This is the second and final part on my posts on the topic of Tailoring the TM User Interface to your heart’s content – it has been some time in the making. Today we’ll talk about UI customisation. To do so we’ll approach this with a real life process requirement and describe how I went about it.

Many organisations I’m sure are confronted with the fact that they have users that need to interact with TM differently. At one end of the spectrum you’ll have Super or Power users that need to have access to all the screens that relate to a particular function (the forwarding order for example) and are comfortable doing so. At the other end of the spectrum you’ll have those casual or mono task users for which going through too many screens or too many clicks is just too complex or hinders their productivity.

Another use case could be where in peak times you use temporary resources – you just want them to focus on the task at hand and train them in minutes, not hours.

In our scenario,  we want to be able to capture pickup and delivery requests (forwarding orders in TM) from our customers – quickly and efficiently. We want our operators to see and capture just the information that is required and we want them to do it all in one simplified screen. That information is:

  • The customer (the business partner)
  • Transportation service information
  • The pickup details (date, time, location or address)
  • The delivery details (date, time, location or address)
  • The cargo items
  • We’ll make an allowance for entering some free text

That’s it. So let’s delve into the details.

The end game

The standard TM screen(s) that is presented to you when you invoke the ‘Create forwarding order’ webdynpro application is shown below.
1 - from this

It has many fields scattered across many tabs. Whilst good for a power user, because it gives him access to all the information that he could possibly need, it is just not suitable for an operator who has one task to perform – record a customer transport request – no more no less.

The screen below shows the end game – what we want to achieve – everything in one screen – no tabs.

2 - to this

In addition to this, I want the operator to be able to access this simplified screen directly. In other words, I don’t want him to call the ‘Create forwarding order’ application, then switch to the page layout that is simplified – that would be nonsensical.  So let’s go and build it.

Adding a new webdynpro application

You may have noticed, that when you create a forwarding order, you have access to page layouts (as shown below).

ScreenShot001

By default the page layout named ‘Forwarding Order’ is selected. I want my user to have by default access to the page layout named ‘Fast Order Entry (land)’, which is a simplified page layout. To do this we simply need to amend the user’s role (using PFCG) and add a new web dynpro application to it. This new application will be identical to the standard ‘Create Forwarding Order’ one, with one difference: It needs to have the parameter FAST_ENTRY as X, as shown below.

3 - PFCG change

Don’t bother looking for that parameter, you won’t find it –so just type it in (thanks to Dragos from SAP for providing this crucial piece of information). Also, I have not looked at the code, but I’m guessing that it is picking up the ‘Land’ fast order page layout, because the transportation mode is ‘road’ (if anyone wants to confirm?).

So let’s see how my role looks like now in NWBC. Not too shabby – my ‘Create Forwarding Order (fast)’ option is available.

4 - role change

And if I execute the web dynpro application, this is what I see.

OK - but not great

This is better – now it’s all on one screen (this is the standard page layout) but it’s still not great:

  • There is some information that I see but don’t want to have on this screen (to resolve this we’ll do some screen customising)
  • There is some information that I don’t see but want to have on the screen (to resolve this we will add a UIBB to our layout).

This is better explained in the diagram below. The green areas represents block of information that I want to totally or partially remove. The orange blocks represent information that is missing, namely the postal address information.

ScreenShot016

Screen customisation

Ok, so let’s worry about the next part –getting rid of what we do not want to see. This is something similar to what I explained in the first post on tailoring the UI, except that here what I want to do is called customising. I.e it has to apply to everyone, not just me.  For that to happen, I need to get in the UI customisation mode of the forwarding order page layout I want to customise. In order to do so, all I have to do, is append the URL of my browser screen with the following parameters ‘sap-config-mode=X’ (the value CONFIG will bring you to configuration – which is considered a change). You’ll know you are in that mode because an orange/yellow strip will be displayed clearly stating Customizing mode (as show below).

6 - custo mode x

I will digress for  a moment and give you a couple of tips:

  • To perform screen customising, launch the transaction you want to customise from the SAP GUI, not NWBC
  • If you are going to be doing a lot of customising you can set the parameter FPM_CONFIG_EXPERT to ‘A’ in your user profile (you’ll then be able to invoke that mode directly from the screen you are in). If you set that same parameter to ‘X’, you will default the mode to be ‘Configuration’.

All right, picking up where we left off – you are now in customising mode. In order to remove a field from the screen, position the cursor on that field, right click and select the menu option ‘Settings for Current Configuration’.

9 - setting for current config

A popup will appear showing numerous options. Select the radio button ‘Invisible’ to hide the selected field from the screen.

11 - to invisible

Repeat this procedure for all the other fields or blocks you want to remove and record your changes in a transport of course. At this stage, everything I do not want to see has been removed. We can move on to the next step.

Adding a UIBB

Now that I’ve taken care of the fields I did not want to see,  I need to attend to those I want to see. As it stands my layout allows me to indicate start and end locations only. However, I also need to be able to capture complete postal addresses (that do not exist in the system at the time of order entry) – and if SAP could also add the possibility to capture the location name of the one-time address that would be greatly appreciated too.

To achieve this I will add an UIBB (User Interface Building Block) to my layout. To be able to do this select the appropriate icon as shown below.

11 show - custo

This will launch a new screen titled ‘Component customising….’.  Make sure you have selected the correct page type (the one you want to customise), then in the overview page schema add the UIBB component  you need. In my case I’ve added a Form component and assigned the ‘/SCMTMS/WDCC_FWM_ROOTLOC’ configuration to it.

13 - ad aUIBB

That’s it. All the elements I need are now in my screen.

Further UI changes

I am not going to go into this time, but just know that you also have the ability to totally revamp the positioning of your objects. A very easy drag and drop environment is at your disposal to move elements where you want them (maybe that’ll be another post).

drag drop environm

Whilst these tools are great, just be careful to not overdo it and make sure what you do is done so to embrace user interaction and productivity.