R/3 History in Screen Shots

R/2: Terminal Screens | R/3 Version 1.0 | R/3 Version 2, 2.1 | R/3 Version 3, 3.1 | R/3 Version 4 | R/3 Version 4.6 | mySAP.com Workplace

By Gerd Waloszek, SAP User Experience, SAP AG – Updated: April 16, 2004

This page illustrates the evolution of the R/3 user interface, starting with terminal-based R/2 screens – R/2 was the predecessor to R/3 – and ending with screens demonstrating the current multiple-area approach.

Example of R/3 version 2.1 screen

Figure: Begining with R/3 version 2, the SAPGUI appeared in "Windows look" (this is an version 2.1 example)

Note: This is only a very limited selection of screen shots. Ulrich Kreichgauer (Usability Engineering Center) helped to verify the characteristics of the different GUI (graphical user interface) versions.


System Examples Characteristics

R/2: Terminal Screens

Terminal Emulation Screens
Startup of R/2
Screen 1 / B&W
Screen 2 / B&W
Screen 3 / B&W
Screen 3a

Terminal Screen
Screen 1

The R/2 user interface is based on terminal screens, which are often simulated by "terminal" programs on machines with a graphical user interface (Unix, OS/2, Windows).

  • R/2: Terminal screens
  • Only onscreen menus
  • List of function keys at the bottom
  • Message area at the bottom
  • Leadings dots for field labels, field length not indicated on terminals
  • Lines separate field groups
  • Question mark indicates required fields

R/2 with CUA interface:

  • "Simulated" R/3 interface for R/2 providing menus and a pushbutton bar (clickable) at the bottom listing the most important function keys

Example of R/2 screen

Screen 2 – click image for larger view

System Examples Characteristics
R/3 Version 1.0 and 1.1


Screen 1
Screen 2


Dialog 1
Dialog 2

Note: The images are grayscale versions of colored screendumps.

Version 1.0

First "graphical" user interface for SAP software, typically in OSF/Motif look (OS/2 was strong then, too).

Tables are created using the Steploop technology.

There are no graphical elements, such as group boxes, checkboxes, radiobuttons, table control, tabstrip, icons (or even more advanced ones) available.

Duality of dynpro technology (screen with fields, tables etc.) and ABAP list technology (used for interactive reporting). Both technologies can not coexist on one screen.

  • Leadings dots for field labels, field length not indicated
  • Menu bar
  • Pushbutton bar at the bottom showing the most important function keys
  • Focus on OS/2
  • Basically R/2 with added menus and pushbutton bar...

Version 1.1

  • Field length indicated by background colors
  • Fast Paths in menus (for keyboard access)
  • Focus on OSF/Motif

Example of R/3 version 1.0 screen

Screen 1 – click image for larger view

System Examples Characteristics
R/3 Version 2, 2.1


Screen 1 (initial screen)

Version 2.0

New features for this version:

  • New Windows GUI (Windows 3.1; other supported platforms are OSF/Motif, OS/2 and Mac OS)
  • Windows look and feel (a little...)
  • No leading dots for field labels
  • 3D look for entry fields
  • System and Application Toolbar
  • Icons in System Toolbar

Version 2.1

This version introduces:

  • New graphical elements: checkboxes, radiobuttons, group boxes, push buttons on screen
  • New icon look
  • List colors
  • Windows GUI becomes "standard GUI

With this version, the Windows GUI starts to dominate the SAP user interface. Many users believe that this GUI is a "real" Windows application; however, its is still a "clever" terminal simulation.


Example of R/3 version 2.1 screen

Initial screen – click image for larger view

System Examples Characteristics
R/3 Version 3, 3.1


Screen Elements

Typical Screens
Initial Screen
Data entry
Overview screen
Screen with group boxes

Version 3.0

New elements are introduced:

  • Table control (based on dynpro technology; as a replacement for the Steploop)
  • Icons can also appear on buttons in the Application Toolbar and on the screen
  • Proportional font for field labels

Version 3.1

This version offers:

  • Windows95-Look: Flat buttons (but customizable by end users)
  • Tabstrip control (based on dynpro technology)
  • ABAP List Viewer (ALV)

The new tabstrip control allows to collapse many screens into one screen offering different views – an often overused feature, which dramatically changes the look of R/3 screens. However, as the examples show, this feature is not adopted uniformly by R/3 applications at that time.

The ALV (ABAP List Viewer) simplifies reporting. As the first version of the ALV is based on ABAP list technology, the duality of dynpro technology and ABAP list technology continues.


Example of R/3 version 3 screen

Data entry – click image for larger view

System Examples Characteristics
R/3 Version 4


Complex Screen
Overview screen (tabstrip, table control)

FD02 - Change Customer (uses single screens for views)
FD02 - 1: Initial screen
FD02 - 2: Accounting information
FD02 - 3: Address
FD02 - 4: Control
FD02 - 5: Correspondence accounting
FD02 - 6: Insurance
FD02 - 7: Payment transactions
FD02 - 8: Payment transactions accounting

KS02 - Change Cost Center (uses tabstrip for views)
KS02 - 1: Basic data (uses group boxes)
KS02 -2: Address data (no group boxes)

Note: It is unclear whether these are screens from version 3.1 or 4.0

Version 4.5

Create Order

Version 4.0

  • More information is put into screens to avoid navigation.

Version 4.5

  • Active X-Elements introduce many new controls: splitters, trees, text fields and many more
  • The ALV is now based on a grid control (read-only) and finally settles the technical problem of the duality of dynpros and lists.

Example of an overview screen

Overview screen – click image for larger view

System Examples Characteristics
R/3 Version 4.6

Screen elements, large
Screen 2
, medium, large

Entry Screens
Screen 1, large
Screen 2, large
Screen 3, large (no index)
Screen 4, large (no index)
Screen 5


Version 4.6

The GUI is "reinvented" (in cooperation with frogdesign) to allow for a new look and feel, as well as for branding.

A new application design with a multiple-area approach introduced as an attempt to get rid of initial screens and to reduce the need for screen changes.

In short:

  • Often: 4.0 screen with tree added to the left...
  • Single screen paradigm
  • Frog GUI – deviates from Windows look and feel

Example of an R/3 version 4.6 screen

Entry screen: screen 1 – click image for larger view

System Examples Characteristics
mySAP.com Workplace Workplace screen

The mySAP.com Workplace is the predecessor to portals.



mySAP.com Workplace screen – click image for larger view


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