How to Enhance the Experience of End Users Working in Financials Using Entry Pages and Side Panels

  • by Janet Salmon, Product Manager, SAP AG
  • September 28, 2012
Discover how to include entry pages that contain key information for the end user’s daily work in the user’s roles. See how to attach side panels to those transactions that the user works with within that role. Understand how to use the CHIPs that SAP delivers within the entry pages and side panels and how to configure these CHIPs to meet the needs of your end users.
Key Concept

An entry page is the initial screen that the end user sees in the canvas area of the SAP NetWeaver Business Client. A side panel is an additional screen to the right of the canvas area that contains the main transaction that the user is processing. Access to both entry pages and side panels is controlled by the user’s role. Both entry pages and side panels can contain CHIPs. According to the documentation, a CHIP (Collaborative Human Interface Part) is an encapsulated piece of software that, together with other CHIPs, provides functions on a page or side panel of the Web Dynpro ABAP Page Builder. To put it simply, CHIPs provide access to snippets of information, such as the attributes of a cost center, the expenses on an internal order, or a note created to document a posting. A CHIP catalog provides access to all CHIPs delivered by SAP. Users can add CHIPs to their entry pages and side panels as they see fit.

The SAP NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) provides a new look to your SAP ERP system by offering role-based access to the transactions that the user is authorized to perform. Figure 1 shows a classic transaction (KB31N) running within the framework of SAP NWBC.


Figure 1
A sample transaction running in SAP NWBC

You see a shell area on the left that contains the menu structure, as well as generic functions, such as system connection and search. A canvas area on the right contains the screen for the transaction that the user is performing. In my example, I use the role Cost Center Accounting (selected at the top of the screen) and navigate through the menu structure on the left to transaction KB31N (Enter Statistical Key Figures). If you aren’t yet working with SAP NWBC, you can find instructions for installing and operating this client in SAP Note 1029940.

In enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0, SAP enhanced all delivered portal roles and automatic roles to allow them to run within SAP NWBC without the need for the portal infrastructure that used to be required to handle navigation. To check which automatic roles SAP delivers, refer to SAP Note 1000291. I discuss use of these roles in my article, “Should Your Financials Team Consider the Portal?” Although my description in that article of how to maintain roles is still relevant, from enhancement package 5 on you no longer need to update these roles to the portal. Instead, you can assign the roles maintained in transaction PFCG (Role Maintenance) to your users using transaction SU01 (User Maintenance). In my experience, this takes a lot of the fear out of modernizing the user experience.

 

Janet Salmon

Janet Salmon joined SAP in 1992. After six months of training on R/2, she began work as a translator, becoming a technical writer for the Product Costing area in 1993. As English speakers with a grasp of German costing methodologies were rare in the early 1990s, she began to hold classes and became a product manager for the Product Costing area in 1996, helping numerous international organizations set up Product Costing. More recently, she has worked on CO content for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, Financial Analytics, and role-based portals. She is currently chief product owner for management accounting. She lives in Speyer, Germany, with her husband and two children.

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