Anybody who is at least a little interested in SAP must have noticed the huge emphasis SAP puts on user experience. Let’s be honest, not only SAP, but most enterprise software vendors have realized that the expectations of the users had gone up and it is normal nowadays to expect consumer grade business apps. In most cases (with some exception of native mobile apps, etc.) SAP suggests to create these application in SAPUI5, which is SAP’s HTML5 library for responsive web development.
I think SAPUI5 is a technology SAP customers should pick up in 2015 for the following reasons:
- SAPUI5 is SAP’s strategic UI technology. There are many UI technologies available and fully supported (Web Dynpro, BSP, etc.), but SAPUI5 is the way forward. As far as possible SAP will create all its applications in SAPUI5 (mostly Fiori). The SAPUI5 library is out-of-box available in HANA, which makes it the default way of creating UI for native HANA apps. It works well with SMP/Kapsel for mobile scenarios requiring offline mode, extra security, etc. SAP is putting very big effort in improving and extending SAPUI5, so updates are frequent.
- SAP Fiori is the new UI paradigm which SAP is rolling out across the entire SAP portfolio including all on premise and cloud software. Fiori is based on SAPUI5. In case you would like to modify out-of-the-box Fiori apps or create your own, mastering SAPUI5 is required.
- First time in SAP’s history in my opinion, real outside in development approach is possible. For decades customers installed SAP software and adjusted the UI to (mostly limited) extent. Now customers can think freely about how the UI should look like and it is possible to implement it in SAPUI5. It’s a huge improvement. That’s why Design Thinking goes well with SAPUI5/Fiori projects. Design Thinking helps customers to come up with creative solutions, which then can be implemented in SAPUI5.
- SAPUI5 supports responsive design for SAP applications, which means that the applications can run on desktop, tablet and smartphone. This is a strong point of SAPUI5 in comparison to previous UI technologies such as Web Dynpro.
- It supports most modern browsers, which is again very appreciated by SAP customers.
- SAPUI5 has become a huge library with hundreds of controls, which results in high efficiency when it comes to creating business applications. It supports internalization, MVC concept, etc. all things which make serious business app development possible.
- SAP is making good progress in providing development tools to speed up implementations. The best tool is Web IDE, which is available in the HANA Cloud and as a local installation. Check it out, it even has a graphical layout editor.
- SAPUI5 application can be themed with the Theme Editor. You can introduce your corporate identity (logo, colors, fonts, etc.) with this tool. Some changes are possible without coding, but full flexibility is also available via css.
- SAP has standardized on the OData protocol. SAP Business Suite and HANA applications can be exposed as OData and binding OData to SAPUI5 controls is really easy.
- SAP has made SAPUI5 open source under the name OpenUI5. This will speed up further developments and lead to greater adoption also outside the SAP ecosystem.
- Based all the reasons mentioned above, IMHO many upcoming business requirements will be best met by using SAPUI5. So I would say: get ready!
- Looking at it from a personal or team development point of view: if you are in the business of developing SAP solutions, don’t miss SAPUI5 in 2015, otherwise you may be too late.