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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Since we released NWBC 5.0 on October 9th, I focussed solely on that in the main lecture, covering the other main topics in the Expert Networking Sessions (EXP). For the latter I was joined by Ralph Resech (SAP GUI) and Johannes Wasserfall (UX@Suite). I was delighted with the turnout - 80 for the main lecture, about 40 for each EXP. Even better, this time people weren't so shy as last year, so we had loads of questions. So thank you to everyone who turned up, and made it so lively ;-).

As always, there was a wide variety of topics discussed. For example, what happens after NWBC 5.0 - where next? Many customers are interested in improving their users' experience with Fiori, but today they rely on SAP GUI for Windows. We need to reassure these customers that they can combine both; NWBC can act as a useful bridge between the two worlds. At present, we are working on integrating Fiori standalone apps, but I can't provide a date as to when this will be available. I will provide more information as soon as possible.

Several customers expressed concerns regarding SAP GUI 7.40, in comparison with 7.30. Ralph dealt with many of these; most of them are also expressed here : SAP GUI 7.40 Released! The SAP GUI team are currently working on a patch for several of these issues. One valid concern is that patches of SAP GUI and NWBC are not necessarily released together. This is a tradeoff - either we bundle the patches to minimize disruption OR we release each patch as soon as possible to optimize the quality of the product and fix any issues without delay - we can't do both. However, Ralph pointed out that both 7.40 an 5.0 are very very new - when they mature a little, then it may well make sense to bundle the patches.

I was surprised that UI theme designer is not better known - I thought it was well-established by now. However, once people saw it, they generally liked it, and we were able to direct people to more information. Page Builder entry pages have a similar problem - most people who see them like them, they solve a common problem but they are not known. (This is odd, because side panels are really well-known, and are basically the same UI technology). Maybe we are hiding our light under a bushel; I'll try to push these more in future.)

The other big topic - as always - is integration: NWBC+CRM, NWBC+BI and so on. The rule of thumb (described in more detail in this blog: When to use NWBC...) is: for occasional use, you can use NWBC, but for all day, everyday use, the dedicated client is almost certainly better.

All in all, feedback was very positive - several customers said that 5.0 was a big improvement on 4.0 (which at the time was itself a big step forward from 4.0) and they were really pleased at the way the product had matured. Phew!

Standing room only at Expert Networking Session

Selected questions

Integration: Business Suite UIs, other UI technologies

How can I call the same WDA application multiple times - in particular from the Index Page?

At present, if you choose the same application from the index page, the second time, it simply takes you back to the existing application in the existing tab.  However, this is a valid improvement request, which I will take to the development team.

(With SAP GUI transactions, you can use /o).

How can I get an overview of all available side panels

Use the transaction BSSP_Content (available in EHP6 from SP5 onwards).

Will there be a side panel in Fiori in future?

There is no immediate plan to do this;  it may be possible in a future release.

How do I get the "nice-looking" side panel charts?

These are UI5 chart chips, known as "CVOM chips". They are available as a separate component in EHP7 (ABAP-based). To find the docu: Open the Chip Catalog (by opening any side panel in an EHP7 system, and choosing Configuration); Open the folder Reports (Display as HTML Chart) (probably the 3rd Reports folder); Choose a chip eg Vendor Due Date Forecast... . Here you will find the chip name, tags, prerequisites, etc. The old graphic is still displayed.

For an interesting tutorial on these, see this blog: NWBC Side Panel Demo with an HTML5-Based Chart GUIBB

Fiori in NWBC: How does this work? When is this available?

More and more customers are interested in this. As soon as more information is available, I will post it here.

Can I display BI content in a side panel?

Yes, it has been done. However, this is not part of the standard, and has not been documented in any way.

How do I integrate Personas into NWBC?

I blogged on this here: NWBC and SAP Screen Personas 2.0.

What about UI theme designer for NWBC? How can I get hold of it?

UI theme designer is available as part of the NW UI Add-ons, version 1.0. This is an additional server, known as the frontend server. It also provides other UI
enhancements, such as Fiori. More information is available: NW UI Add-Ons: UI theme designer.

Integration: Content

Can I consume CRM content in NWBC?

Again, for occasional consumption, you can use NWBC, but if you work mainly in CRM, then you should use the Web UI client.


Is it mandatory to use NW SSO 2.0 with NWBC?

It is not absolutely mandatory; however, we strongly recommend it: NW SSO 2.0 requires a separate license, but provides a lot of benefits and convenience - not least, it is fully supported if you have a problem. SAP GUI is not a good comparison, because NWBC offers both DIAG / TCP/IP content AND HTTP-based content. A better comparison as to how NWBC works is with WD applications. Similarly, SSO 2.0 does not require an additional license with SAP Enterprise Portal; this is because the Portal itself costs money.

For more information on SSO 2.0, see here. NW SSO 2.0.

Will SAP create a version of NWBC (for Desktop) that is NOT browser- specific?

NWBC relies heavily on Microsoft's IE control to display non-SAP GUI content; and in general relies heavily on IE security settings. Therefore this will not be created.We cannot commit any resources to developing and supporting additional browser types.

I will update these questions with more information when available. If you were at Teched, and would like to put any further questions, please just add them to the comments.

And finally: To all of you who came and introduced yourselves, thank you! It's always good to put names to faces - in fact that is one of my favourite parts of Teched.

That's it for now! Hope to see as many as possible of you next year.