Templates and Accelerators in SAP Portal sites


In the previous blog I introduced the building blocks of a freestyle portal site. I outlined the flow where portal admins use the portal admin tools to create new sites from site templates, create pages, design layouts, and add content widgets. The portal is delivered with a predefined set of content which enables admins to easily start building sites and add content to them. The default offering includes:

       1) A set of site templates – those contain flexible layouts and content for common scenarios.

       2) The default offering also includes a set of widgets – provided out of the box with portal. Admins can add these widgets to their site pages to add collaboration capabilities through integration with Jam, and to display Web content and media files like images, videos, and other things.

      3) In addition, the default offering includes default navigation menus for desktop and mobile that admins can add to their sites, allowing end users to navigate between the site pages.

In addition to the portal’s default offering, additional content, capabilities, and comprehensive portal solutions are made available through a concept that we call "templates and accelerators".

So what are templates and accelerators? Templates and accelerators are a set of open- source portal solutions, widgets, and plug-ins delivered on SAP’s GitHub version control repository. They are intended to accelerate your portal implementation by providing additional ready- made site and page templates, applications, widgets, and shell plug-ins.

Portal admins can leverage these accelerators by incorporating them directly into their portal sites. And portal developers can use these open- source accelerators as a starting point to extend and customize or simply use them as a reference, or a code sample, for their custom development.

So what's included with the accelerators? The widget accelerators include several applications that portal admins can add to their site pages as-is and developers can use as a starting point for custom development and extension. They include a side navigation menu widget, a breadcrumbs widget, and a login widget, allowing end users to log in and log out from your portal sites. In addition, a sample Rich Text Editor extension widget is provided as part of the accelerator widgets. In addition, a sample Rich Text Editor extension widget is provided as part of the accelerator widgets. It's an editor for adding and formatting text, tables, and combining resources like images, videos, and more.

In addition to widgets, you can also find site and shell plug-in accelerators. Site accelerators are sample site templates featuring major portal capabilities with custom pages, page templates, and content. These currently include two templates: a parallax site and a marketing site.

Finally, as part of the templates and accelerators, the portal delivers comprehensive site solutions for specific common business scenarios. These open-source solutions consist of the site template, the underlying business applications, detailed configuration guidelines, and more. This way, partners and customers can easily use these solutions as-is on their landscapes or have their developers use them as a starting point to customize and extend according to their needs, branding, and specific business requirements.

Currently the portal offers three such site accelerator solutions.

The first one is the self-service support site, which is a comprehensive solution for organizations to engage with their customers, partners, or employees. It allows them to create service request tickets and track them online in addition to collaborating with service agents to quickly resolve their issues. The solution integrates with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer for customer relation management capabilities, with SAP Jam for collaboration, and uses the SAP Identity Service for authentication and SSO.
The second site accelerator is the partner portal, which is a comprehensive solution through which organizations can offer their partners a central, Web-based access point to self-services for jointly managing sales activities.

The third solution is a custom developer’s portal. This solution integrates with SAP Cloud Platform’s API Management service and enables organizations to create custom- branded developer portals for their developers to get information about all the available APIs, products, and subscriptions.

Okay, so now that we understand what accelerators are, let’s see how to work with them.
      1) Accelerators are available on SAP’s GitHub repository. The first step would be to clone the repository locally with a GitHub client or simply download it as a ZIP file.

      2) Developers can then import the accelerator ZIP files as application projects into the Web IDE available on their SAP Cloud Platform accounts.

      3) They can either customize the code to adapt it to their needs or use it as it is.

      4) And after deploying the accelerator app to their SAP Cloud Platform account, it will be available for portal admins to use in their portal sites.

Okay, so what I want to demo now is actually how I would use an accelerator as an admin and then as a developer. So first of all, SAP's GitHub is accessible through the link "sap.github.io".

So you have the reference to the partner portal, to the service portal, and to the samples repository, which you can open from the “Repository”. Lets say, we download the marketing site template.

Alternatively, you can also access these links through the portal Admin Space. So the home page of the Admin Space contains links for the accelerators, which you can launch from there.

Okay, now as an admin, I want to experience some of the site templates that are available in the github, So I can either clone this repository... but I'm not a developer... So I can either download this, the whole repository, onto my desktop as a ZIP file, now once this is downloaded, I can import it directly into my SAP Cloud Platform cockpit, directly into the HTML5 application repository.

Once it is imported, you need to activate the version of the imported file. Now once this is activated, we can actually already start using it from the portal.
So within the portal admin space, when you create a new site, you will notice that you have a new entry there.

And this is the marketing site template that we just imported from the GitHub repository. And once I click on "Create", the marketing site instance, which is a copy of the site template, will be opened in the Site Designer. So I can start editing it and customizing it if I need to.

So this was the Admin flow, now let’s see the developer flow:

Now going back to the Git repository, I know that under "widgets" there's a logon widget that I want to use – the "sciloginwidget". So again, as a developer I can either clone the whole repository... or download it.

Once it is downloaded, you can go ahead and import this directly into your SAP Web IDE, and by right-clicking on the "Workspace" folder, we can import a file from the file system. Now as a developer you have access to the code, you can customize the code or leave it as it is.

The next step would be to deploy it to the sap cloud platform and once it's deployed to the Cloud Platform account, it will already be available for portal admins to use it in their portal sites.

As a portal admin you can simply use this new accelerator widget in your portal solution.

Within the content catalog, I can add a "Login Widget" into my site.
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