SAP Fiori for SAP Business Suite
The SAP HANA Academy have put together a series of tutorials to help developers get started with the SAP FIORI Business Suite.
What is SAP Fiori?
SAP Fiori is the new user experience (UX) for SAP software. It applies modern design principles to SAP solutions to provide a personalized, responsive and simple user experience.
Apps applying the SAP Fiori UX focus on the most critical and common activities undertaken by users. They are designed around how people work using the following principles:
So how do all these principles fit in with the Business Suite?
From a business perspective continuity is so important. When I was building Greenfield systems, long conversations with a range of users confirmed that they wanted as little change to their working practices as possible. They had to be sold the benefits of any change. I remember one conversation I had with a technophobic solicitor. He could see the benefits in terms of increased functionality and potential savings that the system I was discussing with him would bring but then listed several things that were more important. Security, support and backup being at the top of his list. To any business central these concerns are a potential disruption to the day to day running of the business. The beauty of SAP Fiori is that it doesn’t disrupt the functionality at all. On the contrary, it simplifies it. Fiori is a new interface that won’t disrupt your systems and will provide the same streamlined experience on all devices.
SAP Fiori Business Suite
This series of tutorials for the SAP FIORI Business Suite goes through how to set up the suite, create users and assign users to an app. Organized by user roles, the SAP Fiori launchpad is the central entry hub to all SAP Fiori apps, where users access apps via tiles. Within the launchpad are services for navigation, personalization, single sign-on, and search.
SAP Fiori Set Up 1
The first tutorial details what is needed in terms of software configuration and infrastructure to set up the SAP Fiori Launchpad, SAP Fiori Launchpad Designer and SAP Fiori Apps.
The activation of the OData and ICS services is initially required to set up the SAP Fiori Launchpad and Designer.
SAP NetWeaver gateway provides the infrastructure for the OData services used by the Launchpad and the Apps. An OData service has to be enabled in gateway. This basically establishes a mapping between the technical OData service name and the corresponding back in service identified by system alias namespace and the external service name.
Configuration of the front end server
The tutorial then proceeds to describe step by step with annotated screenshots how to set up the services needed for SAP FIORI.
Evidence of service being called correctly.
The tutorial concludes with a test which shows you whether you have configured the front end services correctly so far.
You will know you have called the service successfully when an XML document is displayed without any error messages.
SAP Fiori Set Up 2
The second tutorial details what is needed in terms of further software services. In addition to the ICS services that correspond to OData services it’s necessary to activate the following SICF services manually.
Configuration of the front end server
The tutorial then proceeds to describe step by step with annotated screenshots how to set up the following SICF services.
On the front end server run Transaction Maintain Services.
Activate services under the following service paths.
SAP Fiori Set Up 3
Setting up the user template
The tutorial then proceeds to describe step by step with annotated screenshots how to set up the SAP_ULI2_admin_700 user.
Defining the user as an ADMINISTRATOR
Select the first role and insert Z* then open the Input Help since you are creating the Administrator role you need to select all of the services. Click the Select All icon.
Defining a NORMAL user
For the user role you configure later follow the same procedure but use the role SAP_UI2_user_700 as a template and select only these two services.
The tutorial then moves on in detail about how to assign roles to the users.
SAP Fiori Set Up 4
The fourth tutorial details with screenshots, arrows and step by step instructions what is needed in terms of activating the Check Price and Availability App.
SAP Fiori Set Up 5
The fifth tutorial describes how you assign the OData service to users for the Check Price and Availability app. It concludes with how to test the user credentials and app itself.
Testing the user
To test that the user has created successfully. Open the SAP FIORI Launchpad and log in to test the user credentials.
The business catalog with the app should be visible. Click the Check Price and Availability app.
The actual app function should be available.
Why the obsession with user experience (UX)?
Again back in the day when I started my first Greenfield database project I was at best a first amongst equals. I did not call the shots. I had to persuade technophobic teachers and unions that they would benefit from system which could audit the frequency of their marking in real-time! Up until then systems were brought in and people were trained in them. People fitted around systems. The attitude was that users were not always the best judges of what they needed. I myself remember telling students about a head-teacher who insisted she needed a database for what was a classic spreadsheet task. I spent many hours writing user guides for a variety of software packages. I have trained a range of stakeholders in IT systems. Many of these systems did not last. I realised one key thing. For any system to be relevant and used in the future users would not only need to see the system’s benefits, they would also need to see that the system would not change the interfaces they were used to working on or impact their working practice too drastically. I made systems fit around people. I remember marketing my systems by stating that by using them students enjoy and achieve. I did not have the technology or know how to make the intuitive systems SAP are making today.
SAP Fiori UX blurs traditional computing boundaries and by using interactive UI elements, provides a consistent end-to-end user experience across all device types.
Business Use of Social Media
Use of social media to further business reach has been become increasingly important. It will soon become a cliche but internet-connected devices are changing every aspect of our lives. Social media have combined simplicity and speed so anyone can quickly discover, connect and share. Business users are expecting the same experience from the enterprise applications they use at work. They expect software that is easy to use and designed for the end user not techies. The latest suite of consumer apps at SAP are designed from the ground up. SAP have radically transformed how they approach the user experience. They have summarised this in three big steps.
New applications are designed to be simple, visual and provide consumer like experiences across SAP’s cloud, mobile, business suite. The key is that the design fits around users to help them work faster without having to re-learn every step.
Eighty percent of existing SAP products share the same SAP GUI technology so it makes sense to renew the most commonly used in conjunction with customers.
Every customer uses their SAP products in different ways so SAP is going to provide tools that enable customers to tailor their SAP experience based on their unique needs and preferences. It is noteworthy that this can be done without any programming. SAP’s stated goal is to make elegant, easier to use products to delight their customers.
SAP Fiori is an ideal user experience for today’s business world. With the SAP HANA Academy learn how SAP Fiori works on the business suite and see how to set up your own applications. Try the SAP Fiori experience for yourself by clicking the picture below.