Apr 29, 2014

Lessons from Lima

Though the title suggests a trip to Peru, this post has nothing to do with Peru or the city of Lima at all.In fact what I want to talk about was Lima S.P.A. Model Railways –  the lessons in building and running systems and solutions, that can be learned from owning a model railway.I haven’t had a model railway since childhood.  My first train set was a battery operated Lima Model Railway which I received for Christmas.Over the years I expanded the railway extensively through the purchase of track, rolling stock and accessories. Though the Lima brand itself may be long… Read more


Nov 28, 2012

SAP “F4 Help” in a web form

A promising new feature of the 10.4 release of the Winshuttle platform is the support for “F4 Help” in a web form. When completing a transaction in SAP, many fields require reference data which is designated by abbreviated codes. For example, when entering ‘Agriculture’ in a field denoting ‘Industry,’ you may be using ‘AGR’ as the code. In most SAP transactions, there are many fields relying on such codes. These short codes are great for power users who are heavy users of a few transactions on a day-to-day basis. However, when these power users cannot remember the codes or when… Read more


Feb 28, 2012

Workflow Reporting and Auditing

Visibility into business process history and performance is critical for every business implementing Winshuttle Workflow. For every action taken in every workflow process, audit information is available allowing you to provide comprehensive logs and reports in order to comply with auditing requirements. The same database of workflow activity can be used to create reports and dashboards providing insights into the overall performance of the business unit or single individuals. For example, it is common that shared service departments have service level agreements (SLAs) that they are committed to. You can build dashboards which measure actual performance against these SLAs. Winshuttle… Read more


Dec 6, 2011

Three steps to awesome form design

Two recent articles that I read, Jakob Nielsen’sand John Brinkman’s got me to thinking that it was probably time to revisit this very topical subject. In the world of SAP, it comes as no surprise that people want to retain the rich functionality of the ERP system but get away with doing less in terms of data entry or at very least spend less time entering data. Technologists will conjure up an infinite number of ways for you to achieve your business objectives and the web, mobile or form enablement of some of the entry and extract methods people want… Read more


Dec 1, 2011

Populating picklists on forms

When developing a forms and workflow solution, you regular need to populate so called picklists (a.k.a. dropdowns). It is a common task when developing forms with Winshuttle Workflow where you are typically collecting data for SAP. A key requirement in most scenarios where data is collected for SAP is to guide the user through inputting the right values. This can be achieved by limiting the user’s choice with picklists rather than presenting free-text fields. Often these picklists need to be populated with values from SAP. Driving values directly from SAP means less maintenance on the form as changes in SAP… Read more


Sep 23, 2011

A bit of hope during troubled times

I spent the week in and around the beautiful city of Lisbon. While the city is laced with history, its nearby beaches offer perfect sunbathing and its cafes and bakeries boast simple but delicious treats, looking around at the neglected exteriors of buildings seems to reinforce the idea that times are tough. Portugal is going through a bad phase at the moment. The long-reaching ripples of 2008’s burst bubble have sent a second wave to wash over this culturally-rich nation. Speaking to prospective customers at a host of meetings this week, a common theme seemed to develop. Companies don’t have… Read more


Sep 14, 2011

Groaning Shelves – avoiding Shelf Ware in the world of SAP

I have just spent the past week in meetings with our sales organization and one of the topics that came up as a topic line was the concept of Shelf ware. Enterprise Irregular Ray Wang wrote in 2010 that In the latest Software Insider survey, 57% of global enterprises own more software licenses than deployed Shelf ware of course is an interesting concept in that it is not something that a given organization ever intentionally invests in. In the realm of enterprise systems however there is almost always some software that lands up being bought but never gets implemented. The… Read more


Jul 18, 2011

Three easy steps to create a web service for your SAP system

Web services are the de facto standard for communication between systems and devices over the network. In a service-oriented architecture, systems are opened up to other systems and interfaces by deploying web services. This is also the case with SAP where you can build alternative user interfaces that communicate directly with SAP through web services. There are many scenarios where you may want to provide business users with an interface other than the standard SAP GUI. It could be in situations where non-SAP users are participating in the process or where more role-specific custom interfaces would streamline the business process…. Read more


May 16, 2011

There’s more to life than meets the UI

Simplification is the way forward. There are just too many great programs, websites, and apps out there to be wasting time on the bad ones. Computing devices have changed, business needs have changed but most important of all, users’ expectations have changed. The mobile phone industry has introduced applications of all sorts to billions of people around the world. With advances in mobile and smart phone technologies come more knowledgeable consumers. We expect much more from a phone, as we do from any website we browse. The iPhone has taught me to love the design of a brilliant app, to… Read more


May 11, 2011

Streamlining global operations using Winshuttle Central

Global organizations seek to simplify and standardize common business processes in an effort to reduce risk, optimize the use of resources and ensure consistency. IT administration, data management, and transactional processing are crucial functions of any global organization and a single view of the company is a likely and frequent vision for stakeholders. Winshuttle Central provides the capability to add the essential governance platform to IT administration, data management and transactional processing tasks. This begins with Central’s ability to act as an online, centralized repository of all data upload and data extraction scripts, data templates, online forms and processed data… Read more


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