ABAP Web Dynpro – File Download SNAFU

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Well, I just spent the better part of 20 hours hacking out my latest issue.  In my Rapier web application, one of the cool features I provide is the ability to download an output document from SAP.  Say for example, a quotation or order confirmation.  Well, I was using some fancy trick that converts the spool to PDF, then using the UI Element File Download.  Everything was great in testing.  No problems.  Then a couple weeks ago, I started updating all my documentation.  I came to do a screen shot of this and it it came out in jiberish.  It happened that I was using Firefox.  I tried it, and it worked fine on Internet Explorer, but all the other browsers displayed the text, instead of the pdf…  WTF!!!

So I did my due diligence, and hunted Google long and hard, hoping for a clue.  Nothing jumped out at me.  So, I then applied the latest support packs to my system.  No change.  Then I thought, maybe the kernel needs an update…  no change…  crap.  That burned through a lot of hours in SGEN time, downloading files, system down time, etc…  all for nothing (well, not nothing, but not the result I wanted).

Finally, last night, I decided to look at the UI Element itself, and what I was mapping to it.  I turned out, I was mapping a blank value to MIME_TYPE.  Interestingly, IE was smart enough to recognize the PDF, but none of the other browsers were.  Since all my dev work was on IE, and much of my testing as well, I missed this little fact.  As soon as I added application/pdf to that field…  magically, it began working on all my browsers again.  Woohoo!!!

Now, I hope you can learn from me again… first off, test your WDP on multiple browsers, unless you know you’re only going to support one browser.  This can’t be done in a customer facing application.  Second, MIME_TYPE makes all the difference.  It explicitly tells the system how to render the file.  Don’t take it for granted.

Thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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