Groupware Integration Enhancement: Decipher Version 10’s Client-side Architecture

  • by Hansen Chen, Manager, PMP, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • July 11, 2011
Companies that upgrade to SAP CRM 7.0 Support Package 9 need to use version 10 of the groupware integration. Learn about changes in the user interface (UI) and functions provided by version 10. Also find out about related client architecture, which can help you troubleshoot client-side problems with registry entries and logs.
Key Concept
The client software of groupware integration is a precompiled .net application that can be installed on your local laptop. It uses registry entries to store system settings. It also has several important folders in which you can find logs, templates, and configuration files, all of which you can use to facilitate troubleshooting.

From time to time, I am asked how to enhance groupware architecture. For example, can the Text field of a contact person uploaded from groupware be mapped to a ZZ field? Can we add another layer of staging area between groupware and SAP CRM? Can we output additional error messages beyond the existing standard error message? Can we add more buttons to the groupware client synchronization screen?

To answer these questions, you need to understand the whole architecture of the groupware integration, including components included in the framework, the technology each component is based on, and the enhancement technologies.

Recently, SAP released version 10 of the client-side groupware integration (see SAP note 1508007). The overhaul of the client-side architecture provides better SAP CRM groupware integration performance and functionality. In addition, SAP also provides a standard way to enhance the groupware integration framework (see SAP Note 1499833), which makes it possible to fulfill additional company requirements.

Note
This article’s advice is based on the features of SAP CRM 7.0 and Lotus Notes 8.0. You should have a basic knowledge of ABAP and XML to get the most out of it. Because this article focuses on new features in version 10 of the client-side groupware integration, undocumented technical architecture, and advice on how to enhance the framework, I assume the audience has basic knowledge on the functional process of the groupware integration. For basic groupware functionality, refer to the SAP document “Groupware Integration Guide,” in particular the section “Client-Based Groupware Integration.”

This article and its companion piece, “Groupware Integration Enhancement, Part 2: Explore Server-side Architecture and Enhancement Options,” (see page 14), allow you to understand the overall technical architecture in version 10 and review possible enhancement scenarios via a standard Business Add-In and other, non-standard ways.

Note
Check the latest set-up file of groupware integration version 10 in SAP Note 1563898. SAP has made many fixes to the groupware integration for version 10 over the last several months. Avoid applying the SAP Notes of version 10 directly in your development system. Instead, test the scenario you want to implement in a sandbox first. The risk of implementing the Notes directly in development is that it may be difficult to undo implementation of the Notes if you decide to revert. Although SAP has improved the stability of version 10, it still has small issues in different scenarios as of version 10.0025 released on March 10, 2011.

Hansen Chen

Han (Hansen) Chen is a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ SAP CRM practice. He has more than seven years of experience in the SAP CRM field and has finished more than 10 SAP CRM projects, on most of which he played a technical lead role. His project management experience includes managing more than 10 onsite/offshore developers and managing multiple project development teams in parallel. Han holds a PMP certification and has profound knowledge of CMMI methodology. He earned his bachelor’s degree in MIS from Tongji University, China.

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