Lightweight and Low-Cost Options to Add Value to Existing SAP GUI Screens
with Side Panels and CHIPs

  • by Nitin Gupta, Senior Developer, SAP Labs Canada
  • Ilya Bibik, Scrum Master/Project Manager at SAP Labs Canada
  • September 24, 2013
Discover how to improve the functionality of your SAP GUIs without affecting their parent applications, thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Learn about side-panel and CHIPs applications and how they can be used in business scenarios to add value to preexisting SAP GUIs and to integrate with SAP partner and third-party applications. Discover the benefits and weakness of implementation with SAP GUI (Dynpro) and Web Dynpro ABAP applications. Explore possible implementations of CHIPs and side panels across a wide variety of areas.
Key Concept

Located alongside the content area, a side panel enhances existing SAP GUI transactions from older releases without requiring modifications. Both SAP GUI (Dynpro) and Web Dynpro ABAP applications can use side panels. The side panel in SAP NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) is not just a new user interface (UI) area located on the side of the content area, it is also an infrastructure designed to enhance existing SAP GUI transactions from older releases without needing modifications. A Collaborative Human Interface Part (CHIP) is a small widget-type, stateless piece of software that can be combined in a layout to form a page or side panel.

Even minor updates to existing SAP GUIs can frequently increase the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a company. However, such increases can be avoided by using independent side-panel applications to add value to existing screens.

SAP introduced a new Web Dynpro-based framework that increases the functionality of existing SAP GUIs independent of the parent applications, thereby reducing the overall TCO. This framework provides more flexibility to a company by allowing the addition of one or more placeholder content areas called Colloborative Human Interface Parts (CHIPs) in which each content area can be mapped to a different application.
Side-panel applications are embedded with CHIP applications to display data in a defined layout area based on the values displayed in the parent application. Side-panel applications and CHIPs provide, among other things, added value for existing SAP GUIs, making integration with other SAP partners or third-party applications possible. Side panels and CHIPS also offer users the potential for improved decision making by consolidating relevant applications in one area.

Nitin Gupta

Nitin Gupta is a Senior Developer at SAP Labs Canada, working within areas related to ERP, Retail and MultiChannel. For the last 10 years, he has worked on projects in ERP, Retail and Integration. He is currently involved in projects related to Integration and helping mobile teams with oData services expertise. Early in his career, he worked for ERP based solutions as an implementation consultant in India after completing his B.Tech.

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Ilya Bibik

Ilya Bibik is Scrum Master/ Project Manager from SAP Retail in SAP LABS Canada  with more than 10 years’ experience in software development. 
During his 7 year career working  for SAP, Ilya participated in various projects in Retail as SAP POS developer , and Integration specialist of ERP,XI,POSDM. Early in his career, he worked as business application  developer  for companies in Israel and Canada.

He has an undergraduate degree in Software Engineering  and an M.Sc. in E-commerce  from a joint program of  Université de Montréal and HEC Montréal.

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Comments

10/31/2013 1:40:40 PM
Andrea Haynes

The authors' reply to the question about limiting the type of CHIP: All the CHIPs are a part of Webdynpro framework and if we need to restrict users access, we can use standard roles and authorizations for all the existing CHIPs and assign it with respect to their needs. Let me know if you have any specific business scenario in mind.
10/31/2013 1:38:38 PM
Andrea Haynes

Here is the authors' answer to the question about setting up a Dynpro report as a chip: Well it is possible to set up a DynPro Report as a sidepanel if the user just wants to display report without any development effort using PFCG role maintenance configuration. The other alternative is to add some development effort to it by creating a new chip which will accept the output from the report and display as the user wants.
10/30/2013 3:34:08 PM
DC

For NW 7.31, is it possible to setup a DynPro Report (i.e. standard ABAP program) as a chip (e.g. via PFCG Role Maintenance) that could accept input from the NWBC main canvas.

Sample Use case, when displaying customer, we would like to be able to have a side panel that displays all the material that the customer could order (i.e. Calling Tcode VB03, and feed in the info on List Type and Customer#).
10/30/2013 1:59:12 PM
DC

What's the best way to limit the type of CHIP that users could access. Eg Within our system, we have lots of CHIP provided that's not functioning, so we want to hide them from users.

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