An iView refers to any kind of application, information or service that can be visualized in a Web browser frame. iViews appear in a special container called tray, which offers a certain functionality for using and adapting the iView.
iViews are self-contained Web documents that are provided via a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) managed by the SAP portal framework. The resource itself can be anywhere on the Web.
Content - not just a Point of Entry
An iView is not simply a point of entry or a entry mask which leads directly to a Website. That is, the iView must offer some content to users and fulfill its raison d'être within the allotted space. Additional information may be offered as a link and take the user to the provider's Website.
For example, if a user enters a word in a dictionary iView, the definition should appear inside the area of the iView. A link to usage examples, similar words, etc. could be provided which would then take the user to the provider's homepage.
An iView should provide the user with some added value, such as customized pushed information, integration with different applications and systems, etc.
Integration - Roles, Work Sets, and Tasks
iViews on a portal page may be integrated in the sense that they share information or feed one another with information, similar to information cockpits. Such an integration further enhances the work place of a user and provides additional value; as shown below, it can be based on the concepts of user roles and worksets.
The whole set of iViews provided in the SAP portal environment depends on the role of the user. Subsets of iViews may be grouped together to form a workset. A workset comprises a complete work intent within a user's role, that is, a set of tasks for fulfilling that intent. Thus, worksets are constituents of a role. Or the other way round: A user role can be regarded as a bundle of worksets, which themselves bundle certain tasks into autonomous units within a role (see figure 1).
Figure 1: Relation between a role, several worksets and the tasks assigned to worksets
Definition of Workset
A workset is usually assigned to a job role. It may also embed other smaller worksets. Tasks are the activities that are performed in the context of a workset. A task can be more or less complex. Some tasks may require a larger set of services, while others correspond to one single interaction step. Depending on this, the workspace design will based on portal pages filled with iViews either give an overview and will provide access to related services or it will directly offer in-place actions.
So far, the concept of worksets has been limited to stateless iView collection that are used to deploy and assign targeted content to portal users. In a second step, this concept can be generalized to support instantiated, state-full worksets that represent a current state of a working process. That is, iViews may no longer be stateless but communicate with each other, or depend on each other.
iViews have the following characteristics:
The basic uses of iViews are to provide information and to accelerate the users' work. Below we present examples for these uses.
The key message here is to provide data instead of asking for them.
The key message here is to provide simple and efficient services.
iViews can be adapted to the users' role and needs on a two-level basis. Customization is typically performed by the system administrator for a user role, that is, for a set of users that fulfill the same role in a company. Personalization is carried out by the individual users - they adapt the iViews and portal pages to their personal needs.
What the system administrator does for the users (based on user roles):
What the users themselves do:
Note: Currently, the personalization of an iView beyond its appearance on a portal page has to be handled by the iView itself. There is no general personalization interface available.
Source: SAP iView Guidelines