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Configuring or changing a map provider in SAP Visual Business


SAP Visual Business supports many map providers.
To accessing the maps inside SAP a
map provider has to fullfil these two requirements:

1. a quad key interface has to be supported. This is the standard interface for map tiles.

2. the maps tiles can be retrieved by a REST web service.

If you want to change the map provider or install Visual Business first time you have to entering the license information and/or switch to your prefered map provider. This information is maintained in the backend system and send to the frontend when it is initialized.
The maintenance of the application definitions can be found in the reference IMG – available with transaction SPRO (according to the EhP rules the IMG node is only visible if business function FND_VISUAL_BUSINESS is active):

The definitions are structured in 3 parts, which build upon each other:

  1. Map Products
  2. Map Layer Stacks
  3. Applications

As default no map is licensed for productive usage. The customer has to take care of this and purchase a map license directly from a map provider.

The GeoMap component has a pre-defined default setup, which is also shipped to customers.

You have to license the map directly from a map provider or use your own maps.

Map Product definition

The Map Products are the base for all further definitions. Thus, at least one map product needs to be defined before any further definitions can be made. A map product describes the single map, its technical parameters and the service location.

Each map product needs a unique ID and should have a description. In the technical parameter you describe the pixel size of the map tiles, the supported zoom levels called LOD (Level of Detail), the name of the service provider and the Copyright information. Finally the available service URL needs to be provided in the sub-node map servers.

The actual service URLs are specified as templates, using a certain set of placeholders, which will be filled at runtime. The available placeholders and their meaning are described in the F1-help for the URL field. See here for a detailed describtion of the placeholders Map Server URL Configuration. If the map service provider runs multiple servers for the service you can specify all of them for load distribution. At runtime this URL scheme with the placeholders is filled with their values and the URL is requested. The URL scheme entry can be tested with the Test Server Entry button.

URL scheme map providers:

See here a document describing HERE (fromerly Nokia, NAVTEQ) maps configuration.

See here a document describing Openstreetmap maps configuration.
See here a document describing the ALK (PC*
Miler) Maps.

See here a document describing the PTV Maps.

Map Layer Stack definition

A map layer stack describes what is actually displayed as map by the Visual Business frontend. It has a unique ID and a description. It allows stacking multiple layers, whereas each layer refers to a map product. The layers are combined in the given sequence, whereas the first layer lies on the bottom and each succeeding layer will be painted on top of the prior one. Depending on the use-case you can increase or decrease the opacity of succeeding layers, if they are opaque by nature. Further you can specify the background color for transparent parts.

Application definition

The application definition is the final bracket around the prior definitions. Again it has a unique ID and a description. On the application level you can define the behavior of the scene navigation and the visual appearance of the navigation control.

In section NavControl Function Settings you can disable certain function, e.g. map rotation. In section NavControl Visual Appearance you can disable parts of the navigation control, e.g. the zoom slider to save space. Of course it makes sense to suppress the control parts related to disabled functions. However, it is a valid case to visually reduce the navigation control, but to retain its full functionality. Therefore both sections are separated.

Finally you need to assign one or more map layer stacks to an application. If more than one is assigned it is also necessary to mark one as default. All others can be made available to the user via personalization.

The user can switch the map layer by right clicking on the map and choosing “personalization” in the context menu. 
After choosing a layer stack the user has to press F5 to update the screen and see a new map.