Skip to Content

Web Dynpro Islands - questions....

As of NW2004S EhP 1.0 (SAP Target Completion date Ramp-Up is Q4 2008) it will be possible to create so called Web Dynpro Islands which allows us to create rich internet components with Adobe Flex or MS Silverlight which cannot only be integrated into Web Dynpro applications but also exchange data and interact with it.

Our company is working with Adobe Flex 3 in a NW2004S environment and we are already able to call Flex components within Web Dynpro ABAP and the other way around. I wonder what will be the big difference/advantage if you compare our situation with the new feature called Web Dynpro Islands? What is the added value?

How will versioning and transport management for custom Web Dynpro Islands look like? Will it be possible to transport new Flex components in the same way as we do for Web Dynpro ABAP components (good old STMS) or has this be done by a tool like NWDI?

Currently we are developing new custom components in Flex stand-alone, we already installed the Adobe plugin within NWDS CE 7.1 but that doesn't work smoothly yet. Do Web Dynpro Islands need to be developed via NWDS too or can this be done via SE80?

Will there be a standard set of SAP Web Dynpro Islands available (comparable with the standard UI components available for web Dynpro like ALV)? This is what we miss at the moment: Flex is great but for strong SAP features like e.g. ALV there is no standard Flex component available (yet). At our company we want to able to choose between a 100 % Flex user interface or a combination of WDA/Flex or VC/Flex or WDA only, depending on what our target user group is. Marketing users have a very different opinion about a attractive UI than if you ask users working in the factory on a shipping department.

Looking forward to your input!

kind regards

Angelique

Add comment
10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

  • Get RSS Feed

1 Answer

  • Sep 02, 2008 at 01:56 AM

    >we are already able to call Flex components within Web Dynpro ABAP and the other way around

    Really, how are you doing this? There is no SAP supported method for doing so. Are you using the depreciated iFrame? How much integration are you really getting?

    >I wonder what will be the big difference/advantage if you compare our situation with the new feature called Web Dynpro Islands

    Well this will be supported by SAP and used in standard SAP applications for one. The integration is very tight as well as easy to use. There is a dedicated FlashIslands UI element. We support context binding for dataSources and Properties. Events trigger direclty into WD event handlers (with parameters supported). All of this is done via xBCML - so the communication is lightweight and delta rendering friendly.

    >How will versioning and transport management for custom Web Dynpro Islands look like

    The complied Flex SWF file is the only thing needed at runtime. On WDA is it added to the MIME repository and transported like any other MIME object using the normal STMS functionality.

    >Currently we are developing new custom components in Flex stand-alone, we already installed the Adobe plugin within NWDS CE 7.1 but that doesn't work smoothly yet

    Really, what kinds of problems are you having. I run Flex Builder 3 within NWDS and it has been working just fine for me. There are also a few other developers within SAP also doing Flex developemnt within NWDS. No one has mentioned any problems. NWDS should appear to be a perfectly normal Ecplise environement to Flex Builder and should be compatible.

    >Do Web Dynpro Islands need to be developed via NWDS too or can this be done via SE80?

    Flash Islands are still Flex Components build in Flex Builder or with the Flex SDK. SAP isn't building a competing toolset to build Flex Components. We are only building support into our UI tools to host Flex Components and communicate with them. You will still build Flash Islands Flex Components in Flex Builder or the Flex SDK. You will only need to link in a SWC library into your project that is provided by SAP that performs the communication and translation of the xBCML protocol. Web Dynpro only needs access to the compiled SWF file - so Flex source code need not be provided or available.

    >Will there be a standard set of SAP Web Dynpro Islands available (comparable with the standard UI components available for web Dynpro like ALV)?

    SAP will build Flex Components of their own that they deliver to customers and parterns. They will not be duplicates of the standard UI elements. That isn't what Flash Islands is inteneded or supported to do. Flash Islands is meant to suppliment the standard UI elements. The Standard Web Dynpro UI elements will remain as they are. However there are certain things (like animation and other highly interactive and specialized UI techniques) that you simply can't perform within the limitations of HTML/JavaScript. For these types of UI interactions we will supplement Web Dynpro's standard UI set with Flash Islands (or Silverlight Islands in the future). We will not use Flash Islands or Flex to build the entire UI interface. Islands means areas or subsets of the UI that provide high interactivity.

    Keep in mind that Web Dypro overall can render the entire UI in 3 different clients - The browser client (HTML/JavaScript), the NetWeaver Business Client (xBCML based) and the Flex Client (xBCML based). So if you want the standard UI elements available in Flex - that will be done via the Flex client and the runtime rendering engine of Web Dynpro.

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

    • >Indeed we are using a standard iFrame with as source a FLEX URL, exchanging data can only be done via parameters. So it is not such a good interaction as the Web Dynpro Islands seems to be.

      A couple of points on such a solution. First the iFrame is depreciated. Its usage in general is not suggested or supported by SAP. By having the iFrame you have the already noted interaction limitation, but you also have two separate server sessions and most likely a mixture of programming models for hosting the Flex Component. Flash Islands simplifies all of these aspects as the flex component is embedded directly into the output of the Web Dynpro. The Flash Island integration continues to work regardless of which Web Dynpro Client you are using (Flex Component, NetWeaver Business Client, Web Browser).

      >but we do not want to upload our Flex compiled application into the MIME object of SAP

      That is the way that the Flash Islands will work. From SAP's delivery of components or for partners we want to be able to deliver a runtime only solution. Also we aren't necessarily wanting to get involved into integrating Flex Develpement directly into the SAP development environement. We don't see this being like Adobe Forms where we integrated the Lifecycle Designer directly into NWDS and SE80. We only want to manage the runtime objects, not the whole development lifecycle. Now this position might change in the future, but for now this is SAP's approach. We want the Islands to be loosely coupled and we don't necessarily want to lock ourselves into one vendor's technology - hence the Microsoft Silverlight Islands as well.