SAP Unveils GUI Machine

Development tool geared toward business analysts rather than developers.

Composition, not coding: thats the message behind SAPs newest development tool, code-named GUI Machine.

Introduced at this years Tech Ed developers conference in Las Vegas, the Graphical User Interface Machine, scheduled for release in the next couple of months, is a development tool geared toward business analysts rather than developers.

Using GUI Machine, business users have the ability to develop so-called iViews—portal windows into SAP applications that describe a specific process, like sales orders outstanding—using a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface.

Essentially, GUI Machine provides a tool that is preloaded with SAPs BAPIs, or Business APIs, which enables users to pull information from backend systems. With a GUI interface on the front end, users can drag and drop components into the iView framework.

Once the iView is built, users can test it, run quality assurance, print documentation and deploy it.

The end result, according to SAP officials, is content that previously required an experienced Java developer and took several days to transform into an iView can now be transformed in minutes by a much less skilled person.

The process for creating an iView is fairly straightforward. Users search for data objects the likes of BAPIs to display and update the information requested. The UI logic is then built using existing UI controls, flow controls and data operators to define eventing between different objects. Finally, users create a layout that is available in either SAPs Web Dynpro or Microsoft Corp.s .Net runtime environments.

The plan for GUI Machine is that it will eventually be part of SAPs NetWeaver Developer Studio.

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