Overview of the WAD interface SAP BI

In this section we will orient you to all of the different components of the WAD interface, including its screen areas, menus, and toolbars. To begin this orientation process, you need to gain access to the WAD so I’ll review this activity first to make sure we all know how to do that and discuss our options in this task. To access the WAD, select Start | Programs | Business Explorer | Web Application Designer. With NetWeaver 7.0 BI, you may have access to two versions of the tool, 7.0 and 3.x. Depending on your company’s migration process, you may need to use the 3.x version rather than the 7.0 version. The menu path just mentioned accesses the BI version of the WAD. If you want to execute the BW 3.x version of the WAD, you need to select Start | Programs | Business Explorer | Business Explorer (SAP BW 3.x) | Web Application Designer (SAP BW 3.x).

NOTE The fact that you have two different versions of the WAD tool available may cause some issues. If you are not migrating or making any adjustments to the WAD reports, you may want to either deactivate or remove from the dropdown list whichever version you are not working with. Opening your WAD reports in one version versus the other may cause errors to occur if the correct version is not used. So if you open your WAD report template in the 7.0 version but didn’t support the migration of that Web report to 7.0 from 3.5, you may cause errors to occur if you then try to open it again in the 3.5 version.

The initial WAD screen that is presented to you after logging in for the first time shouldbe similar to the one shown in the following illustration, but with a blank list of recent Webtemplates.

Overview of the WAD interface

If you have been working in the WAD and have the “historical” view option turned on, you see a list of recent Web templates.

1.The WAD Screen Areas
The initial view of the WAD interface has four different screen areas in addition to the menus and toolbars:

  • Web Items
  • Web Template
  • Error and Warnings
  • Reusable Web Items

Once you select a Web item to work with, another screen area is identified, which is Properties.

You can adjust the appearance of the WAD to your requirements using the options available in the context menu under View in the toolbar. The Web template is handled differently from the other components such as Tools and Help Windows. In the case of the other components you can show and hide the individual screen areas and toolbars using the View menu options, shown here. The Web Template area is not available in this context menu and therefore can’t be adjusted.

Overview of the WAD interface

You can move the three toolbars and the Web Items and Properties screen areas as you require. Depending on where you move an object to, it is anchored or floats freely as a toolbox. The following illustration shows everything in a horizontal position. This is not the greatest format but it does show that you can realign these GUI elements just about any way you want. Because the WAD is a multiple-document interface (MDI) application, you can open and manage different windows with Web templates at the same time. You can use the Window menu to arrange other windows differently: cascading (overlapping), vertically, or horizontally.

BEx web application designer

Web Items Screen Area
The Web Items screen area provides access to all the available Web items and data providers and displays a small help section. The Web items are segmented into three groupings: Standard, Advanced, and Miscellaneous. Clicking the group heading displays the contents of that group. The following illustration shows the result of choosing the Advanced grouping. Because the Web items are the basic building blocks of the Web templates, using this section is not only very common but really almost a requirement to get anything to show up in the WAD. A Web item describes the way in which the data from a data provider is displayed, such as in text (Text Web item), a map(Map Web item), or a graphic (Chart Web item).

Web Items Screen Area

Under the Data Provider section, you can create data providers of type Filter or type Query View.You drag and drop the required data provider type into your Web template, and the dialog box for creating data providers opens. Under the selection for Web Items and Data Provider Maintenance, you see the help area, which provides explanations for the Web items and the data providers. To display the texts for the respective Web item, double-click the Web item. To hide the texts, double-click the Web item again. Once you have hidden the display of texts and selected a Web item by single-clicking it, some quick info is displayed for the Web item, as shown here.

NOTE The Data Provider section in the Web Items area is for creating, assigning, changing, and reviewing the data providers and doesn’t offer additional WAD functionality.

Web Items Screen Area

Hidden in the background on this tab is another tab for the Reusable Web Items.

Properties Screen Area
The Properties screen area provides access to all the properties of the selected Web item orthe Web template itself. The component you select determines the number of properties associated with the Web item. Also, all the parameters and settings are configured here. The Properties screen area uses two tabs to segment the properties. The General tab, shown next, provides access to the data provider assignment, if required. The Web Item Parameters is, in most cases, the more important portion and shows a listing of the configuration settings of that component. The Properties screen area is very important to developers and is where you will spend most of your time configuring the WAD template.

Properties Screen Area

In the dropdown box at the top of the Properties screen area, you choose whether you want to define properties for a Web template or for specific Web items. Depending on your choice in the dropdown box, you can then make various settings for a Web template or Web items. If you select a Web template from the dropdown box, you can then set the parameters for the Web template on the Web Template Parameters tab, shown next. It has numerous settings that are important to the overall look and feel of the Web template, including settings for warnings, variable screens, variants, RRI functionality, and document options. Context-sensitive help is available in the lower area of the tab.

Properties Screen Area

If you select a Web item from the dropdown box, you can make the following settings:

  • General tab Click the Create New symbol to the right of the dropdown box to create a data provider and assign it to the Web item.
  • Web Item Parameters tab Set the parameters for the selected Web item. Contextsensitive help and descriptions of the actual functionality of the parameter is available in the lower area of the tab.

Web Template Screen Area
The Web Template screen area is where you construct the actual Web template. Basically, you drag and drop the Web items into this area and, from there, configure the parameters associated with each Web item. In the following illustration, the Analysis Web item has been dropped onto the Web Template area.

Web Template Screen Area

Notice all the parameters available in the Web Item Parameters tab that you can adjust to make the query report more user friendly. The Web Template area contains the Web templates that you edit in the design process and that form the basis of your Web applications. The Web template is the HTML page that you use to specify the structure of the Web application. The HTML page published on the Web is called a Web application. The upper section of the Web Template screen area has three tabs Layout, XHTML, and Overview—you can use to change the view of the Web template, in the same way you do in an HTML editor.

Layout Tab: The Layout tab (also called layout view) gives you a visual focus and enables you to specify the layout of the Web application (see the previous illustration). To do this, you use drag-and-drop operations to insert Web items from the pool of Web items into your Web template. In the lower section of the Layout tab, you can create data providers by double-clicking New Data Provider, which opens the dialog box for creating data providers. You can also create data providers in the Web Items screen area. The Web Template screen area is not an exact representation of the placement or spacing of the individual Web items when the Web application is executed. The parameters are defined in logical grouping of items that enables you to see the relationship of each Web item within the group to the other.

XHTML Tab: The XHTML tab (also called XHTML view) displays the XHTML that corresponds to layout view. Table lists the some of the various elements of the XHTML syntax and the different colors associated with them.

In XHTML view, as shown in the next illustration, you can edit the XHTML of a Web template directly or you can edit the XHTML using an external XHTML editor. In the XHTML tab’s work area, you can see the code that is automatically generated as Web items are placed in the Web template. Once these Web items are inserted into the template, text is assigned and any of the other items that may apply as standard objects to the Web item are inserted into the XHTML page and are available for the business user to adjust directly in the XHTML language.

XHTML Tab

After you assign objects to the template via the Layout tab, you can use the XHTML to change the objects by adding additional code directly into this area. It is important to note that although many of the tags used in HTML coding can also be used in the code on the XHTML tab, you must make sure that you are coding in the appropriate area of the tags. Asyou directly assign code to this area, you will see prompts if there are any issues with the appropriate tags or coding. These prompts appear in the Errors and Warnings area. If you are comfortable with XHTML coding, you will find that being able to use and program industry-standard XHTML to enhance the WAD results definitely comes in handy.

XHTML Tab

Overview Tab: The Overview tab, shown next, lists all Web items, data providers, and commands used in Web templates. By selecting or deselecting check boxes, you specify which of these objects are listed. The objects are listed in the Item Name column. Any data providers and reusable Web items associated with an object are listed in the corresponding columns on the same row as the object. The Overview tab is very helpful to verify that the data binding of the Web items is correct and the parameters/ properties are consistent. The logical names of the Web items as well as their properties can be changed in this work area by clicking on the Web item and using the context menu to open the desired screen. Using the Sorting dropdown box, you can specify how these objects are to be listed:

  • Grouped The objects used are listed by type: data providers, Web items, and commands.
  • Web Template The sequence of the objects used in the Web template is displayed as a flat structure.
  • Web Template (Hierarchical) The sequence of the objects used in the Web template is displayed as a hierarchical structure. You see a hierarchical structure if you nest Web items in the Web template (for example, when you use the Container Web item). You can change the parameters of the associated objects using the context menu for each Web item, Web template, and data provider listed

Web items

Errors and Warnings Screen Area
The Errors and Warnings screen area, shown next, is used to display errors and warnings when a Web template is being verified. You can use this information and also the actual error or warning to direct you right to the item that is having the issue. Using a right-click on the error or warning, and then using the context menu that appears, you can either go to a help option or in some cases go directly to the error via the link and fix the issue.

Errors and Warnings Screen Area

The errors and warnings that are displayed in this screen area refer to the following possible checks of the Web template:

  • Verify This check is performed automatically and by default every two seconds. Within the verification, the internal structure of the Web template is checked. You can change the refresh time for the verification in the menu bar under Tools | Settings.
  • Verification on the Server With this verification, which you trigger manually, additional conditions for creating a correct Web template are checked on the server side. Here, for example, the system verifies whether a query that is being used as a data provider exists. To trigger the verification, on the WAD menu bar, choose Web Template | Verify on Server.
  • Correct and Format During this verification, which you can trigger manually, the internal structure of the HTML is checked. You can trigger this verification only when you are in XHTML view. From the WAD menu bar, choose Edit | Correct and Format.

Reusable Web Items
A final tab that appears on the WAD screen is the Reusable Web Items tab. In most cases, as in the other reporting tools, it may be a good idea to have a “library” of reusable Web items that can be shared by other developers. This reduces development and configuration time and allows for the collection of different Web templates so that everyone can be using the same parameters, when necessary, and also provide the same look and feel to their objects. The use of reusable Web items can help with this process. This option allows the developer to configure Web items and save them in roles or the Favorites folder as reusable Web items. To Save, right-click on the completed Web template and select the context menu item Save as Reusable Web Item. Once this is completed, the Web items can be accessed from this tab in the Web Items screen area. It is important to note that not all properties of the Web items are saved in the reusable Web items. For example, the data binding of a Web item is not retained in the reusable Web item. Data binding must be done on an individual basis for each relevant Web item in the template where it is used. This can be seen in the following illustration.

Reusable Web Items

To help increase the efficiency of business users, you should consider to what extent you can reuse a Web application you’ve created. If one Web application differs from another by only a few objects (for example, a different data provider is displayed, a pushbutton does not appear, or another Web item is used to display the data), you can create a second Web template by just using the Web Template Web item there. Drag and drop the Web Template Web item into the second Web template. You assign the first Web template to this Web item using the Web Template (TEMPLATE_ID) parameter. Save the Web template and open it again. Now you see all the elements that exist in the first Web template. Here, you can overwrite individual Web items or data providers. When you integrate a Web item into your Web template from the Web item groupings in the Web Items screen area and define your settings, you might want to use this Web item again in this form in other Web templates, without having to define the settings over again. The WAD enables you to use your own version of a Web item as the Web template for other items. You store this Web item as a template. You can then access your Web items from the Reusable Web Items tab. Any changes that you make to the settings of the reusable Web item (as previously described) have a global effect, meaning the changes are effective in all saved Web templates in which you use that specific Web item.

This does not apply to Web templates in which you changed the parameters of a reusable Web item locally. In this case, the settings that you make locally are effective. If you want to change the settings in a reusable Web item locally (that is, in a specific Web template in which you are using this Web item), proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Web template.
  2. Select the reusable Web item in the Web template.
  3. Change the parameters of this Web item on the Web Item Parameters tab in the Properties screen area.
  4. Save the Web template.

The changes that you made to the reusable Web item apply only in this second Web template. The parameter settings of the reusable Web item are not affected by the changes.

NOTE If you try to overwrite the parameters of a Chart Web item that you have saved as a reusable Web item locally, the Create Local Chart Settings dialog box appears. Here, you are told that you are about to overwrite the settings for a reusable Web item locally. If you choose Yes, the Edit Graphic dialog box appears. To change the parameters for the Chart Web item locally, reset its parameters and close the Edit Graphic dialog box by clicking OK. If you close the Edit Graphic dialog box by clicking Cancel, no local Chart Web items parameter settings are created. The reusable Web item’s settings are still effective. If you click No or Cancel, no changes to the saved chart local parameter settings are made.

2.The WAD Menu Bar and Toolbar Components
Now that you are familiar with the screen areas within the WAD interface, it’s time to focus on the different functions of the WAD menu bar and toolbars. Although you could do most if not all of your configuration using just the Web items from the left navigation pane, you should be mindful that many components are also available via the menu bar embedded at the top of the WAD screen and the three toolbars that you can access via View | Toolbars— Standard, Insert, and Layout. Each of these has multiple functions available for you to use in your configuration process, as described next.

Menu Bar
This seems harmless enough in terms of overall functions and options and that’s about right since much of the functionality found on this toolbar is available via the navigation pane and the use of the right-click context menus. It’s good to review so if you decide to, you can use this approach to navigation rather than working directly from the Layout area in the WAD or other options. It’s a personal preference as to which approach works best for you but just remember that no matter what format the individual adjusts the other areas of the WAD, the Menu Bar options will always look the same. To explain these items, the best approach is starting from the leftmost menu and working my way across.

Menu Bar

a.Web Template Menu: The Web Template menu offers a list of standard functions that you can use throughout the configuration process. Looking at the list, shown here on the right, you can see that it offers options that have more to do with the overall functionality of the WAD than with specific Web items. Below table lists and briefly describes the Web Template menu options.

Web Template Menu

You will find that these options are also found on the Standard toolbar that we will come across shortly. At that time we will reference back to this list rather than duplicating the information.

Components of the Web Template Menu

Components of the Web Template MenuComponents of the Web Template Menu

b.Edit Menu: The Edit menu, shown next, offers tools such as Cut, Copy, and Paste. These tools are also available via the right-click context menu, so which approach you use in the configuration process is a matter of personalpreference. Table lists and briefly describes the Edit menu options.

Edit Menu

Components of the Edit Menu

Components of the Edit Menu

c.View Menu:The View menu, shown next with the Navigate To submenu expanded, makes viewing or hiding different options in either the toolbars or the Web template simple. This menu doesn’t offer any additional functionality within the WAD process. It can definitely help you to clean up some of the clutter found on your screen by hiding unused items, but that’s about it. Below table lists and briefly describes the View menu options.

View Menu

Components of the View Menu

Components of the View Menu

d.Insert Menu: You will likely perform most of the functions available on the Insert menu by using either the Web Items screen area and dragging and dropping the Web item into the Layout or one of the toolbars that you can display via View | Toolbar but this is another approach. This way you don’t have to keep opening up the different Web item tabs to see what is included in the areas of Standard, Advanced, Miscellaneous or DataProvider. Using this approach wherever you have placed your cursor is where the Web item will be inserted into the Layout screen. As the illustration shows, Insert | Web Item basically is the Web Items screen area in menu form. Table lists and briefly describes the Insert menu options.

Insert Menu

Components of the Insert Menu

Components of the Insert Menu

e.Format Menu: As you may have noticed, the WAD interface has both a Format menu and a Format toolbar. They offer the same functionality, so we will cover the options here and then simply reference this section when we get to the section covering the Standard, Insert, and Format toolbars. The Format menu functions are very important because, as you build Web reports, you will use them often to help you with the overall look and feel of the Web reports. Options to align text, set the background color, and choose a font size give you tools to make the display of your information much more focused and personal. You will be using most of these options in the subsequent chapters. Each of the options available here can be applied to specific sections or areas of the Web template or by specific Web items so whatever you choose here doesn’t control the entire Web template format but only the items or portion that you define (except for Background Color). The illustration shows the basic list of components and the Background Color palette, and Table lists and briefly describes all the Format menu options.

Format Menu

Components of the Format Menu

Components of the Format Menu

f.Tools Menu: The Tools menu, shown next, provides an easy way to access the major WAD tools. Table lists and briefly describes the different Tools menu options.

Tools Menu

Components of the Tools Menu

Components of the Tools Menu

g.Table Menu: This menu gives you the basic options to create a table or adjust the formatting of an existing table. We will be using the Table menu quite a bit in latter chapters to help us with positioning of Web items. After you insert a table object into the Web template, you can perform the usual table manipulations from this menu, such as add or delete a column or row.Of course, you can perform the same activities directly in the Web template. Table lists and briefly describes the Table menu options.

Table Menu

Components of the Table Menu

Components of the Table Menu

h.Window Menu: This menu at the right provides options to help you organize the overall look and feel of the actual WAD screen. It doesn’t have much to do with the functionality and capabilities of the Web-based objects. The functionality is more apparent once you get several screens going in your WAD process. Once additional screens or templates are available you can navigate between them using this option. Table lists and briefly describes the features.

Window Menu

Components of the Window Menu

Components of the Window Menu

i.Help Menu: The Help menu enables the business user to get help. Developers definitely use it from time to time to help solve or validate the processes and configuration they are executing. Table describes its two options.

Help Menu

Components of the Help Menu

Components of the Help Menu

Web Application Component Toolbars: Standard, Insert, and Format
The three toolbars available within the WAD environment offer an alternative way to perform many of the same functions available in the menus previously discussed. For example, the Insert toolbar has the same functions and features as the Insert menu. If you decide to use this toolbar rather than the menu, you have to get used to scrolling across the icons to identify via a tooltip what their names are, whereas in the menu, the names of the functions are immediately available alongside the icon.

Web Application Component Toolbars: Standard, Insert, and Format

The Standard toolbar is the only one of the three toolbars that incorporates functions from two different menus. The Standard toolbar combines most of the functions from the Web Template and Edit menus. The Standard toolbar includes all the functions available in the Edit menu and most functions available in the Web Template menu. Again, whether you work with the toolbar or the menus is a personal preference. I’ve gotten used to using the two menus and turning off the toolbar. This allows me a bit more room on the template screen for display of the actual WAD templates.

Web Application Component Toolbars: Standard, Insert, and Format

Finally, the Format toolbar at the right, has all the same functions as the Format menu, previously discussed.

Web Application Component Toolbars: Standard, Insert, and Format



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