Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adding extension fields to your mobile Cloud for Sales solution

Since we first published our series of blogs on the SAP CRM cloud solution we have seen a lot of changes where each new release offers new and improved functionality. For details about the current release 13.02 see this blog.

There has been some confusion about the actual name of the CRM cloud solution. From the start it was called SAP Sales OnDemand. When SAP introduced new functionality the name was changed to Customer OnDemand extended with SAP Service onDemand and SAP Social onDemand.

During last SAPPHIRE event in Orlando, a new naming convention was announced. The CRM cloud solution now includes Cloud for Sales, Cloud for Service, Cloud for Marketing, Cloud for Social Engagement and Social Media Analytics by Netbase. All in all a complete package called SAP Cloud for Customer.

In this blog we focus on the Cloud for Sales solution for mobile devices. The SAP Cloud solution provides add ins for iOS, Android and Blackberry smartphones or tablets. SAP does not charge you extra for the use of these apps, they just come with your solution and are included in the license fee.

Extension fields

SAP Cloud for Sales offer great flexibility to enhance the solution to your needs. The end user can personalize their screens so that only information (fields, tabs) is displayed that actually contributes to better customer insight for customer facing employees.
An administrator can also add so called extension fields and publish these fields for all users. For more advanced enhancements SAP provides the Cloud Developer Studio which is a SDK to implement non-standard processes, screens or interfaces.
I have already highlighted the creation of extension fields in this blog. But what about the use of these extension fields in mobile apps? If you create extension fields in Cloud for Sales, surely they are not available on the mobile device, or are they?


Suppose we want to create extension fields so hat we can use a set of attributes to classify a customer. We can use these attributes to select customers that have these attributes marked, either in advanced search for customers or to create a target group for marketing purposes.

We also want to create a new field in the customer header so we can use this field to enter a customer number from a legacy system. We also want to have these fields on an iPad and a iPhone so a salesrep can use these fields on location to classify a customer. In the next image the new extension field will be created in the header area (1) and the tab at position (2).

In the header area we want to create the legacy customer number field. Since this is only one field we can just as well use it in the header area. A set of, lets say 5 fields, would be better to group on a new tab.

How to create an extension field and add this field to the header area is already explained here so lets continue with creating a set of customer attributes. First we log on in the administrator role.

Go to the Customers Workcenter and then to the Adaptation mode and choose Edit screen.

  • Select the tabs section. You will see that the tabs section turns to yellow.
  • Click on the Add button to create a new Tab.

  • Enter the name for the new Tab (in this case we call it Customer Attributes).
  • Now you have created a tab (Customer Attributes), click on the grey bar to enter a name for the group of fields (Attributes) and click on Save.
  • Next we want to create the extension fields and place them on our Customer Attributes tab. Click on Extension fields and in the list of fields click on Add.

  • There are different field types available. In this example we like to have a set of check boxes so we select field type Indicator.

  • Do the same for the other fields and select all the fields to make them visible.

The fields are initially created in the header area but you can drag them to the newly created tab. Unfortunately you don’t have control over the layout so all fields are displayed beneath each other but for our example this is fine.

  • Change the order of the fields and once you are satisfied with the result you can publish the new fields for all users.

The result of all this is in the image below. The Legacy Customer number is placed in the grey header area and a new tab with a group of checkboxes is placed at the desired position.


Publishing on the Mobile Device

So now we have created new extension fields for the browser version, we also see them on the iPad as shown below on the new Customer Attributes tab.

These fields are automatically published in the iPad app but not on the iPhone. This is because the iPad screen is big enough to show all fields and tabs that are in the browser version. The screens are different form the browser version because they are optimized for touch navigation.

You can not create extra tabs for iPhone use since we have to deal with the smaller screen resolution but we can however, publish the legacy customer number field in the iPhone app.

Since smartphone screens are smaller than tablet screens, new fields and tabs are not automatically published in the mobile solution for smartphones. To do that we need access to the so called Mobile Floorplan. Here we have control over which (extension) fields you would like to use on the smartphone. You can access the Mobile Floorplan by inserting a parameter in the Cloud for Sales url. To do this follow the following steps.

  • Empty the Silverlight cache by right clicking anywhere in the application and click on Silverlight preferences.
  • On the application storage tab and click on delete all.
  • Insert the parameter &sapbyd-agent=MOBILE right after root.uiccwoc as in the example below

  • Refresh and log on again to the browser version with the administrator user. Now you see the Mobile Floorplan.

  • Go to the adaptation mode and choose edit screen.
  • The extension fields you have created are already listed. Just select the visible checkbox and move the field to the desired position by dragging the field in the header area.
  • Click on Save and publish the changes.
  • Leave adaptation mode.
  • Now check the iPhone App to see your changes.


The extension fields we have created here can also be added to PDF forms like the Customer Visit Report or to any of your SAP Cloud for Sales reports. If you want to use extension fields for advanced search option you need to add them to the advanced search function in Adaptation mode as described above.

A great benefit is that you don't need additional app developments for your extension fields on mobile devices and you can control (as administrator) the use from your browser version.


Although the extensibility of SAP Cloud for Sales as described here is great for most business scenario's you may have to use the Cloud Developer Studio for further enhancements. In our example we could only create extension field on a tab but not control the lay out. This would be on my wish list for the next release.

SAP Cloud for Sales offers to create extension fields that can contain calculated values, for example; field C (€ 2.100,-) is the product of fields A (€ 10.000,-) and B (21%). The operands you can use are limited and you can not use field C in a new calculation. Again you need the Cloud Developer Studio for this.

New release

Within the next few weeks the new SAP Cloud for Customer release (13.05) is planned. Although SAP communicated the new functionality I hope to highlight some new features here in this Acorel blog so stay tuned!