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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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Jun 24 17

How Well Do You Know SAP Screen Personas or SAP Fiori ?

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ABAPAnthony 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 SAP Screen Personas or SAP Fiori ?

Once upon a time choosing a User Interface for a SAP application was easy. Mainly because there was no choice. You simply needed to write an ABAP/4 program and the SAP GUI created a dull grey-blue screen for you, or you developed a Classic Dynpro. New technologies and innovative insights created better user interfaces, but also increased the number of choices, such as ITS, BSP, WDJ, WDA, Islands, NWBC, FPM. While these UI technologies were standard in the SAP world, they were not really “OPEN” and all had this in common.

With the advent of the SAP “SIMPLE” strategy, a set of newer UI technologies are available. This strategy focuses on improving the user-experience (UX). SAP Screen Personas and SAP Fiori (with SAPUI5 technology) are two products that enable you to greatly simplify the standard SAP screens. But when do you use which product? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both products?

SAP UX Goals

SAP Screen Personas fits within the 1st part or goal of Enable. This offers the possibility to provide a better UX for existing scenarios. SAP Fiori allows the user to build entirely new applications or update existing applications in SAP Gateway.

Lets look at the diagram below for a high-level look at the products.

SAP Screen Personas vs SAP Fiori read more…

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May 24 17

SAP DevOps – Laying the Foundation for Success

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ABAPAnthony 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.

What is DevOps for SAP?

Well before we explore this question, let’s first get a good definition of what DevOps is and then we can return and attempt to overlay the concepts and methodology to SAP.

DevOps

DevOps is about people, culture, processes and tools. It’s an approach that builds on the concept of Agile development, focusing on open, collaborative methods and use of automation to increase the speed and flexibility with which new features and services are delivered. Whereas, traditional IT development and delivery processes are based around business silos where work is passed between teams without ownership, lack of visibility and low levels of satisfaction.

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Apr 17 17

Want to Avoid HANA AMDP Mistakes? READ THIS

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ABAP

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.  In this blog, we will continue to examine Code-Pushdown Patterns, specifically ABAP Managed Data Procedures (AMDP).

An ABAP Managed Data Procedure (AMDP) is a tool that can be utilized to create HANA database procedures that are designed and coded on the ABAP server. In the hierarchy of code-pushdown techniques, AMDP ranks lowest on the scale of preference behind Open SQL and CDS Views. While AMDPs are not the preferred approach when coding your code-to-data approach, the technology does offer some unique, albeit seldom used, approaches to interacting with the HANA database. AMDPs also have the added benefit of being transportable and are easy to adapt to for ABAP coders who need functionality Open SQL and CDS Views do not offer. (Note: AMDP  code MUST be created and maintained in the Eclipse editor. Attempting to access this code from SAP GUI will not even allow the code to be switch to change mode after it implements the marker interface – more on this later)
helpful hints We will go over some of the capabilities AMDPs have to offer, as well as how they can be combined with CDS to create powerful, yet easy to use tools.

Introduction to ABAP Managed Data Procedures (AMDP)

AMDPs are implemented as an addition to traditional ABAP Object-Oriented programming. A user creates a class just like any other class, but to implement the AMDP they must execute two important steps:

Let’s look at the steps:

Step#1: First, they must ensure that the class implements the interface IF_AMDP_MARKER_HDB. Implementing this interface does not add any interface methods, but simply flags the code as an AMDP class.

Step#2: The Method that actually implements the AMDP procedure code must have some specialized method additions to identify itself as an AMDP. These additions also provide some information about the database and language the method should be implemented.

The Method Additions are described below:

AMDP Method Extensions

Below is a very basic example of an AMDP method. This method simply selects the 200 records from database table SNWD_SO, with no selection conditions. There are a few features to pay particular attention to, which have been highlighted and numbered.

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Mar 18 17

Don’t Try Coding ABAP Core Data Services Without Reading This First

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ABAP

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 5 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 the 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. Well, this is also true for the underlying data models of the business applications.

Data modeling in ABAP typically involves organizing your data in database tables/views and often providing some additional high-level services for the applications using the appropriate ABAP frameworks. It is logical to conclude, from the Paradigm-shift of Code Pushdown, that to enable real-time businesses in HANA, we need some of these services ideally also brought closer to the database as well.

For SAP this presented several challenges. High-quality data models should provide a single definition and format for the data. They should be clear and unambiguous, reusable and flexible, even extensible. So how can you capture the semantics of the data model in the database so that the model can be easily reused by different consumers, e.g. by OData clients and by OLAP tools? How can you extend the meta-model to service your applications? What is the solution…?

Introduction to Cored Data Services (CDS)

 

Core Data Services, or CDS, is a “semantically rich” Data Definition Language (or DDL) created by SAP. It provides an easy to understand and reusable tool that ABAP developers can utilize to execute the “code pushdown” paradigm. CDS has evolved into different variants, but the ABAP developer should chiefly be concerned with two specific ones…The lesser used option is HANA CDS, the database language that can be used to create tables, views, and structures on the HANA database itself. Views created in HANA can be consumed from the Netweaver AS using Native SQL. The second and most important variant of CDS that should concern ABAPers is the ABAP CDS. While significant differences have evolved between the two variants — for example, SAP HANA-based CDS obviously operates on SAP HANA, while ABAP-based CDS operates on most major database platforms as well as SAP HANA, and each has a different type of repository for development objects — both variants pursue the same goal: to represent central data definitions as a common basis for application development of all kinds.

Let’s look at each variant:

HANA CDS: the database language that can be used to create tables, views, and structures on the HANA database itself. Views created in HANA can be consumed from the Netweaver AS using Native SQL.

ABAP CDS: made available with SAP Netweaver 7.40 SP5, is a valuable tool to have when programming for HANA. However, ABAP CDS can be used even if the underlying database is not a HANA database, as it is an open DDL that is supported by many traditional databases as well. ABAP CDS is usually the best choice when designing and creating database views that will need to access the HANA database, and this will be the prime focus of this blog.

ABAP CDS uses an SQL-like syntax, enhanced with some useful additional features. Like any typical  ABAP object, ABAP CDS files are also transportable between Netweaver AS systems, which is an advantage ABAP CDS has over its HANA CDS counterpart. Once transported, an ABAP CDS View will create and deploy the corresponding database view on the target database automatically (requiring no additional steps for the developer or transport manager).

Unlike classical SE11 views, ABAP CDS views can only be created in Eclipse (by utilizing the ABAP Development Tools for SAP Netweaver add-on for Eclipse). The tools can be found at https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/.

Next, we will go through a brief step-by-step guide on how to create a CDS view, as well as features of the DDL source file.

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