SAP ERP customers gain options for improved UI

But a next-generation Business Suite has yet to come into view

Options are growing for SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) customers that want to snazz up the system's screens, both for the enjoyment of end-users and improved productivity.

SAP recently rolled out version 2.0 of Screen Personas, which gives users the ability to personalize their SAP based screens based on preference and job role. The update introduces a new version of Personas' Microsoft Silverlight-based client as well as an HTML version.

Both clients come as part of a single download and installation, according to a recent company blog post. The Silverlight and HTML clients "run independently and do not interact," solving "different problems in different use cases," according to the post.

However, the updated Silverlight version offers better performance and scalability, with support for all browsers containing a Silverlight plug-in.

Microsoft has only committed to supporting Silverlight, its attempt to compete with the likes of Flash for rich media and Web development, until 2021. SAP is building Personas with backward compatibility in mind, meaning customers' installations won't break if and when it switches to another format, the company said during a webinar earlier this year.

SAP is already looking into alternatives and has "plenty of time" under Microsoft's time frame for Silverlight to make a transition, according to the company.

Meanwhile, the HTML-based Personas provides a lighter-weight option, requiring no client installations, with the tradeoff being a smaller feature set, according to the post.

SAP has made other moves recently in the user-experience realm. Last October, it showcased a product called AppDesigner, which allows users to create simple applications in a drag-and-drop manner.

Yet another product, Fiori, features more than 25 cross-platform applications focused on the most popularly used SAP functions and processes.

Third-party vendors are also offering alternative ways to interact with SAP back-end systems. On Wednesday, Synactive announced a new version of its GUIXT Liquid UI client for SAP, which provides access to the system from iOS devices.

In one sense, SAP's UI-related endeavors provide it with a hedge against the fact that no new major version of its flagship Business Suite is in sight.

SAP announced the current edition in 2009 and has committed to mainstream support for the release until 2020. SAP is also rolling out a series of enhancement packs that it says provide new features without the work involved in a full-blown upgrade.

In light of the ongoing UI work, a next-generation Business Suite may feature a radically overhauled interface.

"We are committed to delivering the most exciting user experience in the industry," SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said during the company's Sapphire conference in May.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsenterprise resource planningSAPsoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?