After being asked this now several times, todays MKS covers the question how the geo-map content for the SAP Visual Business 2.0 component used in SAP TM 9.0, EM 9.0, and EWM 9.0 can be configured correctly.
One of the most important goals for the geo-map component used in TM 9.0 was to enable the usage of different GIS products. TM 8.0 and TM 8.1 using SAP Visual Business 1.1 are limited here to only a few GIS vendors. While it was possible for services like geo-coding and distance determination to pick whatever product the customer preferred, the usage of maps restricted the selection.
Another important note: SAP TM does not come with any GIS product / license included. We have seen over the years that our customers use quite a wide range of different GIS products and want to stick to those, so we focused on openness of the technical solution. I often hear how great it would be to have something out of the box and I partly agree. That's why central SAP groups are working on that.
What is required to use a specific geo-map content?
SAP Visual Business 2.0 needs a RESTfull WebService compliant to a so-called QUAD key interface. Basically you tell the map content server where on the world you want to see the image and which detail or zoom level the image shall have. This URL is provided by the GIS vendor and can also contain some license key information (token).
Also important for the service is that the GIS product support some kind of coordinate projection. SAP VB 2.0 works with a tile-based approach, where the geo-map you see is cut into several images that can be loaded seperately (I am sure you have noticed this using so of the common map application on the internet). I guess roundabout 90% of the GIS vendors support this. A single image approach has several disadvantages and must be avoided.
Well, finally your system must allow the browser frontend to call external services (firewall configuration).
1. Go to the TM customizing Basic Functions -> Geographical Map -> Visual Business
2. Create a new Map Product (details like Tile pixels are product specific).
3. Add at least 1 GIS server: Here you enter the URL provided by the GIS vendor. It is possible to use multiple servers to speed up the map loading. The URL can be tested directly.
4. Define a Map Stack
5. Assign your new map product to that stack
6. Each available application has 1 or multiple map stacks assigned. For example you want to use your specific map content in the TM Transportation Network Cockpit, pick that. Of course a map stack can be used in multiple applications.
7. Assign the map stack to the application
8. Switch the map stack in the application
As an alternative to an own map stack, you can assign your product to the map stack DEFAULT, which is used in all TM applications.
In case you have an URL and the map content does not come up, the following application component is the right one to get it checked: CA-GTF-VBZ
Maps in China
I often get the question about maps and China. Well, from a technical point of view it works exactly the same. There are some law restrictions. I think the map server must be hosted within China, which can only be granted by some big GIS vendors or local providers.