What is SAP Fiori?

SAP Fiori is designed to transform the SAP user experience and adapt to the fast pace of digital change. But what is and can Fiori really do? What makes it better and what is behind it?

WITH SAP FIORI APPS, MORE COMFORTABLE SAP USER INTERFACES FOR MOBILE WORKING IN THE ERP SYSTEM ARE CREATED

Working with SAP must become more user-friendly; in the future, users should be able to perform their ERP-based processes as intuitively as with a smartphone, without having to click through endless masks.

These were SAP's guiding principles when developing its Fiori Apps. These are applications created with SAPUI5 that hide complex process steps in the SAP backend from a simple, modern and mobile user interface. Typical tasks in the SAP environment can be performed via Fiori Apps independent of devices and on the road.

With this solution, SAP is continuing in the mobile environment what it started with the modification of desktop application interfaces with SAP Screen Personas.

Complicated to operate and visually antiquated user interfaces in the SAP GUI (Graphical User Interfaces) were always a weak point of the SAP software. A separate transaction had to be executed for each action, each process - this is no longer appropriate. Clear surfaces and an intuitive operation via touch screen are standards from the consumer area, by which business software has to be measured more and more.

SAP's answer is the Fiori Apps: applications that can be used both in classic desktop environments and mobile on smartpho-nes and tablets. Since mid-2014, they have been part of the scope of licensed SAP software and can therefore be used free of charge. Visually, the apps are based on well-known online shops and relevant social media. Almost without training, SAP users can work with the apps and display on their personalizable start page those that they use most frequently in their daily work. Not all functions known or possible from the SAP system can be mapped with Fiori technology. This is due to its slim structure and the inherent fact that the slide logs in a Fiori App should not be too complex.

SAP FIORI - THE DESIGN CONCEPT

SAP Fiori is not only a product, but also an outlook on how SAP applications will be designed and implemented in the future. SAP has defined the following five principles as basic design specifications. Their implementation follows the SAP Fiori Design Guidelines.

  1. Role-based - the user should be provided with exactly those functions in the application which he needs for his task and which correspond to his role in the company.
  2. Responsive - Any application can be browser-based, mobile app or desktop-based.
  3. Simple - All functions that are not necessarily required are omitted.
  4. Coherent - a standardized surface design guarantees quick orientation.
  5. Appealing - The applications are designed in the manner of an intuitively operable consumer app and have an appealing, self-explanatory look.

SAP-FIORI'S AUDIENCE

Fiori Apps are not primarily designed for "power users" who work permanently with SAP and are used to the somewhat bulky user interface. The target group is rather sporadic users, for example from production, where feedback or faults have to be recorded. Similar cases are conceivable with the inventory, with the seizing of offers u. v. m.. Traditionally, in such cases the fault is transmitted by telephone, the colleague records it manually in SAP and processes it further. Using a mobile Fiori App, the employee can immediately record the incident in the system.

SAP delivers a large number of ready-made Fiori Apps for typical work processes. The most frequently used SAP Fiori Apps include the following applications:

  • Management of business contacts ("My Accounts", "My Contacts")
  • The presentation of potential new business
    ("My Opportunities")
  • The task management ("My Tasks")
  • Time management ("My Timesheet")
  • The shopping overview ("My Shopping Cart")
  • Track Purchase Orders ("Track Purchase Order")
  • Check stocks and prices ("Check Price and Availability")
  • The order overview ("Create/Change Sales Order")
  • The breakdown of invoice amounts by items, shipments and taxes ("Customer Invoices")

DEVELOPMENT OF OWN SAP-FIORI-APPS

Standard Fiori apps can be supplemented in detail with customer-specific requirements. With SAPUI5, additional cockpit functionalities for the automation of processes can be developed for SAP Power Users. GAMBIT supports companies in creating their own HTML5, i.e. open source based applications for further individual tasks. This also makes sense and is necessary, because SAP itself will not re-program all 400,000 previous user interfaces (SAP screens) in SAP Fiori. The Fiori design kit that SAP provides for this is the HTML5-based SAPUI5. It follows open web standards and offers various predefined graphical control elements with which graphical interfaces can be created for various process steps in SAP. The process-optimized interface is created in SAPUI5, the function modules (BAPIs) in the backend with ABAP. The interface and back end communicate with the Open Data Protocol (OData) using Web services and the SAP NetWeaver Gateway.
This means that the apps can be called either mobile or desktop without middleware. Fiori Apps are basically not offline, but operating system independent directly in the (any) browser.

SAP provides a Web-based development environment (WebIDE) for creating SAPUI5 applications. As with Web Dynpro, this is done according to the model view controller architecture pattern. The data models JSON, XML, Resource and OData Model are available for selection. The appearance is defined using ready-made SAP themes that are included in the application header.

ARE AVAILABLE FOR THEFOLLOWING THEMES:

  • SAP Mobile Visual Identity (sap_mvi) (usually for mobile applications)
  • Platinum (sap_platinum)
  • Belize (successor to Blue Crystal (sap_bluecrystal))
  • High Contrast Black (sap_hcb)
  • Gold Reflection (sap_goldreflection)

SAP-FIORI - OPERATION IN THE CLOUD OR ON-PREMISE

The operation of a Fiori App is possible in two ways: from the cloud (SAP Cloud Platform) or on-premise, i.e. installed in-house. For the second variant, the SAP Fiori Frontend Server must be operated as a gateway. It renders the apps and communicates with the connected SAP ERP system via OData Services. If a company wants to make the app usable beyond the company borders, the SAP Gateway must be located in the demilitarized zone of the on-premise version in order to be accessible from the Web.

No HANA database is required for the operation of typical task-related Fiori Apps; these can also be run on relational database platforms. The so-called fact sheets, on the other hand, can only be used in conjunction with a HANA-based SAP Business Suite and allow the user to search the SAP system for any keywords within seconds. The same applies to analytical apps that deliver real-time metrics from SAP Business Suite applications and SAP Smart Business applications.

SAP FIORI LAUNCHPAD

As its own SAP Fiori homepage, the Launchpad is the central entry point into all Fiori Apps. It is executed on the client side and thus becomes the third full-fledged alternative for entering the SAP world alongside the SAP NetWeaver Portal and the SAP NetWeaver Business Client. In addition to apps created with SAPUI5, applications based on Web Dynpro ABAP or non-SAP applications can also be listed in the Launchpad. All apps are displayed to the user as tiles. He can adapt his personal Launchpad to his own needs by grouping, changing the order or removing tiles. With the SAP Fiori Cloud Demo, SAP offers a freely accessible, exemplary SAP Fiori Launchpad environment with selected apps. In isolated cases, Fiori Apps can also run stand-alone outside the launch pad. The app is integrated into the content area of an SAP NetWeaver Portal or called using a URL.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SAP-FIORI?

Fiori Apps facilitate daily work with SAP processes because they are intuitive to use and offer the user a user experience based on private user experiences. Training courses or deeper SAP knowledge are not required. Another major advantage is mobile access. Users can perform tasks at any time and from any device. This increases productivity, because smaller tasks can easily be completed in between and waiting and transfer times can be shortened or avoided.

By using SAP Fiori, a company can make much better use of its own resources. Who knows the user behaviour of his employees exactly, can design dialogues in such a way that a Fiori App supports the work with optimal user experience. Management can more effectively direct employees' working time towards creative and important activities.

For a company's IT department, the use of SAP Fiori means that it can make existing SAP system functions available to a wider range of users without additional development costs. In the end, this significantly reduces the effort required for in-house developments in the field of surface design.

CONCLUSION:

  • The use of Fiori Apps improves the utilization level of SAP in companies outside the key-user community.
  • The operating efficiency of SAP is improved and the onboarding of new employees is accelerated.
  • Important data is available decentrally on mobile devices in real time.
  • The SAP App Store offers access to proven processes that do not have to be developed in a time-consuming manner.
Meinolf Schaefer01 1444x1444px

Meinolf Schäfer, Senior Director Sales & Marketing

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