Which features are available for which SAP NW AS ABAP for NWBC 5.0 or Higher?

See here: SAP Library: Business Client Versions

NWBC 4.0:

1707623 – SAP NetWeaver Business Client 4.0 expected releases

1754946 – NWBC for Desktop 4.0: Prerequisites and restrictions

1707626 – NWBC 4.0 Patches -CLIENT ONLY- SAP NetWeaver Business Client

As NWBC 4.0 is out of maintenance, latest released version 4.0 PL19 is only available under “Archive for Support Packages and Patches”: -> N -> NETWEAVER BUSINESS CLIENT

Direct download link – NWBC 4.0 PL19 Archive:


Q: How does the SAP GUI protocol recognize the NWBC web logon (in PFCG mode)?

A: NWBC uses HTTP to contact the ABAP system, which then sends back a MYSAPSS02 or a SAP_SESSIONID cookie (assertion ticket). Value 3 is the default parameter in the kernel as of NetWeaver 7.40 to enable the AS ABAP to issue authentication assertion tickets and no logon tickets. We recommend you use this value.

This is then used to talk to the ABAP system. This should be in the documentation – See SAP Lbrary : 7.1 NWBC and Authentication


It is the responsibility of the customers to make whatever security settings are necessary in the browser. Pay particular attention to your proxy settings. NWBC uses the security settings from the Internet Explorer. NWBC does not store or persistently keep any authentication data in any form.


To make data access both simple and secure we recommand combining NWBC with SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On.

As of release SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On 2.0, SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On offers support for SPNEGO for ABAP.

Leveraging this Kerberos-based single sign-on technology, you can implement an SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On solution for your NWBC quickly and easily, and without the need for a Java stack.

See how in the following blog by Sandra Thimme:

NWBC (4.0) meets Single Sign-On: Simplify Secure Data Access (Part 1)

Q: How to logon without SNC?

A: Once SNC/SSO is configured for a user you have to create an alias to logon without SNC. Use transaction SICF to create an alias. See how in the following blog by Sandra Thimme:

NWBC and SSO: Logon with/without SNC (Secure Network Communication)


Q: Are NWBC 3.5 and 4.0 downwards compatible?

A: Yes, NWBC 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 can connect to all backends from NW 7.00 SP21, NW 7.01 SP06 onwards.

This means that end users can connect to any system with this release or highrer. However, some features
require a higher release- such as Side Panel, which requires ECC6.0, EHP6.


NWBC 3.5

NWBC 4.0

Main SAP Notes for NWBC requirements are:

1029940 SAP NetWeaver Business Client Requirements and Restrictions

1620514 NWBC 3.5 for Desktop: Requirements and Restrictions

1620576 NWBC 3.5 for HTML: Requirements and Restrictions

Display of Error Messages

Q: Can you influence the position of error message?

A: No. Error message depends on the application’s UI technology. If this is dynpro (SAP GUI), message is displayed in a status bar at the bottom, for e.g. WDA applications, the message is displayed at the top. NWBC cannot influence this.


Introduction: SAP Library 2.13 NWBC for HTML , Wiki

Prerequisites and restrictions: See Note 1620576

Browser support

See Product Availability Matrix (PAM) (This is for NetWeaver 7.3. For other versions, see the panel at the bottom right of the screen. Once you have chosen the correct version of NetWeaver, choose “Technical Release Information” -> “Web Browser Platforms”. )

(NWBC for Desktop supports only Internet Explorer).

Make sure you have the most uptodate patch for your back end:

SAP Note 1353538: NWBC Patch Collection

Note: You have to activate the correct SICF node for your version of NWBC for HTML. For more details, see the UI Add On documentation.



NWBC does not change the performance behavior of the contained applications. The shell adds some additional performance on top but this happens in a constant way and does not relate to the performance behavior of the application. The application footprint is the same as if it were running in a standalone scenario.

Q: Can NWBC manage over 10,000 users?

A: Yes, see the section in the documentation on the performance profile for NWBC: SAP Library : 8
Performance Aspects

Q: What are the performance characteristics / bandwidth requirements for NWBC?

A: This is explained in detail in the documentation, in chapter 8 on Performance Aspects and in

Q: Does NWBC support load balancing?

A: You could place a reverse proxy in front of your application servers to spread the load, and allow you to
later dynamically consider additional servers. Or start NWBC for Desktop via the message server to
automatically lock onto the least busy application server.

This is described in detail in the documentation. SAP Library : 3.6 Using NWBC with a Load Balancer

Q: What sort of overhead is there that might affect performance?

A: The performance and overhead footprint of all applications running within NWBC are still the same as if
they would run standalone. The question is what additional overhead does NWBC add?

Q: Sometimes it seems, that it takes longer to open an transaction in NWBC as in SAP GUI. Why?

A: To display a transaction NWBC has to establish a connection to the sapguiserver. With NWBC 5.0 the connections will be initialized after the system connection is established.

NWBC for Desktop: It accesses the server only once during startup to authenticate the user and then to
verify that the navigation tree in its cache is still valid. In the usual case, two HTTP requests are all that are
needed once a day for NWBC for Desktop (extra features, such as searching for transactions, does add
additional requests to the server, but these should be the norm on a shop floor).

NWBC for HTML: The server renders the shell. Each interaction with the shell, for example starting a new
application, results in a small amount of network overhead to get a new shell rendered from the ABAP
server, plus of course the ABAP session.

ABAP runtime: The client fires a set of HTTP requests to the server. For the desktop client, it is the
sequence of requests to validate its cache. For the HTML shell it is the series of requests to trigger the
navigation. The ABAP runtime becomes stateful (keeps the ABAP session) for 15-30 seconds, before the
session is cleared again. As such, the overhead is very little on ABAP. (Keep in mind that the desktop client
only calls once on startup.)

In addition, with the v3.5 ABAP runtime (NW7.03+), we have added in memory objects to cache complex
role operations, which will dramatically speed up the HTML shell’s performance if this is preferred.

Q: What are the performance requirements for VPN-/MPLS connections using NWBC 3.0 or the

A: The NWBC client requirements are similar to normal applications. Initially, NWBC for desktop loads the
navigation tree and caches it on the client. After caching the network traffic is the same as when an
application is run in standalone mode.

By default, NWBC for desktop uses SAP GUI for Windows instead of SAP GUI for HTML.


Q: Can I create own folder structures for my system connections (as  in SAP Logon)?

A: No. This feature will be released with the next version of NWBC (NWBC 5.0).

Q: Can I change the work center/service map icons?


  • In both 3.5 and 4.0, you can change the Work Center/ Service Map icons in Role Maintenance (PFCG):
    SAP Library: 5.5 Navigation Tree (scroll down to “Other Node Details).
  • In 3.5, you can also change Work Center icons by right-clicking the tab. See SAP Library : 2.3 Navigation
    (This is no longer relevant in 4.0).

Q: Can I add custom icons to the work center/service map?

A: No

Q: In NWBC 4.0, can I change the welcome message?

The message on the Index page can be replaced by a different text, even with parameters.

Use parameter WELCOME_MESSAGE in the backend configuration table NWBC_CFG. See also SAP
Library: 4.6 Configuration in Table NWBC_CFG

Q: If an end user makes personalization changes in NWBC are they valid for his or her user ID or for
his or her local installation?

A: All changes stored locally on a user’s PC (for example reordering of work centers / icons for work centers /
hide some work centers / font changes/ etc) do not work on another PC.

All changes within canvas applications are stored on the server and would work on another computer.

Personalization: Options are stored locally and are Windows-user specific. The sequence of the work centers
and the icons are even stored per connection and per user accessing the connection.

Positioning: NWBC vs SAP GUI vs Portal

We have now summarized answers to these questions here:

When to Use NWBC – and When You _Really_ Shouldn’t

Q: I have Microsoft Sharepoint/ IBM WebSphere. Should I use SAP Enterprise Portal or SAP NetWeaver Business Client in conjunction with these?

A: Both SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP NetWeaver Business Client (HTML Client) work with Microsoft
Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere. Which one you use depends on your other requirements – see above.

To integrate NWBC with either Microsoft Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere, see the following documentation:

9.1 How To Integrate NWBC into a Microsoft SharePoint Portal

9.2 How to Integrate NWBC into an IBM WebSphere Portal

Positioning : Desktop vs HTML client

What are the benefits of NWBC (HTML)?

Access to ABAP systems

Zero footprint

Use case for NWBC (HTML):
Extranet: eg Volkswagen runs SAP. Its component suppliers do not, necessarily. They can use NWBC for HTML To access (parts of) VW’s ABAP-based systems.

Q: What are the main differences between the HTML NWBC and the desktop NWBC?

A: Desktop NWBC performance is better, how much better depends on number of work centers, size of navigation tree, which browser is used, and the power of the PC:

HTML NWBC uses SAP GUI for HTML; desktop NWBC uses SAP GUI for Windows

HTML NWBC has no overflow, no D+D of work centers, no search

All-in-One uses the desktop NWBC

HTML NWBC does NOT use the portal, only ABAP systems

HTML NWBC is aimed at the casual user

The HTML NWBC has an address field for a URL.

Programming Aspects

Q: In the installation under C:Program FilesSAPNWBC there are a number of executables, dlls and
other files. What do they do?

A: NWBC.exe – That is what gets executed when you click on the icon on the desktop.

NWBCCore.exe – This is the main process to run NWBC.

NWBCSAPlets. Exe – This is an SAP widget engine for SAPLets (not productized)

NWBCURLHandler. Exe – This is a small launcher to react to a URL like: „sap-nwbc://“. It is used to start
NWBC against a specific server. The customer can create “sap-nwbc://xxx” link Web page and by click user
would start NWBC.  NwbcUrlHandler.exe offers no parameter documentation. Facing any issues with NwbcUrlHandler.exe you have to open a ticket.

sapAcfDummy. Html – Acf specific (Active Component Framework). Used for JGannt/JNett, Microsoft
Office integration


Roles (PFCG)

Q: How much work is involved in maintaining roles in PFCG? Doesn’t that generate work and raise
costs for migrating from SAP GUI to NWBC?

Before you maintain the roles you have to clearly define the business processes. You can then derive the
business roles from these and then turn them fairly quickly into PFCG roles. Creating the menus should
then be straightforward.

In our experience most customers need to spend more time defining their business processes. This leads to
concrete, time-consuming but crucial preliminary questions of the form: “Is Mr. X allowed to do Y or only
Z?” and “To what extent to we want to restrict our employees’ working environment?”

Q: What happens if roles are duplicated?

A: NWBC uses a merging function, so there are no double entries.

Q: Can you import roles from one system to another?

A: Yes, using SM59 see SAP Library: 5.11 Remote Systems

Q: What are cockpits?

See SAP Library for details:

Cockpits – User Interface Add-On for SAP NetWeaver – SAP Library

To find all roles that relate to a specific cockpit; just look at table AGR_ATTS and search on the value = “NWBC.Cockpit={replace with your cockpit name}”

SAP GUI Scripting

Q: Does SAP GUI Scripting work?

A: Yes, with the following limitations:

  • Scripting works reliably only for ONE instance of NWBC. This is because, for each SapGuiProcess, there is a “SAPGUISERVER”-running object table entry (“ROT entry). If you try to fetch the scripting object (GetObject(“SAPGUISERVER”) , and if you have several instances open, pointing to different systems, it may not be clear to the system which instance is the right one
  • There may be limitations with remote connection handling.
  • There is a problem if the script points to SAP Easy Access: Currently, in SAP GUI standalone, if you keep hitting Back (F3), you end up in SMEN. You can then navigate somewhere else. In NWBC, if you keep hitting F3, you end up, finally , with a closed tab.


Side Panel (Parameter sapgui/nwbc_scripting)

The side panel in NWBC is not only a new UI area located on the side of the content area but also an infrastructure to enhance existing SAP GUI transactions from older releases without modifications.

Tags are the basis for the extraction process (extracted via SAP GUI scripting). They define which screen properties are to be extracted from an application running in the content area, and with which name the extracted properties are passed to the side panel application . All tags are stored in the tag table . For more information, see 6.7.2 Creating Tags in the Tag Table .


You have installed and enabled SAP GUI scripting on the server

How to activate SAP GUI Scripting see here, chapter 5:SAP NetWeaver Business Client for Desktop 5.0 Setup

System Connections

Q: Is there a maximum number of systems?

A: There is no technical limitation to the number of systems.
But: The more systems you have the more complex it is to maintain. PFCG was not built to maintain lots of

If you have lots of systems use the portal. It has better tools.

Q: Can you access more than one system?

A: Yes, you can access 2 or more systems by opening 2 instances of NWBC.

Q: While using NWBC, how can I ascertain which system I am logged into (DEV, QA, PRD)?

A: Here, we have to distinguish between NWBC for desktop and NWBC for HTML.

Desktop client : you can find out about NWBC using the menu options Help -> About NetWeaver Business
Client and then you can find out even more by clicking System Information. You can also click on the SAP
icon right at the bottom of the NWBC to access system information.

But that does not tell you whether you are in a QM system etc.

In new versions if NWBC for Desktop such as 4.0 or in the HTML Add-On our developers are working on
theming. For example, you could display the shell in a different colour depending on whether the system is
a production system, a QM system or a development system.

With the HTML version you can specify a Welcome message. This message appears at the top of NWBC.

You could mention the system type (eg QM) in this Welcome message.

HTML Client: Welcome Message (currently only in NW 7.31), see docu chapter 4.6

Here is the technical background:



At runtime, the system selects the welcome message in the logon language.

If no matching language entry is found, LANG=’ ‘ or LANG=’*’ is used as a fallback.

The welcome message is displayed in NWBC for HTML next to the Log Off pushbutton.

The VALUE field contains the text. You can use the following placeholders:

&NAME&: first name

&SURNAME&: last name

&FULL_NAME&: full name

&USER&: user name

&CLIENT&: client

&SYSTEM&: system ID


Q: Does NWBC cause bandwidth problems?

A: Usage of the SAP GUI for Windows instead of SAP GUI for HTML results in a significant bandwidth
reduction. The NWBC for Windows shell is rendered on the client side and the role XML is cached on the
client side. Therefore shell rendering is generally a bandwidth reduction compared with the NetWeaver
Portal shell. Web content (like BSP or Web Dynpro) running within NWBC is unchanged in its bandwidth
Q: Is there a maximum number of sessions/windows that can be open in NWBC?

A: So far there is no limitation from the NWBC side, except a memory limit. It is possible to open 100
windows, but be careful; some servers limit the number of open sessions. For example, by default, SAP
J2EE limits the number of open Web Dynpro JAVA applications to 20.There is a limit of 16 on the number of SAP GUI sessions.The default number is 6. Note: Each and every side panel is using an extra session. So the number of six might in any case not be enough.

ABAP Language (Enhanced) (BC-ABA-LA) (Further Changes).

For more information, see rdisp/max_alt_modes:
User Context

Q: Do the connections have to be defined for SAP GUI and for NWBC, that is, twice?

A: Yes. With NWBC 5.0 that will change.

Q: Which client technology is recommended by SAP for customers running Linux if they use roles
that mix Dynpro and Web Dynpro applications?

A: NWBC for desktop does not run on Linux. NWBC uses SAP GUI for Windows to display dynpros. It does
not use the Java GUI.

However, NWBC for HTML does run in Firefox, which will work on Linux.


Q: Does NWBC support Citrix?

A: Yes, [email protected]” contains a NWBC installation.

NWBC for Desktop works on Windows platforms, also on Citrix. NWBC for HTML is browser-based (see
SAP’s browser PAM); it also runs in Citrix environments.


We have recently collected information on integration of content in NWBC in the following blog:

The Big List: Almost everything you can consume in NWBC

This section is intended only for information not included in that blog, so please check there too.

Adobe Reader

Q: Does the documentation specify which version of Adobe Reader has to be installed? Or does
NWBC itself incorporate a specific version of Adobe Reader?

A: There are no specific requirements regarding NWBC and Adobe Reader. When forms are displayed in
NWBC then this involves forms integrated in Web Dynpro ABAP. For information about browser support for
Adobe Forms please read the PAM (Product Availability Matrix), available on SAP Service Marketplace.

Business Server Pages (BSPs)

Q: Are there are any technical restrictions when linking Business Server Pages within the NetWeaver Business Client?

A: There is no limitation for BSP or Web Dynpro ABAP technology for NWBC.

Business Suite: CRM

Q: Can I integrate CRM Content in NWBC?


First, you need to set up a connection and trusted relationship between the two systems:

Connecting Two Backend Systems – Part One (RFC Connections)

Connecting Two Backend Systems – Part Two (Trusted Relationships)

Connecting Two Backend Systems – Part Three (Single Sign-On)

Then, you need to follow the documentation:

SAP Library: How to Integrate CRM Content in NWBC

Business Suite: ESS/MSS

“As of EhP5 for ERP 6.0, We officially support NWBC scenario for ESS/MSS. For casual users like ESS we  position NWBC HTML since it is zero footprint client (no installation). However even NWBC Desktop is supported.

“You can find the deployment options described in help portals.

“We have also a consulting note 1450179 that describes all kinds of combinations possible.

“For NWBC environment, we provide POWL for all kind of approval scenarios based on SAP workflow. For specific approvals like Leave and Time entry approvals there is better functionality offered compared to UWL (like multiple approvals in a single click).

“There are no restrictions from ESS/MSS WD ABAP application consumption perspective to use NWBC.
However customer must decide switching from portal based on overall requirements like how much they do specific branding, theming, custom development & help content.

Business Suite: SRM

In general SRM – including OBN – works with NWBC for Desktop or HTML. However, if you use SRM as an integration hub and then navigate to a remote system, then OBN will NOT work within the remote system.

See also SAP Note 2060102 for further limitations of NWBC for HTML.

You can also use SRM with the Portal Independent Navigation Frame, a client developed by the SRM group and based on – but not identical to – NWBC for HTML. See the Help Portal for more information: Portal-Independent Navigation Frame.

Business Suite: Web Dynpro ABAP-based Applications

If a screen has been converted to WDA can I still revert to SAP GUI if I prefer the old screen?

SAP does not convert each SAP GUI screen 1 to 1 to a new WDA screen. The new WDA screens are always
part of new process and engineered for support the new process. The assumption is that the SAP GUI

screen is replaced by the new process.
However, users are generally still able to access the old SAP GUI transactions. They are still available in the

It may be the case that the old transactions are no longer part of the role.

Q: What percentage of screens have been converted to WDA? Is there a roadmap for this? Will all
SAP GUI screens be converted eventually?
With EhP6 we have more than 2000 WDA screens. The redesign depends always on the end-user needs
and the corresponding use cases.

Q: How much work is involved for the customer in converting SAP GUI screens to WDA screens?
It depends. As most WDA screens are related to new processes some minor end user training might be
required. As the end user can also personalize the screens, these features need to be explained.
It is possible to configure WDA screens via the Floor Plan Manage (FPM). The customer can also use the
FPM to create his own screens. If the customers uses for example our Business Object Layer (BOL) he can
create the UI via configuration of the FPM against the BOL framework.

Q: Are the new WDA screens automatically available when a new EHP is installed or does each
screen have to be activated?

You need to activate the corresponding Business Functions. Only after a Business Function activation the
new screens will be visible.


Q: What does the roadmap look like for rendering HTML5 pages?

A: If a customer has IE 9+ (with an HTML 5 rendering engine) on his computer then NWBC will render HTML5 based pages.

Keep in mind we always use Internet Explorer as the HTML rendering engine.

IBM WebSphere/ Microsoft Sharepoint

Q: I have Microsoft Sharepoint/ IBM WebSphere. Should I use SAP Enterprise Portal or SAP
NetWeaver Business Client in conjunction with these?

A: Both SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP NetWeaver Business Client (HTML Client) work with Microsoft
Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere. Which one you use depends on your other requirements – see above.

To integrate NWBC with either Microsoft Sharepoint or IBM WebSphere, see the following documentation:

9.1 How To Integrate NWBC into a Microsoft SharePoint Portal

9.2 How to Integrate NWBC into an IBM WebSphere Portal

Microsoft Silverlight

Q: A customer has some Silverlight applications. I assume they are “integrated” in NWBC using a
URL. Is this correct?

A: Yes, they can run Silverlight application as a normal URL-based application. Of course, the Silverlight
plug-in must be installed on the user’s PC.

Microsoft Windows XP

On April 8, 2014, Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP (for more details please refer to This affects the operating systems and web browser platform valid for NWBC 3.5 & NWBC 4.0 within the PAM 2.0. Please see the PAM 2.0 for more details.

SAP Enterprise Portal

Q: How should we deal with users who access SAP both via Portal (casual HCM) and directly (primary job function)?

A: One option is for them to use the portal most of the time and then to talk directly to the back end using
NWBC for HTML. Another is to use just NWBC for desktop but using a portal connection rather than talking
directly to the back end.

Third-Party Content

Q: What options are there for integrating 3rd party applications in NWBC?

A: In general, you can integrate any third-party content that can be accessed by URL.

In Web Dynpro, you can integrate 3rd party UI controls via FlashIsland/SilverlightIslands into Web Dynpro

It’s possible to run/launch 3rd party application from NetWeaver Business Client by defining a new entry in
PFCG with “Web address/file URL” type (like Web Dynpro/Transaction/other types).

Related Content

SCN Space : UI Technology

Web Dynpro ABAP

SAP NetWeaver Portal

SAP Single Sign-On

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