Understanding SAP Fiori
The aim of this blog is to provide you an overall understanding about SAP Fiori. Although this blog is just going to provide an overview on what exactly is Fiori, it gives a picture on what it delivers to end users and what it has in scope for Fiori app developers and consultants. Some of the topics that is covered are SAP Fiori overview, Fiori Technical Architecture, types of SAP Fiori apps types and pre-requisites which you need to start your Fiori journey
SAP Fiori Prerequisites
Before going to the topic, it is a must that you should at least have a low-level of understanding on SAP, and subjective knowledge on the following topics:
- ABAP objects and programs
- OData and SAP NetWeaver Gateway for interacting with backend
- SAP HANA and knowledge on web development
Concepts about SAP Fiori. Why is it important to know about SAP Fiori?
Ever since the rise of SAP – ERP software, SAP GUI was the only software through which users consumed or processed data in SAP. The scope of accessing SAP workflows through SAP GUI was restricted to desktops. While the demand for a more flexible and intuitive user interface was soaring. So as to bridge the gap between the growing digital needs and traditional SAP GUI system, SAP introduced Fiori, the most powerful tool and universal client to access SAP functions on any device or any platform. SAP Fiori is based out of the SAP UI5 framework and is built using HTML5.
So the next big question is what does SAP Fiori offer to customers?
SAP Fiori is a catalyst for digital transformation. It provides a broad range of apps that can be ported to desktops, tablets, or any mobile device to simplify tasks of end users. Importantly, SAP Fiori apps offer an intuitive user experience for end users, some of the other key benefits include – a personalized launchpad, role-based applications, customize SAP Fiori apps based on business requirements, Fiori-SMP deployment to extend usage of Fiori apps on offline mode, and you can consume high-end analytics, reports, dashboards, KPIs, metrics and indices just wherever you are
SAP Fiori Overview
SAP Fiori involves focuses on task-based approach rather than a functional approach. Based out of UI5 and NetWeaver Gateway, the initial offerings of Wave 1 in SAP Fiori were just 25 transactional apps mainly for managers, employees who generally communicate seeking approvals for leave, travels and so on. However, SAP Fiori, today has over 915+ apps (transactional, analytical, and factsheets) almost providing a solution for every business need of yours. SAP Fiori provides SAP companies, a complete flexibility to deploy and use Fiori apps based on their requirements.
While comparing SAP Fiori with legacy system such as SAP GUI, it consisted too much of information, various tabs and fields, providing too much information that weren’t needed. In order to derive all of the parameters, developers had to memorise and use a lot of T-codes and this was never simple. Opening an innovation to this SAP Fiori has simplified usage of codes, provides a more dynamic and action-driven interface by simplifying screens with information to what the users need (Refer to the picture above)
How Fiori Simplifies usage of SAP Apps?
Usage of SAP is easy, but a lot of backend processing and technical work has to go through before you go live with SAP. An SAP implementation with business process setup and functions should take an average of 2-3 months of time to go-live. While Fiori implementation and integration should not take more than 2 weeks. Not only is the usage simple, the implementation as well. On the same line, if we look at product lines like ERP, SRM, CRM where there are multiple entry points for the user and inconsistent user experience. SAP has categorized and prebuilt apps based on lines of business and roles, this makes it even simple
- Decompose apps for each role exposing only relevant data and functions.
E.g., A person with an Employee role can only see the details of the purchase contracts whereas a decision-making manager has the right to approve or reject it.
- One entry point for the users and UX in common design directions.
E.g., If a person performs multiple roles in a company: the user is an employee but as a manager he also approves finance related activities.
SAP Fiori application types and functions
As by Fiori wave2, the apps are classified into three main categories.
- SAP Fiori Transactional apps
- SAP Fiori Analytical apps
- SAP Fiori Factsheet apps
SAP Fiori Transactional apps are used to carry out transactional tasks such as creating or managing approvals and rejection of employee requests. Employees can simply create and send requests to their managers seeking approval. The managerial access of transactional apps allows to review, manage, authorise requests instantly. A few of the examples are Leave request approvals, Travel Requests, Purchase contract approvals etc. These apps ideally run better on any DB, however using SAP HANA DB is an added advantage
SAP Fiori Analytical apps in Fiori provides a role-based perception into real-time business operations thereby simplifying the bulk of data for a simplified usage. It allows end users to monitor live KPI’s (key Performance indicators) closely. In order to get started or deploy Fiori analytical apps, SAP HANA DB will be a prerequisite
Factsheet apps in Fiori displays central objects of the business process with its key information so as to drill down to a more detailed level of information by clicking the tile. Factsheet apps allow users to generate and download reports, download documents instantly on any device. Downloading Salary slips, employee reports, company disclosures can be an ideal example of this. While these apps are powered to work exclusively with HANA DB. It also provides an option to navigate to transactional apps and objects.
What do you need as a prerequisite typically to kickstart your SAP Fiori Project? – Fiori Technical Architecture:
The typical architecture of SAP Fiori will look like below:
An end user’s first point of contact in SAP Fiori is SAP Web dispatcher which process all the requests of end users from desktop or mobile device. It defines whether a system has to accept or reject the connection to SAP Fiori system.
SAP ABAP Front-End server consists of all the UI components such as central UI add-on, SAPUI5 control library and SAP Fiori Launchpad that are available for various business suite (SCM, MM, ERP, SD, HR etc.). SAP NetWeaver Gateway is a middleware which establishes the connection between these business suites and target clients. Whereas, the ABAP Back-End server contains the business logic and backend data. To establish the connection between the front-end and back-end server we require OData services which is a trusted RFC connection generated through NetWeaver Gateway
FIORI architecture for all application types
As mentioned earlier, Transactional apps can run on any database or HANA DB. But the analytical, factsheet or smart Business apps runs only on the HANA database without any exception
SAP Fiori Prerequisites
The following are some of the prerequisites needed for SAP software system to implement Fiori applications:
SAP NetWeaver Gateway and UI add-ons
- NetWeaver Gateway Server version should be NW 7.31 SPS04 or higher/ NW 7.4 SPS04 or higher.
- NW Central UI add-on version should be NW 7.31 SPS04 or higher/ NW 7.4 SPS04 or higher.
- Business Suite UI add-onBack-end Business suite add-ons (for ECC, CRM, SRM, etc.)
In addition, if we need to work on HANA based applications then you will need HANA database as well. Refer the figure below for detailed information:
ECC 6.0 SPS 15 is the minimum requirement for any databsase.
To deploy any Fiori application into any DB or HANA DB (in case of Factsheet /Analytical apps) we need to do the following:
- Check for the required Pre-requisites according to the type of application. For doing this, you need to refer the app implementation document provided by SAP for each of the application.
- Installation of front-end and the back-end components for the same.
- Configuration of installed components, activating OData services and assigning roles to the users for launching the app in the Launchpad
SAP Fiori Launchpad
Once the apps are configured, you can launch them from your Fiori Launchpad
Now you can click on the app which is available in your Launchpad and can get the details of the app as well.
For ex. By clicking on Approve Purchase Order app, you will be able to see its master list and detail page from where you get detailed information of the Purchase Order and can approve, reject or forward them as required.
Should you need more details on how to setup a SAP Fiori Launchpad? Here’s your guide on how to setup your SAP Launchpad
I hope the above article helps you and offers an intuitive experience for your end users
Feel free to follow up or raise any doubts regarding, configurations, adding, managing or administering SAP Fiori Launchpad. You can read more about Mobolutions, an SAP Partner, at http://www.mobolutions.com/ where we specialize in Fiori implementation and deployment of standard and custom Fiori apps. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.