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As developers of SAP self services we are often asked how to embed our applications in custom pages/external portals. There are examples where customers have built beautiful customized entry pages for self services using HTML & content authoring tools. From these pages they would like to navigate to SAP or custom built WD ABAP applications of ESS/MSS.Many times they try to embed direct application URLs but then some application links/actions do not work since they use internal navigation to another application using OBN (Object based navigation).
So what is the correct way to embed WD ABAP services in a custom built page running in a non-sap portal?
Always use NWBC HTML as a wrapper; Use NWBC HTML in app/embedded mode.
NWBC (hidden mode) will tkae care that OBNs defined in PFCG role works for applications

  • window=app: starts an application window without navigation elements of NWBC shell 
  • window=embedded: starts the shell in rendered format that is embedded in foreign portals; this mode is particularly interesting if you would like to use the feature of NWBC like service map
UI Options possible:
  • Embedding set of applications using service map (e.g. ESS)
You can either use WDA application to render service map based on launchpad customizing or use NWBC feature to render service map based on PFCG
The start URL of a Web Dynpro ABAP application for ESS homepage with certain Web Dynpro ABAP specific parameters can look as follows:
To embed complete ESS role in an external portal, you can use for example an NWBC for HTML link that selects a complete role and shows a service map for the role:
use parameter decoration=no_branding  Hides the SAP branding logo in embedded mode.
configure applications open in a new window from service map in case of launchpad
  • Embedding Individual applications
You can build complete custom pages and include links to individual applications as follows.
However if you go for this option then you will loose out on some dynamic features offered by standard ESS homepage like hiding country specific services or modifying texts of services
Advanced features:
NWBC offers REST/HTTP based services that can export content in ATOM format that can give information like assigned PFCG roles in backend system. You can use this information to generate dynamic links. You can even think of advanced scenarios like logical mapping of systems to generate URLs.
There is also export of navigation tree possible.
See section 6.5 of documentation  found in NWBC help area or search NWBC in help.sap.com
Other things to think about:
  • SSO - Single Sign on in case you call self services from external portal - check documentations available already
  • Themes: To provide uniform experience you should consider atleast basic theming to match but there is no standalone theme editor is supported as of now. You can search SCN for theming related topics and downloads of eclipse based theme editor
  • Other URL parameters like accessibility mode: In case you need to support mapping of parameters like accessiblity mode from your source page then you may need to do some programming to pass these parameters
  • more ... (when I find more time to think for advanced issues ...)
Hope you find the information useful in your pojects. If some of you have interssting experiences and challenges faced in this topic please share them
Some example screens on a test sharepoint system I created
Example showing full homepage embedded
Example showing individual applications and custom application embedded on same page