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Hour 4. Customizing Your SAP Display

Hour 4. Customizing Your SAP Display

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WhichSAPGUIIsRight?

WiththeJavaGUI,WebGUI(forWindows-basedbrowser

system),andanumberofflavorsoftheSAPGUIatyour

disposal,abitofinsightisinordersothatyoucanselectthe

bestuserinterfaceforyourpurposes.Takeintoconsideration

thefollowingpointswhenchoosingauserinterface:

Thefunctionalityrequiredbytheendusers

Theaverageuser'sfront-endclienthardwareplatform

(hardwaredetails,includingCPUspeed,amountofRAM,

andamountofdiskspaceavailable)

Theaverageuser'sfront-endclientOperatingSystem

platform(Windows,Unix,Linux,MacOS)

Thenetworkinfrastructureservicingtheusers(don'tforget

aboutremoteusersdotheyaccessSAPoveraslowWAN

linkorevenslowerdial-up?)

Installationramifications(arethereresourcesavailableto

deploytheSAPGUI,andthenpatchandmaintainit?)

Inthenextfewpages,thebenefitsanddrawbacksofeachSAP

GUIflavorareoutlined.



JavaGUISAPGUIforJava

ForusersofUnix,Linux,andMacOS,theJavaGUImightwell

betheonlychoiceforconnectingtoandworkingwithSAP.The

JavaGUIsupportsWindows32-bitsystemsaswell,andfor



usersstillhangingontoOS/2machines(andnotforcedfor

otherreasonstoupgradebeyondSAPGUI6.20),you'reinluck

aswell.SupportforMacOSwaslessthandesirableuntilSAP

GUI6.10.Thisandlaterversionsworkwell,thoughtheyinstall

smoothlyandofferthebasicandadvancedfunctionalityseenin

theSAPGUIforWindows.

InstallationoftheSAPGUIforJavarequiresaJavaRuntime

Environment(JRE).Afterit'sinstalled,thetotalfootprintis

smallonly8MBisrequiredfortheJavaVirtualMachine(VM)and

onlyanother9MBisrequiredfortheJavaGUIitself.Andthe

productworkswell.It'sasfastastheSAPGUIforWindows,

andoffersmostofthefunctionality.

Ifthebestdescriptionofyourdesktopenvironmentis

"variable,"youwilldowelltoconsidertheJavaGUI.Itsupports

morethan20languages,anditoperatesinanidenticalmanner

onallsupportedplatforms,despiteitsplatformindependence.

ItsupportsallR/3transactions,boastsanultra-thinnetwork

protocol(itisveryefficient),andyoucannativelyviewallMS

Officedocuments.Toobtainthelatestversion,orpulldown

olderversions,seeftp://ftp.sap.com/pub/sapgui/java/.The

.JARfilesrangefrom20MBto40MBquitereasonablecompared

totheSAPGUIforWindows,andjustanotherreasonto

seriouslyconsidertheSAPGUIforJava.



WebGUISAPGUIforHTML

SAPintroducedtheuserinterfaceforHTMLattheendof1996,

whenR/33.1Gwasreleasedalongwithanotherthen-new

product,InternetTransactionServer.Muchhaschangedinthe

subsequentyears,obviously,buttheWebGUIisstillan

excellentinterfacetoSAP.Originally,theWebGUIsupporteda

numberofbrowsersbutsupportedperhapsonly90%95%of

SAP'susertransactionsoutofthebox.Today,theSAPGUIfor

HTMLemulatesthefullfeaturesofthetraditionalSAPGUIwith



norealdifference,exceptforthefactthatawebbrowseris

used.Thetwomostpopularbrowsersarestill

supportedMicrosoftInternetExplorer(IE)andNetscape

Navigator.

Inthelastfewyears,theSAPGUIforHTMLhasbeenmuch

improved.Recentfeaturesandenhancementsinclude:

Improvedflicker-freerenderingperformanceofHTMLpages

Smallernetworkbandwidthrequired

SupportforthevastmajorityofSAPtransactions

NewEnterprisePortalcompliantdesign(SAPStreamline,

discussedlater)

EliminationofhangingSAPsessions(whentheusersclose

WebGUIontheirdesktopsorlaptops,itterminatesthe

back-endSAPsession)

Supportformoveablepop-upwindows

AccessibilityfeaturesthatenableblinduserstoaccessSAP

systems

Becausethehardwarefootprintisminimal(nodiskspaceis

necessaryperse,assumingIEorNetscapeisinstalledby

default),theSAPGUIforHTMLmakesalotofsenseformany

SAPusers.Drawbacksexistthough.TheWebGUIdoesnot

supportthesamelevelofMicrosoftOfficeintegrationastheSAP

GUIforWindows,nordoesitsupportthevarietyofbusiness

graphicsordesktopaccessmechanismssupportedbythe

WinGUI.Finally,untilrecently,theWebGUImoved35timesthe

amountofnetworktrafficthanitsWindowsandJava



counterparts,makingitthechunkiest(leastefficient)member

oftheSAPGUIfamilyfromanetworkperspective.



WinGUISAPGUIforWindows

BecauseitisthemostmatureuserinterfaceofferedbySAP,it

comesasnosurprisethatanumberofSAPGUIforWindows

"flavors"areavailable.Foryears,theonlyoptionwastheplain

grayscreendisplayedinFigure4.1,nowcalledtheClassicSAP

GUI.IntypicalGermanfashion,itwasveryfunctional.However,

itwasnotknownforitsgoodlooks.Allthatchangedafter

HassoPlattner,oneofthefoundingengineersofSAPAG,toured

acustomerfacilityandwasgivensuchfeedbackpersonally.The

resultwasEnjoySAPamuchmoreattractiveandgreatlyupdated

interface,asseeninFigure4.2.



Figure4.1.TheclassicSAPGUI.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Figure4.2.TheEnjoySAPorsimply"Enjoy"SAP

GUI.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



ToeasilyobtainthelatestSAPGUIforWindows,see

ftp://ftp.sap.com/pub/sapgui/win/.Fromhere,selectthe

version(forexample,640),andthenselectwhatyouwantto

download.Typically,thelatestcompilationisavailablealong

withadd-ons,patches,andscriptingtools.Bepreparedto

downloadmorethan500MB.



Enjoy

EnjoySAP,alsoknownasEnjoy,isthemostpopularSAPGUI

flavortoday.Abitfatterthanitspredecessorintermsof

desktopCPUandnetworkbandwidthconsumption,Enjoy

initiallysufferedfromperformanceissuesprimarilybecauseit

requiredmoredatatobemovedpertransactionthantheclassic

SAPGUI.Oldnetworkinfrastructuresstruggledwiththis

requirementuntilSAPprovidedtheoptionthroughtheSAP

LogonPadtoreduceor"throttle"thebandwidthbacktoamore



bare-boneslevel.Itdoesthisbynotsendingbitmapsandother

such"extras"that,althoughpleasantonascreen,requiretime

todownloadanddisplay.Thislow-speedconnectionthrottling

optionisdiscussedinmoredetailinHour2,"SAPBasics."

Enjoyisheavier,atleastinitially,foranotherreasontoo.Before

EnjoySAP,functionssuchasscrolling,navigating,scrolling,and

searchingusedtorequireanothernetwork"roundtrip"between

thedesktopandSAP.WithEnjoy,thisroundtripiseliminated

withthedownsidethatabitmoretrafficisgeneratedupfront.

However,becausesubsequentnavigationoftenrequiresno

extranetworktraffic(thereismoreinformationoneachSAP

screen,oftenintabbedformat),Enjoycanbebothfastand

efficientinthelongrun.EnjoyisavailablefortheJavaGUIas

wellastheSAPGUIforWindows.

DeployingtheSAPGUIforWindowsdoesnotrequirespecial

administrativerights;anyusercaninstalltheproduct.WithSAP

GUIforWindowssupportforcommonsoftwaremanagement

anddistributionutilities(likeMicrosoftSMS),youcaneasily

deployitacrossawidelydispersedenterprise.Finally,youno

longerneedtouninstallpreviousSAPGUIversionsaslongas

youarerunning4.6Dorlater,agreattime-saverforthoseIT

shopsthatgrewaccustomedtorunningtheonce-mandatory

SAPsweeputilitypriortoeachGUIupgrade.



HighContrastandStreamline

A"HighContrast"themewasintroducedtomaketheSAPGUI

easiertoread.Itwasintendedforvisuallyimpairedusers.Ilike

usingthismodewhencreatingscreenshot-based

documentation,thoughthehigh-contrastmodemakesforeasy

toreaddocuments,bothprintedandonthescreen.

WhenSAPGUI6.30wasreleased,yetanothernewtheme,

called"Streamline,"wasintroduced.Streamlinehelpedcreatea



uniformlookandfeelbetweenthedifferentGUIs,especially

usefulwhenmultiplesystemsanduserinterfaceswere

involved.Itsgreen-bluecolormocksthedefaultcolorscheme

foundinsomeversionsoftheWebGUI.



Tradeshow

ThelatesteditiontothestandardSAPGUIstableofinterfacesis

called"Tradeshow."Releasedin2003,Tradeshowiseasily

readablebecauseitsstrongSAPGUIcontrolscontrastwitha

brightbackground.

It'seasytotellataglanceifyou'rerunninginStreamlineor

Tradeshowmode.Justlookatthebackgroundcolorofabutton.

Lightblue(almostgray)buttonsindicateStreamline,whereas

Tradeshowusesalightyellowcolor.



TheCustomizingofLocalLayoutButton

Onthetop-rightsideofeverySAPGUIwindow,youcanseea

multicoloredbutton(nexttotheyellowQuestionMarkHelp

button).CalledtheCustomizingofLocalLayoutbutton,and

informallyreferredtoastheCustomizingorSettingsbutton,it

givesyouaccesstothefollowingmenuoptions(seeFigure

4.3):

Options

NewVisualDesign

SetColortoSystem

Clipboard

GenerateGraphic

CreateShortcut

ActivateGuiXT

ScriptRecordingandPlayback

ScriptDevelopmentTools

SAPGUIHelp



Figure4.3.TheCustomizingofLocalLayout

buttonletsyouchangetheappearanceand

functionalityofyourSAPscreens,andprovides



accesstomanyfeatures,simpletools,and

utilities.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Thereareanumberofothermenuoptionsthatareselfexplanatory,likeaspellchecker,acharactersetselector,the

ubiquitousAboutoption,andsoon.TheAboutoptionis

especiallyusefulbecauseitnotonlydisplaystheversionand

patchleveloftheSAPGUI,butitalsoidentifiestheversionof

eachloadedDLL,providessysteminformationdetails,and

providesabuttonusefulforsavingthisdetailintoatextfilefor

safekeeping(seeFigure4.4).



Figure4.4.Manyvaluableoptionsandsystem

insightareavailablefromtheSAPVersion

Informationscreen.



FromtheCustomizingmenu,selectOptions.AnOptionswindow

appearssimilartotheoneshowninFigure4.5.



Figure4.5.FromtheOptionswindow,youcanset

upmessages,adjustcursorsettings,specifythe

directoryusedtosavelocaldata,andmoreall

throughthevarioustabs.



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Hour 4. Customizing Your SAP Display

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