SAP Screen Personas – A 5 minute overview

By Selina Cheng & Wouter Venhuizen on

SAP Screen Personas allows the modification of classic SAP GUI screens to make them more useable and visually appealing. It takes the standard SAP screens and allows the development of a more personalised screen without necessarily relinquishing the standard SAP functionality available in the classic screens.

Overview

Instead of having a user page through multiple tabs to fill the necessary fields, SAP Screen Personas allows businesses to put together a screen individualised to the user role, enhancing productivity and ease of use.

SAP Screen Personas complements SAP Fiori – Personas is based around the classic screens in SAP ERP, while Fiori provides a unified look and feel for mobile, tablet, and desktop devices for common SAP functionality.

Business functionality and users

SAP Screen Personas is one of the simplest methods of improving the usability of classic SAPGUI transactions by modifying screens down to the key functions and data needed for a user to perform their role’s tasks. It also allows keystroke automation to enter commonly used of fixed values in the relevant fields, and the caching of relevant information to prevent repeated connections to the ERP server for data.

The Personas functionality includes a variety of options which allow users to change a transaction or screen. Versions of a screen are saved as a flavor, and combining various options available in personas in a flavor, can result in drastically simplified version of the transaction which ultimately will make it more productive. End users are able to switch between the available flavors to suit their personal preference.

SAP Screen Personas can simplify both menu’s and transaction screens.

Technical

Most classic screens can be modified by Personas, but Personas doesn’t work with the CRM or SRM systems (which use different screen rendering technology).

Technically, the development of the SAP Screen Persona starts with the standard SAP transaction screen, which can be modified through a fairly simple drag-and-drop interface. Scripts, Buttons, Dropdown lists and other elements can be added. At the deeper end of design, information caching and hiding can be used to improve processing speed.

Design considerations need to be taken into account when designing Personas screens – what information is being cached, what data is absolutely necessary for the user to see and process, what data can be hidden before the screen is output.

Configuration and Deployment

Personas are delivered through a browser or Netweaver Business Client. Some of us might remember products like GUIXT which deliver similar functionality through SAPGUI. These products do not require a browser or NWBC, but are traditionally harder to maintain as they often require additional configuration or components to the Front-end application. The advantage of Personas is that the roll-out to users can be completely controlled in the back-end. Flavors are assigned to a user via the Personas administration transaction and roll-out of screens to users via NWBC can be achieved through assigning a screen to a role in the Role Maintenance (PFCG) transaction.

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