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Enhancements to the CRM WebClient UI Framework

by The Tip Doctor

June 25, 2010

The Tip Doctor, Insider Learning Network

(This week's CRM tip comes courtesy of Thilo Berndt, Product Manager, SAP Business Suite UI Framework. This is an excerpt from the Oct. 2009 issue of CRM Expert.  To read the entire article, please click here.)

Thilo can be contacted at thilo.berndt@sap.com.

 

In addition to the previously established advanced search and the saved search, a new functionality was introduced with SAP CRM 7.0: the simple search, which is similar to an Internet search en gine.

Before I go into the details of this new function, I’ll review the other available search functions:

  • Advanced search provides a user interface that allows you to specify multiple search criteria and supports complex search queries per object. You can easily create your own search queries that contain more than one attribute for an object. For example, you can search for all open activities with very high priority of a certain account.
  • A central search panel is available in the upper-right corner on all SAP CRM screens. From the central search panel you can start a search of different types, such as All Objects or Saved Search.
  • Saved search allows you to save a set of search criteria from an advanced search and to select and execute it from the central search panel

With the new simple search, SAP offers cross-object free-text search functionality. This functionality allows you to enter keywords into a single search field and then search across business objects or even applications for those key words. The search result list is grouped by object types for better usability. The underlying search technology is provided by SAP NetWeaver, which in SAP NetWeaver 7.0 goes by the name SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Search.

Let me give you a closer look at the new simple search functionality. It supports two search scenarios: the local search scenario supporting cross-object searches within one system and the global search scenario supporting cross-object and also cross-system searches.

You can use a local search to find data about a customer within an SAP CRM system — for instance, if you are only interested in SAP CRM-related information. An example of a global search would be a search for all customer-related business documents across systems with one search call. This gives you a complete overview of the customer in a minimum amount of time.

To execute the simple search functionality, you can use the central search panel. The simple search supports free-text search, fuzzy search, wildcard search, and search across multiple attributes — as modeled per business objects. Authorization checks are executed on the search engine to ensure that the end user only receives the data sets that he is allowed to see.

The central search panel is available on all screens. You can either search across all objects by selecting All Objects or directly filter for a single object type by selecting Free Text within a specific object type.

For instance, you can search for all available information on a customer or for all customers that are related with a certain search term, such as a town. You can enter the free text Walldorf and search for all customers located in Walldorf as well as customers that have Walldorf as part of their name.

The simple search provides you with a result list that contains all the found business documents sorted by business object types such as accounts, activities, and contacts. Thus, you get an overview of all documents that are stored in your system for your key words — with only one search string, on one page, and in an easy-to-read format. Based on your individual preferences, you can personalize the results view per object type and the overall search result page (e.g., you can change the order of columns). 

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