‘Tis the Season for Quicklinks

So this is the time of year where many of my clients need their employees to access ESS for some reason.
Whether it be logging into ESS to access open enrollment (okay…so it’s been that season for a while now), accessing one’s Talent Profile to complete a Self Assessment of one’s goals for the current year, and of course logging into the Personal Information to make sure that their address is up to date to ensure a timely W-2 delivery.
In a perfect world, the SAP Portal would be filled with valuable, timely content, and would be sticky enough to draw employees to it frequently that they would invariably see an announcement on the virtual bulletin board prompting the employee to take the desired action.
The portal navigation in this little nirvana-esque work environment is so intuitive and easy to navigate that the employees immediately respond to the bulletin, surf their way over to the suggested service, and make the necessary updates directly to the HR system.  Once the bulletin has been posted, no involvement from HR or IT was necessary.
But let’s get real!
What typically happens is that HR contacts IT with a request for help, and the following dialogue goes down:
HR: Hey IT – We had a banner year and the CEO wants to send out iPads to all employees.
IT: We don’t support Apple products yet…
HR: That’s not the issue.  We need your help because we need to send an e-mail to all employees advising that they need to verify their address to ensure timely delivery of a special package.
IT: Just tell them to log into ESS…
HR: We want a link in the e-mail which will log the employee directly into the address service in ESS so they are more likely to respond…
IT: SAP can’t do that.  There’s one single URL for the portal, which never changes regardless of where a user navigates to:
HR: 
At this point, our poor HR department is now running out of time, and needs to get the timely communication out.  Unfortunately, what happens in this scenario is that all employees will receive a lengthy e-mail complete with instructions on how to log into ESS, navigate to the Address service and save their data.
Not an awesome user experience.
Enter Quicklinks
Truth is, SAP delivers a very simple way of creating the very link that HR had requested in the scenario described above.  The tool is called a ‘Quicklink’, and it’s astonishingly simple.
Basically, a Quicklink would allow HR to have a URL which logs the user directly into the desired service, such as:
Note that ‘address’ has been appended to the ‘single’ portal URL.  Clicking on this URL will log the user directly into the Address service in ESS….almost like it was 2010!
Here’s how it works
The Quicklink is simply a parameter, maintained on an iView or Page within the Portal Content Directory (PCD),
which works in concert with the Portal URL to create a shortcut to the iView or Page in Question.
Here is the step by step process of creating a quicklink for the Address service in ESS:
1) Open up the desired object in the Portal Content Directory

2) Scroll down to the ‘Quicklink’ parameter (notice that it comes delivered blank), and enter the desired appendage to the URL.  In this case, I used ‘Address’.
3) Save the object.
4) Simply append the text you entered in the ‘Quicklink’ parameter to your standard Portal URL, and you have a neat and tidy link which will take your users directly into a specific service.
That was easy.
Happy Quicklinking!!!
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