Use Your SAP NetWeaver Portal Safely on the Internet

  • by Jacob Crane, NetWeaver Solution Architect, EPI-USE America
  • April 30, 2012
Learn how to configure SAP NetWeaver Portal so that you can safely access it over the Internet. By carefully designing the system and considering any effects on it, you can achieve a safe and secure system that allows more simple and efficient access to data and information.
Key Concept

An Internet-facing portal is an SAP NetWeaver Portal that is accessible over the Internet from anywhere — just as a Web site is. It is not limited to intranet-only applications.

Due to the proliferation of options for high-speed access on a variety of devices, today’s workers are constantly connected to the Internet in and out of the workplace. While the growing use and acceptance of of mobile computing is the hot topic of the IT world there is still a gap that exists between the worlds of the corporate intranet and the Internet. Most organizations hide their SAP NetWeaver Portal behind their firewalls and restrict access from home or the road without the use of VPN or other cumbersome and often expensive security measures. They often do not provide access to the majority of portal users. However, allowing access over the Internet can improve HR processes and employee satisfaction by enabling employees to take charge of their data at preferred times and locations.

Mobile solutions are evolving and becoming more readily available and accessible, but the costs and efforts associated with delivering a full mobile solution can be prohibitive for some users of SAP systems. New and improved mobile solutions are expected to arrive over the next few years, and rapidly deployable cloud-based solutions are expected to reduce these implementation costs. However, an alternative that you can realize almost immediately, and which costs less to implement, is to provide access to the SAP NetWeaver Portal over the Internet. (See the sidebar titled “Typical Tasks for Remote Access.”)

Technically, allowing access to the SAP NetWeaver Portal over the Internet is a simple task: Register a domain, point it to your server, allow access through your firewall, and you’re up and running. The real challenge comes with maintaining the necessary level of security for the sensitive data contained in the SAP system. To ensure that security is effectively maintained for this sensitive data, you may need to make changes to the network architecture, maintenance processes, user administration, and support processes to protect access and to support off-site end users. I now discuss some examples of these technical changes that might be required.

Jacob Crane

Jacob Crane is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and has more than seven years of experience in SAP Employee and Manager Self-Services and related SAP technologies. He currently serves as a solution architect on a wide range of SAP projects with a primary focus on ESS, MSS, and Workflow.

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