SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 is coming on 27th of January 2023: New Features & Lifecycle Information
the next milestone for SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 after the successful Beta Program has been reached: Our new release will become available or is already available when you read this on SAP Support Portal as of / since 27th of January 2023 with full support (“GA version”):
With this blog, I would like to introduce you to the new features of release 8.00 and provide an overview on the lifecycle.
Naturally, the first question is why we decided to increase the release version to 8.00 and not simply go for “7.80”. The reason is that 8.00 includes a long-expected feature that marks a new milestone in the history of SAP GUI for Windows and impacts also for the delivery: The true 64bit version. And from our perspective this is a good reason to increase the major release version.
Our focus areas in release 8.00 were:
- The 64bit version
- Quartz themes: Modernization of rendering engine and some additional features
- HTML Control based on Microsoft Edge: Improvements
- Usability improvements in many components
- Improvements for SAP Logon
- Branding images per system and client
Especially with the 64bit version, the improvements for the HTML Control based on WebView2 / Edge and the usability improvements, 8.00 offers a very interesting feature set that generates benefits for many users.
This blog reflects the situation when release 8.00 is initially delivered. Similar information that will receive updates in case we change something or add a feature in a patch can be found in SAP Note 3075781.
By the way: Once more, we have not removed any SAP GUI themes from our new release, so you will find the full list of supported themes to be unchanged (overall 12 themes!). However, you can find some information on changed default settings and other changes compared to previous deliveries at the end of my blog.
Due to experience from the past, I would like to ask you for the following: Of course you can post questions and comments related to the new release here (be they good or bad) and they are very welcome, because your opinion is important to us. However this blog does not replace our regular channels for support. If you have found an issue, please report this to us via the support system.
And do not post anything here which is not related to SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 at all. Thank you!
Product Owner SAP GUI for Windows
SAP GUI Lifecycle
SAP GUI for Windows 7.70 was created with Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 which is in mainstream support by Microsoft until 9th of April 2024 (see also https://learn.microsoft.com/de-de/lifecycle/products/visual-studio-2019). Therefore, SAP GUI for Windows 7.70 is still supported until 9th of April 2024.
This also means a successor to 7.70 is required at least one year before the end of support and here it is: SAP GUI for Windows 8.00. For the new release we were able to use the latest version of Visual Studio (Visual Studio 2022) which is supported until 12th of January 2027 (see also https://learn.microsoft.com/de-de/lifecycle/products/visual-studio-2022). This results in an unusually long maintenance period of almost 4 years.
The chart below shows the current (27th of January 2023) lifecycle information of SAP GUI for Windows releases 7.60 up to 8.00. For the latest information always refer to SAP Note 147519.
New Features in Release 8.00
True 64bit version of SAP GUI for Windows
So far SAP GUI for Windows was only available as a 32bit version with the exception being the 64bit versions of the automation controls (Logon Control, Table Factory Control, BAPI Control and Function Control). The 32bit version works well on 64bit operating systems, but it has a couple of drawbacks when it comes to memory utilization and integration with other 64bit processes.
Due to this, we kept getting requests for providing full 64bit support in SAP GUI for Windows and thus decided to implement, deliver, and support such a version. As of SAP GUI for Windows 8.00, the SAP GUI delivery includes both a 32bit version and a 64bit version. You can decide which version to use (parallel usage of both versions on the same client PC is not possible). On the installation media you find both versions and there will be individual patches for 32bit and 64bit (with the same schedule and the same corrections).
The 64bit version offers an almost complete feature set with some minor differences to the 32bit version which are documented in SAP Note 3218166. The most prominent differences are:
- No support for systems older than SAP_BASIS 7.00
The 64bit version does not support SAP systems on SAP_BASIS versions older than 7.00. Even though all these SAP products are already out of support, some landscapes still contain legacy components. If this applies to you, keep using the 32bit version of SAP GUI for Windows (the 32bit version will certainly remain available for some time). When trying to log on to a system with a 64bit version, an information popup is displayed and the logon attempt is refused.
It is our intention to keep the 64bit version open for future innovations that would not be possible if we had to support older SAP system releases.
- Usage of saprotwr.dll (Running Objects Table Wrapper – see also documentation)
Some products make use of the library saprotwr.dll to access SAP GUI Scripting via COM. Since saprotwr.dll naturally is a 64bit file when installed with a 64bit version of SAP GUI, only 64bit processes can access it. Therefore, if you are using saprotwr.dll, you need to make sure that the process from which this is called is a 64bit process if the 64bit version of SAP GUI for Windows is used.
- External components
SAP is not responsible for components which are added to the SAP GUI for Windows installation by external vendors. Please contact the respective vendors if the interaction of such a product with a 64bit version of SAP GUI for Windows fails while it works fine with a 32bit version.
- Performance / memory utilization
The 64bit version:
- consumes about 20% more memory compared to the 32bit version. Therefore, you should size your machines accordingly. The increase in memory consumption is due to different sizes of data structures and cannot be avoided.
- requires about 10% more disk space on the client PC, because the 64bit modules are larger than the respective 32bit modules.
- shows a substantially reduced CPU utilization compared to the 32bit version (between 5 and 20% depending on the scenario used). This also results in faster runtimes and perceived performance
See also SAP Note 26417.
Improvements for Quartz Themes
- Modernized rendering in Quartz Themes
The Quartz rendering engine has been completely reworked which leads to a more harmonized appearance (for example rounded corners and texts look much better). Furthermore, we have invested into some additional features. The OKCode (“command”) field has now offers buttons for deleting entries in its history via mouse and the visualization of the dotted focus has been improved. It is now much more prominent than before. We are intending to make the dotted focus the default focus visualization in one of the next SAP GUI releases after 8.00.
As an outlook I can mention that we are working on an additional feature for the OKCode field: An enhanced search for transaction codes as already available in SAP GUI for HTML and SAP GUI for Java. The release of this feature will likely come within one of the first patches.
- Displaying editing mode (“INS” / “OVR”) in Belize and Quartz themes
As opposed to older themes, the Belize and Quartz themes by design did not show the indicator for the editing mode in the system information area. Based on user feedback we are re-introducing this feature on an optional basis. The feature can be activated in SAP GUI for Windows options dialog (page “Theme Settings”) and it looks like this:
- SAP GUI Scripting: Correct handling of visibility properties for themes as of Belize
Starting with the Belize theme, the objects in the SAP GUI window have been re-arranged. For example, the GUI Toolbar (also “System Toolbar”) and the Application Toolbar have been merged into the so-called “Header Toolbar”. This had an impact on the SAP GUI Scripting properties which allow hiding parts of the SAP GUI main window. These properties have been revised in SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 and can be used in a meaningful way again.
HTML Control based on Microsoft Edge / WebView 2: Enhancements
- Full Browser Window when detaching URLs
The HTML Control based on WebView2 is still a relatively new control based on a new Microsoft component with some restrictions (as per SAP Note 2901278). Release 8.00 solved one of the most important issues: When SAP GUI opens an external browser window through the HTML Control only a browser tab appears (missing navigation, menu, and the options for grouping tabs). Thanks to a new browser extension for Microsoft Edge this limitation no longer applies and the HTML Control based on Edge can open a fully working Edge browser window like the HTML Control based on Internet Explorer already could.
In addition to SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 you need to install a browser extension called “SAP GUI Connector for Microsoft Edge” from the Microsoft Edge Add-Ons page (https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/addons/detail/sap-gui-connector-for-mic/mhpigfckgphoiifbehgajfbkocihbaho). See also SAP Note 3258944.
- Embedded HTML documents can use ActiveX objects
Another restriction of the HTML Control based on WebView2 is that embedded HTML documents cannot interact with ActiveX Controls installed on the client PC. This is due to an intended restriction in Microsoft WebView2.
Now, with the ABAP extensions delivered in SAP Note 3260025 and SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 (or 7.70 as of patchlevel 11), it is possible to supply an ActiveX object to an HTML document and allow the interaction between these objects. The respective ABAP application needs to supply information on the object to be invoked to SAP GUI.
- Combobox Control: Showing keys and sorting by keys
The ActiveX control version of the UI element combobox (used in a growing number of transactions, like SE80) so far could not display the keys of the entries or sort the entries by those keys. These options contribute a lot to the usability and the efficiency of use of a combobox. With SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 these feature are available and can be controlled by the same settings that are also relevant for the “normal” combobox (SAP GUI Options Dialog -> Interaction Design -> Visualization 1):
- Show keys within dropdown lists
- Sort by keys within dropdown lists for most efficient keyboard input
With both options activated, a combobox control shows not only the value, but also the key of the entries in a table-like format. When typing in a combobox showing keys, the selection of items is done based on the keys and not on the values.
- Tree Control: Scrolling indicator
Tree controls now show a so-called “scrolling indicator” when the user scrolls vertically in the tree via mouse or keyboard. This indicator helps the user to easily recognize the position of the currently displayed block of data within the tree and supports a more precise drag and drop of the scroll bar button (thumb).
This feature is available for all themes except for “Classic Theme”.
- Table Control: Improved keyboard navigation
Table controls now support additional and refined keyboard shortcuts for improved navigation and more consistency:
- CTRL + UP / CTRL + DOWN: Scrolls to the very top or bottom and moves the focus into the first cell / last cell that contains data of the same column.
- CTRL + HOME / CTRL + END: Scrolls to the very top or bottom and moves the focus into the first cell of the first row / last cell that contains data of the last column.
- CTRL + PAGE UP / CTRL + PAGE DOWN (if supported by the application): Scrolls to the very top or bottom and keeps the focus in the current cell if possible.
- The “Select All” button (if present) is now part of the tabchain and can be triggered like any other button in SAP GUI for Windows (SPACE / ENTER)
- Dialogbox Container: Improved keyboard navigation
Dialogbox containers (most prominent examples are the Performance Assistant and the GOS Container window) are amodal windows which have not been well-integrated into the tabchain of SAP GUI for Windows until now. It was not possible in a reliable way to move the focus from or to a dialogbox container via keyboard. With release 8.00, dialogbox containers are added to the regular tab chain of SAP GUI and can be reached via TAB / SHIFT + TAB / CTRL + TAB / CTRL + SHIFT + TAB.
- Checkboxes and radiobutton groups: Improved keyboard navigation
Just like for regular buttons the selection of checkboxes and radiobuttons can now be aborted by pressing SHIFT while still holding down SPACE. This is needed, because there are checkboxes and radiobuttons which automatically trigger an event when being selected. Just like before the focus can be set to radiobuttons without selecting them via CTRL + CURSOR.
Additionally, HOME and END keys can now be used to navigate to the first and last active radiobutton in a radiobutton group.
- ALV Grid Control: Copy & Paste with gaps
Clipboard content, especially when taken from applications like Microsoft Excel, may contain empty cells, columns or rows like in this example:
So far, the ALV Grid Control used to overwrite the content of all cells when a block as depicted above was pasted. If one pasted the above data into the top left cell of an ALV Grid Control looking like this:
the result would have been:
However, this result may be unexpected, and it was not consistent with the handling in SAP GUI for Java and SAP GUI for HTML. Therefore, we changed the default behavior for pasting data into an ALV Grid Control, so that empty values do not overwrite cell content when being pasted.
In the example above, the result with the new feature is:
Of course, there is a switch to restore the old behavior if needed.
- ALV Grid Control: Special control characters are no longer inserted when pasting from other programs like Microsoft Excel
According to SAP Note 1825127 ALV does not support non-printable control characters. So far such characters could be entered via SAP GUI for Windows for example by copying cell content from Microsoft Excel into an editable ALV Grid Control. The copied characters where either displayed as “#” or other symbols and could cause functional issues in some applications. Since ALV does not support these characters anyway, we are now preventing the pasting of such characters to avoid errors and remove those characters from pasted text.
- ALV Grid Control: Improved keyboard navigation for comboboxes
Keyboard support for comboboxes embedded into an ALV Grid Control has been extended and is now equivalent to the keyboard support for other comboboxes outside the ALV Grid Control. Specifically, this also means that values are no longer taken over into the cell automatically, but only when the user confirms the selection actively (ENTER) or implicitly (by navigating away after changing the selection). This also enables users to abort a selection via ESC. Furthermore, the selection by typing the leading characters of hits in the dropdown list has been improved and the dropdown can be opened / closed also via F4.
- Secure Network Connection without Single Sign-On as configurable default
So far, the checkbox “Activate Secure Network Communication” in the Secure Network Settings page of the SAP Logon dialogs for creating a new connection or performing a variable logon was automatically selected if the SAP system supports SNC and an SNC product is installed on the client PC. At the same time the second checkbox “SNC logon with user / password (no Single Sign-On)” was not selected. This assumes that the installed SNC product also supports Single Sign On (SSO). Obviously, this does not take the situation into account when the server can do SNC, but the client SNC product does not support SSO. In this case a user may unintentionally create a connection with activated SSO that will not be working.
Therefore, release 8.00 introduces a registry setting that allows changing the default state of “Activate Secure Network Communication” / “SNC logon with user / password (no Single Sign-On)”. See also SAP Note 3074756.
- Improvements for sorting and ordering columns
As of release 8.00, SAP Logon (Pad) remembers the sort order applied by the user as well as the sequence of the columns and the column widths. An administrator can roll-out default values for these settings. See SAP Note 3099771 for more information.
Furthermore, columns relevant for SAP Shortcuts and Favorites have been added in the Workspace View and List View so that all relevant data can be displayed in these views as well. The available function for hiding columns was extended letting an administrator decide which columns are needed. This is explained in SAP Note 3100231.
- Checking operating system prerequisites on language selection
SAP GUI for Windows is a non-Unicode program. Therefore, SAP GUI can only be correctly displayed in the language of your choice if the system locale defined under Windows matches your language selection. For example, if you would like to display SAP GUI for Windows in Japanese without any visual issues like garbled characters, you need to use the Japanese system locale.
Now, the SAP GUI options dialog checks whether a correct display of SAP GUI for Windows will be possible with the language you selected. If not, SAP GUI for Windows displays a warning and falls back to using English language to guarantee a correct display of all contents. Previously, SAP GUI for Windows simply accepted any selection which could lead to display issues almost impossible to anticipate for the user.
- Backup for user defined SAP UI Landscape files
It happens that a local SAP UI Landscape file containing all the connections / shortcuts / favorites as user created is overwritten by another process or gets lost somehow. This is very annoying for users, because creating such a file over the course of years takes make have taken some effort. Therefore, SAP Logon now creates backups of the local SAP UI Landscape file. When a file is accidentally overwritten, the user can retrieve one of the backups and continue working. The user is actively informed, when the local file is broken and a backup is available. See SAP Note 3263097.
Branding Image: Images can be configured per SAP system and client
More information how to use this feature can be found in the SAP GUI for Windows Administration Guide. The images to be used as branding images need to be present on the client PC in a specific file structure that you can for example create via NWSAPSetup.
Revised font settings dialog and persistence of font settings per character set
As a general recommendation changing the font size in SAP GUI for Windows should only be considered if working with the scaling provided by Windows is not sufficient. However, if you really need to adjust the fonts, the options dialog offers a page for doing so for the monospaced font (used by ABAP lists and some other elements) and the proportional font.
In the past the dialog showed the font size in points which lead to a lot of misunderstandings, because internally SAP GUI cannot work with points, but with a scaling factor in percent. The transition from points to percent could lead to unexpected results. Therefore, the font settings dialog has been revised and the selection of the font size is done directly via a scaling factor in percent.
Since in most cases users only want to change the font size, the dialog is displayed in a basic mode unless an “expert mode” is activated.
Furthermore, it is now possible to maintain and store different font settings including the font size per character set used. This means if you are working with multiple languages using different character sets (for example English and Japanese), SAP GUI for Windows is displayed correctly in both cases. So far, only the font names where remembered which could lead to display issues.
Changed features in patchlevel 0
- HTML Control: Edge based on Chromium (WebView2 Control) is now the default browser control
The default setting for the browser control used to host HTML content inside SAP GUI for Windows is no longer the Internet Explorer control, but Edge based on Chromium (WebView2 Control). Due to the de-support of Internet Explorer as a standalone application by Microsoft (see also SAP Note 3058309) and the strong desire to move to a more modern browsing experience, this is a change which just reflects the expectation of most SAP GUI users. See SAP Note 2913405 for more information on browser controls in SAP GUI for Windows.
- UAC Virtualization is no longer turned on
Up to and including release 7.70, SAP GUI for Windows uses the UAC virtualization for the executables saplogon.exe, saplgpad.exe and sapgui.exe (you can see this in Windows Task Manager in column “UAC virtualization”). The idea of UAC virtualization is to redirect write access to protected resources in the file system (c:\Windows* \ C:\Program Files*) and in the registry (HKLM) to mirror locations (“VirtualStore”). However, this also means that read access to the same resources can be routed to the mirror locations which makes the analysis and resolution of issues related to this very difficult. Therefore, as of SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 the UAC virtualization is no longer activated. SAP Note 3064276 explains the background and impact on ABAP applications which try to access protected operating system resources.
- SAP UI Landscape: Handling for loading server configuration files in case of certificate errors
To achieve a more secure default configuration, web-server-based SAP UI landscape files are not loaded anymore by SAP Logon in case certificate errors occur. This behavior can be customized according to the settings explained in SAP Note 2892419, but we generally strongly recommend using valid certificates.
No longer supported / available
- KW Add-On for SAP GUI no longer contains HTML editing component
The subcomponent “KW HTML Editor” of the KW Add-On is no longer available as of SAP GUI for Windows 8.00. See SAP Note 3147887 for further information.