SAPUI5 is relatively new, but already, I see a huge rush towards the new HTML5 enabled technology.
It looks cool, it uses bright colors, you can develop the front-end yourself, it plugs in easily with NW Neo and with Gateway,...
But here's the catch.
Didn't SAP already have a preferred UI technology? Didn't SAP promote WebDynpro for ABAP as the main goto User Interface framework?
On a NW Neo server, it ties in nicely with the Java servlets that allow you to expose data in multiple formats. Handy to expose data as a service, and consume it in your nice looking UI. Could this be yet another kiss of death for WebDynpro Java (Copyright by Thorsten Franz )
On the other hand, SAPUI5 can also consume services from the ABAP backend via the gateway. It's pretty easy to enable the BOL, or bapi's via gateway (or via generic BSP's, custom REST services, PI,...) and consume them on your SAPUI5 frontend. Could this be the beginning of the end for WDA as well?
Or will both WDA and WDJ evolve to a common front-end implemantation tool-set, based on standardised service layers? (and will the Portal follow?)
My main though would have to be, if you are decoupling your UI from the SAP environment going as far as SAPUI5 why not go further and use tooling that is already commodity, just build in ECMAScript.
WDA works because it allows teams that know no more than ABAP to continue to be productive.
I would however, point out that much of the newer SAP standard content is being delivered via WDA GUIBBs, meaning a rewrite to consume these feeders with whatever tech you want is possible.
Is UI5 a threat to WDA? not really a specific threat, not any more than any modern cross browser capable HTML5 based solution would be. With so many screens even currently (take gateway as an example of a supposedly technologically advanced solution ) that are built in classic dynpro! (Hopefully all the developer tools will move to eclipse) there is some way to go before we start seeing much in the way of a move to alternate UI techs take on real momentum. I'd guess we've got about the same amount of time as people insist on using on premise solutions. No WDA in the cloud!
Just my thoughts :-)
Yes! Thank you Chris for the excellent points.
There are indeed a lot of standard WDA components with each enhancement pack, so it would be crazy from SAP to drop WDA (I'm not really expecting that either)
But it does make me wonder.
If you have three, well integrated and supported technologies (WDA and WDJ and not to forget BSP/Webui), why would you introduce another one?
Is it because SAPUI5 will become the frontend for nw Neo?
Because that would mean that SAP scatters technologies throughout the place.
WDA for ERP
BSP/webui for CRM
WDJ for portal and CE
UI5 for Neo
This is very opposed to the buzz a couple of years ago about WDA as the go to technology for any development in SAP (with the exception of CRM, which was an evolutionary error).
So is UI5 going to be a niche product, or are there larger plans?
I also don't really believe that UI5 is a threat to WDA (I just like kicking up sand and creating consternation), but maybe, it's an evolution of the current WDA theme. Maybe UI5 will become available as element library/theme for WDA and WDJ and Webui, just like the signature theme did a few years back.
Seeing as UI5 does not have a backend implementation part like WDA, BSP and WDJ, this looks like a viable option to me. It's pure UI.
So I guess my real question is:
What is the role of SAPUI5 in the larger picture of SAP products?
Thomas Jung wrote something about SAPUI5 in WDA. Some helpful infos:
There are also plans for an HTML Island for direct integration in place as opposed to a separate CHIP and usage of the Page Builder. This is a work in progress UI element and as such should be treated as a possible future feature and not a hard commitment.
Of course HTML5 isn't one single piece of technology. It is numerous enhancements to HTML and CSS as well as general advancements in browser capabilities. I think you will also see some of these advanced browser features worked into the WD rendering framework over time; but at a slower pace since Web Dynpro has to also support older browsers as well.
Yes there were some announcements at SAPPHIRE/ASUG a few weeks ago about increasing which browsers are supported as well as keeping up with browser versions quicker. We also plan to make it customer configurable as to how they want to handle the unsupported browser check (warning instead of hard stop). We are converting WD from IE Quirks to IE Standard Mode. This will help a lot with moving faster in the future as well.
Link is: http://scn.sap.com/thread/3188044
Many customers would prefer the look and feel of Webdynpro they are used to. If the SAPUI5 team can create iOS and Android look and feel, they can make a Webdynpro look and feel. Many HTML5 applications we are looking into would be based on our current Webdynpro based products.
As for the Webdynpro development by declarative approach, you hit on another great idea. Why not? The portal already has the converters that convert from the declarative world to HTML. Why not have a version of all these existing development/converter tools that can create SAPUI5 files that can be deloyed to the web server just the way SAPUI5 is deployed. Why not generate iOS and Android SAPUI5 targets from Webdynpro type declarative development tools?
There is also support for declarative programming model for SAPUI5. But I think it is beta and dont know SAP will support that.