personas for more complex scenarios, they often need to spend more time debugging their scripts. To make this process easier, we have introduced a new debugging tool called “profiler.” It helps you visualize interactions with the back end that occur through scripting, providing greater transparency about system activities. You can see the time that each step takes, allowing you to focus your efforts where they will have the greatest impact.

The new profiler in SAP Screen Personas gives you granular visibility into how much time each scripting step takes, allowing you to understand and optimize performance.

 

Manage image size to optimize storage space

Our last service pack allowed users to directly upload images from mobile devices with no additional software. In our practitioner forum, there was a request to allow the administrator to define the maximum file size for image uploads. This makes sense, as phones add more megapixels to their cameras, lots of photos from a large group of users can take up lots of storage space. So, we added centralized control to allow the administrator to configure the maximum allowed image size. End users retain some control and can select from options (small, medium, large) provided to them.

The administrator can define the maximum file size for camera image upload.

The end-user can decide on what size image to upload, within the boundaries set by the administrator.

 

Prevent data loss when the network gets interrupted

Many customers use SAP Screen Personas in plant maintenance or warehouses scenarios, two environments that might have inconsistent network coverage. Previously, some flavors would hang if the connection to the back end was interrupted. With this new service pack, Slipstream Engine is able to detect the network interruption and resend the information to the back end, without causing a time out error in the flavor.

Usability enhancements make it easier to build flavors

Our aim is always to improve the productivity of the people that build flavors. Many of the shortcuts we have delivered over the years are based on suggestions that sound like “we love SAP Screen Personas, but it would be easier to use if you added X,” where X is some enhancement that makes the product easier to use. In this release, we have added several features that have been requested by our community. These include:

  • Date and time conditional formatting, including the ability to compare dates to “today”
  • Mass change of button types using the theming engine
  • An option to hide the trailing colon for labels

This functionality is available through Slipstream Engine.

Goodies for the GUI

While much of the new functionality is only available with the SAPUI5-powered Slipstream Engine, we included one feature that works only in the SAP GUI for HTML (Web GUI). We introduced a control conversion feature. With this, you can convert text fields and search help fields to a dropdown list or a label. You also have the option to convert text fields to search help fields.

SAP Screen Personas fully supports SAP S/4HANA

I have recently received several emails from customers and SAP account executives asking whether SAP Screen Personas makes sense to use with SAP S/4HANA. The short answer is yes.

We have many SAP S/4HANA customers using SAP Screen Personas to simplify the classic transactions that are based on Dynpro technology. This refers to screens that use the SAP GUI for HTML. It brings the SAP Fiori user experience to these screens by making them more simple, focused on a specific role, and compatible with any device.

For SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we are planning to make SAP Screen Personas functionality part of the standard offering, giving people the option to adapt the UI on classic applications, similar to the way that SAPUI5 flexibility is used to adapt SAP Fiori apps.

Support through 2040

Here is our current support strategy for SAP Screen Personas 3.0.

  1. As a reminder, SAP Screen Personas 3.0 is aligned with SAP S/4HANA support. This is now through 2040.
  2. We support the current as well as the two previous Service Packs. What does this mean to you?
    • SP14 will receive continuous innovation
    • SP13 will get important fixes and selected down ports
    • SP12 will receive emergency fixes
    • SP11 and earlier will no longer be supported (time to upgrade!)

System requirements

SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP14 works on a wide variety of systems from the latest SAP S/4HANA release to some much older versions of ECC. Specifically:

Basis Minimum Service Pack Additional Notes Required? Supported Kernels
S/4HANA All No 749+
750 All No 749, 753
740 SP03 Yes 749, 753
731 SP07 Yes 722
702 SP09 Yes 722
701 SP10 Yes 722
700 SP25 Yes 722

 

For SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP14, the supported kernel releases and their corresponding minimum and recommended (as of December 10, 2021) patch levels are listed below. These are the exact same requirements as for SP13 and SP12. You do not need to update your kernel to move to the new version of SAP Screen Personas, if your system is on a supported kernel release.

Kernel release 781 –> No minimum patch level

Kernel release 777 –> No minimum patch level –> Recommended patch level 100 or higher

Kernel release 773 –> No minimum patch level –> Recommended patch level 201 or higher

Kernel release 753 –> Minimum patch level 27 –> Recommended patch level 615 or higher

Kernel release 749 –> Minimum patch level 400 –> Recommended patch level 800 or higher

Kernel release 722 –> Minimum patch level 400 –> Recommended patch level 900 or higher

See the SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP14 Main Note 3115416 for more details and updated recommendations.

Continuous improvement

We already have some exciting things planned for bringing SAP Screen Personas functionality into SAP S/4HANA Cloud. If you have additional improvement ideas, please send us your requests (via email or as a comment to this blog) for anything you would like to see in SP15 and beyond.

Next Steps

For the SAP Screen Personas product team, Peter Spielvogel.

 

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