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How To... Integrate Visual Composer Applications and BEx Web Templates

1 Scenario

Due to the wide variety of tools available in SAP NetWeaver 2004s, integration between applications becomes increasingly important. This paper shows how to build web applications utilizing both Visual Composer and Web Applications built with the Web Application Designer and demonstrates how to make these applications communicate with each other in one coherent framework.

2 Introduction

As of SAP NetWeaver 2004s SPS07, the Adobe Flash runtime within Visual Composer utilizes portal eventing capabilities. Web Applications within the Web Application Designer can raise events to communicate with Visual Composer. In addition, Visual Composer can raise events to communicate with the Web Application Designer. For example, you can build one web dashboard with iViews from Visual Composer and iViews from the Web Application Designer, and pass filter values and navigation states back and forth between these applications. This communication will be transparent to the end user.

The benefits of this communication include being able to modularize and reuse components, both within the Web Application Designer and within Visual Composer. You can build one iView in your portal which has all your runtime variables (dropdown lists that set filters). These will apply globally to all your Visual Composer models, BI Web Applications, .NET Applications, JSP's, BSPs, etc... and you can navigate between multiple applications without losing your runtime variables.

3 Prerequisites

Ensure that your BI System is connected to your Enterprise Portal and has a system alias defined.

Visual Composer must be on SAP NetWeaver 2004s SP7 or higher.

Your client side browser is Internet Explorer 6.0 or above. This solution utilizes ActiveX which isn't supported in browsers outside of Internet Explorer.

4 Step by step

4.1 Sending Events from Visual Composer to Web Application Designer

This scenario will describe how to set filters within Visual Composer using a dropdown list within a form. These dropdown list values will be applied to your Web Application Designer report as well. The example that is created by this exercise demonstrates how to create a dropdown list for Calendar Year within the Web Application Designer. Your Visual Composer application will be filtered by the value selected from the BI Web Application.

1. Create a New Model within VC.

2. Drag and drop an iView within your model and name iView "VC_Sender".

3. Drag and drop a form within your model and name this form "Selection".

4. Add a dropdown list within your form and name this field "0CALYEAR". Keep in mind that fields cannot start with "0" within VC and the field will automatically be renamed to "F0CALYEAR".

5. Specify either a static or dynamic dropdown list in the properties of this object.

6. Add a Submit button to your form.

7. Add a Signal out item and make sure the name is "Filter1" and the namespace is specified to "com.sap.vc:epcm". This is very important!!!

8. Add the field "0CALYEAR" to your signal out.

9. Connect your "Selection" form with the "Filter1" signal out...

10. Update the properties of the submit button to call custom action "evt1".

11. Adjust the layout of your VC Model.

12. Save and Deploy your model.

13. Launch the Web Application Designer (3.x) and build a web template that listens to this event and calls the web api based on this event.

See the Java Script code to the right. This javascript function is subscribing to an event and using the Web API to filter to the value it receives from the event. The javascript function is converting the event specified in Filter1 to an xml document. We are reading the value in the xml document into the web api filter. See the Appendix for details on the format in which the event is received from Visual Composer Applications.

<!-- BW data source object tags -->
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_DATA_PROVIDER"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="QUERY" value="PM_DX_C01_1"/>
         <param name="INFOCUBE" value="0D_DX_C01"/>
         DATA_PROVIDER:             DATAPROVIDER_1
</object>

<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_PROPERTIES"/>
         <param name="TEMPLATE_ID" value="ZPD_RECEIVER_VC_01"/>
         TEMPLATE PROPERTIES
</object>

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META NAME="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft DHTML Editing Control">
<TITLE>BW Web Application</TITLE>
      <link href="/sap/bw/Mime/BEx/StyleSheets/BWReports.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
Java Script Code
<script language=javascript>
  var xmldoc;

function load(xmlFile)
{
   // code for IE
   if (window.ActiveXObject)
   {
     xmldoc = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.DOMDocument.3.0");
     xmldoc.loadXML(xmlFile);
   }
   else
   {
      alert('Your browser cannot handle this script');
   }
}

      EPCMPROXY.subscribeEvent( "urn:com.sap.vc:epcm",  "Filter1", window, "myreceiveEvent");
      function myreceiveEvent( eventObj ) {
                values = eventObj.dataObject;
                unesc_val = unescape(values);
                load(unesc_val);
                values = xmldoc.getElementsByTagName("Row").item(0).getAttribute("F0CALYEAR");
 	var url = location.protocol +"//"+location.host+SAP_BW_URL_Get()
                      url = url + "&data_provider=*&multi=X&FILTER_IOBJNM=0CALYEAR&FILTER_VALUE=" + values +"&filter_collapse=";
                       SAPBWOpenURL(url);
                      }
</script>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P><object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="GET_ITEM"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="TABLE_1"/>
         <param name="ITEM_CLASS" value="CL_RSR_WWW_ITEM_GRID"/>
         <param name="DATA_PROVIDER" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         ITEM:            TABLE_1
</object></P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

14. Build an iView for your BI Web Application.

15. Build a page on the Portal using delta link iViews. Ensure that the Visual Composer iView and your Web Application Designer iView are in this page. Save the page.

16. Now your parameters are being passed from VC to your web application!!! Keep in mind that this example is just passing one parameter. You can pass multiple values across from Visual Composer to your Web Application on a single signal out. This is demonstrated later in this paper.

4.2 Sending Events from Web Application Designer to Visual Composer

1. Launch the Web Application Designer (3.x) and build a web template that sends an event to Visual Composer.

NOTE: This event is named "Filter1" and needs to be named the same event within Visual Composer. Also, make sure the field specified in extvalue to the right is the field within Visual Composer's Signal In...

See the code to the right. This javascript function is sending an event and the format is specified in the format needed for Visual Composer Applications. This is being set by the dropdown list for 0CALYEAR.

<!-- BW data source object tags -->
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_DATA_PROVIDER"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="QUERY" value="PM_DX_C01_1"/>
         <param name="INFOCUBE" value="0D_DX_C01"/>
         DATA_PROVIDER:             DATAPROVIDER_1
</object>

<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_PROPERTIES"/>
         <param name="TEMPLATE_ID" value="ZPD_SENDER_WAD_01"/>
         TEMPLATE PROPERTIES
</object>

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META NAME="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft DHTML Editing Control">
<TITLE>BW Web Application</TITLE>
      <link href="/sap/bw/Mime/BEx/StyleSheets/BWReports.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
Javascript function
<script language=javascript>
<!--
            function raiseEvents(value) {
                extvalue = "<Params version='2' ><Row F0CALYEAR='" + value + "' /></Params>";
	EPCMPROXY.raiseEvent( "urn:com.sap.vc:epcm", "Filter1", extvalue, null );
      }
-->
</script>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width="75%" border=0>

  <TR>
    <TD vAlign=top>
<form name="myform">
<select name="myselect" size="1"
onchange="raiseEvents(document.myform.myselect.options[document.myform.myselect.selectedIndex].value);">
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="GET_ITEM"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DROPDOWNBOX_1"/>
         <param name="ITEM_CLASS" value="CL_RSR_WWW_ITEM_FILTER_DDOWN"/>
         <param name="DATA_PROVIDER" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="GENERATE_CAPTION" value=""/>
         <param name="IOBJNM" value="0CALYEAR"/>
         <param name="ONLY_VALUES" value="X"/>
         ITEM:            DROPDOWNBOX_1
</object>
</select>
</form>
</TD></TR>
  <TR>
    <TD vAlign=top></TD></TR></TABLE></P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

2. Create a new model within VC.

3. Drag and drop an iView within your model and name iView "VC_RECEIVER".

4. Add a signal in called "Filter1" on namepace "com.sap.vc:epcm"

5. Add a field called "0CALYEAR" to your signal in.

6. Add a data service that you want to pass this filter to...

7. Connect the input signal to your data service and specify the mapping for the field you added.

8. Add a table to display the results of the data service and specify your fields within the table.

9. Add a start point to your model.

10. Save and deploy your model.

11. Build an iView for your BI Web Application.

12. Build a page on the Portal using delta link iViews. Ensure that the Visual Composer iView and your Web Application Designer iView are in this page. Save the page.

13. Now your parameters are being passed from Web Application Designer to your Visual Composer application!!! Keep in mind that this example is just passing one parameter. You can pass multiple values across from Web Application Designer to Visual Composer on a single signal out.

4.3 Dynamic Events from Visual Composer to Web Application Designer

This solution using javascript within the Web Application Designer to read all filter values passed from Visual Composer and dynamically builds the web api string for filtering. This requires your Visual Composer to name your objects on your signal out with the technical name of the infoobjects you want to filter on. The Web Application Designer will read this metadata to generate the web api for filtering.

1. Create a New Model within VC.

2. Drag and drop an iView within your model and name iView "VC_SENDER".

3. Drag and drop a form within your model and name this form "Selection".

4. Add three fields that are defined off of dropdown lists based off either static or dynamic entry lists (could be based off characteristic).

5. Add a Submit button to your form.

6. Add a Signal out item and make sure the name is "Filter1" and the namespace is specified to "com.sap.vc:epcm". This is very important!

7. Add your three fields to the output signal. Make sure these fields are named after the technical name of an infoobject. Also, keep in mind that objects that start with zero automatically have the character "F" added to the front.

8. Connect your "Selection" form with the "Filter1" signal out... Ensure that the mapping is done.

9. Update the properties of the submit button to call custom action "evt1".

10. Adjust the layout of your VC Model.

11. Save and Deploy your model.

12. Launch the Web Application Designer (3.x) and build a web template that listens to this event and calls the web API based on this event.

NOTE: This code doesn't deal with removing of filters or choosing the "all" value in a dropdown. This will need to be added... This will be based upon what your value for "All" is defined as in your entry list within Visual Composer.

See the javascript function to the right. This is subscribing to an event and using the Web API to filter to the value it receives from the event. The javascript function is receiving the value specified in Filter1 through an xml document. See the Appendix for details on the format in which the event is received from Visual Composer Applications.

Keep in mind that this requires that Visual Composer names the fields based on infoobject technical names in your output signal from Visual Composer.

<!-- BW data source object tags -->
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_DATA_PROVIDER"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="QUERY" value="PM_DX_C01_1"/>
         <param name="INFOCUBE" value="0D_DX_C01"/>
         DATA_PROVIDER:             DATAPROVIDER_1
</object>

<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_PROPERTIES"/>
         <param name="TEMPLATE_ID" value="ZPD_RECEIVER_VC_02"/>
         TEMPLATE PROPERTIES
</object>

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META NAME="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft DHTML Editing Control">
<TITLE>BW Web Application</TITLE>
      <link href="/sap/bw/Mime/BEx/StyleSheets/BWReports.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
Javascript function
<script language=javascript>
var xmldoc;

function load(xmlFile)
{
   // code for IE
   if (window.ActiveXObject)
   {
     xmldoc = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.DOMDocument.3.0");
     xmldoc.loadXML(xmlFile);
   }
   else
   {
      alert('Your browser cannot handle this script');
   }
}
EPCMPROXY.subscribeEvent( "urn:com.sap.vc:epcm",  "Filter1", window, "myreceiveEvent");

function myreceiveEvent( eventObj )
{
   values = eventObj.dataObject;
   unesc_val = unescape(values);
   load(unesc_val);
   len_val = xmldoc.getElementsByTagName("Row").item(0).attributes.length;
   var valueArray = new Array();
   valueArray = xmldoc.getElementsByTagName("Row").item(0).attributes;
   var append_url = "";
   var j = 1;
   for(i = 0; i < len_val; i++)
   {
      tempArr1 = valueArray[i].xml.split('=');
      IOBJ = tempArr1[0];
      VAL = xmldoc.getElementsByTagName("Row").item(0).getAttribute(IOBJ);

      if (IOBJ.charAt(0) == 'F')
      {
         IOBJ = IOBJ.substring(1, IOBJ.length);
      }
      if (VAL != "")
      {
         append_url = append_url + "&FILTER_IOBJNM_" + j + "=" + IOBJ + "&FILTER_VALUE_" + j + "=" + VAL;
         j++;
      }
   }
   var url = location.protocol +"//"+location.host+SAP_BW_URL_Get()
   url = url + "&data_provider=*&multi=X" + append_url +"&filter_collapse=";
   SAPBWOpenURL(url);
}
</script>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P><object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="GET_ITEM"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="TABLE_1"/>
         <param name="ITEM_CLASS" value="CL_RSR_WWW_ITEM_GRID"/>
         <param name="DATA_PROVIDER" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         ITEM:            TABLE_1
</object></P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

13. Build an iView for your BI Web Application.

14. Build a page on the Portal using delta link iViews. Ensure that the Visual Composer iView and your Web Application Designer iView are in this page. Save the page.

15. Now your parameters are being passed from VC to your web application!!! This example is passing multiple values across from Visual Composer to your Web Application on a single signal out.

4.4 Modularize Web Application Development with eventing between multiple web templates

1. Launch the Web Application Designer (3.x) and build a web template that sends events.

See the highlighted code to the right. This javascript function is raising an event and passing a value from the dropdown for 0CALYEAR to this event. The javascript function is parsing out the exact values from the event specified in Filter1.

<!-- BW data source object tags -->
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_DATA_PROVIDER"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="QUERY" value="PM_DX_C01_1"/>
         <param name="INFOCUBE" value="0D_DX_C01"/>
         DATA_PROVIDER:             DATAPROVIDER_1
</object>

<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_PROPERTIES"/>
         <param name="TEMPLATE_ID" value="ZPD_SENDER_WAD_01"/>
         TEMPLATE PROPERTIES
</object>

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META NAME="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft DHTML Editing Control">
<TITLE>BW Web Application</TITLE>
      <link href="/sap/bw/Mime/BEx/StyleSheets/BWReports.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
Javascript function
<script language=javascript>
            function raiseEvents(value) {
	EPCMPROXY.raiseEvent( "urn:com.sap.vc:epcm", "Filter1", value, null );
      }
</script>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width="75%" border=0>

  <TR>
    <TD vAlign=top>
<form name="myform">
<select name="myselect" size="1" onchange="raiseEvents(document.myform.myselect.options[document.myform.myselect.selectedIndex].value);">
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="GET_ITEM"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DROPDOWNBOX_1"/>
         <param name="ITEM_CLASS" value="CL_RSR_WWW_ITEM_FILTER_DDOWN"/>
         <param name="DATA_PROVIDER" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="GENERATE_CAPTION" value=""/>
         <param name="IOBJNM" value="0CALYEAR"/>
         <param name="ONLY_VALUES" value="X"/>
         ITEM:            DROPDOWNBOX_1
</object>
</select>
</form>
</TD></TR>
  <TR>
    <TD vAlign=top></TD></TR></TABLE></P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

2. Build a web template within the web application designer that listens to events broadcast by the template built in step 1.

See the javascript function to the right is subscribing to an event and using the Web API to filter to the value it receives from the event. Since the format being passed in on the event is the exact value, we can pass this value directly into the Web API command.

<!-- BW data source object tags -->
<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_DATA_PROVIDER"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         <param name="QUERY" value="PM_DX_C01_1"/>
         <param name="INFOCUBE" value="0D_DX_C01"/>
         DATA_PROVIDER:             DATAPROVIDER_1
</object>

<object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="SET_PROPERTIES"/>
         <param name="TEMPLATE_ID" value="ZPD_RECEIVER_WAD_01"/>
         TEMPLATE PROPERTIES
</object>
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META NAME="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft DHTML Editing Control">
<TITLE>BW Web Application</TITLE>
      <link href="/sap/bw/Mime/BEx/StyleSheets/BWReports.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
Javascript function
<script language=javascript>
  EPCMPROXY.subscribeEvent( "urn:com.sap.vc:epcm",  "Filter1", window, "myreceiveEvent");
  function myreceiveEvent( eventObj ) {
    values = eventObj.dataObject;
    var url = location.protocol +"//"+location.host+SAP_BW_URL_Get()
    url = url + "&data_provider=*&multi=X&FILTER_IOBJNM=0CALYEAR&FILTER_VALUE=" +values +"&filter_collapse=";
    SAPBWOpenURL(url);
  }
</script>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P><object>
         <param name="OWNER" value="SAP_BW"/>
         <param name="CMD" value="GET_ITEM"/>
         <param name="NAME" value="TABLE_1"/>
         <param name="ITEM_CLASS" value="CL_RSR_WWW_ITEM_GRID"/>
         <param name="DATA_PROVIDER" value="DATAPROVIDER_1"/>
         ITEM:            TABLE_1
</object></P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

3. Build iViews for each of your BI Web Applications.

4. Build a page on the Portal using delta link iViews. Ensure that both Web Application Designer iViews are in this page. Save the page.

5. Now your parameters are being passed from your BI web applications!!! This will help for building web applications with very modular pieces. For example, this top iView can set the Fiscal Year Filter for all iViews in your web application. If you navigate to new reports, they will also be updated with this filter and this filter will not be reset!

4.5 Modularize Visual Composer Development with eventing between multiple Visual Composer applications!

1. Create a New Model within VC.

2. Drag and drop an iView within your model and name iView "VC_Sender".

3. Drag and drop a form within your model and name this form "Selection".

4. Add a dropdown list within your form and name this field "0CALYEAR". Keep in mind that fields cannot start with "0" within VC and the field will automatically be renamed to "F0CALYEAR".

5. Specify either a static or dynamic dropdown list in the properties of this object.

6. Add a Submit button to your form.

7. Add a Signal out item and make sure the name is "Filter1" and the namespace is specified to "com.sap.vc:epcm". This is very important!

8. Add the field "0CALYEAR" to your signal out.

9. Connect your "Selection" form with the "Filter1" signal out...

10. Update the properties of the submit button to call custom action "evt1".

11. Adjust the layout of your VC Model.

12. Save and Deploy your model.

13. Create a new model within VC.

14. Drag and drop an iView within your model and name iView "VC_RECEIVER".

15. Add a signal in called "Filter1" on namepace "com.sap.vc:epcm"

16. Add a field called "0CALYEAR" to your signal in.

17. Add a data service that you want to pass this filter to...

18. Connect the input signal to your data service and specify the mapping for the field you added.

19. Add a table to display the results of the data service and specify your fields within the table.

20. Add a start point to your model.

21. Save and deploy your model.

22. Build a portal page that has both of these iViews.

23. Run your Portal Page and see the modular components!

1 Comment

  1. Former Member

    This is an excellent example of the power of the Portal/VC/BI and how they can all be "married" together to produce a great application.  The possibilities are endless...and quite simple to develop, which is the most powerful part.