Should Your Financials Team Consider the Portal?

  • by Janet Salmon, Product Manager, SAP AG
  • February 15, 2008
Discover how to use the role upload tool delivered with SAP NetWeaver to generate updated portal pages for your Financials users. You can use your existing roles in SAP ERP as a starting point.
Key Concept

Automatic roles differ from other portal roles in that they are generated based on the folder structure for the roles in SAP ERP rather than being delivered as business packages with SAP NetWeaver Portal. No portal content (pages, worksets, iViews, and so on) is delivered, but only a role upload tool. Organizations can use this tool to upload one of the 300 automatic roles delivered with SAP ERP 6.0 or to generate portal content based on their existing roles, maintained using transaction PFCG.

When organizations have to decide which user groups would benefit most if their applications were moved to the Web, they typically start with their occasional users. They investigate Web applications that were built specifically for use in the portal, such as Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Manager Self-Service (MSS), leaving their “hard core” accounting users to continue to work with a classic SAP GUI.

I introduce you to two new options in SAP ERP 6.0 that might make you consider using the portal to provide system access for user groups other than occasional users. I show you how to use automatic roles to create portal pages for your Financials users that provide access to their existing core transactions using the roles they already use in SAP ERP. In another article, "Use the Report Launchpad to Provide Access to Financials Reports," I show you how to use the report launchpad to provide access to further reports as part of this role — whether in SAP ERP, SAP NetWeaver BI, or composite — that these users might use in the course of their daily work.

If you use SAP ERP or SAP R/3, then you are probably familiar with transaction PFCG (role maintenance) as a way of organizing user access to transactions and reports. Transaction PFCG allows you to define roles that group the transactions and reports used by each user into folders and to generate authorization profiles based on these assignments. Some companies use transaction PFCG to control access authorizations for compliance purposes, but their users may select transactions from the full SAP Easy Menu. Other companies use this transaction to provide a role-based menu, displaying only those transactions and reports that the user has authorization to perform.

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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