Recently been involved in HR implementation where Fiori Launchpad was used as entry-point for end users instead of portal. Implemented apps were mix of SAP standard Fiori apps, custom developed Fiori apps and some Webdynpros. Now there is where it gets interesting and this whole blog is about. When you have technology like UI5/OData at your disposal why would you even consider Webdynpro in your user experience? Easy answer – No you wouldn’t consider Webdynpro.
Why Webdynpro Apps
No doubt that Fiori will be the only user experience for SAP in coming days and this blog might not be even relevant when that happens. However, while we are in this transition phase there would be situations where customers would weigh up their options. And the reason we are even considering this because it is possible to launch Webdynpro from Fiori tile.
Coming to question on ‘Why’ below are some of which I have come across.
You already have solution implemented in Webdynpro which you like to keep using instead of starting from scratch with UI5. Over the years you might have built Webdynpro applications and you like to keep them for time being for various reasons, budget and time in some case might be compelling reason.
It might well be the case that there is SAP standard Webdynpro application available which fits or almost fits the bill and there isn’t any Fiori app available yet from SAP with similar functionality. SAP Webdynpro offering in ESS and MSS area are very good example here.
Resource constraint-Not a very good reason in my opinion. You shouldn’t have embarked on Fiori journey if this is the reason why you are considering Webdynpro applications over Fiori.
SAP list some Webdynpro applications in its Fiori app library and recommend to implement Webdynpro app for certain scenarios. Last time I checked there were 107 WebDynpro Apps.
Challenge with user experience with Webdynpro Applications
There are some obvious challenge with WebDynpros which you need to consider and put it on table.
Users will have mix of user experience. On one hand users see responsive Fiori apps and then you have Webdynpros. This will creep on implementation team and surely will motivate you to consider replacing WebDynpros with Fiori.
Another one which may or may not cause issue but surely worth putting on table is Webdynpro apps will open in new tab/windows every time you click on tile which launches Webdynpro. You would have difficult time explaining this behavior to users. Probably best to quote SAP Note 2403527
You have configured Web Dynpro or WebGui apps on your Fiori Launchpad
When you open these apps, they open on a separate Window or Tab
Navigation back to the Launchpad is not available on the new window / tab
SAP Note 2403527
Webdynpros are not supported on mobile device (SAP Note 2396661 ). You might be tempted to improve user experience with workarounds but remember its workaround and you might insert more issue than you actually fix.
Web Dynpro is not supported on any Mobile Device like iOS (iPhone or iPad), this is discussed in note 1853087 – ‘Conditional support for browser usage on Mobile Devices’ and also on PAM (Product Availability Matrix)
Its highly advised to use SAP UI5
SAP Note 2396661
Technical Challenge with Mix Technologies and SAP Servers
My experience is with Central Hub Deployment of Gateway and some of issue below may not exist in case of Embedded deployment.
To have your Fiori launchpad accessible from outside network you would have Webdispatcher which will intercept user request on internet and pass it over to gateway system without exposing gateway server. Once configured it will work great for Fiori launchpad and all UI5 apps. However, for WebDynpro application this will not work as Webdynpro applications are directly hosted from your ERP and this URL will not be accessible over internet. You would need additional RFC destination setup on gateway of type H with target host URL same as gateway external URL but on different port. You will have to use this RFC destination in LPD_CUST setting of Webdynpros. There would be redirect rule required in Webdispatcher to forward requests on specific port to ERP system where Webdynpros will be hosted from.
To give you an example
Let’s say you have registered url, accessible over internet http://myfavclient.com which launches Fiori Launchpad from Gateway.
One of tile in Launchpad opens up webdynpro from ERP system with url
Now this url is not going to work as request on http://internalsapserver.com will not be resolved to your server (and you wouldn’t want that anyway).
To solve this you need to create a RFC destination of type H on gateway server, lets call it DESTERP with target url http://myfavclient.com and port 123. You would then specify this RFC destination DESTERP in LPD_CUST setting of Webdynpro on Gateway server. Now when you click on tile system will generate url http://myfavclient.com:123/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/yourwebdynpro?sap-language=EN which will reach your Webdispatcher and finally you would need a rule on Webdispatcher to redirect request on 123 port to http://internalsapserver.com:8000.
Loading ContentServer Resources
Very similar issue with ContentServer resources from ERP system. Read blog SAP HR ESS-Personal Profile Picture not displayed