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.


Example


I have created a little example to demonstrate the workings of the two new functions. In the Cloud for Customer project I am working on now we are in the middle of the roll out of the solution to other countries. Although we have a generic solution template, the local countries have their own local requirements. In reality this might be the case for the use of ABC classification in Accounts. In this example a Dutch sales rep can select all values A to G. A German sales rep can only select values A to D.

How to facilitate this is explained in the next steps. In order to use page lay outs and code list restrictions there are a few prerequisites.
  • Enable the HTML5 client in Adapt-->Company settings. On the tab Client select the default client. Alternatively you can use a different URL to use the HTML5 client for testing purposes: https://my######.crm.ondemand.com/sap/public/byd/runtime?client_type=html 
  • You have created different business roles for different user groups
  • You can log on as a Administrator

Create a new codelist restriction

 The term used for drop down list values in this context is Code lists.
  1. Log in as Administrator in the Silverlight client
  2. When you log in to the HTML5 client go to Adapt-->Launch in Microsoft Silverlight
  3. In the Administrator work center  click on Code List Restrictions. 
  4. Click on New
  5. Select a business object (Account)
  6. Select Code to restrict (ABC classification)

  1. Select the business role where you want the restricted values to be valid for and Save.
  2. Open the new code list restriction
  3. Now you see all the maintained values. Deselect the values for the specific business role
  4. Click on Save
The result is that the German sales rep views the same field but the specific field values are restricted by their assigned business roles.



ABC Classification for Dutch Salesrep

ABC Classification for German Salesrep

Using Page Layouts

The option to create a new page layout is only available in the HTML5 client
1. Log in as Administrator in the HTML5 client (note that you don’t have the Administrator work center anymore but as an Administrator you can change the page layout
2. Search and open an Account
3. In the top menu go to Adapt-->New Page Layout
4. Enter a name and description for the new page layout and click on OK
5. In the top bar you see a message that your changes to the screen are applied to the page layout you have just created
6. Change the screen layout by making a field mandatory

7. In the top menu go to Adapt-->End Layout changes
8. In the top menu go to Adapt-->Assign Page Layout

In this case we changed a simple field property. With page layouts you can also create specific layouts including mashups, tabs and tables, organize search queries or hide items on the screens.




9. Select the business role where you want the layout change to be valid for
10. Click on Save

The next time you log on as a German Salesrep user you see that field is mandatory indicated by the asterisk. For the other Dutch Salesrep role the field is not mandatory .


Nice to know

Once you have changed the page layout and have assigned it to a business role you want to prevent end users to do any further personalization to the screens. To do this (as an administrator) go to Adapt--> Company settings, tab Auto log off and check the Disable User Personalization Features box.

Besides creating specific layout changes for certain user groups you can also change the Master layout. Go to Adapt-->Edit Master layout. Any changes you make here are visible to all users independent of their business role. (Previously this function was available after you made changes in adaptation mode and then select publish for all users).

While editing a page layout, if you change the label of a field, the system applies the change to the master layout as well as the page layout.

Any Page lay out changes you have made you can reuse by exporting them and importing them in other tennants from the Adapt menu. The import and export file is in .xml format. I haven't really tested this but I suppose that the business role setup should be identical in each tennant. That would be useful for transporting these UI changes from your test to productive tennant.

The direction SAP is taking is that users are advised to work in the HTML5 client. We are seeing that SAP is developing new functionality that is exclusively available in the HTML5 client. For the admin user the Silverlight client will be used for now for scoping and fine tune activities. I am sure that in the end the Silverlight client will be decommissioned, we are already seeing key user functions such as page layouts only available in the HTML5 client.

Since this new functions are only just released I want to further explore its usability. I noticed some odd behaviour now and then and hope to figure out the cause of this. I am also interested in the continuing use of UI switches next to page layouys and codelist restrictions. If you are using these functions in your project I would be happy if you could share your experiences.

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