Well, good news! It is here!
The way that people interact with applications whether for work or play has changed dramatically. When was the last time you DIDN’T have your smartphone or tablet within arm’s reach? Though I spend much of my time as an SAP instructor in class, if I’m not delivering a lecture, odds are my phone is probably in my hand or my pocket and my tablet is propped up right next to my laptop with notes about all the items I’m going to research later in the day. Even in the evening you can bet that my phone will be within arm’s reach, more than likely in my hand, probably tweeting out some random factoid that no one in their right mind would ever need to know. Because it’s there and easy to use, I find myself occasionally making sure that all my expenses are entered, via an app on my phone.
Certainly, I am not the only person who has the occasional thought of work when my laptop is off; being able to take care of that on my mobile device is much easier than going through the process of gaining access to the backend system by connecting to my laptop. Just the idea that applications are available from my mobile device makes it much more likely that I won’t procrastinate until the next day, or more likely just forgetting about it altogether because, let’s face it, the old brain isn’t functioning the same way as it did when I was in my mid-20s, with no kids yelling “DAD! DAD!” every 10 minutes.
One reason we’re all keeping our mobile devices so close at hand is the speed and simplicity of the applications that are used on mobile devices. Users expect an application that is easy to use with a clean, uncomplicated layout. By expanding this across multiple types of devices you further decrease the ramp up time on becoming familiar with new application front ends. Because of this, SAP is redefining the SAP user experience to simplify and improve the ramp-up period for working with SAP as a front end user. A significant part of this redefinition is SAP Fiori, a series of simplified applications designed to provide a consistent look and feel across devices, whether a smartphone, tablet or PC.
The people who familiarize themselves with the concepts that are at the core of this new user experience will get a leg up on developing their own customized design. Plus, if you’re the first one to know the full capabilities, you’ll be the one who can always say something like “Yes, we can make an application show up in fuchsia on top of a chartreuse background” (although the more appropriate response would be “Why in the world would anyone want to do that?”)
SAP Fiori provides multiple applications, both transactional and non-transactional in nature. These are broken down into four separate types of applications:
- SAP Smart Business
Transactional applications provided by SAP Fiori can be installed and configured on top of an SAP backend on top of any database.
A small sampling of the areas where transactional applications are available include
- Create Sales Order
- Change Sales Order
- Track Sales Order
- Approve Purchase Requisition
- Approve Purchase Orders
- My Timesheet
- My Leave Requests
- Approve Timesheets
- Approve Leave Requests
- Approve Requests
Those that are non-transactional (Analytics, Factsheets and SAP Smart Business) are designed for those SAP systems running on top of a HANA database. Over 200 applications are available now, with more on the way. Some general areas where non-transactional applications are available include
- Human Resources
- Supply Chain Management
With the increased adoption of SAP Fiori, SAP Education has released a course that covers all the basics needed to start utilizing SAP Fiori in your environment. SAP Fiori Implementation and Configuration (SAPX03) will give participants the opportunity to gain an in depth understanding of the SAP Fiori functionality. The course includes an overview of SAP Fiori architecture, application authorization and security, installation and deployment of the SAP Fiori applications themselves. Among the specific topics covered are:
- SAP Fiori’s position in the SAP UX strategy
- SAP Fiori Architecture
- The role of SAPUI5 within SAP Fiori
- An overview of the data flow through the SAP Fiori architecture
- Basics of OData Services
- SAP Fiori installation and configuration
- Configuration of the types of SAP Fiori applications
- SAP Fiori Launchpad configuration and customization
- Theme Designer
- Extensibility of SAP Fiori transactional applications
- The HANA XS engine and SAP Fiori Analytical applications
- Extending Analytical and Factsheet applications
- Troubleshooting resources
- SAP Fiori RDS offerings
The concepts presented in the course are further reinforced with many hands-on exercises that participants will perform. These will give the class participants the ability to get their hands around the processes involved in setting up a system that utilizes the SAP Fiori applications. After the course, students should feel comfortable installing, configuring, testing and finally deploying SAP Fiori in their environment.
SAP Fiori is a complex product, so the course attendees should have familiarity with various other components. As such the following course pre-requisites are highly recommended:
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway: Building OData Services (GW100)
- ABAP Workbench Foundations (BC400)
- ABAP Objects (BC401)
As mentioned before, SAP Fiori is part of a larger overall effort by SAP to redesign the overall User Experience (UX) for our customers. As a followup to further expanding your knowledge in this area, a couple more classes are available for you to look into.
Another course that will be of interest is the SAP SAPUI5 User Experience Development (SAPX05). This course is designed to give participants the opportunity to gain an understanding of SAP SAPUI5. Participants will learn how to program applications using SAPUI5 by creating a new project in Eclipse. Additional topics in this course include:
- Model – View – Controller
- Databinding and Databinding specific to oData
- Resource Handling / Localization
- Notepad Controls
- Extending SAPUI5
- Styling & Theming
- CVOM Charts
- SAPUI5 Mobile
- Optimizing SAPUI5
All of these courses together will cover the majority of the new SAP User Experience paradigm and give you the knowledge to implement changes in your own environment.
Get ahead of the curve now, start by getting on board with SAP Fiori!