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The beauty of Cloud software is that improvements can be added on-the-fly in an incremental approach avoiding disruption and avoiding the training requirements that big-bang implementations require. Last week the collaborative process modeling tool in SAP StreamWork was updated to make printing much easier and make it much simpler when editing or discussing large diagrams.

 

GravitySoftwarePatchProcessBlog.JPG

 

In a nutshell here are the main updates:

  • Printing much easier thanks to a view-diagram-in-own-window mode
  • Navigating around a large model is a snap

 

 

Improved Navigation

 

Taking the navigation first, you can pan around the model by simply sliding the canvas up/down/left/right using the mouse, as if it was a sheet of paper.  There is no need to activate this. It is switched on by default so even strangers who have never used the tool before will find it intuitive. To move an element in the diagram, simply drag that object to a new position. To resize an element, simply select it and then resize it. To select a pool or lane for resizing/moving just select the pool/lane header as before.

 

You can still switch to pan-only mode if you want  to prevent any chance of accidentally moving something (even though the "undo" button takes care of such accidents).

 

The tool has also been enhanced to let you view the model in a frame of its own, which particularly useful when printing (read on). The button to trigger this new view is highlighted  in the screenshot below.

FullFrameButton.png

 

How to Print a Large Model

 

Anyone using the tool (including myself) will be surprised how quickly what is envisaged as a tiny trivial process will grow in size as the detail is added. This is not something you want to avoid because it is often a single detail in one corner of the process that causes disruption, confusion or sluggishness of the complete end-to-end process. So making details explicit is usually the best way of driving improvements.  Often, this reaches a point where you want to print the process and discuss it in face-to-face meetings with peers and experts. And because large-scale surface displays are still too expensive to rely on in practice, having the detailed print-out ready up-front will be highly appreciated by your colleagues in a professional environment.

 

To print:

 

  1. Use the new “display in tab” capability to display the model in its own tab, without the supplementary SAP StreamWork information.
  2. Zoom the browser whatever magnification you like (Ctrl- and  Ctrl+ are the shortcuts on all standard browsers)
  3. Select print to PDF (this is either provided by the browser or a separate desktop tool) to generate a local copy.
    Important: Choose  paper size A0 (the largest, even if you don’t intend to print to this size). This gives you a fantastic quality image when printing, irrespective of the paper size you support later.
  4. Check the pdf image, and print to your local printer. For complex diagrams I have even printed to A0 on a plotter and hung the diagram on the wall.

 

To Export to a different graphic format, for example to embed in a presentation or text document.

Follow steps 1 to 3 (remember to select A0) and use your pdf tool to export to a different format (for example PNG.)

 

Reminder about access

To access the tool, you need to login to www.streamwork.com. SCN users can access it directly using the SSO link: https://streamwork.com/?saml_idp_id=accounts.sap.com

 

To learn about previous updates or other aspects of the tool you can visit the SCN wiki at http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/BPX/Collaborative+Process+Modeling+Tool . This link will also warn you about pending maintenance, or unscheduled downtime - although, thanks to the hosting on SAP NetWeaver Cloud, this is been absolutely negligible since going live in March 2012.

 

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