As a student in my final year at North Dakota State University, for my final project, I was chosen to be part of the student team that would be paired up with INWERKEN to work on a user experience-focused UI update to the Cross Application Time Sheet (CATS). This would be done using SAP’s SAPUI5/OpenUI5 control library. The first time I looked at the demo apps, I was thoroughly impressed by what I saw. The controls didn’t look as dull as some of the business software I had seen in the past, in fact they looked fantastic! From the onset of the project, I was excited to dive in and learn more about what SAPUI5 had to offer.
Luckily, I’ve found SAPUI5 offers a multitude of features. Our project is being constructed with the mobile audience in mind. We use the SplitApp control which shows a navigation menu from the left side when a menu button is pressed as well as other mobile controls such as InputDateTime which work well, look great on desktop or mobile device, and are easy to implement. Not only are we using new mobile controls, but also experimental mobile controls such as the Calendar control. Using a technology such as SAPUI5 is very exciting. To be on the cutting edge of a powerful library is fun and makes our project better.
Our project is specifically challenging for a couple reasons. The first is the time difference between our campus in North Dakota and our mentors in Germany. Finding a time to meet every week was challenging. Our first meeting took place at midnight in Fargo and 07:00 in Hannover! Despite this, we have overcome communication challenges and have been able to exchange ideas and meet over Google Hangout. Secondly, because SAPUI5 is fairly new, sometimes there isn’t as much example documentation that one might find using a different library. Additionally, our team hadn’t had any experience using SAPUI5 or NetWeaver Gateway before the project and hadn’t had much experience using web services. This meant we have had to do a lot of learning at the beginning of the project and as we go. It’s been an exceptional experience learning how to build an application of this nature as we build one ourselves. SAPUI5 is an exemplary technology, bringing user experience to the forefront of SAP Applications and it’s been great to build our application with it.