SAP Business Client FAQ

Find the answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions.

Basic Product Information

What is SAP Business Client?

Single-Entry-Point for different UI technologies, such as Web Dynpro ABAP/FPM, SAP GUI transactions, and SAP Fiori apps. Desktop Client based on Microsoft Windows.

General Questions

Which features are available for which SAP NW AS ABAP SAP Business Client?

Expected Releases, Prerequisites and Restrictions?

Operating System

Newer versions like 7.70 also do not support MAC and there are no plans for that.

Where can I find the download?

SAP BUSINESS CLIENT 7.0 PL14 was delivered and is available internally & for customers in SAP ONE Support Launchpad (SAP Software Download Center).

Authentication

How does the SAP GUI protocol recognize the NWBC web logon (in PFCG mode)?

NWBC uses HTTP to contact the ABAP system, which then sends back a MYSAPSS02 or a SAP_SESSIONID cookie (assertion ticket). Value 3 is the default parameter in the kernel as of NetWeaver 7.40 to enable the AS ABAP to issue authentication assertion tickets and no logon tickets. We recommend you use this value.

This is then used to talk to the ABAP system. This should be in the documentation – See SAP Lbrary : Authentication

Caution:

It is the responsibility of the customers to make whatever security settings are necessary in the browser. Pay particular attention to your proxy settings. NWBC uses the security settings from the Internet Explorer. NWBC does not store or persistently keep any authentication data in any form.

Recommendation:

To make data access both simple and secure we recommend combining SAP Business Client with SAP Single Sign-On.

As of release SAP Single Sign-On 2.0, SAP Single Sign-On offers support for SPNEGO for ABAP.

Leveraging this Kerberos-based single sign-on technology, you can implement an SAP Single Sign-On solution for your SAP Business Client quickly and easily, and without the need for a Java stack.

See how in the following blog by Sandra Thimme:

NWBC meets Single Sign-On: Simplify Secure Data Access (Part 1)

How to logon without SNC?

Once SNC/SSO is configured for a user you have to create an alias to logon without SNC. Use transaction SICF to create an alias. See how in the following blog by Sandra Thimme:

NWBC and SSO: Logon with/without SNC (Secure Network Communication)

Display of Error Messages

Can you influence the position of error message?

No. Error message depends on the application’s UI technology. If this is dynpro (SAP GUI), message is displayed in a status bar at the bottom, for e.g. WDA applications, the message is displayed at the top. SAP Business Client cannot influence this.

NWBC for HTML

Prerequisites and restrictions for live operation of SAP NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) for HTML and NWBC Runtime.

https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/1620576

Note: You have to activate the correct SICF node for your version of NWBC for HTML. 

Browser Support

What browsers are supported?

See Product Availability Matrix (PAM)

(SAP Business Client for Desktop supports Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chromium Web Browser Control and with the upcoming release 7.70 Microsoft Edge (based on Chromium).


https://blogs.sap.com/2018/01/25/sap-business-client-6.5-pl5-released/

Performance

What about performance?

Sap Business Client does not change the performance behavior of the contained applications. The shell adds some additional performance on top but this happens in a constant way and does not relate to the performance behavior of the application. The application footprint is the same as if it were running in a standalone scenario.

Can SAP Business Client manage over 10,000 users?

Yes, see the section in the documentation on the performance profile for SAP Business Client:
Performance Aspects

Does SAP Business Client support load balancing?

You could place a reverse proxy in front of your application servers to spread the load, and allow you to
later dynamically consider additional servers. Or start SAP Business Client for Desktop via the message server to
automatically lock onto the least busy application server.

This is described in detail in the documentation. SAP Help Portal: Using SAP Business Client with a Load Balancer

What sort of overhead is there that might affect performance?

The performance and overhead footprint of all applications running within SAP Business Client are still the same as if they would run standalone.

Sometimes it seems, that it takes longer to open an transaction in SAP Business Client as in SAP GUI. Why?

To display a transaction SAP Business Client has to establish a connection to the SAP GUI server. >5.0 the connections will be initialized after the system connection is established.


SAP Business Client for Desktop: It accesses the server only once during startup to authenticate the user and then to
verify that the navigation tree in its cache is still valid. In the usual case, two HTTP requests are all that are
needed once a day for SAP Business Client for Desktop (extra features, such as searching for transactions, does add
additional requests to the server, but these should be the norm on a shop floor).

NWBC for HTML: The server renders the shell. Each interaction with the shell, for example starting a new
application, results in a small amount of network overhead to get a new shell rendered from the ABAP
server, plus of course the ABAP session.

ABAP runtime: The client fires a set of HTTP requests to the server. For the desktop client, it is the
sequence of requests to validate its cache. For the HTML shell it is the series of requests to trigger the
navigation. The ABAP runtime becomes stateful (keeps the ABAP session) for 15-30 seconds, before the
session is cleared again. As such, the overhead is very little on ABAP. (Keep in mind that the desktop client
only calls once on startup.)

Personalization

Can I create own folder structures for my system connections (as in SAP Logon)?

Yes.

Can I add custom icons to the work center/service map?

No.

Can I change the welcome message?

The message on the Index page can be replaced by a different text, even with parameters.

Use parameter WELCOME_MESSAGE in the backend configuration table NWBC_CFG. See also

Definition of Configuration Parameters with Table NWBC_CFG

If an end user makes personalization changes in SAP Business Client are they valid for his or her user ID or for his or her local installation?

All changes stored locally on a user’s PC (for example reordering of work centers / icons for work centers /
hide some work centers / font changes/ etc) do not work on another PC.

All changes within canvas applications are stored on the server and would work on another computer.

Personalization: Options are stored locally and are Windows-user specific. The sequence of the work centers
and the icons are even stored per connection and per user accessing the connection.

Positioning: SAP Business Client vs SAP GUI vs Portal

Why and When to use SAP Business Client?

We have now summarized answers to these questions here:

Why and When ....?

Programming Aspects

In the installation under C:\Program Files\SAP\NWBC\ there are a number of executables, dlls and other files. What do they do?

NWBC.exe – That is what gets executed when you click on the icon on the desktop.

NWBCCore.exe – This is the main process to run NWBC.

NWBCSAPlets. Exe – This is an SAP widget engine for SAPLets (not productized)

NWBCURLHandler. Exe – This is a small launcher to react to a URL like: „sap-nwbc://“. It is used to start
NWBC against a specific server. The customer can create “sap-nwbc://xxx” link Web page and by click user
would start NWBC. NwbcUrlHandler.exe offers no parameter documentation. Facing any issues with NwbcUrlHandler.exe you have to open a ticket.

sapAcfDummy. Html – Acf specific (Active Component Framework). Used for JGannt/JNett, Microsoft
Office integration

SAPAcfEolasPatch.js

Roles (PFCG)

How much work is involved in maintaining roles in PFCG? Doesn’t that generate work and raise costs for migrating from SAP GUI to SAP Business Client?

Before you maintain the roles you have to clearly define the business processes. You can then derive the
business roles from these and then turn them fairly quickly into PFCG roles. Creating the menus should
then be straightforward.

In our experience most customers need to spend more time defining their business processes. This leads to
concrete, time-consuming but crucial preliminary questions of the form: “Is Mr. X allowed to do Y or only
Z?” and “To what extent to we want to restrict our employees’ working environment?”

What happens if roles are duplicated?

SAP Business Client uses a merging function, so there are no double entries.

Can you import roles from one system to another?

Yes, using SM59.
See Role Maintenance in PFCG

SAP GUI Scripting

Does SAP GUI Scripting work?

Yes, with the following limitations:

  • Scripting works reliably only for ONE instance of NWBC. This is because, for each SapGuiProcess, there is a “SAPGUISERVER”-running object table entry (“ROT entry). If you try to fetch the scripting object (GetObject(“SAPGUISERVER”) , and if you have several instances open, pointing to different systems, it may not be clear to the system which instance is the right one
  • There may be limitations with remote connection handling.
  • There is a problem if the script points to SAP Easy Access: Currently, in SAP GUI standalone, if you keep hitting Back (F3), you end up in SMEN. You can then navigate somewhere else. In NWBC, if you keep hitting F3, you end up, finally , with a closed tab.

How can I activate SAP GUI Scripting?

Side Panel (Parameter sapgui/nwbc_scripting)

What is the Side Panel and how to use it?

The side panel in SAP Business Client is not only a additional UI area located on the side of the content area but also an infrastructure to enhance existing SAP GUI transactions from older releases without modifications.

Tags are the basis for the extraction process (extracted via SAP GUI scripting). They define which screen properties are to be extracted from an application running in the content area, and with which name the extracted properties are passed to the side panel application . All tags are stored in the tag table. For more information, see 6.7.2 Creating Tags in the Tag Table .

System Connections

Is there a maximum number of systems?

There is no technical limitation to the number of systems.
But: The more systems you have the more complex it is to maintain. PFCG was not built to maintain lots of
systems.

Can you access more than one system?

Yes, you can access 2 or more systems by opening 2 instances of SAP Business Client.

While using SAP Business Client, how can I ascertain which system I am logged into (DEV, QA, PRD)?

Here, we have to distinguish between SAP Business Client for desktop and NWBC for HTML.

Desktop client : you can find out about NWBC using the menu options Help -> About Business
Client and then you can find out even more by clicking System Information. You can also click on the SAP
icon right at the bottom of the SAP Business Client to access system information.

But that does not tell you whether you are in a QM system etc.

In new versions if SAP Business Client for Desktop such as 4.0 or in the HTML Add-On our developers are working on
theming. For example, you could display the shell in a different color depending on whether the system is
a production system, a QM system or a development system.

With the HTML version you can specify a Welcome message. This message appears at the top of NWBC.

You could mention the system type (eg QM) in this Welcome message.


Here is the technical background:

***

WELCOME_MESSAGE

At runtime, the system selects the welcome message in the logon language.

If no matching language entry is found, LANG=’ ‘ or LANG=’*’ is used as a fallback.

The welcome message is displayed in NWBC for HTML next to the Log Off pushbutton.

The VALUE field contains the text. You can use the following placeholders:

&NAME&: first name

&SURNAME&: last name

&FULL_NAME&: full name

&USER&: user name

&CLIENT&: client

&SYSTEM&: system ID

***

Does SAP Business Client cause bandwidth problems?

Usage of the SAP GUI for Windows instead of SAP GUI for HTML results in a significant bandwidth
reduction. The SAP Business Client for Windows shell is rendered on the client side and the role XML is cached on the
client side. Therefore shell rendering is generally a bandwidth reduction compared with the
Portal shell. Web content (like BSP or Web Dynpro) running within SAP Business Client is unchanged in its bandwidth
requirements.

Is there a maximum number of sessions/windows that can be open in SAP Business Client?

So far there is no limitation from the SAP Business Client side, except a memory limit. It is possible to open 100
windows, but be careful; some servers limit the number of open sessions. For example, by default, SAP
J2EE limits the number of open Web Dynpro JAVA applications to 20.There is a limit of 16 on the number of SAP GUI sessions.The default number is 6. Note: Each and every side panel is using an extra session. So the number of six might in any case not be enough.

ABAP Language (Enhanced) (BC-ABA-LA) (Further Changes).

For more information, see rdisp/max_alt_modes:
User Context

Do the connections have to be defined for SAP GUI and for SAP Business Client, that is, twice?

No.

Which client technology is recommended by SAP for customers running Linux if they use roles that mix Dynpro and Web Dynpro applications?

SAP Business Client for desktop does not run on Linux. SAP Business Client uses SAP GUI for Windows to display dynpros. It does
not use the Java GUI.
However, NWBC for HTML does run in Firefox, which will work on Linux.

CITRIX

Does SAP Business Client support Citrix?

Yes, Testing@SAP” contains a SAP Business Client installation.

SAP Business Client for Desktop works on Windows platforms, also on Citrix. NWBC for HTML is browser-based (see
SAP’s browser PAM); it also runs in Citrix environments.

Adobe Reader

Does the documentation specify which version of Adobe Reader has to be installed? Or does SAP Business Client itself incorporate a specific version of Adobe Reader?

There are no specific requirements regarding SAP Business Client and Adobe Reader. When forms are displayed in
SAP Business Client then this involves forms integrated in Web Dynpro ABAP. For information about browser support for
Adobe Forms please read the PAM (Product Availability Matrix), available on SAP Service Marketplace.

Business Server Pages (BSPs)

Are there are any technical restrictions when linking Business Server Pages within the SAP Business Client?

There is no limitation for BSP or Web Dynpro ABAP technology for SAP Business Client

Business Suite: CRM

Third-Party Content

What options are there for integrating 3rd party applications in SAP Business Client?

In general, you can integrate any third-party content that can be accessed by URL.

It’s possible to run/launch 3rd party application from Business Client by defining a new entry in
PFCG with “Web address/file URL” type (like Web Dynpro/Transaction/other types).

Transportation Management

Transportation Management and Business Client?