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Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel

SAP Screen Personas: Myth vs. Truth – Part 6: Fiori and Personas

This is part of a multi-part series addressing myths about SAP Screen Personas.


I first started hearing this myth at TechEd in Las Vegas. One of our early SAP Screen Personas customers approached me after the Fiori and Personas session and asked if his company had made a mistake. I asked what he meant and he told me his management team heard lots about Fiori in the keynote and not much about Personas.

Wow, that’s a big leap to reach that conclusion, but I can certainly understand how they came up with that idea.

Let’s talk about a keynote at an event such as TechEd. The executives need to get on stage and highlight what is new and exciting. They need to inspire confidence among customers that they have made the right investment decision by choosing SAP.

Two of the hottest topics at SAP happen to be HANA and Fiori. They are both relatively new and both being embraced by customers seeking to increase the value they obtain from their investment in SAP. Keeping a tight focus on these two solutions makes it much more likely that attendees will walk away from the keynote remembering these key themes. Adding more topics, such as discussing SAP Screen Personas, could dilute the core message. Hence the focus on two main themes: HANA and Fiori.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/personastechedscreen_339708.pngPersonas, however, has also been generating excitement among customers and partners, especially since we reclassified it as a Focused Business Solution when we introduced Personas 2.0 back in July 2013. We now have dozens of customers (the number increases every week). Partners now have access to build UX practices around Personas. In fact, several customers have gone live with Personas in the past few weeks. They are using this solution to drive productivity through personalization.

The strong interest in Personas was evident at TechEd. All the Personas sessions were packed. Interestingly, the most crowded sessions were those in which we discussed how Personas and Fiori complementary. People were clearly seeking guidance on how to choose between the two solutions.

The short answer is that you do not have to choose. Personas and Fiori each have their own distinct use cases where they excel. Fiori is based on SAPUI5 and provides a unified look and feel across all devices (mobile, tablet, desktop) for access to common SAP functionality. Personas allows you to modify classic ERP (Dynpro) to improve your users’ productivity by combining tabs and screens, automating keystrokes, and pre-filling fields. I know of several customers that are using both solutions to make SAP more intuitive for their users.

Outside of keynotes at major SAP events, SAP executives frequently speak about how Personas and Fiori address different parts of SAP’s user experience strategy. I often talk about both solutions with customers and partners. You can even see that the latest SAP Screen Personas presentation starts with an overview of the strategy and how Fiori and Personas work together.

Finally, I sometimes answer questions as to whether Personas is going away. Personas is a core part of SAP, connected at the kernel level. It is here to stay. We are continuing development on future versions of Personas, working with the kernel team and other groups within SAP to continue to improve performance, scalability, and ease of use.

By now, I hope you see that Personas and Fiori are complementary and that they each are part of SAP’s commitment to enhance the user experience for its customers.


In the next post, we will explore myth 7, about Personas and mobile devices.

For SAP Imagineering, Peter Spielvogel.

Read the entire SAP Screen Personas Myth vs. Truth series


Myth 1

Myth 2

Myth 3

Myth 4

Myth 5

Myth 6 (this post)

Myth 7

Myth 8

Myth 9

Myth 10

Myth 11

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      Author's profile photo Steve Rumsby
      Steve Rumsby

      Finally, I sometimes answer questions as to whether Personas is going away. Personas is a core part of SAP,connected at the kernel level. It is here to stay.

      That is something that concerned me originally. I didn't want to invest a lot of effort in a solution that might only be around for a few years. This message - "It is here to stay" - is important.


      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      I have a book in my desk that was given out at an SAP conference in 2006.

      In the forward of the book a guest executive from SAP was invited to write a short piece. Here is the gist of the last paragraph with the technology in question blanked out:-

      "People ask if XXXX is going to work? The answer is, we at SAP know it works. In fact the entire future of SAP depends on XXXX working. Therefore it will. The future is XXXX - it is here to stay"

      Seven years on, SAP does in fact still exist, but they never talk about the XXXX any more, though at that time it is was in every presentation, every slide. I actually don't think they have abandoned the concept, probably.

      So, can anyone guess what the XXXX technology was?

      Clue: The book I mentioned was released May 2006.

      Author's profile photo Steve Rumsby
      Steve Rumsby

      I have the same book, acquired the same way, so I won't give away the answer... 🙂

      Author's profile photo Christian Guenter
      Christian Guenter

      My guess: Enterprise SOA. Right?

      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      How right you are ...

      Author's profile photo Steffen Weber
      Steffen Weber

      Again a great one in this series of myth's around Personas.

      Personas allows you to modify classic ERP (Dynpro) to improve your users’ productivity by combining tabs and screens, automating keystrokes, and pre-filling fields

      Besides the benefits you mentions above, I would add the capability that with Personas you you can streamline the UIs according users needs. Usually SAP dynpros offers the complete range of options, while for specific users group it would make much sense to optimize the UI according their specific requirements to fulfill their part in a business process. For me, that's one of the major benefits!

      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      I have no doubt that Screen Personas is really good.

      I would add that when I first saw GUIxt in 1999 i.e. 14 years ago, it did exactly the same thing, only for free. The price SAP charge for Screen Personas is mind boggling.

      The other difference is that Personas runs in a web browser, and GUixt runs in the GUI on your desktop. People say "it's a web world" and how right they would be, but the elephant in the room is people spending hours looking at a whirling circle on their screen (hourlglass is old fashioned) and never mention it.

      SAP would say, and have said to me, parts of GUIxt you have to pay for. that is true, about 10% of what you pay for Screen personas, and the main part of GUIxt has no cost at all.

      You can sell anyone anything, there are millions of people who will pay good money for what they could have for free, so I predict Screen Personas will be a big hit.