Q & A with Tim Yates: DataXstream’s OMS+, Order Management / Point of Sale Solution for SAP

Lets begin with some clarification.  In the office during initial development the team referred to the product as a Point of Sale application.  Later in development the name changed to the OMS+ and the team started referring to the solution as an Order Management Solution. Why?

Tim: The OMS+ is more than a Point of Sale application. We developed it to be an Order Management Solution that is a Point of Sale Solution.

All Order Management applications are not also Point of Sale applications?

Tim: No. Traditionally Order Management Systems that have Point of Sale capability may be well designed for their primary function but the secondary is tacked on, and lacking. The OMS+ solution is different in that it offers both Order Management and Point of Sale functionality and performs both well.

So please share how the OMS+ is developed for Order Management functionality.

Tim: Typically Order Management applications are created by developing a database and then integrating the database with SAP. OMS+ was developed to leverage SAP’s standard available functionality in Sales and Distribution which is highly capable and very complex. We built a tool set that over lays SAP and adds a flexible and customizable controller and then built a UI tool set to streamline & simplify the creation of transactions.

And the Point of Sale functionality?

Tim: The OMS+ Solution supports all standard Point of Sale needs and requirements. For example, scanning capabilities, hardware and so on, so while we were not targeting bag and carry retail in development the OMS+ is able to perform bag and carry transactions well. However where the OMS+ is really useful is when a client requires “mixed transaction” capabilities. This is where solution’s flexibility becomes important. The OMS+ allows the retailer to offer complex order options on one tender as well as complex delivery and payment options.

To be clear does a client need to be running SAP Retail to use the OMS+ Solution?

Tim:  The OMS+ Solution is developed to run on SAP ECC or SAP S/4 (HANA). If a client has SAP Retail currently deployed the OMS+ Solution can simply clip into that environment but it isn’t a requirement.

In your opinion which clients benefit most from the OMS+ Solution?

Tim:  Clients implementing OMS+ within customer facing order processes to build a streamlined multi channel sales experience for their customers. Certain Industries benefit more; any industry with high touch retail transactions will benefit significantly from implementing OMS+. OMS+ supports a high touch retail environment in which a customer will interact several times of over the course of the order requiring back order and special order type transactions. The OMS+ also supports transactions that require a deposit, as well as partial payment and partial delivery orders. Additionally clients that require payment by account orders have implemented the OMS+. One of our OMS+ clients has specific account requirements that might allow for a sale to an entity that was actually aggregated under another entity and the bill paid by an umbrella organization, the OMS+ can manage complex relationships. The OMS+ is able to allow a customer to come into a retail location to pay a bill and allows the retailer to take that payment.

What pain points do you see the OMS+ addressing for your clients?

Tim:  There are a number of Technical and Business problems that OMS+ solves.  One technical point: It eliminates the integration layer between the client’s back end ERP and supply chain system and their Point of Sale system. With OMS+ they are one and the same, they are integrated. It makes delivery deployment of the Point of Sales system much simpler because every thing runs on the SAP server so it is simpler.  With the elimination of the integration layer a business can run real time reports and view data intraday. Traditionally a client would have to wait for the Point of Sale system to sync and the run reports so there might be a two-day lag. With the elimination of that integration layer, if a client is running on HANA they can see everything in real time. That technical change creates the opportunity for a change in business processes.

One Business point: Retailers as well as most wholesalers are finding value in speed through check out. With specialty retail and wholesale this presents an inherent problem as the complexity of the order is a natural barrier to speed. OMS+ greatly reduces that barrier. This is accomplished through streamlining multiple complex transactions in a single user interface, avoiding duplication and providing easy access to retail associates to documents for customer service needs. Additionally in store associates can efficiently and effectively use this interface with very limited training and will require no knowledge of SAP.

Another Business Point: In addition to speed through check out businesses are concerned with order accuracy throughout the purchasing process especially as it translates to accounting. Tracking lay-a-way payments, issuing accurate refunds and managing down payments made with different tenders are all pain points that OMS+ is designed to address. The development team has taken into account that in the store efficiency and speed in a complex order management process is important to the sales associate and their client. However in the business’ accounting system, accuracy of the order and the ability to track all the transactions is important to the merchants, accountants, and sales teams. OMS+ is designed to tightly control the order process.

I’m hearing about a new OMS+. Is it an upgrade or another version?

Tim:  It is a new version.

Does it have a name?

Tim:  OMS+ Mobile.

What is different?

Tim:  The original version was developed on WebDynpro and essentially 2002/2003 web technology. We leveraged SAP Lean Order Management as the backbone and while it had all the power of SAP standard order transactions it also came with a significant number of constraints and was difficult to customize. The technology does not run well or scale well on different devices. For example it will run on a tablet but it does not offer a good user experience on a tablet.

OMS+ Mobile is completely custom built on HTML5 CSS and JavaScript giving complete flexibility from the UI perspective. It is built on an application that scales from an iPhone to a desktop and provides a seamless user experience. While there are other POS on the market today that provide seamless mobile and desktop experience none of them run natively on SAP and none of them offer the power of all the information that is available in a single format.

What does mobile offer a client? Can you give me an example?

Tim:  So one of our clients has an outdoor area they call “the yard.” Today, when their customers place an order the customer goes inside to the counter. This is not difficult if you are placing and order for something small, pipefittings maybe. But if you are purchasing a bulk item from the yard then it would be much more convenient if their was an associate out there in the yard with a tablet able to take the order, put it on account, or take tender, load the material and deliver it. The associate can email the receipt and the client never had to go inside.

We have clients who have a similar scenario with delivery. For example, a client with a loading dock. If they can have an associate on the loading dock with a tablet then pick up and delivery of an order is streamlined.

So it is about convenience for your client?

Tim:  It is about speed and efficiency. How consistently, how quickly, how accurately can you build and fulfill an order when the order is more than a basic cash & carry?

When do you anticipate the OMS+ Mobile to be available?

Tim:  Q4. It will also be certified by Q4.

Want to know more?  Interested in evaluating this solution for your business?  DataXstream is interested in hearing specific questions that you would like answered as well as pain points you are experiencing in order management or with your point of sale system.  Please visit the DataXstream OMS+ Page, or email us at info@dataxstream.com for more information.

SAP NetWeaver Gateway : A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

By Guest Blogger Kenny Sutherland, SAP Technical Intern, DataXstream

In three-tier architecture, SAP Gateways make up the middle or application tier. This middle layer is essential for communication between the frontend and the backend. The use of multi-tier architecture to implement a data processing system adds a valuable level of modularity and flexibility to the system by being able to develop and maintain each tier individually.  The purpose of this tutorial is to create a Gateway that will extract data from the flight carrier database table, which will be accessed from the Gateway Client. The Gateway will be able to retrieve a list of carriers as well as individual carriers.  Let’s get started…

Creating a New Project

  • First, navigate to the Gateway Service Builder with the T-Code “SEGW”
  • Click the “Create Project” button

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.42.25 PM

  •  Give the Gateway project a name and a description
  • Save the project and assign it to the appropriate package. For the purpose of this demo the project will be saved as a local object ($TMP or click the button “Local Object). The Gateway project has now been successfully created

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 4.18.25 PM

Creating an Entity & Entity Set

  • What is an Entity and Entity Set?
  • An Entity is a structure that can be defined by the user or defined as an ABAP Data Dictionary structure.  An Entity Set is simply a collection or table of Entities.
  • Right click Data Model and select “Import” -> “DDIC Structure” to use an ABAP Data Dictionary structure

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.30.20 PM

  • Type “SCARR” for ABAP Structure and press enter. A list of properties should appear
  • Make “Carrier” the object name for the entity
  • Change the “Usage” of the property “MANDT” to “Ignore” and click the check mark at the bottom right


  • Double click the folder “Entity Sets”
  • Click “Insert Row” and name the Entity Set

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.42.25 PM

  • The naming convention is to either make the Entity Set name the plural form of the name of the entity or append “_Set” to the Entity name. For training purposes, name the entity set “Carriers” or “Carrier_Set”. “Carriers” will be used for the remainder of this tutorial
  • Use the Entity name, “Carrier”, for “Entity Type Name”. Make sure to save and the Entity and corresponding Entity Set have successfully created

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.47.51 PM

How to Generate ABAP Classes

  • Click on the “Generate Runtime Objects” button towards the top left of the IDE

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.40.44 PM

How to Activate Gateway Service

  • Navigate to the “Activate and Maintain Services” page, “/iwfnd/maint_service”, and click “Add Service”

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.47.43 AM

  • Set System Alias to “LOCAL” and Technical Service Name to the name of the Gateway

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.49.04 AM

  • Click “Local Object” and then the check button to save

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.52.08 AM

  • Go back to the “Activate and Maintain Services” page, click on the service name, and click on “Gateway Client”

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.08.45 AM

  • To test the service, verify the “HTTP Method” is set to “GET” and then click “Execute”. There should now be some auto-generated XML

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.22.04 AM

  • In order to view the entity and its properties add a URI option to the end of the URI. Click “Add URI Option” and use “$metadata” and “sap-ds-debug=true”

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.23.05 AM

  • Now we can see the Entity Type as well as its properties

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.25.49 AM

Congratulations! You have made a usable Gateway Service. Now the backend functionality of the Gateway must be coded in order to make it useful.

Implementing GetEntitySet

  • Navigate back to the gateway service builder, expand the “Service Implementation” folder, and expand the entity set. There will be a few auto-generated methods
  • Right click “GetEntitySet”, click “Go to ABAP Workbench”, and ignore the popup that follows. This will take bring up the Class Builder

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.34.41 AM

  • In the left menu, expand the “Methods” folder, right click on the “GET_ENTITYSET” method, and select “Redefine”

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.38.09 AM

  • Under “Signature”, what the method is exporting to the frontend service can be seen, “ET_ENTITYSET”. This exporting table needs to be populated with data from the backend database
  • It is generally bad practice to select all the records from a database table because it can be extremely inefficient and redundant so instead of using “SELECT *”, only select the first 100 records from the database using the following statement…
  • Activate the method
  • To debug this code, set an external breakpoint. Session breakpoints will not work using the Gateway Client. Now the method needs to be tested

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.55.42 AM

Testing GetEntitySet

  • Reenter the “Activate and Maintain Services” or if it is already in a window click “Refresh Catalog”
  • Open the service again using the Gateway Client
  • Append the name of the Entity Set to the end of the URI, verify “HTTP Method” is set to “GET”, and execute. There should now be multiple Carrier entries

Implementing GetEntity

  • To get an individual Carrier, the Get_Entity method must be implemented
  • In the Class Builder, right click CARRIERS_GET_ENTITY and select “Redefine”
  • Add the following code,
“DATA: ls_key_tab LIKE LINE OF it_key_tab.
    READ TABLE it_key_tab INTO ls_key_tab WITH KEY name = 'Carrid'.
    SELECT SINGLE carrid carrname currcode url FROM scarr
      WHERE carrid = ls_key_tab-value.”
  • The above code will select a Carrier using the Carrid that will be passed into the URI
  • Activate this method and open the Gateway Client one more time
  • Make sure HTTP Method is “GET”, type “/sap/opu/odata/sap/Z_GATEWAY_DEMO_SRV/Carriers(‘AF’)” for the URI, and press execute
  • There should now be an individual Carrier using the Carrid that was just passed in the URI


Congratulations! You have made your first Gateway Service.

Kenny Sutherland is a current Christopher Newport University student working towards a degree in Information Systems.

This summer, Kenny is focused on an individual learning assignment under the direction of a senior consultant that deals directly with DataXstream’s OMS+ Solution software. His work primarily focuses on the back-end payment functionality of OMS+. Kenny is showing true leadership skills and DataXstream is proud to extend an offer for full-time employment upon completion of his studies at CNU. Kenny brings a lot to the table, including skills in JavaScript, HTML, and several other programming languages. He recently took home first place at CNU’s Software Fair!

We welcome prospective interns to contact us about starting your journey at DataXstream!

Visit our Jobs page or email our Director of Human Resources chibbard@dataxstream.com for more information.


Intern Spotlight – Common Errors When Setting Up an SAP Gateway Service to Interact With JavaScript

- By Robert “Seb” Meekins, SAP Technical Intern, DataXstream Summer Program 2015

Coming in as an intern for DataXstream I was given the relatively simple task of generating an ABAP monthly retail order report and being able to display it on a web page. From the outside it doesn’t seem too complicated – something that would naturally belong in an SAP retail solution, but bear in mind I had almost zero experience with JavaScript and ABAP, let alone the go-between layer of the SAP Gateway. By the end of the project, I had received several error messages in several different languages, and even caused a kernel panic on my OSX laptop. Hopefully some of the knowledge I’ve picked up can help you out as well.

For a bit of background, I was writing a monthly sales report. The user would have been able to select a month and date, and have all of the sales information for that month returned – specifically the customer number, material number, quantity, and material description for each sale. After acting on the database (either a GET, POST, or similar request) it can return the results to the webpage. Webpages using the Gateway offer a very flexible point of sale solution while still affording the powerful SAP order management solution.

  • Tip #1: If you’re doing a GET request, and using URI filters for it, your Entity Types inside of your Data Model must include the information coming in from the filters as well as that which is going back out to the website frontend. My mistake was assuming that the information that I wanted returned were the only properties I had to define.
  • Tip 2: If you’re using the SAP NetWeaver Gateway Client to help debug your Service (a very helpful tool) make sure that you know how to actually access the entity set you want. By default, the URI is pointed at the service itself, rather than any specific information you need. So make sure you change it from “odata/sap/Z_MY_GATEWAY_SRV/?$format=xml” to “odata/sap/Z_MY_GATEWAY_SRV/z_my_data_set/?$format=xml”. Bear in mind that the URIs are case-sensitive and need to match the name in your Data Model. If you’re using Javascript on the front-end, it will also be much more useful if you change the format tag from “xml” to “json”, because you will be able to see the structure of your data as it will be received by the Javascript on the website.
  • Tip 3: If you’re passing in numbers from the website to the Gateway, bear in mind that Javascript integers eliminate unnecessary preceding zeroes from the variable value. This may cause problems if you’re using that value to query against the database. In my case, I needed to pull sales records based on their month filed. In SAP, that was handled as a 2-character string, i.e. “02”, but I was passing in an integer as 2. These don’t match, and I wasn’t getting any results. I ended up finding a good solution off of StackOverflow in the following function, which prepends one zero if a number is below 10 and implicitly converts it to a string: function numFormat(n) { return n > 9 ? “” + n : “0″ + n;} After that point, the string I passed in was matching the format of the string in the database, and I actually got some useful data.
  • Tip 4: Understand exactly what is going on in a GET request vs. a POST request. In my project I didn’t have to worry about posting, but understanding a GET request was still a little complicated the first time around. In a GET request, you’re doing a read-only operation. Specifically, you’re passing in constraints (filters) to the SAP Gateway, which will use those to run queries on the database and then return the information. You pass in those filters on the end of the URI. In the gateway, you access those filters using IT_FILTER_SELECT_OPTIONS. See the attached screenshot for how I accessed my month and year data out of the filters:

In conclusion, if you’re just starting out, the simple tasks can have a lot more hang-ups than you might see. Having a clear understanding of what is happening to your data at all levels of the process is vital. Once you have that, you can start to focus on the way it is processed at each level – the frontend, the gateway, or the database – and the language-specific semantics and processes. I may not have built an SAP ERP application, but a basic POS function is a great place to start.

Seb Meekins is a student at the College of William and Mary, double majoring in Computer Science and Government. Seb’s goals coming into his internship position were to learn all of the technical skills possible with the ABAP and JavaScript languages that we use in the business software/SAP industry. He says that although he had more of a background with both back-end and front-end of Java and Android, and some with Python and C, he felt well-equipped to learn the new languages needed for DataXstream’s SAP software. Seb’s individual learning assignment for the summer is focused on variant configuration, breadcrumb navigation and functionality of modules for the front-end of our OMS+ Solution.


DataXstream Summer Internship Program: An Opportunity at Experience

As a leading SAP Systems Integration and Consulting firm, DataXstream’s teams deliver superior customer satisfaction from system architecture to enterprise support and product development. We are known for our years of experience and because of this defining characteristic DataXstream has the ability to offer an educational opportunity for undergraduate or graduate students to learn from our dedicated staff of SAP experts. Every summer we offer paid full-time or part-time internships in the information technology and marketing fields, which provide development and career opportunities for our interns. Our internship opportunities include positions such as Jr. Software Developer, Jr. Project Manager, Jr. Business Analyst, and Jr. Marketing Coordinator.

“We are very passionate about our work at DataXstream, we like to find young people interested in technology with that same passion, and help them along their career path” says DataXstream’s CEO, Tim Yates.

Interns are given individual action learning assignments that are current and relevant to DataXstream’s projects, while working in a team environment composed of other interns and a mentor. Interns are exposed to a variety of tasks involving ABAP, order management, and point of sale functionality skills. All interns are assigned a mentor to lead them through their work and learning process, helping them to enhance their IT skills and knowledge. At the end of the summer, interns present their completed learning assignment to the DataXstream team. The benefits of this opportunity reach further than the wonderful learning experience, we treat our interns as if they are currently employed to help them understand their education through the lenses of a real world job. Interns are issued a company computer and office space to efficiently complete assignments. At the conclusion of the program, interns will receive a certificate of completion and letter of recommendation. In the past we have also awarded additional internship opportunities and even full-time employment to successful candidates. Interested in participating in the summer internship program in 2016? Submit your resume by contacting Cassandra Podskalny, Director of Human Resources at chibbard@dataxstream.com.

Integration and SAP Certification of a Software Provider’s Product with SAP SOLMAN JSM and SAP BW

DataXstream is proud of our history of successful partnerings with software companies requiring SAP integration and SAP certification. Called Independent Software Vendors (ISV) within the SAP ecosystem, software vendors are increasingly seeking opportunities to integrate their software with SAP to better serve clients already running SAP.

DataXstream finished an ISV Enablement project recently with a market leading software vendor. The vendor was seeking to integrate their scheduling engine with SAP Solution Manager Job Scheduling Management (JSM) component as well as the SAP BW process chain engine. The vendor had previous experience integrating with SAP when SAP was the server and their code was the client, however in this case the vendor required integration with SAP acting as the client. By partnering with DataXstream the vendor gained the expertise of DataXstream’s resources who have been implementing SAP integration solutions for the past 20 years and are very comfortable with both the design pattern and API creation required to deliver the reliable, scalable solution the vendor required.

Craig Stasila, Vice President of Product Development at DataXstream, explained that for the SOLMAN integration both SAP and the vendor had their APIs previously established; DataXstream was tasked to combine the pre-existing vendor business processes with the SAP SOLMAN JSM business processes. This required a significant amount of technical mapping and integration to allow the two systems to communicate in ways that are non-native to each other.

The SAP BW integration project involved DataXstream creating the user-interface as well as the SAP APIs required to allow SAP BW to create, manage, and execute jobs in the vendor’s workload automation product. SAP provided the SAP BW process chain framework that handled the main user-interaction. DataXstream examined the likely use cases and implemented the user interface and API required to provide interaction with the vendor’s services.

As every project is unique every project has unique challenges. In this instance the most significant challenge with the SAP SOLMAN JSM integration was a result of SAP having developed the user interface and technical interface (API) specifically for a different product that operated in a vastly different manner than our client’s software. This posed significant technical and usability issues for the product.

While the software vendor came to DataXstream seeking SAP integration and certification expertise they brought a team with strong product development methodologies and testing as well as agile project management methodologies. Craig pointed out that the client insisted on agile development practice which he says was “spot on” and something he will seek to implement on every project going forward.

Craig has stated in conversations and blog posts that clients seeking to integrate and certify their software with SAP are frequently unaware of the complexity of the process and this leads to overly optimistic budgets for time and resources to complete the project. Acquiring an understanding of the expertise, time and effort required for good SAP development and integration will help the client create a realistic budget.

DataXstream is committed to our partners’ success and provides support throughout the integration, certification and sales cycle of the product. For additional information regarding Software Integration and Certification with SAP follow these links:

What Makes A Great ISV Enablement Partner

What Does a Software Provider Need to Know Before Beginning the Product Certification Process with SAP?

to contact us please request more information here or email us at Info@dataxstream.com

What Does a Software Provider Need to Know Before Beginning the Product Certification Process with SAP?

In conversation with members of the DataXstream as they wrapped up integrating and certifying a recent third party software product with SAP I began to ask the question: What does a third party software provider need to know before beginning the certification process with SAP?

It came down to three things:

  1. Know the business case. Because integration with SAP requires commitment, time and extensive knowledge of SAP it is important to have identified the business case and the software provider’s expected ROI
  2. Integrating a product with SAP is an involved process. SAP software is specific and so integration has to be done correctly.
  3. Integrating a product with SAP requires dedication, time, and know-how because it is an involved process.

The team seemed to agree that every third party software company is surprised by the scope of the project. To integrate a product with SAP requires a broad understanding of SAP product offerings and modules. SAP is designed to work very specifically and as a result the development process is intricate. Craig Stasila compared SAP to a Swiss Army knife “it is hyper configurable.”  Additionally it is important to approach the project from the perspective of the business user. For the new software to effectively bring value to the SAP eco-system, the developer needs to keep in mind the business user’s needs and the end user’s experience with the interface. An understanding of the technical aspects of SAP NetWeaver integration and development is required to design and implement a solution that is solid and scalable.

Understanding the business case to pursue integration and certification is imperative. Stasila described a conversation he had with a software development company that was approached by SAP. An SAP representative said, “you should get that software integrated with SAP.” The client had no idea what this might involve. They had no experience with SAP and were not aware of the level of complexity. However as part of their assessment phase Stasila had provided a list of priorities the client should focus on to improve their impact in the SAP space. The client then identified items on the list of priorities that they could do in house. The client is currently pursuing those priorities to improve their position.

So if a software company finds that the business case is there for certification with SAP what then? A typical 3rd party certification project looks something like this:

The software company reaches out to DataXstream. DataXstream will execute an assessment of the project to determine the high level scope of the project, develop a blue print and create a Rough Order Management Budget (ROM). If the assessment indicates that the software client should move forward with integrating and certifying their product with SAP DataXstream can work with the client to develop a full-scale project plan in detail. DataXstream can provide resources to execute the plan as well as experience with the SAP ecosystem to help with market analysis and promotion of the certified product. DataXstream is committed to our partners and provides sales support to help answer questions throughout the sales cycle of the certified product.

DataXstream is proud to have had the opportunity to partner with many software companies over the years whose products bring value to the SAP ecosystem. SAP is a leading provider in the enterprise software market; by certifying their product with SAP our clients increase the customer base for their product and gain market value.  Please contact us for more information regarding leveraging DataXstream’s SAP expertise to integrate and certify your product with SAP.


OMS+ Client Story

Fruit Grower’s Supply Company (FGS) is the largest agricultural supply co-op on the US West Coast. The cooperative was organized in 1907 as a result of the 1906 earthquake and fires in San Francisco. Today, the nonprofit cooperative association is open to the public and provides the agricultural items required to grow, harvest, package and ship various commodities of produce. Fruit Growers Supply provides over-the-counter sales, specialized ordering, and custom-design irrigation systems with six retail locations across California and Arizona.

Fruit Grower’s Supply determined a need to upgrade their SAP® environment and integrate a new Order Management / Point of Sale solution for each of their retail locations. Their legacy system was out of date and the company that performed the initial implementation had been bought out and no longer existed. Additionally, the legacy hardware FGS was using would no longer have support as of June 2014 and the company was tasked to maintain PCI compliance.

FGS created a committee of stakeholders to determine what to upgrade, evaluate potential partners and decide when to complete these changes to ensure minimal business disruption. The committee included the FGS Operation’s Center Director, IT Director, County Controller and Chief Financial Officer. The committee concluded that not only would it benefit the company to upgrade the legacy POS at that time, but that upgrading SAP and Windows would add additional efficiency. The POS needs were determined to be:

  • Increase customer service levels by supporting additional payment methods
  • Increase sales opportunities
  • Increase accountability by supporting end of day procedures and cash draw functionality

Specific needs critical to Fruit Grower’s Supply included:

  • The need to eliminate SAP interfaces
  • A centralized system
  • The ability to support specific client relationships found in their industry

The ability to support signature capture

Once the committee determined the company’s needs, they were responsible for selecting a solution to fulfill these requirements. The committee chose to partner with DataXstream because DataXstream was one of the only providers able to support all of FGS critical requirements. DataXstream’s skill set and knowledge of SAP upgrades met FGS needs. DataXstream also offered specialty retail knowledge, experience and had previous success with POS implementation at a specialty retailer. Finally, DataXstream demonstrated a clear understanding of the investment required for a successfully implementation and client history showing increased efficiencies and improved order management processes.

Fruit Grower’s Supply and DataXstream engaged in a two-week assessment period to better understand FGS’s needs. They agreed on a four-day cutover throughout Labor Day weekend to minimize the impact to FGS clients. Prior to cutover, the team submitted the implementation to three testing cycles. These testing cycles were also used as training opportunities for the FGS team.

Alex Perlovich, Director of IT for Fruit Growers noted that the assessment period was critical to the success of the project because FGS had the opportunity to require some proof from DataXstream that critical needs could be met. Tim Yates, CEO of DataXstream, noted that FGS did an excellent job providing detailed testing scenarios to test the product before delivery. The teams worked to upgrade SAP from ECC 6.0 to EHP7, implement a new hardware terminal with flexible controls, and migrate from the legacy POS to the new POS with minimal impact while maintaining some legacy processes.

At the end of any implementation the first question is: “What business value has been gained?”

Fruit Grower’s Supply lists the following benefits from upgrading their operating systems and implementing a new POS:

  • The solution was designed, developed and deployed to all of the company stores in 6 months
  • Seamless migration from legacy POS
  • Minimal impact to FGS clients
  • Retained ability to maintain legacy order processes
  • Sales order creation steps were reduced by 50 percent
  • Simplified return and refund processes were established; the time to complete a return and refund process was reduced from 15 minutes to less than 2 minutes
  • Significantly reduced the number of order fulfillment related support tickets from stores
  • Ability to add and refine features and functionality without adding hardware

DataXstream’s Order Management Solution (OMS+) is easily adapted to custom requirements for a variety of clients. It is a good fit for SAP clients looking for capability with permits, licenses, hazardous materials, partial orders, partial delivery, partial return or layaway. The solution is also a good fit for businesses considering SAP functionality, and any business, wholesale or retail, with complex order processing. DataXstream has recently been approached by municipalities exploring the possible use of the solution for sale of permits and licenses as well as restructuring the system to allow for one point accounts receivable.



DataXstream to Participate at Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference – Booth 418


When:  May 5-7th, 2015
Where:  Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

The DataXstream team is preparing once again for SAP®’s premier event, SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference.We’ll be joining 20,000+ SAP customers, partners and personnel who gather each year for 3 days of strategy, networking, and education on applications, platform, and services.

In addition to learning more about DataXstream’s leading SAP Consulting and Integration Services, we’re inviting folks to delve into our OMS+ Solution. Purpose built for SAP® ERP, ECC and Retail applications, OMS+ brings advanced Order Management and POS capabilities to in-store sales, tablet, or on-line store.

Attendees can:

  • Schedule a 1-on-1 OMS+ Demo
  • Join us on Thursday, May 7th, for an evening networking event and a chance to meet the team and our OMS+ customers

If you’re going to Orlando and want to secure some time to see OMS+ live or meet with the DataXstream team, complete the form below.  Hope to see you there!

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  3. (valid email required)
  4. Yes, I would like to:

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Simplifying SAP UX Design is Easier Than You Think

User experience – UX, for short – is how a person feels when interacting with a digital product. What users expect is an easy, interactive experience that provides value with regular use. When forced to spend too much time navigating through a clunky web application, the result is frustration, loss of productivity and a perception of poor value.

If you’re tired of hearing complaints from customers, clients, coworkers or employees about web apps with a cumbersome user experience, you’re not alone. The good news is there are professional tools available to help UX designers streamline business processes, enhance visuals and simplify navigation to boost user satisfaction and loyalty. This article aims to familiarize and provide examples of some of the professional design tools available for enhancing UX on web-based systems.

Tools of the Trade:
Here are a few popular and easily accessible tools for UX professionals, developers, designers and interaction designers.

Fiori is a collection of apps designed by SAP for broadly and frequently used SAP software functions. These apps offer a user experience that is personalized, responsive and simple, while enabling a holistic and consistent experience across multiple devices.

JavaScript enables you to add dynamic and interactive elements to websites. It can be used to enhance the user experience within web browsers by adding animation and effects, and also allows for communication between external devices and other platforms.

Not to be confused with HTML5, SAP UI5 is a library / framework of pre-built and customizable elements created using JavaScript that simplifies and accelerates the development of enhanced user experiences.

SAP Gateway
SAP Gateway is a technology that provides a simple way to connect devices, environments and platforms to SAP software based on market standards. It offers connectivity to SAP applications using any programming language or model without the need for SAP knowledge by leveraging REST services and OData/ATOM protocols.

ABAP Web Dynpro
ABAP Web Dynpro is the SAP standard UI technology for developing Web applications in the ABAP environment. This is the base of building a SAP specific webpage, but recently has the added ability to execute JavaScript.

How it’s done:
So what are some things you can do with the aforementioned tools? The examples below show how DataXstream developers used a combination of these tools to enhance the UX of our Order Management / POS application for SAP.

(1) ABAP Web Dynpro has enabled SAP web applications to utilize JavaScript. In the example below, both ABAP Web Dynpro and JavaScript were used to enhance the home page user interface.

ABAB, curtain effect, javascript

JavaScript was used to create a curtain effect. When the mouse is rolled over a blue icon, the box rolls up to reveal its contents. This can be seen in the first section.

Java Script, SAP, customization, SAP message

JavaScript was used to customize the standard SAP messages. Here the message is displayed in a pop-up that disables the background and forces the user to acknowledge the message.

(2) In addition to enhancing the UX with flashy interfaces, ABAP WD and JavaScript were used to communicate with a credit card machine. Below are snapshots of the interaction between the application and the credit card device.

OMS+, POS, credit card device, app display, SAP, SAP Retail,

Line items entered on the POS web app display on the credit card device.

UX, ABAP WD, JavaScript, credit card device, signature capture, SAP, SAP Retail, POS, OMS+

Once the customer provides a signature on the credit card device, it’s captured within the POS application.

cc machine, pos, oms+, sap, javascript, UX, ABAP WD,

The signature capture is also displayed on the retailer’s POS screen.

(3) In this next example, ABAP Web Dynpro, JavaScript, and SAP Gateway were combined to interactively display forms with the appropriate signature:

POS, ABAP, Web Dynpro, JavaScript, SAP Gateway
POS, OMS+, ABAP, Web Dynpro, JavaScript, SAP Gateway, SAP

POS, OMS+, SAP, signature

A PDF document within the POS displays the full order and signature.

In Summary:
SAP UI can be cumbersome, however simplifying digital apps to provide a better user experience, making it easier and more efficient for users, is not as daunting as you may think.

This year at TechEd && d-code, SAP’s premier technology education conference, DataXstream consultants presented a User Experience/User Interface Development session highlighting how DataXstream developers customized a standard Web Dynpro ABAP app using HTML islands. Participants learned to enhance standard floor plan manager components for Lean Order Management with HTML islands and saw examples of how HTML5 was used to enhance the GUI and communication with multiple external retail devices.

To learn more about DataXstream and view a pdf of this session, please click here.

michael_profile2Michael Champion
Michael Champion is a SAP Technical Consultant with DataXstream responsible for Product Integration and Development. His core skills include ABAP / Web Dynpro ABAP and Process Integration Development (PI/XI).

SAP TechEd && d-code Wrap Up

Every year since 2006 DataXstream has participated in SAP’s annual Technology users conference, SAP TechEd now called SAP TechEd && d-code. Each year we endeavor to bring knowledge and add value to the experience of the clients, users and partners that will be attending the show with us while increasing our own skill set. 2014 was no different.

DataXstream was represented by Tim Yates, Steve ParkMichael Champion, Sean ClohertyScott WalkerRon VottoValerie Parham, and Robert Sandy at the 2014 conference.

DataXstream, TechEd, SAP, d-code, consultants, solutions, technical, functional, integration

DataXstream at SAP TechEd && d-code 2014 Las Vegas

We fielded questions regarding SAP Integration and Consulting, System Upgrades, Enabling Independent Software Vendors in the SAP space, SAP Certification for Independent Software Vendors, the recently named DataXstream OMS+ Order Management Solution for SAP Retail. We shared customer stories, what worked and maybe what did not work so well. We gave away Starbucks cards and iPad minis.

This year we had the added opportunity to have a speaking session. Michael Champion, SAP Technical Consultant and Sean Cloherty, SAP Application Developer conducted a break out session: UXP216 “How to Integrate HTML5 into Standard Web Dynpro Business Processes” which was well attended and well received despite being scheduled early Thursday morning. If you would like to view the PDF of the session, click here. If you have any questions for Michael or Sean regarding the session please email them to info@dataxstream.com and please include ‘UXP216′ in the title of the email.

SAP, TechEd, d-code, Las Vegas, 2014, UXP216, HTML5, Dynpro, DataXstream, Consulting, Consultants, Integration,

Michael Champion and Sean Cloherty at SAP TechEd && d-code Las Vegas 2014, leading “How to Integrate HTML5 into Standard Web Dynpro Business Processes”