What Is SAP Fiori? (+ Interesting Facts)

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This is about SAP Fiori.

SAP Fiori is SAP’s new UX (User Experience).

So if you want a comprehensive understanding of SAP Fiori (what you should do), you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get started!

SAP Fiori in a Nutshell

Before SAP Fiori there was and still is the SAP GUI (Grahpical User Interface). SAP launched the SAP GUI back in the early 90s.

SAP GUI is the user interface for SAP’s former generation of flash ship products like:

  • SAP R/3
  • SAP ECC
  • SAP CRM 7.0

Here you can see the latest version of the SAP GUI is in the yellow rectangle:

sap_gui_7.60_screenshot
[SAP]

For SAP R/3 and SAP ECC, the SAP GUI is the user interface used by everyone. From developers to super users to end users.

SAP CRM 7.0 (and 5.0 and 6.0 too) intended the SAP GUI for everyone but end users. End users are supposed to use the SAP CRM WebClient UI.

As the name suggests, SAP CRM WebClient UI runs in a web browser. It looks like a website from the olden days. However, it was an improvement because it’s more intuitive and cleaner than the SAP GUI.

Here’s a screenshot of the SAP CRM WebClient UI (unfortunately, Wikipedia has only one in German):

The SAP CRM WebClient even got an update to look more like SAP Fiori. You can use a theme called Belize.

Anyway, SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s latest flagship product. The successor to SAP R/3, SAP ECC, and SAP CRM 7.0 (at least for on-premise).

SAP S/4HANA is the same way as SAP CRM in terms of the UI: everyone but the end users can use the SAP GUI. The end users use something different.

The something different is SAP Fiori.

Now you know.

SAP GUI Is Neither Intuitive Nor Responsive

When SAP released the SAP GUI (Graphical User Interface), it was a powerful piece of software. However, the SAP GUI gets dated in this age of mobile devices and easy to use websites.

It’s also SAP UX before SAP Fiori. However, there actually isn’t much of an UX.

In addition, the user experience failed to keep up with web applications and more appealing, modern UIs (User Interfaces) being adopted by competitors.

SAP Fiori is SAP’s answer to the ageing GUI.

SAP Fiori Is SAP’s New UX Strategy

SAP Fiori is a design language and approach to user experience. SAP Fiori comes in design guidelines.

SAP Fiori is used in SAP’s latest applications like:

  • SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP CX (SAP C/4HANA)
  • SAP Analytics Cloud
  • SAP Data Hub
  • SAP Ariba

An application that uses SAP Fiori is often called an SAP Fiori application.

SAP Fiori started out with 25 standard applications in 2013. Now SAP Fiori has more than 12,500 standard applications.

You can browse the SAP Fiori standard apps in the SAP Fiori apps reference library.

sap_fiori_apps_reference_library_screenshot
[SAP]

SAP Fiori can be used with any technology. Though SAP provides Fiori-compliant UI libraries to build SAP Fiori applications:

  • SAPUI5 (SAP User Interface for HTML5) 
  • SAP Cloud Platform SDK (Software Development Kit) for iOS
  • SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android

The SAP Fiori design guidelines give guidance on putting UIs together that stick to the Fiori design priorities.

SAP Fiori design guidelines are meant to help developers and designers create apps that users will recognize as SAP Fiori apps, behave consistently and predictably.

Furthermore, the guidelines specify shared services like:

  • Search
  • SAP Fiori Launchpad
  • Message handling

SAP Fiori defines standardized characteristics for all applications such as:

  • Theme
  • Look
  • Behavior of buttons
  • Tables
  • Tiles

Unless you’re a veteran customer of SAP, SAP Fiori can seem intimidating and confusing at the start. Don’t worry, though. It’s simpler to understand than you might think, whether you’re an employee, a manager, a business owner, or a developer. 

First, let’s run through what SAP actually is:

Short and Sweet: What is SAP?

SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is a German business software company founded in 1972.

Once a team of five, now the company boasts over 100,000 employees, is the #1 in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) market, and has the most extensive cloud applications portfolio of any other competitor.

To give you a taste of SAP’s size, SAP is the third largest software and programming company worldwide:

You can manage every aspect of your business using SAP’s applications. From finances to human resources to supply chain management.

SAP’s applications centralize and integrate the business processes of a company’s various departments and branches. This allows different departments to connect and pull data that might be inaccessible under traditional business models.

The SAP definition is:

SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) SE (Societas Europaea) is a European worldwide operating software company that makes software for the management of business processes suitable for organizations of any size and industry.

History of SAP Fiori

Fiori is the Italian word for flower. SAP wanted a slick, elegant UI that was easy to use. So not just an updated UI but also an UX.

SAP Fiori began in 2010:

SAP Fiori’s First Steps

SAP Fiori was developed in the 2010s and introduced in 2013. It’s a replacement for SAP GUI (Graphical User Interface). 

Due to the advent of mobile application technology, SAP needed to enable its users to interact with their applications via their mobile devices. In addition, it was necessary to keep up with its competitors and their UX.

Since SAP R/3 in 1992, SAP has relied on the SAP GUI. Before SAP GUI, consoles were the only interfaces.

With the launch of SAP S/4HANA in 2010, a new look was developed for the presentation layer: SAP Fiori.

SAP S/4HANA is the successor to SAP ECC, which is the successor to SAP R/3. SAP S/4HANA is the most recent version of SAP’s ERP flagship product.

SAP Fiori debuted in 2013, focusing on a mobile-friendly layout. It came with 25 SAP Fiori standard apps. Now it has more than 12,500.

SAP Fiori was considered simple to use and accessible across multiple platforms.

SAP originally charged a license fee per Fiori user. SAP got complaints from customers about paying for an extra license besides their ERP licenses. Resellers had a hard time selling the extra cost to customers.

SAP announced at SAPPHIRE 2014 that SAP Fiori would be free to all customers. This decision boosted adoption of SAP Fiori and led to a rise in market demand for SAP Fiori-based custom SAPUI5 applications.

The Rise of SAP Fiori

In 2016, SAP Fiori made way for SAP Fiori 2.0.

SAP Fiori 2.0 was the design concept for SAP S/4HANA and many other applications such as:

  • SAP C/4HANA (now called SAP CX)
  • SAP Arriba
  • SAP SuccessFactors

Fiori 2.0 brought a brand new look and better navigation. It makes it easier to manage a variety of applications. It also provided access to system events through notifications and updated floorplans.

SAP Fiori floorplans are the blueprints for the fundamental structure of your application.

In 2017, SAP Fiori 3 was announced as the next version, and its goal was to provide an enhanced user experience. SAP has made consistency, integration, and intelligence its three priorities for the UX.

SAP Fiori 3 comes with:

  • A better design
  • Customization features
  • The ability to work across multiple SAP products

SAP Fiori 3 became available in 2019. First for S/4HANA cloud with release 1908, and S/4HANA with release 1909.

SAP’s New UX strategy

SAP Fiori is the result of SAP’s new UX strategy. It includes also UXD (User Experience Design).

So first, what is actually UX and UXD?

What Do UX and UXD Mean?

UX (User Experience) means planning and designing products such that their interactions with them are as positive as possible.

UX includes user interactions with and attitudes toward an application, system, or service, including:

  • Design
  • Interface
  • Graphics

People in UX ask questions to determine what users need and value, and compare what they find to what their current application, system, or service does and what its limitations are. It includes people’s perception of:

  • Ease of use
  • Efficiency
  • Utility

UXD (User Experience Design) includes everything related to how a product or service is perceived by the users. UXD includes these features:

  • Accessibility
  • Cleaner, more attractive information architecture, which incorporates navigation themes and design themes
  • Design that looks good and works
  • Ergonomics
  • HCI
  • Performance
  • Utility

UX strategies need to be altered constantly as situations shift and systems change in an ever-changing context. UX testing is one way to reevaluate UX.

What is SAP Fiori as an UX strategy?

Firstly, SAP Fiori is there to simplify the SAP GUI. It makes SAP’s UI for end users simple and intuitive.

Additionally, SAP Fiori makes SAP’s applications available on any device, no matter its screen size:

  • Phones
  • Laptops
  • Desktops

SAP took a big step with this change.

Furthermore, SAP Fiori is the UX that all future SAP applications are supposed to incorporate. Whether it’s a cloud, on-premise, or an acquired company application.

SAP started from scratch for SAP Fiori: it developed a new UX strategy and UI technologies.

Let’s take a look at what’s actually all about:

ERP software levels a business’s capabilities to manage their processes with tons of tools and features. Whenever there’s so much to manage, there’s so many functions to be handled.

ERP systems provide mighty functionality. Those massive functionalities need a UI that lets you make use of all these features. However, end users don’t need all the functionalities and often find a packed user interface too complex.

Users need a slick interface so they can work fast and easily.

A complex, but powerful UI isn’t always the best solution for facilitating a good UX. SAP realized this and created an intuitive, consistent, and simple UX—SAP Fiori. It’s timesaving and makes people more productive.

SAP’s new UX offers you these perks:

  • Streamline your work and be more productive.
  • Reduce errors and increase user adoption.
  • Spend less on training.
  • Archive higher levels of user satisfaction.

SAP’s UX strategy focuses on four things:

  • New: Providing consumer-grade UX for new applications. SAP continues to develop new apps with user-friendly UIs to meet customer needs.
  • Renew: Offering a better UX for its current applications. SAP redesigned the most frequently used business applications by using SAP Fiori apps.
  • Enable: Enabling partners and customers to utilize SAP Fiori on almost any SAP application. SAP customers and partners can make improvements to the UX themselves. SAP Screen Personas for example, allows you to simplify and optimize any screen in the SAP GUI.
  • UX design services: Customers wanted SAP UX to reflect their own experience. UX design services are at the core of SAP’s UX strategy.

Regarding UX design services: you can archive UX innovation by keeping three concepts in mind:

  • Business: Understand the business requirements
  • Technology: Explore and understand what’s possible with technology.
  • Human values: Understand your users’ preferences for usability and desirability.Only when you combine these three, will you be able to innovate your UX.

When you combine these three, will you be able to innovate your UX.

SAP initially developed SAP Fiori standard apps only with the renew strategy in mind. It redesigned the way existing and common business scenarios work. Later, this evolved into a new UX strategy for all SAP applications. More about SAP Fiori standard apps below.

So SAP Fiori design guidelines help to ensure that all your SAP applications follow SAP’s UX strategy.

SAP Fiori Design Philosophy

The SAP Fiori UX is built on five design principles. These five design principles combined create a UX that’s consistent, regardless of the role you play in the organization, and works on any device:

Five SAP Fiori Key Principles

Role-Based

SAP turned SAP transactions into easy-to-use apps. These apps are task-based and are tailored to show just the information the user needs.

SAP designed each aspect of the UX of SAP Fiori with the user’s role in mind. Managers and employees may have a different experience using SAP Fiori depending on their position in the company.

For example, a stock administrator will have access to apps that prioritize product stock and storage information, while an HR admin will primarily deal with human capital. The apps for both may share similar templates but will provide completely different information. 

Adaptive

SAP Fiori facilitates consistent user experiences on all platforms, such as phones, tablets, and desktops. It works across multiple operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.

The customizability of SAP Fiori makes the platform almost infinitely adaptive. You can use the thousands of applications in a plethora of ways, covering every industry and profession imaginable. 

Also, the developers behind SAP Fiori that work for SAP, as well as independent developers working through the platform, are always coming up with new ways to innovate the available software. The software can incorporate any new technology that is bound to develop.

Coherent

SAP ensured the same look and feel for all SAP Fiori apps by setting best practices for design.

Unlike some other UX software applications, SAP Fiori boasts a consistent and pleasing visual design. Regardless of how complex the current task might be, regularity and an organized presentation of information create a pleasant user experience throughout the platform. 

Simple

SAP Fiori aims to deliver simple, intuitive UX for users. SAP created SAP Fiori apps using the 1-1-3 philosophy (one user, one use case, and three screens).

SAP Fiori is basic and intuitive. Whether you’re an end-user, an admin, or a developer, using SAP Fiori is simple and straightforward. 

Delightful

SAP Fiori is meant to be easy for uses to get on board with, making it easy for customers to get on board by providing apps that provide them with proactive support.

The purpose of SAP Fiori is to make the user experience more joyful. By streamlining complex business processes, users can effectively complete their tasks faster and with relative ease. Using SAP Fiori, work can be delightful. 

SAP Fiori Standard Apps vs. SAP GUI Transactions

The problem with current SAP transactions is that many are:

  • Complex
  • Used to perform multiple tasks

Transactions may have many fields and options, so they can become complicated to use.

For example, a CRM consultant uses the transaction BU to complete CRM tasks. The transaction is just fine if the user understands the complex steps and fields assigned to complete the task.

However, a sales person’s priority is making sales. It involves spending no time handling business partners in an overly complex transaction. He may have trouble with the transaction, and some fields and options may seem confusing.

SAP Fiori comes to the rescue!

SAP streamlined its complicated transactions. It split them up into easy-to-understand applications. Let’s say a sales representative uses the Fiori Standard app My Contacts instead of the transaction BU.

The application is easy to understand. It looks like websites which almost everyone is familiar with and uses on a daily basis.

SAP Fiori standard application for CRM called My Contacts.
[SAP]

The My Contacts application gives a sales rep exactly what he needs regarding his contacts. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s streamlined not just in its looks but also in its features.

SAP users also sometimes have to run multiple transactions to perform very simple operations.

SAP broke down the transactions into smaller apps, making them specific to certain roles.

SAP also merged repetitive transactions. SAP creates its SAP Fiori standard apps based on roles such as:

  • Employee
  • Manager
  • Purchasing agent
  • Sales representative

SAP Fiori Standard Apps (3 Types)

The first 25 standard SAP Fiori apps released in 2013 were categorized by role:

  • Employee
    • My Benefits (HR)
    • My Leave Requests (HR)
    • My Paystubs (HR)
    • My Shopping Cart (SRM)
    • My Timesheet (HR)
    • My Travel Requests (HR)
    • Track Shopping Carts (SRM)
  • Manager
    • Approve Leave Requests (HR)
    • Approve Purchase Contracts (MM)
    • Approve Purchase Orders (MM)
    • Approve Requests (Workflow)
    • Approve Requisitions (MM)
    • Approve Shopping Cart (SRM)
    • Approve Time Sheets(HR)
    • Approve Travel Expenses (HR)
    • Approve Travel Requests (HR)
    • My Spend
  • Purchasing Agent
    • Order From Requisitions (MM)
    • Track Purchase Order (SD)
  • Sales Representative
    • Change Sales Order (SD)
    • Check Price And Availability (SD)
    • Create Sales Order (SD)
    • Customer Invoices (SD)
    • Track Sales Order (SD)
    • Track Shipments (SD)

After those initial 25 apps, SAP categorizes SAP Fiori standard apps into three categories:

  • Transactional apps
  • Analytical apps
  • Fact sheet apps

As already mentioned, SAP now offers 12,500+ SAP Fiori standard apps and the number keeps growing. Sure, you can build your own SAP Fiori apps too.

Transactional Apps

Transactional apps let you perform transactional tasks like creating, changing, or approving. For example, changing the address of a business partner.

SAP Fiori simplifies tasks, so a process might be split between multiple apps that are integrated into each other. The SAP UX concept of simple and non-complex applications.

SAP Fiori transactional architecture.

Analytical Apps

Analysis apps give you insight into the data of your company, allowing you to analyze and evaluate strategic and operational KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in real-time using a simplified UI.

Analytical apps utilize SAP HANA’s massive data processing and analytical power.

Analytical apps examine the KPIs of the products or services you provide. Using KPIs, you can analyze and evaluate strategic or operational performance metrics of your business in real-time. 

Analytical applications provide insights into an area and provide reports you can use to dig into the data. These reports can use huge amounts of data, like hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes.

For example, analytical apps can help you track a specific product’s performance compared to others. This can help you examine which product is your best-selling or your worst-selling and adjust your advertising and interaction with them as necessary.

SAP Fiori analytical architecture.

Fact Sheet Apps

Fact sheet apps give you a 360-degree view or essential contextual information on specific objects central to their business operations.

For example, fact sheets will give you relevant information on the products and services you provide, their stock availability, invoice status, and client status. These differ from transactional apps in that they don’t change any relevant data; they just update you on their status.

SAP Fiori fact sheet architecture.

SAP Fiori Elements

SAP introduced a framework to generate SAP Fiori apps to reduce the amount of front-end code. This framework is called SAP Fiori elements.

SAP Fiori elements are low-code templates for apps for certain business scenarios.

You can generate an SAP Fiori app with an SAP Fiori element through:

  • Metadata annotations (in the app itself, in the OData service, or the CDS view that generates the OData service)
  • Predefined templates

SAP Fiori elements are low-code templates for apps for certain business scenarios.

SAP predefines the SAPUI5 controllers and views of the app with SAP Fiori elements, which leads to:

  • Design consistency
  • Compliance with the most recent SAP Fiori guidelines
  • Development efficiency

Developers can reuse standard functionalities and design features. This helps reduce the need for front-end development of new apps.

High development efficiency means users don’t need to completely rebuild the application, saving time and energy. 

Even though SAP Fiori elements act as templates and take care of most of the app development, they are customizable. But only to a certain extent.

If you want something completely different from what an SAP Fiori element offers in its standard, you’re better off developing your own SAP Fiori app instead of using an SAP Fiori element.

An SAP fiori elements floorplan is the UX guidelines for an SAP Fiori elements application. So behind each floorplan is an actual SAP Fiori app template.

Five SAP Fiori element floorplans are available:

  • Worklist floorplan
  • List report floorplan
  • Overview page floorplan
  • Object page floorplan
  • Analytical list page floorplan

Worklist Floorplan

A worklist application represents a collection of items the user needs to process, usually by examining the details of the item and taking action.

The worklist floorplan is useful if the data needs to be organized into columns or when the overview is more important than the item details depicted directly.

Working on an item list usually entails review of the list items and taking action. You usually have to either finish or delegate a work item.

The worklist floorplan is focused on processing items. The List Report Floorplan, on the other hand, focuses on filtering content to create a list.

From a technical standpoint, a worklist is a simplified list report.

sap_fiori_elements_worklist_screenshot
[SAP]

List Report Floorplan

The list report allows you to work with lots of items. It mixes powerful filtering capabilities with unique ways to show the filtered results.

From a technical standpoint, a list report is a worklist with more features.

sap_fiori_elements_list_report_screenshot
[SAP]

Object Page Floorplan

The object page floorplan lets you do the following with objects:

  • Display
  • Edit
  • Create objects
  • Save drafts

It’s good for simple objects as well as more complicated ones. The page view gives you an optimal compatibility with all kinds of devices.

Users can display the full item description, including relevant data that may not fit on a list report floorplan. An object page floorplan might be used as an extension of a worklist or list report, expanding a single item included in a list. 

Essentially, the best way to include every single detail of a product or service is in an object page floorplan as opposed to the other two templates, worklist and report list. 

sap_fiori_object_page_screenshot
[SAP]

Overview Page Floorplan

An overview page lets you organize lots of information.

The overview page is an easy-to-use interface that provides quick access to crucial business data at a glance. The overview pages shows cards. These cards allow you to make faster decisions and focus on your most important tasks.

Cards are vessels for app content and data. They show the most relevant data for a particular application and its use case. They give you an entry-level overview of your priorities and potential problems. When taken together, multiple cards give you an in-depth analysis of your business operations. 

You can use the clickable areas in the cards to navigate to relevant applications. Overview pages can be accessed from SAP Fiori launchpad and users can filter the information displayed, or hide cards to focus on a single topic.

There are different kinds of cards. Each card type helps you visualize information interactively and efficiently:

  1. List: List cards list items vertically.
  2. Link list: Link list cards add items to a list as links or images that link to a destination or open additional information in a pop-up.
  3. Table: Table cards show items in a table.
  4. Stack: Displays a collection of individual cards. Stack cards have two parts: the left one lets you navigate to the parent app, while the right one opens the object stream.
  5. Analytic: Consists of two verically stacked parts: a header and chart. The header shows aggregated KPI values. The chart shows data in a graphical form.
sap_fiori_elements_overview_page_screenshot
[SAP]

Analytical List Page Floorplan

An analytical list page is a SAP Fiori elements app used for detailed analytics.

Analytical list pages lets you:

  • Analyze data from different angles
  • Look for a root causes
  • Act on transactional content

Data visualization and business intelligence help you identify relevant areas within data sets or specific instances.

Charts and tables combined with transactional data lets you get the data you need quickly. An analytical list page lets you mix charts and tables in new and interesting ways.

sap_fiori_elements_analytical_list_screenshot
[SAP]

SAP Fiori Launchpad

SAP Fiori launchpad is your landing page to all SAP Fiori apps. It’s role-based, personalized, and has real-time features. The SAP Fiori follows SAP’s new UX strategy: it is intuitive and simple and doesn’t require a lot of training.

Serving as the entry point to your SAP Fiori apps, SAP Fiori launchpad provides services such as:

  • Navigation
  • Personalization
  • Embedded support
  • Application configuration

SAP Fiori launchpad lets you access SAP Fiori apps on desktop and mobile devices. In a nutshell, SAP Fiori launchpad is a home page with tiles. Like the UI of a phone.

sap_fiori_launchpad_home_page_screenshot
[SAP]

Each tile corresponds to an application that you can click and start. Tiles can also show live status indicators, like how many tasks are open or the quotation conversion rate. The SAP Fiori launchpad is a role-based environment. In other words, the role of the user determines what app tiles appear.

Home Page

The home page is the centerpiece of the SAP Fiori launchpad, providing quick access to all the SAP Fiori apps that a user has access to. 

Populating the home page are Tiles, the graphic links used to launch apps. Tiles can also show additional information about the application. 

Users can customize their Home Page based on what tiles they want to see and use. They can add, remove, or group tiles based on their preference. 

SAP Fiori launchpad is role-based, so it could be that one user’s home page looks very different from another. Further, you can grant or deny access to certain tiles based on a user’s role. The home page shows only apps that are relevant to the role profile of the user.

Spaces

SAP Fiori launchpad features spaces that structure apps depending on the user’s role and tasks. Relevant apps are made more or less prevalent depending on their priority in the user’s daily activities. 

These sections are supposed to have the essential apps for each job role. However, you’re free to create whatever kind of space you want and use whatever app you want.

SAP Fiori launchpad spaces are similar to the launchpad home page: they display tiles that let users start apps. Additional application information may appear as well.

Users can personalize their spaces by adding and removing apps and grouping them together. Only apps relevant to a user’s role profile are shown due to the launchpad’s role-based system.

User Actions Menu

User-specific services are available in the user actions menu. It’s right at the top, in the launchpad header bar if you click the icon or photo in the top right corner. You’ve got the user action menu on every SAP Fiori launchpad site. As well as when you navigated into an SAP Fiori app through the SAP Fiori launchpad.

No matter what context you’re in, there are always these options available:

  • Preferences and settings
  • A list of available apps (app finder).
  • Objects and apps the user’s recently visited.
  • An about dialog, to give you more information on the SAP Fiori launchpad.
  • A sign out for logging off SAP Fiori launchpad.

Depending on the context:

  • On the launchpad’s home page, the user action menu has an edit home page option for personalization.
  • Some apps offer app-specific settings through the user actions menu.

Furthermore, additional options can be added like for contacting support or giving feedback

Notifications

Users can check notifications through the notifications button. It’s on the left side of the user action menu button, right at the top, in the launchpad header bar.

The notification list shows notifications generated by the system like:

  • Workflow inbox
  • Chat notifications

Notifications can be organized by similarity and prioritized. Users can open the underlying app from the notification message. Depending on how notifications are configured, they can also offer buttons to take immediate action.

SAP Fiori Launchpad Impacts

SAP Fiori launchpad gives you access to all SAP Fiori apps. This mainly impacts three kinds of people:

  • End users
  • Admins
  • Developers

End Users

End users can easily navigate SAP Fiori Launchpad to access relevant information and the applications they need to complete their daily tasks. SAP designed the Launchpad to be a simple and intuitive experience for any type of user, from top to bottom. 

App shortcuts and the navigation bar mentioned before are handy ways to get to work efficiently. Even if an initial template isn’t to an end user’s liking, the initial launchpad template is endlessly customizable. They can change, remove, or add apps to make their work experience better.

The SAP Fiori launchpad is for end users the single entry point for all SAP applications. This is intuitive and efficient. The end user can find all his applications in one place. Like a phone’s UI.

Admins

SAP Fiori Launchpad enables administrators to bundle system applications in one place and manage the access to those applications. They configure the various apps that user roles have at their disposal and create the templates that are available at the start.

Additionally, they can customize the logo and layout of the launchpad to match their corporate branding.

Developers

Developers must develop SAP Fiori apps for the SAP Fiori launchpad. As mentioned, the SAP Fiori launchpad is the entry point for all SAP Fiori applications. SAP Fiori apps aren’t supposed to be invoked directly over a URL but through a tile in the SAP Fiori launchpad.

So developers need to develop SAP Fiori apps that are compatible with the SAP Fiori launchpad: SAP Fiori apps are developed with SAPUI5. SAPUI5 is the technology that powers SAP Fiori apps. SAP Fiori is the UX behind SAP Fiori apps.

There are some guidelines to make SAPUI5 apps work with the SAP Fiori launchpad including:

  • Utilize the Component.js instead of the index.html of the SAPUI5 application since the SAP Fiori launchpad launches an SAPUI5 application directly through its Component.js instead of its index.html.
  • Use the SAP Fiori launchpad’s intends for each of its SAPUI5 applications instead of the URLs of the applications when invoking an application from another application.

Moving Forward with SAP Fiori 3

Over the next few years, SAP intends to incorporate the updated graphics and UX of SAP Fiori 3 into its products. This rollout is gradual, SAP updating its various programs one by one to ensure no interruption in its services. 

The new iteration of Fiori is based around three core UX improvements:

  • Consistency
  • Intelligence
  • Integration 

By addressing these aspects of SAP Fiori, SAP Fiori 3 seeks to enhance and streamline the overall UX of SAP products.

Consistency

With SAP Fiori 3, SAP intends to create a uniform UX experience across multiple applications. While in the past some applications had dramatically different appearances and differed in raw functionality, SAP Fiori 3 makes the UX more consistent. 

Not only will this make it easier for a single user to navigate different SAP products, but it will allow better communication between team members across different departments. 

In addition, the new UX interface is more neutral than its predecessor, meaning it’s more customizable to the preferred aesthetic of different companies.  

Intelligence

For SAP Fiori 3, intelligence means incorporating machine learning and AI-driven user assistance into different applications. The update is meant to enhance the UX and streamline complex operations into simple components. 

For example, SAP Fiori 3 provides more relevant product information and content on the homepage, so the user can quickly navigate to necessary tasks.

Also, the digital assistant embeds itself everywhere, allowing the user to ask for automated hel’re working on. 

Integration

Previous iterations of SAP Fiori required you to navigate to individual product pages to get relevant information regarding their status.

SAP Fiori 3 seeks to integrate relevant information from multiple products onto a single page, streamlining the information gathering process. 

For example, you may set up a notification setting for various products’ stock availability, or create an app designed to specifically update you on purchasing trends for different products.

Integration for SAP Fiori 3 means collecting information from separate apps into a single frame. 

Related SAP Technologies

There are other applications and technologies developed by SAP that directly relate to SAP Fiori:

  • SAPUI5
  • SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Gateway
  • OData
  • SAP HANA
  • SAP HANA XS

SAPUI5

SAPUI5 is a package of libraries that lets you build desktop and mobile web applications. SAPUI5 utilizes:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • XML

OpenUI5 is the open-source version of SAPUI5, which is available on GitHub.

SAP Fiori applications are made with SAPUI5.

SAPUI5 is the technology behind SAP Fiori apps, and SAP Fiori is the UX guidelines.

SAP S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA is a suite of business applications based on the SAP HANA in-memory database that allows companies to do their daily tasks and analyze business data in real-time.

SAP unveiled S/4HANA in February 2015 to much fanfare, and it has since become one of the company’s flagship products, which customers are migrating to as their next-generation ERP platform.

S/4HANA is intended to solve more complex problems and deal with a lot of data, easier-to-use and easier-to-administer than its forerunners.

SAP S/4HANA has different deployment options:

  • On-premise
  • Cloud
  • Hybrid of on-premise and cloud

One of the key things about S/4HANA is that it uses SAP Fiori rather than SAP GUI.

SAP Gateway

With SAP Gateway, an application developer with no prior SAP knowledge can use SAP applications, parts of those applications, or simply SAP data to build mobile applications, for example.

SAP Gateway is an Atom and OData-based RESTful interface for the ABAP platform connecting to the SAP ERP business suite (SAP R/3, SAP ECC, SAP S/4HANA).

SAP Gateway offers a centralized, standard interface to the SAP world. It opens up the SAP data silos.

SAP Fiori apps use the SAP Gateway via OData services to get data from and send data to the backend.

OData

OData is a REST-based protocol for exposing, consuming, and modifying data on the web. It was built on web technologies such as:

  • HTTP
  • JSON
  • XML
  • AtomPub

OData makes it easy to access information from a variety of sources.

SAP Fiori apps use OData services provided by SAP Gateway.

SAP HANA

SAP HANA is an in-memory database that lets you process high-volume data in real-time. SAP HANA includes an application server called SAP HANA XSA.

SAP’s flagship products both SAP S/4HANA and SAP CX (formerly called SAP C/4HANA) rely on SAP HANA.

SAP HANA is hundreds of times faster than regular databases that use hard drives instead of in-memory. SAP Fiori apps read and write data to SAP HANA when the underlying system uses SAP HANA such as an SAP S/4HANA.

So SAP Fiori apps using SAP HANA processes data super fast.

SAP Fiori analytic apps require SAP HANA.

SAP HANA XSA

SAP HANA XSA is an part of SAP HANA. SAP HANA XSA is a lightweight application server. It allows developers to create apps inside of SAP HANA and gain access to its core features.

SAP HANA XSA is an extension of the SAP HANA database and is integrated in every SAP HANA database. SAP HANA XSA is embedded deeply in SAP HANA.

SAP Fiori apps can be deployed in SAP HANA XSA.

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