After the demo jam competition on the evening of the first conference day – in which select teams had the chance to present especially creative software in connection with SAP – the second day of SAP TechEd Vienna was full of partner presentations and exhibitions.
Many SAP partners are presenting their products at small stands on the exhibition floor here at SAP TechEd, including Adobe, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, and VMware. This gives attendees the opportunity to discuss specific technical topics without an appointment. Join the SAP.info editorial team as we tour the conference and introduce a number of products!
Conquer piles of files with interactive PDF forms
Electronic forms have become an integral part of everyday business. They frequently function as orders, travel expense reports, planning documents, and records in customer relationship management. In almost every modern organization, paper-based forms are long since passé. However, while HTML forms often see use on the Web or elsewhere online, such documents are difficult to print out and work with offline.
SAP Interactive Forms makes it possible to connect business processes directly with Web applications through PDF documents. As soon as a user edits an interactive PDF form and sends it back to the SAP application, the system automatically copies over the XML data.
Adobe Forms has been available since the release of SAP NetWeaver 6.4 in 2003. The latest release, P3C, has been on the market since 2008; it requires Adobe Reader 7.08 or later and supports SAP NetWeaver 7.01 and 7.1 PI and CE. The upcoming version P4C will only be available for use with the new SAP NetWeaver 7.1 PI and CE. According to statements from Adobe, the SAP software’s GUI has been integrated.
Integration: Microsoft Office 2010 and Sharepoint 2010
If everything goes as planned, the new Microsoft Office 2010 will be available on the market in the first quarter of next year. This version will offer essentially the same user interface as Office 2007, but reflect the more streamlined appearance of Windows 7. Transferring data from Microsoft Office files into SAP software continues to present a problem for some companies, which then have to handle such work manually in most cases. Neither the amount of time required or the high error rate involved can be dismissed out of hand. However, integrating ERP data directly into Office documents and saving them in SharePoint can help make workflows much simpler. By posting dedicated ERP data through Excel or Infopath, users can thus save a significant amount of time for SAP module registration.
The integration of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 was the topic of a special presentation that focused on ensuring a free-flowing user interface while adding in Microsoft Access, Excel, and Word services. For the first time, Microsoft plans to support the ISO-standard Open XML file format.
A SharePoint portal can facilitate access to complex ERP systems, such as for online retailers seeking to simplify their ordering processes. Meanwhile, iView will not be included as a Web component in SharePoint 2010. Users can continue to use the existing business packages from SAP. Those who use SAP NetWeaver Portal can take advantage of single sign-on functionality. Office 2010 contains the productivity tools VS2010, the Open XML SDK, and Access 2010.
Alloy: Access SAP through Lotus Notes
Alloy aims to facilitate easy access to ERP, BI, and other business reports. According to information presented at SAP TechEd, configuring the solution is a snap: The SAP back end requires an estimated 15 minutes, the settings for IBM Lotus Domino Server just five minutes, and adjustment of the SAP Alloy add-ons another 10 minutes.
Two worlds of software – IBM and SAP – can be unified with the Alloy platform. On the IBM side, this mainly involves e-mail, calendar functions, and business applications that employees use from the desktop. According to the solution’s presenter, Alloy combines the advantages of SAP Business Suite and IBM Lotus Notes; for more, please refer to our article on IBM and SAP developing new software. Finally, users can access company data in SAP software through the user interface of IBM Lotus Notes.