Month: March 2013

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Any Questions out there???

From time to time, even the best of us run out of good things to blog about (and for the recommend, when it comes to blogging, I’m far from the best.  ha ha ha).

So, this is my request to out to any of you that read this frequently for some ideas.  What would you like to know more about?
is there something SM related that you would like me to talk about?
How Variant Config?
BSP?ABAP Web Dynpro???

I can’t promise I have all the answers, but if there’s a topic out there you want to know more about, I’d love to hear about it, and I’ll do my best to pull together some useful info…

Thanks in advance for you help, and I hope I can bring you the info you  need…

Web Dynpro – Changing Dynamic Table Header

Well, this strangely was a lot tougher than I expected.  I just wanted the ability to change the column headers based on my own descriptions (or perhaps by language).  Dynamic table header changes took more research than I originally expected, so here’s what I found…  Hope if can help you…

*** get the reference to your table
l_table ?= view->get_element( ID = ‘TB_XXX’ ).
*** get all of the columns so you can name them as you like
lt_cols = l_table->get_columns( ).
LOOP AT lt_cols into wa_cols.
*** Get the text you want to add to the column headings and assign to lv_col_text
lv_col_fld = “column name”.
l_col_hdr = wa_cols->get_header( ).
l_col_hdr->set_text( lv_col_text ).
wa_cols->set_header( l_col_hdr ).

Happy coding =)

Web Dynpro – Creating a Dynamic Table

I hope you’re not getting tired of Web Dynpro.  I will get back to the function SM and VC stuff soon, but lately I’ve been consumed with converting my Rapier product to ABAP Web Dynpro, so as you can guess, that’s where all of my fun learning experiences have been.  For those you tired of this, I promise to be back in functional side again soon.  I’m not finished with my conversion, so that means its time to add new functionality…  Today it’s creating a dynamic table.  For everyone else, I hope you find this useful 🙂

So, to set the stage, a lot of the Rapier functionality is based on dynamic tables.  The idea is that you can define how you want your input and output fields to work.  That means, I needed to be able to build a dynamic table.  I had to a lot of online hunting to pull all this together, but finally got it working how I wanted.  Thought I’d share this with y’all.

I implemented all of this in the wdomodifyview method.

*** Coding for Dynamic Table
DATA: lt_col TYPE cl_abap_structdescr=>component_table,
col like LINE OF lt_col,
struct_type TYPE REF TO cl_abap_structdescr,
table_type TYPE REF TO cl_abap_tabledescr,
node_info TYPE REF TO if_wd_context_node_info,
node TYPE REF TO if_wd_context_node,
tab_XXX TYPE REF TO data,
row_XXX TYPE REF TO data,
l_root TYPE REF TO cl_wd_uielement_container,
l_node TYPE REF TO if_wd_context_node,
l_table TYPE REF TO cl_wd_table,
lv_col_text TYPE string,
lv_col_fld TYPE string.
data: lv_image TYPE REF TO cl_wd_image.
data: nd type ref to if_wd_context_node,
data: n type i,
idx TYPE i.
FIELD-SYMBOLS: <table> TYPE table,
<row> TYPE data,
<fs_col> TYPE any,
<fs_col2> TYPE any.

*** build table columns
loop at XXX into wa_XXX where visible = ‘X’.
col-name = “anything”.
*** note, if you use describe_by_name, LV_COL_FIELD must be a table-fieldname combination,
*** then the method will find the data type.  I wasn’t able to find any way to just enter in the date
*** type.
col-type ?= cl_abap_datadescr=>describe_by_name( LV_COL_FLD ).
append col to lt_col.

*** build dynamic structure
struct_type = cl_abap_structdescr=>create( lt_col ).
*** returns meta information about the node
CALL METHOD wd_context->get_node_info
node_info = node_info.

*** this simply checks to see if the node already exists to stop potential short dumps.  This is
***important depending on where you implement this code, and if it runs multiple times.
nd_list = wd_context->get_child_nodes(  ).
if sy-subrc <> 0.
*** creates info object and adds it as a lower level node      CALL METHOD node_info->add_new_child_node(
name = ‘XXX’
static_element_rtti = struct_type
is_static = abap_false
child_node_info = node_info ).
*** child node of lead selection or specific index
CALL METHOD wd_context->get_child_node
name       = ‘XXX’
child_node = node.
clear n.
n = node->get_element_count( ).
if n = 0.
*** Return RTTI object for sturcture type of static attributes
CALL METHOD node_info->get_static_attributes_type
rtti = struct_type.

*** now you have all of the context nodes created…  next up, creating the table.
*** create table
table_type = cl_abap_tabledescr=>create( p_line_type = struct_type ).
FREE tab_xxx.
CREATE DATA tab_xxx TYPE HANDLE table_type.
ASSIGN tab_xxx->* to <table>.
refresh <table>.

*** create lines
FREE row_configequiphis.
CREATE DATA row_xxx TYPE HANDLE struct_type.
ASSIGN row_xxx->* to <row>.

*** populate the values for the table.  Don’t worry too much about this implementation.  This is
***uses dynamic tables to populate the structure.  What you need to do is populate all of your
***rows and columns to make a table that will be bound to your new table.
LOOP AT wd_this->it_xxx INTO wa_xxx.
loop at wd_this->it_xxx into wa_xxx.
ASSIGN COMPONENT wa_xxx-yyy OF STRUCTURE <row> to <fs_col>.
if sy-subrc = 0.
ASSIGN COMPONENT wa_xxx-yyy OF STRUCTURE wa_xxx to <fs_col2>.
if sy-subrc = 0.
<fs_col> = <fs_col2>.
APPEND <row> to <table>.

*** bind the table
node->bind_table( new_items = <table>
set_initial_elements = abap_true ).

*** build table
l_root ?= view->get_element( ‘TC_TABLE’ ).
l_node ?= wd_context->get_child_node( ‘XXX’ ).

ui_parent = l_root
table_id = ‘TB_TABLE’
node = l_node ).

There’s all the magic.  It’s as simple as creating the nodes, populating those nodes, and then binding them to the table.  Sounds easy right???  as you can see from the code above, it was a lot more complex than I imagined.  Hope this makes life easier for you.


Business – Keeping Pace with Hardware Demands

Now, with any small business, you understand that budgets are limited.  So we can’t afford to have a full server rack, or hundreds of TB’s of storage space.  So that means, we have to grow within our means, and still keep things  running smoothly.  Hardware may be getting cheaper, but it’s still an expense that a small business has to take seriously.

Here’s some tricks you can use to keep your organization running swiftly, but cheaply.

1.  I’ve already mentioned this one, but use virtual servers as your computer systems.  They are easy to replicate, using oracle’s tool it is free, and best of all, it is easy to backup.

2.  Re-use your old machines.  In my line of work, being a consultant means having a decent laptop, and you can’t let it get too old.  Typically, I can get 2 – 3 years out of a laptop.  That means that the old laptop still works.  If you need to, add a simple upgrade of additional memory, and you can use it as another machine to run a virtual machine from.

3.  External HDD.  These are getting cheap enough to get 3 TB for less than $125.  For me, the typical SAP system takes 200 – 300 GB.  That means in a 3TB drive, I can at least 10 systems and leave some room for growth.

5.  Multiple HDD’s.  In my previous post, I’ve talked about the importance of backup up your data.  This means multiple HDD’s so you have redundancy.

6.  The cloud.  I know, it’s this mystical catchall that now runs the world…  but using simple free tools like dropbox, give you a place to put your data that is off site.  I still encourage you keep local copies, but this gives you one more place to keep your data safe.  You can also use paid services to give you far more storage space.

7.  Good internet.  Make sure you either have the fastest wireless plan, or if you’re loaded, you can get a T1 line installed.  The point is, you need a fast connection if you do anything online.  For me, I’m building web apps, so if i want to demo them, I need a solid connection.

All this being said…  don’t grow beyond your means.  There’s time… if your idea is as good as you think it is, you can slowly grow it.  Hope this gives you some direction.


Web Dynpro – Logoff Button

This one turned out to be pretty easy, but it sure did take some effort to get to that point…  I guess that’s the irony of it all.  ha ha ha.  So, here was my goal.  I have a web dynpro application that uses a generic user to login as the default.  Then you login with an internet user.  Now the trick that had me stumped for a while was how do I log off the internet user, and reset the application back to the initial login screen the default user.  So this is my solution for creating a logoff button that would reset the transaction back to my original internet user.

I’m sure this sounds easy to any of you Web Dynpro experts out there, but it had me hunting through textbooks, google and my few Web Dynpro contacts.  Finally came up with the trick…  so here you go.

First, in your main window, you need to create an outbound exit plug.  Be sure to give it a parameter of URL.

I recommend setting a context element to hold the intial URL.  You’ll need it later.

Next, in the main view, give your button or however you want to execute the log off procedure.

Once you call the log off procedure, you simply need to take the initial URL and add ‘?logout_submit=true’ to the end.

Here’s an example:

CONCATENATE lv_e_url ‘?logout_submit=true’ INTO lv_e_url.
data: L_REF_MAIN_WINDOW type ref to IG_XXX.
L_REF_MAIN_WINDOW->fire_LOGOFF_EXIT_plg( URL = lv_e_url ).

Note:  XXX is the main window name.  LOGOFF_EXIT is the exit plug name.

See what I mean…  it really is that easy =)  good luck.



Conference Takeaways

After spending a week in Vegas at the SAP MFG conference, there were some very valuable takeaways for us.  The first thing for us was our booth.  We got all the basic pieces, but we found that we were missing some key things.

2013-03-04 14.36.34

The first thing you can probably notice from the picture is that we don’t have a good backdrop.  We have the plain black curtain, and unless someone is looking down, it’s not obvious who we are.  So that is the first piece.  Next step is to enhance our banners.  We need to add the SAP Partner logo, our own Logo, and the SAP Certified label.  We add that, and I think we will be well positioned for our next show.

The next thing, and I mentioned this in an early post is “swag”…  despite the fact that we got some solid leads at the conference, Mike and I both came to the conclusion that we still want to get the “list”.  If you give away things, people come to your booth.  Perhaps they even stay and talk to learn something about what we do.  It just seems worth the expense because getting a booth at a conference isn’t cheap, so it’s worth it to build the list.

One big take away was booth location.  Mike did an awesome job finding a great spot for us.  We learned that staying in the middle, near SAP is a great spot.  We also ended up right next to the food tables during the receptions.  That ended up being huge for us since we had several people stop by during the reception.

There were several other things we’ll consider in the future…  perhaps a monitor to show a running demo.  If you have any ideas or feedback of what we could enhance, I’d love to hear them.  This is a big learning experience for us, so we’d love to improve on our performance the next time around.  Thanks for reading.



Business – Finding your Passion

You know that old cliche about the person that never worked a day in their life, because they loved what they did so much, they never thought of it as work???  Well, that’s what everyone aspires to.  What I want to talk about today is using where you are and what you’re doing to find that passion, and more importantly fund it =)  Finding your passion needs to be goal number one.

A few years back, a good friend of mine, Jason Gylland, opened by eyes to some of the things going on right in front me, that many people never notice.  The biggest thing he explained to me is how our money can be printed out of thin air.  Initially, this scared me the *#$% out of me.  This simple little fact and the way our government just prints money whenever it feels like it, how put our nation on track for a crash that could be far worse than the great depression.  Why am I telling you all this on a business and technical website?  it’s because this fact helped me realize that what I love and what I”m good at is 2 things.  One, I like to prepare for things.  My wife always harassed me about the “family that lived in my trunk”.  By that she meant, I kept so many things like extra clothes, tools, granola bars, etc. that it seemed like someone must live in there. 🙂  it’s funny how I never really thought about, but I had always been prepping for the “just in case” things in life.  So you might ask, why spend all this time on building a business if I think the whole system is going to crash?  Simple.  No one knows when the crash will happen, just that eventually, it mathematically has to happen.  Second, prepping requires cash.  There things I want to build, food to build up, etc…

Now the second skill that i have is “digging”.  Especially when it comes to problems.  I am exceptionally good at going through a problem, or a computer system and finding the information or causes of a problem.  That’s what has lead to my success in SAP.  I”ve found that both of these skills have lead me to my passion…  quite unexpectedly I might add :).

What’s my point to all of this?  Find what you love.  You might not be lucky enough to do it for your career, but you can keep that passion alive by funding it.  No better way to do that than running your own business.  Hope this can inspire you the way my revelation of my passion re-inspired me =)


Marketing – Conference Swag, Yes or No?

After spending a week in Vegas at the SAP Manufacturing Conference, I’ve found that there are clearly 2 different ways of handling the vendor booth.  Swag or no Swag.

The first is “Swag”.  Now if you’re like me, the term Swag is new.  It simply means the toys, candy, or random cups that you collect from any vendor.  Now, having swag is great for attracting people.  Everyone comes around, allows you to scan their badge, and then takes their swag.  Scanning their badge gives you their email address and all the contact information.

The alternative is no “Swag”.  Now this means that only the people that are interested in what we have to offer will stop by our booth.

Now, the debate that I’ve been having in my head is… do we go for fully qualified leads…  or do we go to build the email list, hoping that the continuing emails we will send will ultimately lead to familiarity with our company, and perhaps get forwarded to someone that might actually buy our stuff…

so, with all that said, what’s your take???


ABAP – Suppressing BAPI Messages

I just learned a fun trick when using a BAPI.  I’ve been designing a dynpro transaction and I used a BAPI to pull some information.  What I discovered is that certain BAPI’s have some messages that automatically get displayed, and also caused a weird behavior of leaving the screen (without requesting it.  ha ha ha).  So today I talk about suppressing BAPI messages within a method or form.

Well, I learned a quick fix for this, when calling a function, add the DESTINATION = ‘NONE’.

this will suppress the messages of the BAPI, and just execute the data retrieval I was looking for.

This is a quick one…  I hope you find it useful.

Business – Saving for a Rainy Day

Well, I’ve now been blogging for  a while, so I’d like to let you in on a little more of what is really important to me, and why.  Perhaps you’ll find it’s important to you as well.  For those of you that know me, you probably already know how much I hate debt, and I’ve found that I do love what I do, at least the launching of my new business.  That’s why I started this crazy path that has connected me to many of you, and has given me more late nights of programming and blogging than I care to admit.  While I have yet to be able to fully transition to doing JaveLLin Solutions full time, I know it will happen soon.  This does mean that I’ll need a decent cash reserve.  Because when I move into my own business I will be working on more a milestone (also knows as feast or famine) mode.  =)  The only way to weather that is to have a solid cash reserve, preferably 3 – 6 months (minimum).

The second half of this equation is minimizing the amount I need to spend each month.  Hence the whole debt thing is REALLY bad.  Imagine you have $20,000 saved.  If you have monthly expenses of $2,000/month, then you have 10 months of savings.  However, if you have $5000 in expenses, you only have 4 months.  Needless to say, the math is pretty simple, minimize your expenses.  The easiest way to do this is eliminate your debt.  Get rid of the credit cards, car loan, mortgage, etc.

While there a lot of good reasons to get out of debt, this is the easiest math to present to you.  Given the state of our nation and out of control spending, the best thing everyone could do is live within their means and kill off all debt.  But perhaps I’ll go into that more another time…