When we started thinking about developing SAP Screen Personas (of course, we did not have this name back then) in 2010, we set out to create a simple overlay technology that would allow customers to simplify SAP GUI screens without disrupting their existing SAP environments. We built several prototypes using different technologies (including both Silverlight and HTML5), focusing on what would deliver pixel-perfect rendering across Windows and Mac desktops, across all the top browsers.
With Personas 2.0, we introduced an HTML component. This does not require Silverlight for rendering the screens. Because of the interdependencies between Personas and the kernel, Personas HTML runs everywhere the Web GUI does (also known as SAP GUI for HTML) can run. Currently, this does not include iPad or Andriod devices.
Think about the different ways you access key functions in SAP GUI. To trigger some actions you use fairly deep menu structures, right-click on menus, click the F4 Help which opens a popup window. Date entry happens in a popup calendar, and numeric input usually requires the use of keyboard.
On an iPad you would probably expect to scroll through a table by swiping your finger, and to see scroll wheels for date and time entry. Since these are not supported for the WebGUI on an iPad, Personas HTML will not run either. Or, at least not provide the experience you are expecting.
For the classic Dynpro technology, SAP relies on a server-side rendering approach. This means that the backend always tries to provide a screen that uses the available screen size. If you change the size of your browser used to render Personas HTML, or simply resize the SAPGUI window, you can see a round-trip causing a full refresh of the screen. The simple act of rotating your iPad would also cause this full re-rendering of the screen since the screen size is changing.
The Personas team and others at SAP are well aware of the trends in IT. We understand how people are running their businesses. So, providing Personas functionality on iPad is certainly something we are examining.
Can you render Web GUI on an iPad? Sure.
Would Personas run in that environment? To the extent the Web GUI runs.
Could you create a flavor using Personas HTML that does something really well on an iPad? Probably.
Will it be good enough to run your entire business this way? Probably not.
But only in very limited circumstances.
In the next post, we will explore myth 8, about caching and performance.