Explaining Capabilities for Creating Engaging Experiences in SAP Work Zone

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain the key building blocks in SAP Work Zone
  • Know the key elements of administrative areas in SAP Work Zone
  • Know the key elements of homepages in SAP Work Zone
  • Know the key elements of workspaces in SAP Work Zone
  • Know the key elements of the ‘Applications’ launchpad in SAP Work Zone
  • Explain when to leverage which building blocks and why

Introduction to key building blocks of SAP Work Zone

In this lesson we’ll take a closer look into the key building blocks of SAP Work Zone which allow you to build the engaging experiences and use cases we’ve covered in the previous lessons of this unit.

Administration
First, we will walk through the administrative area capability and how it enables role-based access and business-focused decentral ways of working in the system.
Homepages
Next, we’ll cover the very important homepage capability that is leveraged to design the entry page experience for all users in SAP Work Zone and is a key pillar especially for portal and intranet scenarios.
Workspaces
Another building block – workspaces – which we will cover as the third section in this lesson, is also used for (web) content presentation in addition to being the core element of the user engagement and interaction dimension of SAP Work Zone.

Given the importance of homepages, workspaces, and the related page building experience, those will also be covered in further detail in dedicated lessons later.

Applications Launchpad
Lastly, we’ll recap the built-in launchpad capabilities and how those can be used to create the tightly connected application integration dimension of SAP Work Zone.

At the end of this lesson, we will also go through a summarized view of key features and strengths of those four elements, helping you to better understand how and when to use them when working in SAP Work Zone.

Administrative Areas

Let’s have a closer look at the first building block, the administrative areas.

By default, all settings, content, designs, and more get created at the so-called "company-level" and are hence applied to all users. SAP Work Zone system administrators can create additional administrative areas, allowing them to delegate certain aspects to subject-matter experts. As a citizen developer / end user you will probably configure those additional areas, while working in the framework of the global settings handled by the system administrators.

"Administrative Areas" provide a designated space for administrators of those areas to manage content and engage within their realm – for instance, their specific line of business, such as human resources, IT, finance, purchasing and so on. These area administrators gain access to a small but significant subset of system-level capabilities. In this way, area administrators take on some responsibility from overloaded IT / central administrators.

In this context, the administrative area setup can provide both additive (i.e., combined with company area settings) as well as overruling (i.e., overwriting global settings) capabilities. An example of the additive scenario is the homepage feature which will be covered in the next lesson – users will always have access to the aggregated set of homepages across all the areas they belong to. The permission to create workspaces – a capability in more detail in a later lesson – presents an example of a feature that overrules the system-level setting.

Homepages

What exactly are homepages in SAP Work Zone? We’ve already mentioned them quite a few times throughout this unit, so now let’s dive into the specifics of this next building block.

Homepages are what all users see by default when they open SAP Work Zone as well as when they click on either the logo in the menu bar or the global menu entry for "Home."

Homepages can be different for personas or roles; we’ve already looked at the administrative area feature in the previous lesson that will help you achieve this. Remember, one of the key use cases for the administrative area feature is the ability to create persona-based and de-centrally managed homepages. Additionally, homepages can be available to different member lists (= list of users) directly, providing even more flexibility in designing truly personalized experiences for the user personas you have in mind.

All homepages – regardless of company or other area – share the same, grid-based layout options and a powerful "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) page editor. It is connected to a catalog of pre-built widgets that can be combined with custom-built UI integration cards. The page designer requires no programming or other extensive IT knowledge – it is truly designed with citizen developers or even regular end users in mind. Depending on the desired use case and experience, the page builder and homepages allow you to seamlessly mix and match application content with rich text, multimedia, and other forms of structured as well as unstructured data.

The page builder and widget selection are also utilized in the workspace feature, because they are important components for designing the experience across the entire tool – we will cover that in more detail later in a dedicated lesson.

To support external stakeholders and scenarios, for instance suppliers or customers, there is also a dedicated feature for creating homepages for external users – clearly separating this experience from the design and content on the internal user homepages. Those external homepages otherwise share the same capability set – for instance the page builder experience.

Workspaces

Workspaces are the most important building block of SAP Work Zone which enable, various use cases and provide a broad range of features, including content management, forum(s), and flexible page design.

The way you will use workspaces will vary based on the use cases required for SAP Work Zone; you can adjust them per workspace, or also on a global level, by selecting the relevant settings and feature sets.

Empowering all users of the system – administrators, citizen developers and regular end users alike – is one of the key areas where workspaces can shine. Depending on the system setup, every user can create / design the workspaces needed to solve a given business problem. While the features enabled will vary per workspace, there are four types of workspaces determining the overall experience.

Public Workspaces

Workspaces that are public in your company can be viewed and joined by every internal user in the SAP Work Zone environment. Users can find public workspaces and related content either via the global search tool or by browsing the workspace repository.

Typically, those public workspaces are used to share company-wide information, provide central access to an IT help and support center, or provide a central place to learn about the corporate strategy.

Private Workspaces

In contrast to public workspaces, private workspaces are not available for all users, but instead require an invitation or role-based assignment to see the content or contribute to it. By default, private workspaces are hidden and cannot be found via the search tool or workspace repository – unless you are a member of the workspace. However, the administrator of a workspace can enable the discovery mode, thus allowing internal users who are not a member to discover the workspace via the global search – but the content within the private workspace will be available only to members regardless of this discovery setting. Private workspaces are typically used for providing a central place for an internal project, planning a marketing campaign, or collaborating around a strategic topic that is not yet intended for broader visibility.

External Workspaces

For engaging with external parties like key suppliers or partners, users can use the third option of (private) external workspaces. These work very similarly to regular private workspaces, with the key difference that external users (such as non-employees, customers or partners) can be invited to become members. As with internal private workspaces, external workspaces are always hidden and hence non-members cannot find them via the global search nor the workspace repository, unless you are a member of course.

My Workspace

While those three types of workspaces covered thus far have a significant overlap in available capabilities, there is a fourth special type of workspace – "My Workspace". If enabled by the system administrator, internal users can create their own personal workspace which only they have access to – other users cannot be invited to "My Workspace". "My Workspace" allows users to design their personal dashboard-like experience by including their favorite business apps, unstructured content, and other required information to best support their day-to-day work.

“Applications” Launchpad

In addition to the capabilities covered in the previous lessons, SAP Work Zone includes a built-in launchpad. It enables you to harmonize access to different business applications for the users of your digital workplace – all in one place.

By leveraging the powerful capabilities of the underlying SAP BTP, you can (for instance) leverage identity propagation to eliminate the need for setting up additional security roles for your SAP business apps.

The built-in launchpad allows you create a personalized selection of business applications. You can add those applications directly via a manual configuration as well as leverage a more automated setup process, based on your available SAP system landscape.

To recap the differences already covered in earlier parts of this unit, remember that SAP Launchpad service establishes a central point of access to applications, tasks, and processes while SAP Work Zone provides additional capabilities that enable you to combine this experience with web content, document and knowledge sharing as well as with user engagement in discussion forums, feeds and more.

When to Use Which Capabilities?

Now that you’ve gone through the previous lessons on the different building blocks within SAP Work Zone, you may ask yourself: When should I use what? While the answer will to some extent be a case of "it depends on your setup", we can still clearly see key features and related strengths of the four building blocks.

In this lesson we will summarize those key features and strengths to help you determine which building block(s) to use – be it for a business application, a user engagement focused experience, or something in between.

Administrative Areas – key features:

  • Central role in bundling different product capabilities such as homepages, templates, integration setups and more – for instance per company division or region.
  • Dedicated content section for area homepages.
  • Area membership assignment based on member lists.

"Applications" launchpad – key features:

  • Integrate apps deployed on SAP S/4HANA on-premise, SAP BTP multi-cloud or ABAP environment.
  • Expose content of various content providers: SAP S/4HANA on premise, SAP Enterprise Portal or SAP BTP in a multi-cloud environment.
  • Enables individual application and application group widgets to be used across homepages and workspaces.

Homepages – key features:

  • Inform users about company-wide information, announcements, and much more.
  • Out-of-box cards and widgets for homepages.
  • Flexible design and integration options with a combination of content widgets, UI cards, guided experiences, and business applications.

Workspaces – key features:

  • Creation of public, private and external workspaces based on the target audience.
  • Out-of-box cards and widgets for workspace overview pages.
  • Structured collaboration and knowledge management capabilities with (for example) forum(s) and knowledge bases.
  • Inclusion of external stakeholders with restricted view into dedicated workspaces.

Lots of enormously powerful capabilities, as you’ve already seen throughout this lesson! So now, let us look at the key strengths of each one to help you determine the right answer to the question, "when to use what"?

Administrative Areas – strengths:

  • Enables decentralized (content) administration.
  • Users gain access to a combination of features based on their individual admin area memberships.

"Applications" launchpad – strengths:

  • Identity propagation eliminates a need to setup additional security roles for SAP business apps.
  • Flexible, manual integration and content federation so as to re-use existing applications.

Homepages – strengths:

  • Embedded visual page editor enables end-users to design pages without IT overhead.
  • Multi-level navigation using subtabs for homepages.

Workspaces – strengths:

  • Out-of-the-box and custom workspace templates ease the creation and ensure consistency across the entire company.
  • Enables decentralized (content) administration.
  • Workspace administrators can flexibly adjust workspace features based on desired use case.

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