Improve the Usability of BW Web Reports with HTML and JavaScript

  • by Jason Kraft, Business Warehouse Team Lead, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development
  • September 1, 2007
See some relatively simple changes you can make to SAP-delivered functionality to make it more accessible to casual users. These changes only require SAP’s Web Application Designer and a little knowledge of HTML and JavaScript.
Key Concept

Usability refers to how easy it is for someone to use an application to achieve a specific goal. You can measure the usability of an application along several dimensions, including how intuitive the application is, how quickly users can complete a task, how successful the users are, how accommodating the application is to different user populations, and how the application compares to alternative methods of completing a task.

In some situations, customizing features of BW can be beneficial to your end users in terms of intuitiveness and usability. I’ve collected a few short tips that can benefit your everyday BW users or your users who may only need to run reports in BW a couple of times per month, whom I’ll call casual users. You can improve their use of BW Web reports with SAP Web Application Designer (Web AD).

I’ll focus on four short tips:

  • Simplify the initial view for the casual user
  • Display the date data was last loaded
  • Customize the Variables button
  • Customize the Save This View button

My examples for customizing Web templates are set in BW 3.x. Users of newer SAP NetWeaver versions may not be able to use these tips exactly as written, but the same concepts should still apply. Also, you need to rebuild Web templates built in BW 3.x upon migration to SAP NetWeaver.

Jason Kraft

Jason Kraft is Business Warehouse team lead at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, in Mountain View, CA. Jason has five years of SAP experience, specializing in the development of front-end BW queries and dashboards. He also has 12 years of experience with Web development and graphic design.

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