SAP UI Revolution

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Filed Under: Program Management

SAP User Interface Revolution

    Technology users of all types are placing an exponentially growing expectation and reliance on the technology that they interface with on a daily basis. In fact; every year, a higher percentage of jobs require consistent attachment to computers and mobile devices. This ever increasing reliance on tech places an impetus on the interface designed for the user to allow them to best leverage the technology that they are interfacing with. This is especially true in the large enterprise (LE) software market. Gone are the days of end users being subjected to poor interface design at the expense of functional capability. Therefore, Dassian has made and continues to make a conscious effort to place itself at the forefront of the SAP UI revolution.

    Through customer feedback and observation, SAP determined that its UI elements lagged behind industry standards for some time, and in late 2012 and early 2013, SAP made a concerted push to better leverage existing UI technologies that had already been proven and re-defined the software industry. Technologies such as responsive design based on JavaScript libraries and well-crafted HTML/CSS have allowed SAP to come into the current generation of UI design. Applications such as SAP FIORI, Personas, and UI5 are examples of technologies that SAP has developed as revolutionary UI standards for their new generation of Software design.

    Dassian has decided not only to embrace this new trend, but also become one of the leading partners in UI design for SAP centric firms. Dassian has researched and become familiar with many different methods for application UI design, but the one that we have chosen as our base platform for our new UI application development is Sencha Ext JS. Ext JS is a JavaScript framework that was initially developed and released in December 2007. It was promoted as providing UI features more similar to those traditionally associated with desktop applications. Currently, Sencha has released their Ext JS 5.0 version that includes built in responsiveness and touch commands out-of-the-box. This allows Dassian as software developers to have a platform to build customized HTML based applications that hook directly into SAP that are user friendly and functionally rich.

    We recently used the Ext JS framework combined with the Ext Gantt package of Bryntum as a backbone to develop an SAP schedule reporting application for a large aerospace manufacturer. The requirement for this application was for the user to be able to pull in applicable tasks from SAP tables that had previously been synchronized between MS Project and SAP. The design was a web based workbench Gantt chart application. By leveraging these frameworks, we customized the Gantt chart application exactly to the user's look and feel specifications. We then combined the UI development with a significant development effort on the SAP side. The result was that we were able to develop a highly functional reporting application that saved the customer a significant amount of time and personnel cost. Dassian was also able to work with the customer to produce a User Interface that met the best practice standards of web based applications while still being the customized look and feel of the reports that our customer and their clients were already familiar with.