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It began simply enough – a colleague asked about Fiori and the various deployment options. We then started brainstorming about various potential architectures and certain limitations presented by the present Fiori architecture.


What are Fiori-like apps?

In this blog, it is important to distinguish between Fiori and Fiori-like apps.

Fiori apps currently all originate from SAP. At the present time, there are 25 apps in the available. It looks like 25 new Fiori apps will be released at this week’s TechEd

These apps also have a particular architecture:

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The limitations associated with this architecture is that the requirements on the back-end (Gateway, etc) restrict the number of customers who can use this technology that that required by Fiori apps.

Fiori-like apps

Fiori-like apps are applications which are based on the Fiori design principles but may use alternative technologies.

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What technologies are used to create such apps is secondary although the use of OData and SAPUI5 certainly simplifies their creation.

What I’m not suggesting is that all applications created using OData and SAPUI5 can be classified as “Fiori-like” apps.  The design principles mentioned above are also important criterion. 


Cloud Options for Fiori apps

There are three options for deploying Fiori apps in the cloud:

  1. Hosting Gateway and the Business Suite on the AWS cloud and then installing Fiori.  I’ve found descriptions of hosting Gateway on AWS and the Business Suite is available on AWS as well.
  2. Hosting Gateway and the Business Suite on a private cloud and then installing Fiori. 
  3. Hosting Gateway and the Business Suite on the HANA Enterprise Cloud and then having SAP install Fiori on this environment. I have no idea if this is currently supported.

Note: I’m not forgetting the HANA Cloud Platform’s Gateway as a Service in this context but this is really for OnPremise-based Gateway environments rather than cloud-based ones. 


Cloud options for Fiori-like apps

There are a variety of technologies which could be used to create Fiori-like apps. I’d like to focus on one that holds the most potential.

The ability of HANA XS to provide an excellent foundation for developers using OData is well documented and this platform provides an excellent foundation for creating Fiori-like apps.

The following options are available for cloud deployment of such HANA XS-based Fiori-like apps.

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I’ve never seen HANA XS being used in the HANA Enterprise Cloud but this might be an option in the future.

The latest edition to this list – that of the HANA Cloud Platform – is the most interesting in that it provides partners a PaaS to create Fiori-like apps that could be deployable to multiple customers.


My POV

SAP’s UI strategy places Fiori apps largely as an important component to renew existing applications. I see Fiori-like apps (especially ones that are cloud-based) as the way forward for many scenarios including new applications.

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What I’m not saying is that the all new applications will be Fiori-like apps – rather I’m suggesting that particular apps that meet the associated scenarios be developed in this fashion.

Ideally, the use of the same design principles for each scenario would provide a cohesive UI experience that bridges the Cloud-OnPremise gap – making the distinction between new and existing applications non-existent.

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9 Comments

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  1. Owen Pettiford

    Dick,

    Not sure I understand why you don’t see HANA Cloud Platform (NEO) plus Gateway as a Service as a good “host” for the Fiori Apps (I recognise that currently you would have to tweak the UI5 code and this would not be supported – but still technically possible 🙂 )

    Run the UI5 code on NEO and point this at the on-premise OData Services served up by the IW-BEP add-on on your ERP / CRM / SRM system (or you could use Gateway Hub as well)

    Owen

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      Owen,

      I was primarily looking at scenarios in which the data and the application logic both run in the cloud.  Based on this restriction, you could probably use HCP-based GWaaS to access a cloud-based Gateway + Business Suite (running on HEC or AWS).

      D.

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  2. DJ Adams

    Hi Dick and Owen (and others)

    Nice post, Dick. I would like to add that “Fiori” is primarily a UX initiative, not an architectural initiative. So how the backend is realised is secondary. That said, all the Fiori apps so far are OData (Gateway) and SAPUI5 powered.

    The Fiori vs Fiori-like question is a very interesting one. The Fiori flavour is not primarily about how it looks (as Fiori – i.e. SAPUI5-based apps – can be themed); it is how it works, and what components it uses. How it works – this is down to the responsive controls in sap.m (such as the SplitApp and NavContainer controls) that allow the app developer to make use of the available screen real-estate while only writing the app once (and by inference, allow the user of the app to consume it on any device).

    There is more detail too: The Wave 1 and 2 Fiori apps are being developed using some very nice sap.m controls such as the ObjectHeader, ObjectListItem and IconTabFilter which provide convenient and consumer-friendly presentation of information.

    SAP have already embraced the concept of “Fiori-like” – I am slightly biased, as I am co-presenting this at SAP TechEd AMS, but there is a 2hr hands-on session CD168 “Building SAP Fiori-like UIs with SAPUI5” – see http://scn.sap.com/community/developer-center/front-end/blog/2013/10/06/building-sap-fiori-like-uis-with-sapui5 for more information.

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    1. Abhilash Gampa

      Hi Richard & DJ,

      Thanks for providing clarifications on this topic.

      So if we develop UI with sap.m controls with OData (irrespective of OData service provider like GW, HANA XS, Cloud platform service or any  java rest services) can we tag the app as Fiori-Like app? Because from UI5 1.14 version Blue Crystal theme is available, so everything should be same as Fiori apps.

      Or this is something I have to wait for SAP Tech’Ed?

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      1. DJ Adams

        Hi Abhilash

        No, I would say that those aspects alone don’t make it a Fiori-like app.

        The sap.m library has a ton of controls and you can use them in any combination you want, but the ease of use and Fiori feel doesn’t come automatically just by using the controls in that library. I think the CD168 could be a very useful session in this respect, to help people understand what the “Fiori-like” essence is.

        dj

        ps https://twitter.com/qmacro/status/392587082608033792

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      2. Richard Hirsch Post author

        I would also look to the design principles shown in the slide.  Technology is even mentioned here. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any certification for Fiori-like apps.

        I also don’t know if partners can even label their apps “Fiori” or “Fiori-like” – perhaps, this a trademarked brand from SAP….

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  3. Matthias Steiner

    Hi Dick,

    great blog again. I see the scenario of running Firoi in the SAP HANA Cloud Platform with GWaaS as the most promising one mod term. This sounds to be the fastest way to get Fiori to our customers as sort of a Rapid Deployment Solution.

    I think we’ll hear a lot more on this topic …

    Cheers,

    Matthias

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