SAP Enterprise Portal is one of the newest solutions proposed by SAP AG for the new era of the global world. It consist of using the powerful of the Portals to access to different information and makes it a powerful tool. With this white paper I want to introduce some concepts used in SAP Enterprise Portal, so it can help us to understand them.
SAP Enterprise Portal Components
The Portal is an application that enables that end users have access to different applications, services and information from a company system(s). The portal is like a technical solution that links the information and presentation to the end users in views. So the Portal Server is the heart or the component that ensure that the information is presented and structured as requested by the end user. For this, some validations and security roles concepts are used.
The Knowledge Management (KM) is the component that interacts with documents. With SAP KM you can edit, create new versions or publish documents in a Web-Based service. It works like a collaboration room, chat room, discussion room, etc. One of the most important components in SAP KM is TREX, that consist as a power engine to search and classify the information in the system.
This technology enables the concept of Drag & Relate that permits the exchange of objects between cross-applications. Also, allows the content integration from various databases.
Integrating SAP with Portal
Currently, in the world exists different tools proposed for Portal development:
SAP Enterprise Portal provides standard wizard and default templates for iViews for most of SAP R/3 based systems:
- Transactional iViews
- BSP pages
- BW queries and reports
The iView represent a portal component for displaying information and allow some user interaction. Also, iViews can be grouped in pages to display different information.
This is the best way to build portals in a quickly and easily way. A Business Packages are solutions provided by SAP that can be configured and used immediately.
Different tools can be used to do a custom development. Some of the existing tools are:
- Web Dynpro with Developer Studio
- PDK with Developer Studio
- PDK for .Net
- Visual Composer
This way of development is more complex than the ones proposed before because everything should be built.
The event component is other way to use the iViews in pages. With this kind of development, we can enable event processes in pages. I.E.: You have a screen with a list of employees, and in the right side you have the details for that employee. When you select an employee, you can show immediately the information from different employees without going back and selecting other employee.
Benefits Implementing SAP Enterprise Portal
SAP Enterprise Portal was implemented in different customers like HP, etc. The benefits they had are always the same:
- Unify information from various applications and Web.
- User-friendly and role-based access to applications, services, information.
- In general, it increase productivity, improve the customer/supplier services.
- Provide real-time knowledge and decision support.
- Provide mobile access for better service, workforce productivity and user convenience.
What is the best way to implement a SAP Enterprise Portal?
This is a good question, and the best way is to check all requirements that our customer needs. Most of our customers, wants to enable client/customer access to their systems, with special views and designs to show the information. Depending of the user needs, then we are able to select the best solution to implement Portals. To say iViews or custom development is difficult, and the best way is to know the final requirement by them.
Is SAP Enterprise Portal the best solution for our customers? In my opinion we are in a new global information living, so my answer is YES. Most our customer are using SAP R/3 solutions, and creating access for their employees, customers or suppliers to their system makes it risky. Also, how they can provide access to different people without attempting their own systems? So the answer is using another technology based in web services, and Portals are the answers. This is the best way that our customers can offer access to different end users and provide some restriction roles to view information. With the Portals, they never access directly to our databases, as they are using the Views and these views access configured services and certain data that can be displayed. Also, the way SAP dynpros display the information is not really friendly for all users, and something that can be seen better will be in a Web based.
SAP AG provides a new technology, and a big quantity of tools can be used to implement Portals solutions. The advantage of SAP Enterprise Portal is because for customers with R/3 systems can easily access using the SAP Portals using always their support.