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SAP Technical Delivery

Jude Lobo

Enterprise Portal Cookbook
(Overview & Architecture)

Author: Jude Lobo Page 1 02/09/02

Table Of Contents

Topics Page No.

1. Business Problem 3
1.1. Business Background 3
1.2. Business Scenario 3

2. Business Solution 4–5

2.1. Enterprise Portal 4
2.2. SAP Solution (mySAP.com Enterprise Portal 4
2.3. mySAP.com Enterprise Portal Component Functions 4
2.3.1. Portal Platform 5
2.3.2. Knowledge Management Platform 5
2.3.3. Business Information Warehouse Platform 5

3. MySAP.com Enterprise Portal 6 - 10

3.1. Architecture 6
3.1.1. Navigation Platform 7
3.1.2. Portal Platform 7 Middle Layer 7 Web server (IIS 5.0) 7 Page Builder 7 iViewServer 7 Persistent Layer 8 User Management 8 Corporate LDAP 8 Portal LDAP 8 Repository Database 9 SQL Database 9 Portal Content Directory 9
3.2. Information Flow in the mySAP.com Enterprise Portal 10
4. References 11

Author: Jude Lobo Page 2 02/09/02

Business Problem

1.1. Business Background

As businesses becomes more complex and diversified, the challenges of accessing relevant information
becomes more pronounced for the user while provision for the information becomes more difficult for the
organization. The business problems faced are as stated below
• More Business Information Sources
• Document Repositories
• Enterprise Applications
• Web Services
• More Systems
• BW
• KM
• More People
• Employees
• Partners
• Customers
• Stakeholders
• More Geographic Areas
• Multi Locations
• Multi Lingual Users

1.2. Business Scenario

B2E BP : Business to Employee, supporting the Business Processes that they perform
B2E SS : Business to Employee, providing Self Service facilities to employees, both within the
corporate LAN for those who have access to PCs, and externally through the firewall
for employees at home.
B2C SS/EC : Business to Customer supporting Self Service for such information as orders, invoices
etc, as well as providing E-Commerce capabilities to make business easier
B2S SS/MP : Business to Supplier, providing Self Service to encourage loyalty and collaboration, as
well as MarketPlace features to encourage competition between suppliers and raise the
standard for inventory supply and reduce prices
B2C : Business to consumer, usually a web site with personalisation, without the need for any
back-end connectivity

Author: Jude Lobo Page 3 02/09/02

Business Solution

2.1. Enterprise Portal

The Enterprise Portal is an environment that allows everyone (Employees, Suppliers, Partners, etc) to get a
perspective of required information in one place. The Enterprise Portal is cantered on the user. It creates an
environment that provides all type of information to the user, from all sources, allowing the user to stay in the
portal for 80% - 90% of the time.
The Enterprise Portal provides users with a centralized, easy-to-use access to all the information, applications
and services they need to participate in collaborative business processes.
A Enterprise Portal Solution must provide all users (Employees and External Communities) personalized
convenient access (Point & Click, Drag & Relate, Single Sign-On) to everything needed (Information /
Applications / Services) anytime, anywhere (Web Browser / Mobile Devices) in a secure way (Robust Security
Features) to get their task or job done.

The Table below shows the 4 Information Pillars and how mySAP.com Enterprise Portal deals with them
Information Pillars MySAP.com Enterprise Portal Solution
Transaction System / Legacy Database IViews & Unification
Internet Yahoo
Content & Documentation Knowledge Management
Data Warehousing & Analytical Processing Business Warehouse

2.2. SAP Solution (mySAP.com Enterprise Portal)

The mySAP.com Enterprise Portal allows a user access to internal and external information, applications, and
services that are relevant to the users role in the organization.
By unifying Enterprise Applications, Data Sources, Document Management Facilities, and Web Sites in one
virtual system through a Role-Based, Personalized Browser Interface, the mySAP.com Enterprise Portal (EP) is
the single point of entry for enterprise users to all the resources they need on a daily basis.
The mySAP.com Enterprise Portal is available in 3 versions
! mySAP.comEntreprise Information Portal
Portal providing user Information through Yahoo!
! mySAP.comEntreprise Collaboration Portal
Portal providing user Information / Application / Services in a role-based environment.
! mySAP.com Enterprise Unification Portal
Portal providing user Information / Application / Services in a Role-Based environment and allowing the
user to Drag&Relate information from disparate sources to solve business problems.

2.3. mySAP.com Enterprise Portal Component Functions

Author: Jude Lobo Page 4 02/09/02

Portal Platform
The Portal Platform provides an environment for developing and administering portal content (Roles and
iViews) and for performing user administration. It also provides a set of services for running iViews and
assembling them into portal pages that are displayed in the Portal.
The main function of the MySAP.com Enterprise Portal Platform is to provide those components necessary to
build a portal.
! iView technology, for creating and administering iViews. Customers can either use iViews delivered by
SAP Portals or create their own. iViews can be programmed in any language, such as Java, JSP, ASP,
XML, COM, etc.
! Unification technology, which enables a unified access to enterprise applications to enable Drag and
Relate operations. The Enterprise Collaboration Portal includes the R/3 Unifier for creating Drag and
Relate operations between SAP transactions. The Enterprise Unification Portal includes additional Unifiers
for creating Drag and Relate operations between other systems as well. These Unifiers include the Database
and Legacy Unifiers, the Baan Unifier and the Oracle Application Unifiers. Additional Unifiers for
PeopleSoft and Siebel are being planned by SAP.
! Page Building technology, for rendering the HTML pages that the user sees and interacts with.
! User Management technology, for administering users and for mapping user IDs in LDAP directories to
enable single sign-on (since users may have different Ids in different enterprise applications.
! User Role Management technology, for creating the user roles that provide pre-configured targeted portal
pages for the user.

Knowledge Management Platform

The Knowledge Management platform provides access to an organization's unstructured documents. Its major
functional areas consist of
! Content Management, which supports the entire lifecycle of documents, including the authoring, storage,
management, and display of documents.
! Retrieval and Classification, for processing free-text search queries, providing automatic classification
and general text analysis, and combining unstructured document content with content from a database (for
example, for an expert search.)
! Collaboration, for closing the communication gap between users or teams by providing synchronous (chat,
online conferencing, etc.) and asynchronous (feedback, rating, discussion forums, shared folders, etc.)
collaboration support.

Business Information Warehouse Platform

The Business Information Warehouse provides data warehousing, reporting, and analysis of information in an
organization's databases and data sources. When incorporated into the MySAP.com Enterprise Portal Solution
as the Business Intelligence platform, the results of these reports and analyses can be provided to the
appropriate portal users. The major functional areas of the Business Intelligence platform include:
! Data Warehousing, which delivers a common view of enterprise data and provides tools and technologies
for designing and managing a data warehouse.
! Reporting and Analysis, for providing decision-support tools such as query, reporting, multi-dimensional
or online analytical processing (OLAP), as well as data exploration and data visualization tools.
! Planning and Simulation to support scenario planning, dynamic simulation, and integration of strategic
and operational planning.
! Portal Integration and Information Deployment for seamless integration into an mySAP.com Enterprise
! Business Performance Management, which provides analytical and data modelling tools to visually
represent objectives, monitor progress, and model scenarios.
! Business Content, which includes the information models where the entire data flow in business content, is
! Analytical Applications based on a variety of business areas, which integrate business processes and
provide predefined business scenarios and metrics that measure the effectiveness of business operations and
enable users to take immediate corrective action.

Author: Jude Lobo Page 5 02/09/02

MySAP.com Enterprise Portal

3.1. Architecture
Navigation Platform (Browser)




Portal Platform Business Warehouse Platform

Unification Server Web Server (IIS 5)

• SecurityFilter
Unifier A Unifier B • PortalConnectorFilter
Business Explorer
• J2EEConnectorFilter

User Management Components Administrators Workbench

Page Builder
Corporate LDAP Directory
BW Server
Portal LDAP Directory iView Server

Database Repository Knowledge Management Platform

Portal Content Directory App’s

Content Management Component

SQL Database API’s

TREX Server

Information Sources Platforms

Yahoo! Services SAP Applications 3rd Party Web Services Document

Applications Repositories

Note: For Hardware and Software requirements for each component on the mySAP.com Enterprise Portal the
resource available is as follows

Author: Jude Lobo Page 6 02/09/02

Navigation Platform
On the client side the mySAP.com Enterprise Portal is displayed in a standard browser. The browser
communicates with the Portal Server via HTTP or HTTPS requests.

Portal Platform
In the Portal Platform, the iViewServer provides a runtime environment for both Java-based and .NET iViews.
At runtime it fetches the content of iViews based on client requests. Content metadata and user data is stored in
the Persistence Layer. For iViews that allow HyperRelational Navigation with the iPanel, the information on
how to relate one set of data to another is retrieved from the Unification Server and Unifiers.
The Page Builder assembles the portal pages that are then displayed in the mySAP.com Enterprise Portal. The
Web Server is in charge of surfacing all HTML data to the client (Web browser). The browser displays the
pages, getting the output for each iView from the iViewServer.

Middle Layer : Runtime Environment for the MySAP.com Enterprise Portal

Web server (IIS 5.0)
The Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS 5.0) serves as the Web Server for the MySAP.com Enterprise
Portal. The portal is hosted within a virtual directory ‘SAPPortal’ on the IIS server within the folder
The Web Server includes the Internet Server Application Program Interface (ISAPI) filters, provided and
installed by the MySAP.com Enterprise Portal setup wizard.
! SecurityFilter
The SecurityFilter.dll checks to see if the user has already been authenticated to the Portal. If not it invokes
Basic Authentication within the IIS and sends the UserID and Password to the Corporate Directory Server
(CDS) or any other Authentication Authority
! PortalConnectorFilter
The PortalConnector.dll checks to see if a request is Portal-Specific. If it is the request is redirected to the
appropriate Portal Component, eg. The iViewServer or the Page Builder.
! J2EEConnectorFilter
The J2EEConnectorFilter checks to see if a request needs to be processed by the J2EE Engine. If it is, the
request is redirected to the J2EE Port (Default is 8100)

Page Builder
The Page Builder is a service written in COM that functions as an extension to the Web Server (IIS 5.0). It is
incharge of “building” the portal page. This entails collecting the iViews that need to be displayed,
encapsulating them in a Portal Page and surfacing that Page.
Step 1: Load the Initial Portal Page (without any iViews)
The Framesets, Frames and iFrames are positioned. For every single iView an iFrame is placed
on the Initial Portal Page.
Step 2: Load the iViews.
With the iViewServer (=iFrame filled with script)
The iViewServer adds a Script to the iFrame of the Initial Portal Page. The iView contents are
rendered at the server side. When the Script is performed at the client side, the contents are
pushed from the iViewServer to the iFrame.
Bypassing the iViewServer (=iFrame with URL)
The iViewServer adds a URL to the iFrame of the Initial Portal Page. No rendering is done by
the iViewServer. The URL can be made to point to an ITS service.

The iViewServer is a service written in COM that functions as an extension to the Web Server (IIS 5.0). The
iViewServer main functions is fetching and caching iView data and supplying this data to the Page Builder.
There are two types of iViews in the MySAP.com Enterprise Portal
! . NET iViews, typically written in ASP with ‘busdoc’ XML output.
The iViewServer is responsible for rendering .NET iViews
! Java iViews, typically written in Java/JSP.
The iViewServer has a J2EE Application Server Engine (called In-Q-My) that renders Java iViews.
The main functions of the iView Server is to Process iViews based on client Request, Cache iViews for faster
retrieval, Handle iView User Personalization.

Author: Jude Lobo Page 7 02/09/02

Persistent Layer : Places to store data, which can be retrieved after any internal memory is cleared
User Management
The user management component uses two data repositories to store user-related data. Both directories are
based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).
• Corporate LDAP Directory
A LDAP Directory Service is deployed for retrieving User information, it contains
• Basic User data
• Basic Group data
• User/Group Assignment
• Group Hierarchy
Any user that has an account in the Corporate LDAP Directory can log on to the portal.

There are 2 methods of structuring the Directory Information Tree

1. Deep Hierarchy (ou) (ou) (ou)
Users Sales Sales DE U1


Sales US U3

(ou) U4


2. Flat Hierarchy (ou)

Users U1




(ou) (goN)

Groups Sales

(goN) ou = Organizational Unit

goN = Group Name

• Portal LDAP Directory

A LDAP Directory Service is deployed that stores user data required by the portal only, it contains
• Portal-Related User Properties
• Portal-Related Group Properties
• User/Group Role Assignment
This data can either be stored in separate branches on the corporate LDAP directory server, or on a
dedicated LDAP directory server.

Author: Jude Lobo Page 8 02/09/02

Repository Database
• SQL Database
The SQL Database functions as the persistence layer for .Net Elements of the portal.
The following objects are stored in the SQL Database
• Roles
• Worksets
• Page Structures
• iPanel Definitions
• iView Data
• User Personalization Information

• Portal Content Directory (PCD)

The PDC functions as the persistence layer for Java Elements of the portal. The PCD uses a file system that
functions as the persistence layer within (…..\Enterprise Portal\DataFile\PCD\……)
The following objects are stored in the PCD
• Roles
• Worksets
• Metadata of External Services (transactions, BEx Web applications) and Java iViews
• Personalization data of External Services and Java iViews
• Master iViews (PAR File)

The PCD functions as a Data Repository for the Role Editor. Its main functions are
• Role Maintenance
• Role Migration (From External System like R/3)
• Import / Export of Roles and Objects
• Distribution of Portal Roles from PCD to R/3 and Authorisation Maintenance in R/3
• External Service Migration

Author: Jude Lobo Page 9 02/09/02

3.2. Information Flow in the mySAP.com Enterprise Portal

1. The Web Browser (mySAP.com Enterprise Portal Client) sends a Request to the Web Server
2. The Web Server (With the help of the ISAPI filters) blocks this Request for Authentication and Redirection
• SecurityFilter.dll invokes Basic Authentication. The UserID and Password is received from the user
and sent to the Corporate Directory Server for authentication.
• PortalConnector.dll checks to see if a request is Portal-Specific. If it is, the request is redirected to the
appropriate Portal Component, eg. The iViewServer or the Page Builder.
• J2EEConnectorFilter checks to see if a request needs to be processed by the J2EE Engine. If it is, the
request is redirected to the J2EE Port (Default is 8100).
3. The Page Builder which is an extension to the Web Server, assembles the Initial Portal Page (ie. the
Framesets, Frames and iFrames are positioned). For every single iView an iFrame is placed on the Initial
Portal Page.
4. The iViewServer on receiving the Request form the Page Builder or Web Server processes it as follows
• The iView Server, calls the iView Application through a URL
• The iView Application reads the data from the Data Source (Persistence Layer) and processes it.
• The iView Application sends the result to the iView Server in HTML/XML format.
• The iView Server, maintains a cache of the iView Content Data (…\MySAP.com Enterprise
(Note: For iViews that allow HyperRelational Navigation, the information on how to relate one set of
data to another is retrieved from the Unification Server and Application Unifiers)
• The iView Server either adds a script or a URL, to the iFrame of the Initial Portal Page.
5. The Web Server presents the user with a FrameSet (Different parts of the FrameSet are Header, Top Level
Navigation, Content Area and iPanel) delivered by the Page Builder and a Logon Ticket. The Web Browser
displays the pages, getting the output for each iView from the iViewServer.


Page Builder

iView Server
Runtime User Management


Cache Rendering
Repository Database

iView Fetcher

Java iView Runtime

ASP Java
iViews iViews

Source System

Author: Jude Lobo Page 10 02/09/02



Author: Jude Lobo Page 11 02/09/02