SAP web application



  • I have been frustrated over the last couple of years by an SAP web interface for people to enter timesheets so we can bill clients appropriately.  Problems with the interface:

    1. Renders differently on different browsers.  They recommend IE6 but of course the company upgraded us all to IE7.  And in Firefox and Opera it's a bit of a mess.
    2. The HTML uses all of the following technologies: Frames, CSS, HTML tables and forms and Javascript.  But no AJAX asynchronous updates, typeaheads, or lookups.
    3. The lookup feature to find a contract / charge number is useless.  You had better know your 14 digit charge code or else 
    4. On one page you need to select who will approve your timesheet.  You can pick one person.  The app then copies that person's ID number into the approver field for ALL the rows on the timesheet.  However, when you are on the timesheet page, you can manually edit the approver ID to make them different people for each row.  Of course, if you do that you get a nasty error message back from the server when you submit the form, making you start over from the beginning.
    5. Additionally, the use of frames and the bad stylesheet means that you have to scroll the browser window both down and too the right to get to the scroll bars on the frames, so you can scroll down and to the right on the frame in order to fill in the timesheet.  And that's on a monitor running at 1600x1200 resolution.  And it's a little font - there is LOTS of whitespace on the screen.
    Fun, fun, fun.

     



  •  Is that your first encounter with an SAP app? To my knowledge, that is fairly standard for them.



  • html tables. the cutting edge of technology.



  • @TechnicalBard said:

    The HTML uses all of the following technologies: Frames, CSS, HTML tables and forms and Javascript.  But no AJAX asynchronous updates, typeaheads, or lookups.
    With the exception of frames, that's pretty par for the course, really. Hell, the page I'm composing this reply on uses CSS, HTML tables, forms, and javascript. You'd be hard pressed to find any web application that doesn't.

    If you include iframes in your definition of "frames", then there are plenty of sites that use all the technologies you listed, including ajax. Iframes are frequently used for advertising, if nothing else.



  • We use OracleApps here. Not much better.



  • @TechnicalBard said:

    Renders differently on different browsers.  They recommend IE6 but of course the company upgraded us all to IE7.  And in Firefox and Opera it's a bit of a mess.

    But "everybody knows" that SAP doesn't work in IE7.  Some of the native SAP screens use an embedded/inline browser and they simply cannot be displayed if you have IE7 installed.

    I hate the standard screens (and I hate that they are called "transactions") because they tried to create their own user interface.  Experienced and inexperienced Windows users will always click on the wrong button just trying to use the scrollbar.  SAP makes use of the standard ctrl-C and ctrl-V copy and paste, but ignores (the even older standard) shift-insert key combination for paste.  [However the embedded-browser screens do allow this.]

    There's function keys and keyboard shortcuts for everything, since it's intended as a major data-entry system used for long periods by experienced users.  Until you get a pop-up confirmation such as "Successfully posted transaction." There's no keyboard command I can find that will make it go a way.  Enter, "Y", "J", Esc, nothing works.  You have to take your hand off the keyboard and use the mouse to confirm the interruption in your concentration.



  •  I had a fun SAP experience yesterday.  I had to select a WBS element to charge an expense to, but I had to copy the right one from another page in the system (since the 'helpful' "My WBS Elements" box was not populated).  To do this I had to leave the expenses screen since the system can only have a single page open at a time, and I didn't know what I was looking for until after opening the expenses page.  Once I returned to the expenses page, I attempted to enter the WBS element data immediately to avoid having to re-enter other data (again) in the event that I did not have the right WBS information on the clipboard.  Unfortunately, the system can not handle changing the cost code until I have entered the start and end dates of the trip (even though they are both on the same page and nothing is submitted to the server yet).  So I dutifully tried to enter the dates, and was prevented several times by the 'helpful' "Enter Start Date!" information box kept popping up and killing the date-selection calendar.  Argh!  At least it did eventually work (I think) and nothing terrible occured.

    Fortunately this is the first time I've had to do this since the system went live in July (I don't make many business trips).



  • So you're at PwC too, then?



  • If you like crazy web interfaces, you should try Whizible...




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