Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Destination None? Seriously?

I have been around for a while, working with SAP and debugging quite considerable amounts of coding.
There was one piece I never really understood, but always took for granted, which is the statement 'Destination None' after a call function. Destination None sound a little like the road to nowhere...

When working with SAP ABAP, you have several options for building up your coding and calling other pieces of coding, such as 'Submit, Call Method, Call Transaction, Call Function, call-ICT, call transformation, perform etc.

Some are old, some are new, some are good, some are not.
Personally, I prefer an object oriented approach, and definitely dislike call transaction and submit. But maybe that's just taste, and sometimes, you just have to use what SAP has delivered.

So in the end, we can use a mix of calls, procedures, methods and functions to eventually get to Rome.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

May I have your votes, please?

Only 8 days left to get your voice heard!

On October 8th, I shared my top 5 improvements delivered in the last cycle of Customer Connect for SAP CRM. For those who are not familiar with the Customer Connect Program and Customer Engagement Initiative, you can find more info here or check the platform directly here.


Basically, SAP is listening to customers in order to define and implement improvements in the software. A good thing if I may say so.

The improvement cycles always consist of a Define, a Collect, a Select, a Develop and a Use phase.

In the case of the SAP CRM Customer Connect program, this cycle takes about a year.
Right now (the end of October) we are in the collect phase.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What if... your salesreps had a proper mobile app?

Over the past decades, the way we consume information and utilise systems has changed.
Not only has the amount of available information increased to a level where we struggle to get it all interpreted properly, it is very likely to be constantly at your fingertips.
These days, we carry our limitless encyclopedia in our pocket, and we have embedded this in our life.
Let's take a closer look at this limitless encyclopedia.

Use of the smartphone

I will use myself as an objective example. I use my smartphone for various functions.
1. Messaging & Collaboration. I send short messages to friends and colleagues.
2. Agenda. I manage my time and appointments. I get reminders
3. News. I read news, I check the weather forecast, I check traffic.
4. Facebook. I post and peek.
5. Games. I relax.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top 5 improvements delivered through Customer Connect CRM 2013-2014

On October 13th last year, I wrote about Customer Connect, SAP's Customer Influence platform.
Now, a year later, I look back at the process, share my top 5 enhancements, and look forward to the 2014-2015 cycle.

Looking back

So let's go 1 year back.

On October 13 2013, I mentioned there are 4 stages in the Customer Connect cycle. At that time, we were in the collect phase. I still had good hope for the selection phase. Hopefully, my contributions would be selected and implemented. Also, I was curious towards the implementation phase... Would SAP development indeed co-develop the enhancements?

As promised, after the collection phase, the development team selected the requests that were valid for the next round where both popularity and feasibility played a role.
Unfortunately for me, one of my personal favorites didn't make it to the development phase.
Default values for search criteria in UI configuration - Delivered
Automatic refresh of the agent inbox - Rejected
Add the status of an activity to the calendar - Delivered

After the selection, I expected someone might contact me to follow-up on the details.
This was not the case though. A few months of silence followed, after which the closing call was done which explained that most developments had finished. We can only hope that the actual outcome is as expected.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We have SAP CRM on premise, we want SAP Cloud for Customer!

A statement we hear more often from our customers. And it is a fair statement if you ask me.

A bit of background
SAP CRM has been around for more than 10 years and there is a large number of customers who have implemented and are using this solution successfully. In 2011 SAP introduced Sales OnDemand which was basically the CRM cloud solution from SAP to support the sales processes.
And since that introduction it went fast and I mean really fast! Sales OnDemand became SAP Cloud for Sales, SAP Cloud for Service was introduced not much later and in the latest release SAP Cloud for Marketing was added to the Cloud CRM suite called SAP Cloud for Customer. For the more visual readers, it looks like:


In my opinion this is only the beginning. Every quarter SAP is adding new functionality to SAP Cloud for Customer making it the CRM solution of the future. And no, I do not think that SAP will suddenly pull the plug out of SAP CRM on premise, but I do think that in the end all organizations, who are using SAP CRM now, will be moving to the cloud eventually.

The challenge these organizations are facing is, when do we move to SAP Cloud for Customer and how?!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Using a customized IDOC in SAP Cloud for Customer HCI



Last week my colleague Nick van de Hulsbeek wrote a blog about the integration of SAP Cloud for Customer with SAP ECC. This week's blog will continue on Hana Cloud Integration (HCI), focusing on customising the default integration package.

A lot of customers have extra fields in there ECC environment, these fields are not available by default to SAP Cloud for Customer. To make these fields available you have to create an extension to the outgoing IDOC and make them available in HCI to map the fields to Cloud for Customer.

HCI provides a standard packages for integration with SAP ECC. SAP provides a lot of information about customising the C4C side, but doesn’t provide good documentation about customising the ECC side. In this blog I will explain how easy it is to implement this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keep your original SAP ECC Account_ID for existing ECC Accounts in SAP Cloud for Customer.

The default integration setup between SAP Cloud for Customer and SAP ECC will result in that all existing ECC Customers receive a new (internal) Account_ID in Cloud for Customer. Also the result of following this SAP Best Practise integration guide: C4C PI Integration Guide

Is this really the standard SAP approach? Yes, unfortunately this is the case.

But, with this small enhancement you are able to keep the original ECC Account_ID in SAP Cloud for Customer.

Business Benefit: This will really help your Sales Reps in accepting your new Cloud For Customer system if they were using SAP ECC before. And knowing some accounts by ID :-)
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Documenting your Custom Code

There is always some discussion on how far you want to go in documenting your custom abap code.
For me it makes no sense to spend much time in actually copying code to MS Word documents. Documentation should explain the overall working of an enhancement. The code itself should contain enough explanation for fellow programmers to understand the process. But it still can be very usefull to have your code easily downloaded and back-upped for multiple reasons.
I found the following program online from a friend of mine and found it very useful, so i did not want to keep it from all our followers.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Customer dunning level not up to date...?

Today's blog is about a little piece of information on the customer master, the dunning information.


In standard SAP, whenever a customer is dunned for an open item, the dunning level is not only maintained on the open item, but also on the customer.

A typical scenario would be that when the customer does not pay his bills within say 30 days, the customer receives a dunning letter, raising the open item to level 1. Then after another say 20 days, the customer receives a reminder, raising to level 2 etc.

As said, the indicator for level 1 and level 2 are both maintained on the open item and on the customer.
But... when the customer pays, standard SAP will clear the open item, but the indicator on customer level will not be deleted, nor will it be redetermined.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Connecting to SAP Cloud for Customer from a Mobile App build with SAPUI5

Recently, a colleague found this document describing a REST/OData service that is available in Cloud for Customer. Using this service, it's possible to read, create and update data in your Cloud for Customer system from other systems or applications. I started to think about a nice scenario to create a mobile app using SAPUI5I came up with the idea of an app that enables customers to view and create service requests in the Cloud for Customer system by filling in a simple form. In this blog I will describe the basic steps to connect to the cloud for customer system using odata.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Automatic determination of your organizational data in the IC webclient

(eg. kill the popup)


This is Kate, a very skilled call center agent.



For our story, let’s assume you are Kate. You are working on three different departments; in the morning, your working in the front office. In the afternoon, you serve the back office while you handle hard cases for the 'Special Cases team' ad hoc.

If you are assigned to multiple positions in the organizational model of SAP CRM, you might run into some very annoying popup’s when creating a transaction. The system needs to know, to which organizational unit you are assigned so it can determine the organizational data, used for billing, reporting and assignment of its transactions.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Synchronising industry system customizing in a few clicks

In B2B marketing and sales, it is important to know in which industry your customers operate.

Knowledge of your customer's industry classification can be crucial in customer analysis, market analysis, customer segmentation from a marketing perspective and proper account portfoliomanagent.

There are quite some standardized industry classification systems available, some local, some global, like ISIC, NAICS, NACE, SIC, GICS etc (source: Wikipedia)
Depending on the one you choose of course, you will need to manually maintain the structure at least once in your SAP CRM system.

This can be quite a job if you for instance choose for NAICS (19.745 different classifications).
If you have SAP CRM and SAP ECC, you can double the customization... Sure?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Extending Cloud for Customer using the SDK


This week we're doing a follow up of an earlier blog Implementing a change in SAP Cloud for Customer and we want to show another way to enhance the Cloud for Customer system. Besides the options available in the "Key User Tool" (nicely described in Customer onDemand - Part 3) several additional options are offered by the Software Development Kit (SDK) for Cloud for Customer called SAP Cloud Applications Studio. This additional software package is installed on your local (Windows) machine and provides a development environment based on Microsoft Visual Studio.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's that guid doing in my screen customizing transport?

Ever had the situation where you have a transport with screen customizing, but you don't know which screens they are for?

In the CRM UI Framework, you have the possibility to customize screens. A powerful and flexible tool to create screens fully adjusted to the needs of the end-user.

The customization of the screens is done directly from the CRM webclient. As this is customization, the changes should be done in the development system and will be transported through your landscape, eventually to production.

The screens you customize are stored in XML files. At runtime, the system will determine, based on the context, which XML should be used for the screen layout. When you create a new screen layout, a GUID is generated as an identifier for the specific screen you have created.

When you look at your transport, you will only see a node called CRM UIF, Dynamic Layout Configuration / Customer Layer, containing a few guids... So, how do we know which screens they are?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How-To setup Multi-level categorization

In one of our earlier blogs (http://blog.acorel.nl/2014/07/additional-levels-in-multi-level.html), my colleague Emiel Truijen wrote about how to add additional levels in Multilevel categorization.
In this blog I will explain the specific steps to setup Multilevel categorization for Complaints and how to maintain the categories.

There are 2 important steps in order to create the Multilevel categorization.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Service & Repair? Yes, also available in the Cloud.

We know that SAP Cloud for Customer is already supporting retail execution. The business scenario where Sales Reps visiting retail stores is end-to-end supported and also completely mobile enabled. Read more about the retail execution functionality here.
 
What a lot of people don’t know, is that SAP Cloud for Customer also offers a full process support of the Service & Repair scenario. Yes that process which can take weeks to implement in SAP CRM on-Premise. I will show a clear step-by-step description of the process in SAP Cloud for Customer in this blog.

The business process shown in this blog:
  • Service tickets
  • Register "work" as service item on the service ticket
  • Assign work to an service agent
  • The service agent will pick up the work on his mobile device
  • Plan a route
  • Register work hours on the service item
  • Add repair parts
  • Complete his work
  • Look at the reports

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Additional levels in Multi-level categorization

The Multi-level categorization in CRM offers a flexible way to classify your business transactions. The categorization can also be used to trigger follow up actions like e.g. response time determination in service request (see blog SLA determination based on categorization), propose knowledge base articles or propose a team for dispatching. Multi-level categorization is available in variety of transactions like e.g.:

• Service orders
• Service order templates
• Confirmations
• Complaints
• In-house repair orders
• Service requests (incidents)
• Problems
• Requests for change
• Knowledge articles
• Interaction records

By default the Multi-level categorization shows 4 categorization fields/levels on the screen. Service requests, Problems and Requests for change even have 2 predefined blocks of 4 fields, one block for Subject and one block for the Reason.

If these 4 levels are not enough you can easily extend the number of categorization fields on the screen. CRM currently supports up to 10 levels. In the following steps I will explain how you can extend the number of categorization levels on the screen.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

SAP in the cloud: Seeing is believing

Yesterday, SAP Netherlands organized an event together with Acorel which was named “Seeing is believing”. We had numerous SAP customers visiting the SAP office in the Netherlands, where the location was transformed to a setting in which different SAP Partners hosted round tables to discuss the Cloud solutions from SAP.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting started with SAPUI5

For a while now, SAP supports the webtechnology SAPUI5, SAP's variant on HTML5. When working with SAPUI5, all help is welcome, so let me share some of my personal notes.

This post contains some handy code snippets and resources that I have been saving up for my own reference.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to get up to speed with SAP Cloud for Customer

In our blog you find a lot of information on the SAP Cloud. Detailed information on creating dynamic screen layouts in SAP Cloud for Customer, Implementing a change in SAP Cloud for Customer and a lot more nice stuff. But the other day I got a question on how to start with SAP Cloud for Customer i.e. Cloud for Sales. So let’s say you are an SAP customer, SAP customer internal consultant or SAP system integrator consultant rather blank on Cloud for Customer and you want to set your first steps into the Cloud. Where to start? In this blog you can find a couple of sources where to start and how to get up to speed as soon as possible.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Managing error handling in SOA with PPO

Since a couple of years there is almost no SAP CRM implementation that is not dealing with Web Services. It might be a front end that is calling CRM functionality or an external solution that CRM calls for extra information. One of the challenges with in this SOA landscape is error handling and reprocessing of these errors. SAP offers a solution with it’s Post Processing Office, PPO.  In this blog we will focus on the opportunities this tool offers, and the business benefits that this will provide.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Implementing SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence (SAP CEI)

This blog will give you an overview of SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence (SAP CEI) and how it can be implemented in an “easy integration” and incremental approach. Although it might be a big step, SAP CEI can be implemented in three simple steps, with low risk and at a low TCO.





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Creating dynamic screen layouts in SAP Cloud for Customer

This week SAP started the upgrade path of the Cloud for Customer Solution to its latest release (14.05). Again a lot of new and improved functionality is available to businesses to further support their Marketing, Sales and Services processes. If you are interested in an overview of what is new in 14.05 you can watch this short video.



In this blog I want to highlight two new interesting functions. With Page Lay Outs and Code List Restrictions there is more flexibility and ease of use to provide for specific UI screens or field drop down lists tailored for specific user groups. Up to now this was only possible with the use of the Cloud Applications Studio (SDK) in which you created specific UI switches. After creation a key user could then assign a specific UI switch to a business role. As of release 14.05 this can be done without the SDK and is now part of the Key User tools.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Helpfull Reports for SAP BEx Queries/Workbooks

This blog may not interest CRM consultants. But... you can help a fellow BW consultant with these simple and effective ABAP Reports. These Reports which will generate lists of all BW queries/workbooks existing in a SAP BW System, including the version in which it is stored.  If you need to migrate your BW Queries and Workbooks this will help you create slack in the planning of our valuable project time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Customer Experience Management Part II

A while ago in this blog, we discussed one of the trending topics in the CRM field, Customer Experience Management (CEM). As stated, CEM intentionally tries to direct the experiences of a customer or prospect across all touch points with your company.

CEM and CRM are strongly related and may well be in the same area of expertise. CRM aims to service the customer in the most efficient way. CEM emphasizes on the view of the customer. How does the customer or prospect experience our service and sales offerings and, in general terms, our company? In other words, the outside-in view.

Touchpoint analysis

That is the theoretical part, but we would like to see if a CEM based strategy can be translated into practical solutions. As a first step, we should analyze the touchpoints with our customers. A customer touch point refers to an interaction with a customer where we categorize this interaction in terms of channel (which communication channel has been used?), stakeholder (which internal of related external stakeholder has communicated with the customer?) and optionally the customer life cycle (what is the maturity phase of the relation with the customer?).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SAP CRM Rapid-Deployment Solution V6.703

Over the past few years SAP frequently released new versions of SAP CRM Rapid Deployment Rapid Deployment Solution SAP CRM” from September 28, 2011 we discussed the methodology of RDS. Since then a lot of new RDS solutions and new versions (new features) where released.
Solutions. In the blog “

The latest RDS solution of SAP CRM is V6.703 and has been released on the 28-04-2014. In this blog I will highlight some new features/functionalities that is added by SAP.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Be successful with SAP CRM

While technology and functionality are improving, how do we make sure an SAP CRM implementation is successful?
Why is it that still from time to time an (SAP) CRM implementation fails?

As a consultant it is painful to see a good solution not being used or is not properly implemented.


In this blog I will focus on how to do a succesful CRM project.

This is not based on research, but based on many years experience with SAP projects. I have collected some rules which can help a project to become a successful project.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Make SMP iOS development easier with Cocoapods

I’ve been working quite some time with SAP Mobile Platform (SMP). As a developer I always hated to handle all the dependencies that comes with importing the iOS libraries into your project. When maintaining multiple projects with SMP Native SDK and multiple versions, this could be very hard to maintain. Each application has to import these libraries and setting the frameworks & library dependencies. 
Then I was thinking: “Why not using a dependency manager for this?”. iOS has a great dependency manager to handle this kind of stuff called Cocoapods ( http://cocoapods.org ). I’ve been working with Cocoapods in some projects now and didn’t find anything about SMP Libraries so I figured it out.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deadlinemonitoring in SAP Workflow

With SAP workflow, flexibility can make complexity.

When properly implemented though, SAP workflow makes a very solid basis for process automation.

In the past, I have written some blogs on SAP workflow, but so far, I have never mentioned the use of deadline monitoring.
Deadline monitoring is an easy to implement feature of SAP workflow, that helps the process in having tasks being performed on time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Omni-commerce with Hybris: the future of online and offline shopping

Today’s blog is about the future of e-commerce.

It’s Saturday morning, May 16th, 2017. Janet is shopping in a mall and receives a text message on her smartphone. It’s a personal reminder of her favorite fashion store. The dress she recently look at on her notebook now has a discount! She is close and visits the store.

This example sounds as something for the future, but experts agree that it won’t take long before this will be very common. The boundaries between on and offline purchases fade. Businesses are searching for new models to sell. Even supermarkets sell groceries online. And look at some fashion stores that use tablets in the stores to immediately order garments that are not in stock. And online web shops open physical stores to increase sale and interaction with their customers.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What’s new in Enhancement Package 3 for SAP CRM 7.0

In the end of 2013 SAP released the new Enhancement Package 3 for SAP CRM 7.0.
Like in my previous blog in August 2012 (new functionality SAP CRM 7.0 EHP2)
This blog post focuses on some of the best improvements on the existing functionalities and highlights new functionalities and features as well.
So what’s new....................................?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Supervising and Monitoring your Contact Centers with SAP BCM

In an earlier blog we have discussed the benefits of integrating SAP BCM with SAP CRM for your Customer Service. In today’s blog I would like to go into a bit more detail regarding supervising and monitoring your contact center with SAP BCM.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Using authorization within the price procedure

This blog will explain how you can use the standard available authorization functionality within the price procedure. With this functionality it is possible to set specific price conditions to invisible, visible (display only) or editable for specific users based on the assigned authorization profile.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Disable a button in the CRM webclient if mandatory fields exist

The CRM Webclient can be used for all kinds of actions. Most of these actions involve changes to data, which will be entered by a user. While processing these data changes, the CRM Webclient is able to validate the input and, for example, inform the user with a message if the input was incorrect. One of these checks is standard, namely the mandatory field check. Fields can be set as mandatory within the view configuration.

You could think of a scenario where you want to prevent users clicking a button if empty mandatory fields exist. For example, you do not want the user to be able to save if empty mandatory fields exist. Unfortunately this cannot be configured within the view, so we need to adjust the UI component, containing the view and the button. This blog describes the steps to perform.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to add a GOS Attachment to a Business objects

Both SAP ECC and CRM offer the opportunity to add so called GOS attachments to any object in SAP. These attachments are usually added to Quotations, Sales orders or Business partners (for example, a photograph of the Business Partner).

In this blog I will show how to manage these attachment in an ABAP Object Oriented way.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Service Resource Planning in SAP CRM


Among the many roles of a manager in a business which relies on providing services to their customers, one of the most important subject is scheduling the service engineers on a proper way. It’s vital that you put thought into the scheduling process and treat your staff and customers professionally. Proper scheduling allows a manager to determine how well the work gets done and by whom. He could team up workers of equal strength, or put a superior worker with a weaker one. It all depends on the company’s objectives. But resource Scheduling in the Service environment is an area that has been a tough subject for companies that are running SAP. The reason for this is most of the time the lack of understanding regarding the different options a company has regarding resource scheduling when they run SAP.

In a SAP ERP environment, the options for resource scheduling are limited, whether the customer chooses for Project System and Work Force Planning or using Customer Service or Plant Maintenance. It becomes more complicate when the customer has more than one ERP module in their IT landscape to serve the needs of the service organisation. Therefore most of the companies decides to use a third party scheduling tools. The most common one with a proven record with SAP is MRS (Multi Resource Scheduling). This is a SAP Netweaver / SAP ERP based planning tool and can be used to manage resources across systems from multiple sources (SAP CS, SAP PS, cProjects, SAP PM and SAP CRM). The biggest issue using MRS are most of the time the additional licensing which needs to be acquired and the extra implementation/maintenance effort that should be invested.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SEPA: Are you ready...?


February 2014.... are you ready..? What has happened since our latest SEPA update?

We have all worked hard to meet the SEPA deadline of February 1st 2014 but recent statistics show that a substantial number of market participants and particularly SMEs were not able to fully migrate to the new SEPA standard on time.

Last month the European Commission proposed a transitional period of 6 months during which banks and other payment service providers would be able to continue processing payment orders even if users did not provide them in the SEPA format. The objective is to ensure payments are not blocked in cases where stakeholders are not ready.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CRM, it is all about the people!

Back in 2002…

The first time I heard the term Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was in 2002 when I was still a student. And I found the term, but moreover the strategy, very interesting.

In that time I bought my clothes at a certain store in Rotterdam and it struck me; the store owner had a CRM strategy! Every time the new collection of the brand I loved came in, he would call me up just to tell me that. He would even, as he knew my taste, leave some items in the back until I dropped by. The thing that struck me the most was, that this guy was making good money with just one phone call. As every time I came by I would buy something and I would come by a lot ;)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Implementing a change in SAP Cloud for Customer

I often get questions about maintenance and support of the SAP Cloud for Customer Solution. For many SAP CRM professionals, their reference is a SAP CRM on premise system landscape where you develop a solution, test it, transport it to an acceptance system and finally transport it to the production environment. Often a 2 or 3 server landscape is in use where development, test and production data and configuration are separated.
 
To implement changes in SAP Cloud for Customer you first have to determine if the change is a simple change and can be implemented right away. On the view Business Configuration work --> Overview you can search for those configuration elements which the system allows you to add to the scope.
 
For complex changes however we have a controlled procedure to implement changes by means of change projects. In this blog I will try to explain the steps involved in implementing a change in a productive system.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The power of BPath

This one is for the CRM developers out there. A very specific topic this time: BPath. What is it? BPath is a query language from which you can access data and objects in the Business Object Layer by specifying commands in a character string. It doesn't allow for things you cannot do otherwise but it certainly allows you to do things in a much more compact and code-efficient way.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Access Sequence on Role Cofiguration key

The CRM WEB UI is a flexible user interface that lets you alter based on a user's Business role. This leads to many user requirement during our CRM implementations. However if we look at all the views that we alter we see that there is a big overlap in views. In other words, for several business roles the same custom view will be required while for other views the same business roles require a different view. Until now this meant creating a new role configuration key and copying all custom views. Since this can be a time consuming activity and it leads to high maintenance cost in case of changes, this blog will show an easy way to dynamically find the correct view using an access sequence.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Open a URL after a button click in the CRM Webclient

Within the CRM Webclient it’s very easy to enhance views and add, for example, a button. These buttons can be used for all kind of actions and of course you are completely free in implementing your own business logic. Let’s assume you added a button to create a quotation or a different type of output. Most likely the user will not only be interested in creating the document, but he would also like to view it. You might think of a solution where the user clicks the button to create the quotation and afterwards clicks a link to call it’s URL. But why not combining these two actions? Is that possible? The answer is YES and we will show you how to.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

There’s more than just the F2 in the WebUI..

Every SAP CRM consultant knows what’s behind the F2-button when using the WebUI. For every one else: it triggers the launch of a popup with all technical information about the current layout at runtime.

This is very useful information which can be used to determine which components are used and (current) configurations that are called. However, more shortcuts are available in the WebUI that are not so familiar. Today’s blog lists them all out.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ABAP debugger Tips & Tricks

At this moment there are two versions of the ABAP debugger, the old debugger and the new debugger available as of SAP Net Weaver 2004. With the new debugger, the functionality of the ABAP Debugger has increased tremendously.
Every now and then someone surprises me with functionality that I didn’t know was available. That's the reason that I’m writing this blog so that I can share some of the findings within the debugger that made my life easier.

1.     External breakpoints using Terminal ID;
2.     Saving function module parameters;
3.     Configure table layout with the table tool.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

HANA Cloud Integration: From strategy to an idoc.

First of all: A very warm Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully you're all enjoying the holidays. (…reading this blog, ahum). 
This Christmas blog is about HCI: HANA Cloud Integration.
 
Again a new Buzz thing from SAP, if only because of the fact that the word HANA in it.
 
What does it mean? And what doest it look like? These two important questions I will try to answer in this blog.
 
HCI is the integration platform of choice for SAP Cloud Solutions to connect to on-premise or cloud applications. So different integration scenario’s are supported for integration between SAP Cloud products among each other and between on-premise core systems and (own / SAP) Cloud Solutions.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

External Service call using JSON


JSON (/ˈdʒeɪsɒn/ jah-soun, /ˈdʒeɪsən/ ja-son), or JavaScript Object Notation, is an open standard format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects consisting of attribute–value pairs. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.
Did you ever wonder how to call an external webservice using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)? If you are on release 7.02 or 7.03/7.31 (Kernelpatch 116) JSON is supported natively in ABAP.

It takes just a few lines of code to transform a structure or table to JSON format, after that you probably only have to worry about some formatting and escaping of special characters.


Convert the data to JSON format

The first step is to gather all the data into an internal table or structure depending on the information you have to send to an external party. Since that shouldn’t be a problem I pretend that the data is already available in table lt_data_table (This is an internal table with a structure that you need).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How ABAP moves towards Functional Programming

Back in 2006 when I started with SAP and ABAP development, people told me there was no future in ABAP: SAP would not develop new applications on the ABAP stack, but rather on the Java stack, possibly with ABAP as a data backend.

Boy, where they wrong. For several reasons ABAP is still very much alive and relevant, even more than Java. (Well at least in the SAP ecosystem).

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to create an app that consumes an SAP NW Gateway service using SAP's Appbuilder

Two weeks ago, SAP released their AppBuilder. The SAP AppBuilder is a tool that lets you create mobile apps based on the mobile SAPUI5 SDK. The best feature of the AppBuilder is that it is a WYSIWYG (what is you see is what you get) editor and you can create apps without writing a single line of code. In this weeks blog I will show you how to create a basic application using a sample Gateway service from SAP.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Social Media solutions by SAP: What is out there?

A couple of weeks ago one of our good friends at SAP, Maxim van Schijndel, wrote a blog on their website about the impact of social media on the contacts that organizations have with their customers. For the non-Dutchies, sorry his blog is in Dutch, but maybe Google Translate can make something out of it ;-)

In that same blog Maxim also mentioned some of the solutions SAP offers regarding Social Media, and they have a couple of those! And the number of solutions triggered me to think about the question “when do you choose which solution”. Let’s be honest, sometimes it is easier to choose between 1 option instead of 5 ;-)

First of all a small recap of the Social Media solutions SAP is currently offering:
  • SAP Social Media Analytics by Netbase
  • SAP Cloud for Social Engagement
  • SAP Social Contact Intelligence
  • Social Media Dashboard (a consulting package)
  • Social Media Interaction Center
I’m going to try to explain the solutions mentioned above in one sentence (knowing myself, I will probably fail)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Design objects – Why use them and how to change?

In SAP CRM it is possible to create and change design objects. 'So what? I have everything I need in SAP CRM', you might say… In this blog I will try to explain, why and when you could consider using (own) design objects in your SAP CRM system.

Design Layer

First of all, a little background knowledge about the design layer in SAP CRM. This layer is used by the WebUI to change the representation of a business object before passing it to the presentation layer. The picture below shows how where the design layer is located. As a starting point, I have taken SAP’s standard layer-picture.

It consists of design objects that can group business content (as in…business objects) together, so this content is available for presentation in the WebUI and can be used in the same business context. Most of the standard SAP UI object types contain a lot of attributes, to be able to serve all customers.
However, you might want to limit this to only all relevant attributes (for you business) or change its labels across the entire system to fit your business needs. That’s where design objects are meant for. Besides that, you can create your own design objects, so you can group attributes together in object even if these are not belonging to the same BOL-object.
 
Ok, so much for the theory……but how does this work in real-time?