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Nov 21 17

An Introduction To The Qlik Data Analytics Platform

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 Anthony Cecchini is the President of Information Technology Partners (ITP), an SAP consulting company headquartered in Pennsylvania, with offices in Vienna, VA. ITP offers comprehensive planning, resource allocation, implementation, upgrade, and training assistance to companies. Anthony has over 20 years of experience in SAP business process analysis and SAP systems integration. His areas of expertise include SAP NetWeaver integration; ALE development; RFC, BAPI, IDoc, Dialog, and Web Dynpro development; and customized Workflow development. You can reach him at ajcecchini@itpsap.com.

How Well Do You Know Qlik BI ?

For organizations searching for business intelligence (BI) solutions to improve oversight of operations, the marketplace offers a vast array of options. BI tools deliver real-time insights based upon smart analytics, and this improves overall performance throughout the organization.

Qlik offers a unique approach to analytics that differentiates it from all other tools. Its platform provides deeper insights at a greater velocity than other BI tools. At its core is the associative model rather than the traditional predefined hierarchies that conventional, query-based analytics solutions offer.

The Qlik associative model is founded on the QIX engine, which is Qlik’s patented, associative data indexing, in-memory engine. The QIX engine is a high-performance inference and calculation engine that intuits the associations within the data, recalculates the analytics based on the context and delivers your selections and the associated values in highlighted format. In addition, the QIX engine will deliver unrelated values that frequently offer unique insight into your business.

This capability gives you a comprehensive overview of the data, without leaving any data out. You can explore solutions without the restrictions or limitations of traditional, query-based tools. You use simple searches for quick analysis regardless of the size of the data set.

In addition to the swift, relevant analytics the QIX engine provides, the Qlik platform is highly agile as your company grows and evolves. As your organization transforms, Qlik will adapt with a wide array of functionalities that highlighted below.

 

Qlik Platform Agility

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Oct 20 17

SAP Screen Personas : Scripting for Automation

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SAP Screen Personas

Jonathan Andre is a lead ABAP developer at IT Partners. Jon is also the President of Andre Technical Consulting LLC located out of Centreville, Virginia. Jon has over 6 years experience with SAP, with a concentration on ECC SD, MM, and IS-OIL modules. Jon’s focus has been in the areas of ABAP OOP and ABAP Web Dynpro. He can be reached at jon.andre@itpsap.com

The last topic for this blog series will cover Screen Personas Scripting. This is by far the most powerful feature that Screen Personas offers. Scripting allows the automated execution of steps a user can perform, and can be used to populate fields and/or carry out actions.
To illustrate exactly how scripts are created and executed, we will revisit and complete the Sales Order – Quick Query control we mocked up in the blog SAP Screen Personas: Get Up and Running Quickly Using These Steps. This time, however, we will actually create a script to populate our text fields when we click the “Go” button.

Creating a SAP Screen Personas Script

Our first step will be to add a Script Button to our tool. The Script Button can be found on the Insert Tab near the Transactional Button we used extensively in past blogs.

SAP Screen Personas Script Button

Next, we will create a script to perform the actions of retrieving the data we wish to populate. To do this, we will have to exit the Flavor Editor and return the to main Persona Management screen, then click the Scripting button located in the bottom right corner

SAP Screen Personas Create Script

From here, we will hit the Create Script button, name our Script then Start Recording. The Start Recording feature will automatically record our actions in the scripting language. Any action performed, from navigating to a transaction to clicking a certain tab or field, is documented and repeatable by executing the recorded script.

SAP Screen Personas Create Script

Once the recording has begun, navigate to the transaction you wish to record. In this particular scenario, we will be navigating to VA03. As we do this, we will see the script populate with code that will navigate to the T-code.

 SAP Screen Personas Create Script

Once we arrive in the VA03 initial screen we will enter a sales order number (14642) to allow us to proceed to the next screen. Our ultimate goal, however, is that we can replace this sales static order String with any sales order the user enters into the tool. We will get around to making this possible by editing our script manually later, but for now, we will just take note of the point in the script the sales order number is entered.

SAP Screen Personas Scripting - Store SO Number

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Sep 22 17

SAP Screen Personas : Using Themes

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SAP Screen Personas

Jonathan Andre is a lead ABAP developer at IT Partners. Jon is also the President of Andre Technical Consulting LLC located out of Centreville, Virginia. Jon has over 6 years experience with SAP, with a concentration on ECC SD, MM, and IS-OIL modules. Jon’s focus has been in the areas of ABAP OOP and ABAP Web Dynpro. He can be reached at jon.andre@itpsap.com

As we described in last month’s blog; SAP Screen Personas : Customizing On-Screen Table Controls we outlined the steps necessary to customize just about every UI element that is part of any individual SAP transaction. However customizing every transaction in the system in this manner would be time consuming, and it’s very unlikely we would end with uniformity across transactions. To address both of these issues, SAP Screen Personas has another feature called Themes.

Using Themes, SAP Screen Personas admins can create general themes to be used across certain divisions or entire companies. These themes allow for the customization of UI element sizes, colors, fonts, and backgrounds that can give users a truly unique experience for their companies.

Creating Your Own SAP Screen Personas Theme

Themes can be created, shared within a company, or downloaded. Themes are generally more restrictive than creating Flavors, and its common for Theme editing and application to be limited to admin-level users only. SAP provides a multitude of themes to download as well. One of the most popular themes is the SAP Fiori UX theme, which provides a Fiori-like experience across all transactions:

SAP Fiori Themes

To create our own theme, we open the Personas toolbar and click the Theme button:

SAP Theme Creation

Next, we click the Create New Theme button, which will launch the theme editor:

SAP Theme Editor

Initially upon entering the Theme editor, you are presented with a small window with a few options. The first you will notice is the choice between General Theme and Control Specific Styles. General Themes allow you to customize categories of UI elements that will be used across all SAP transactions, so lets tart there.

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Aug 22 17

SAP Screen Personas : Customizing On-Screen Table Controls

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SAP Screen Personas

Jonathan Andre is a lead ABAP developer at IT Partners. Jon is also the President of Andre Technical Consulting LLC located out of Centreville, Virginia. Jon has over 6 years experience with SAP, with a concentration on ECC SD, MM, and IS-OIL modules. Jon’s focus has been in the areas of ABAP OOP and ABAP Web Dynpro. He can be reached at jon.andre@itpsap.com

As we described in last month’s blog; Sap Screen Personas Get Up And Running Quickly Using These Steps, we outlined the steps necessary to quickly convert a standard SAP transaction into a cursory Screen Persona. In this blog, we will take a deeper dive and examine how we can use Screen Personas to customize screen tables to simplify user interaction.

Using Screen Personas to Simply On-Screen Tables

Last month we covered how to hide fields, merge tabs, and customize the look and feel of standard SAP transactions. This allowed us to simplify many parts of the screen but noticeably left out on-screen tables, which are often the most complex parts of SAP transactions. SAP Screen Personas has an entire tab dedicated to table personalization within the editor. These features allow users to hide, rearrange, pin or rename any column. In addition, users can add stylistic improvements or add conditional formatting to highlight important scenarios about their data.

To illustrate the capabilities of SAP Screen Personas’ table personalizations, we will revisit customizing VA02. Initially, we see that the Item Overview tab has a huge number of fields, many of which an average user would never use (see below)

SAP VA02 Transaction

As an added pain, as the user scrolls to the right through these fields, they have no control over which fields are lost and which remain in focus.  The good news is by using Screen Personas we can address all of these issues for tables. We can even highlight certain scenarios we are particularly concerned with using conditional formatting.

Tool Tip.

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Jul 18 17

SAP Screen Personas : Get Up and Running Quickly Using These Steps

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SAP Screen Personas

Jonathan Andre is a lead ABAP developer at IT Partners. Jon is also the President of Andre Technical Consulting LLC located out of Centreville, Virginia. Jon has over 6 years experience with SAP, with a concentration on ECC SD, MM, and IS-OIL modules. Jon’s focus has been in the areas of ABAP OOP and ABAP Web Dynpro. He can be reached at jon.andre@itpsap.com

As we described in a prior blog The ABAP Developer Road Map to SAP HANA, with the advent of SAP HANA, there has been a paradigm shift in the way business applications are developed. The rule-of-thumb is simple: Do as much as you can in the database to get the best performance. This was coined as “Code Pushdown” by SAP. So far we have looked at CDS Views as a way to achieve Code-Pushdown in the blog Don’t Try Coding ABAP Core Data Services Without Reading This First.  We have also exmained AMDP, a different “Code Pushdown” pattern to improve performace in the blog Want to Avoid HANA AMDP Mistakes? READ THIS. We can all agree that speed is a definite factor in the user’s enjoyment when using the SAP system, but what about the screens or transactions themselves?

In this blog we will start to look at the User’s  experience and how SAP is re-inventing it. SAP defines the User experience (UX) as meeting the user’s needs in the most effective and enjoyable way. SAP’s UX strategy is built upon the foundation of our user’s goals —efficient and easy-to-use software, packaged with the optimal user experience. SAP believes that along with the massive performance improvements HANA and “Code Pushdown”, the User’s experience must be optimized and peronalized. So why target and tweak the UX?

Why SAP needs a NEW UX Strategy

The SAP business software has evolved over the years to facilitate a wide range of business processes across multiple industries. In order to accommodate it’s diverse user base, SAP has constructed highly modular and increasingly complex transactions to fulfill the many varying business scenarios. This has presented a problem where, regardless of a user’s job functions, all users are presented with the same transaction screens. This often creates a scenario where users are presented with more tabs, fields, and screens than are required for their day to day activities. This not only has an impact on the number of errors inputted, but it also increases the training time required to acquaint new employees with the system.

Realizing this problem, SAP has reinvented the overall UX (user experience) across the suite of SAP systems. For new applications, SAP has created the Fiori UX as its modernized, cross-platform user interface. For existing applications, SAP has created the Screen Personas framework which allows users to personalize the existing SAP experience. Over the next few blogs we will introduce the Screen Personas framework (SAP Screen Personas 3.0 in particular)  and give a basic overview on how users utilize this framework themselves.

 

What is SAP Screen Personas?

SAP Screen Personas is a UI framework that allows existing SAP GUI transactions to be “modified”, permitting users to add, edit, or remove screen objects to be better suit their business functions. New versions of transactions created within SAP Screen Personas are known as a Flavors, and each transaction can have multiple Flavors to suit different user’s needs. A Flavor can be thought of as an overlay on top of the standard existing transaction screens. Flavors have access to all fields on the standard SAP screen and can pick which fields and tabs to display and how to display them. Flavors can also generate additional fields and display them statically or dynamically using scripting. Users have the option of creating new Flavors from scratch or downloading an existing Flavor from SAP’s online Flavor gallery.

SAP Screen Personas Basics

Personas Tool Tip

All interaction with the Screen Personas framework is performed within the Screen Personas bar. This bar sits at the top of the screen the standard GUI screen in a collapsed form when Personas is enabled:

SAP Screen Personas Bar

By expanding this bar, the user is presented with a few options. Basic users would simply choose between the Flavors available for the current transaction. The standard transaction view can always be returned to clicking the “Original Screen” Flavor button.

SAP Screen Personas Flavors

Clicking a different Flavor tab causes that Flavor to be instantly loaded. If a user has a preferred Flavor, they can assign that Flavor as the default by clicking the Check Icon in the top right corner of the Flavor.

Default Flavor

Users can also browse and load other existing Flavors by navigating to the Flavor gallery. If users find a Flavor they like, they can add it to their own collection by hitting the UP icon in the top left corner of the tile.

SAP Screen Personas Flavor Gallery

Within the Flavor Gallery, users can find and add Flavors to their personal Flavor collection and follows steps above to either display or default that Flavor.

The SAP Screen Persona Dashboard

Like all other Flavors, the SAP Screen Personas Dashboard is a Flavor applied to an existing SAP transaction. In this case, the Flavor is applied to the SMEN transaction that is automatically loaded when a user logs into the SAP system. What does that look like? OK, below is the standard SMEN screen.

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