Changing UIs in SAP HCM for UX
Well if you have any doubt or confusion over UI and UX please don’t hesitate to see the nice explanation by Adi Kavaler in his blog UI vs. UX: What a Difference a Letter Makes. There is no doubt and it is important as well to continue changing or improving the UI based on the user experiences(UX) for better results. In other way around when a user interacts with the product, and it delivers the value you promised them in a positive way, then you’ve built a successfully usable product. I have tried here to provide the overview of the current trends over the UX paradigm and the resultant changes in subsequent UI in the area of HR.
Again a very nice blog from Christopher Solomon on “The User is Drunk”…..the new UX paradigm? which indicates clear importance of users in defining the next generation UI and also the experience from our real life. So in one line, for better UI result there is very important to understand the UX.
I have try to capture different view from the SAP & HCM Experts around the world in the form of Interview, Podcast ,Tweet Chat and other sources.
First of all let’s have a look at very important and interesting discussion withJeremy Masters in
in the form of Q&A . This will definitely help us to understand the strategy further and give answers to many open questions with HR Renewal, Fiori, UI5 and ESS/MSS.
(Some of the Q&A taken from these SAP Insider blogs are mentioned below)
What will be the future of WebDynpro for ABAP? Will SAPUI5 replace that UI technology completely?
Jeremy Masters: Although not official from SAP, WebDynpro ABAP technology will slowly be replaced by SAPUI5 in upcoming versions.
Since WebDynpro is not optimized for mobile technologies (and has had some performance challenges with certain implementations), SAPUI5 is being regarded as the next gen UI technology. But , don’t fear. WebDynpro ABAP is by no means dead – many of the existing services within SAP HCM still rely on WebDynpro. It will take time…
Considering long term visioning, is Fiori going to replace HR renewal? From a business prospective, is a combination solution HR Renewal plus Fiori the best of breed which a vendor can propose in order to obtain benefits from both sources?
Jeremy Masters: Hi Mauro,
Great question. SAP Fiori will not replace HR Renewal, but rather think about it in terms that SAPUI5 will be the unified UI technology going forward for SAP. For HCM customers, this means that HR Renewal can be the go-forward HR Professional (and ESS and MSS) self-service tool, but now the new services offered by SAP will look more and more like SAP Fiori. I predict we will see a “merging” of the concepts. SAP Fiori as a product suite should be considered now just another set of services of which HR Renewal can leverage.
From your answer, I would like to know more about this: I have several WD4A developed in our SAP. Do you know how easy is to migrate them to HR renewal?
Jeremy Masters: Hi Silvio,
Migrating WD4A (WebDynpro for ABAP) applications to SAPUI5 may or may not be easy , depending on the complexity of the service. It’s one of those “it depends” answers 🙂 . One thing you need to be aware of is SAP’s roadmap – you wouldn’t want to port over an application that is already coming out in UI5 as the next release from SAP. For example, SAP is now working on making all of CATS in the SAPUI5 framework which will replace the WD4A app.
For a company with limited resources, which product is the quickest implementation with the least cost involved?
Jeremy Masters: Hi Marie, hope you are well and enjoying your summer!
Both HR Renewal and SAP Fiori have a set of “out-of-the-box” services, and both need SAP NetWeaver Gateway. It’s hard to quantify an implementation unless we know scope. There are still many services (as of today) that are missing, so you will inevitably need to use existing WebDynpro ABAP to fill that gap.
For any services that are not delivered in either technology, you will probably want to build using SAPUI5 and not Web Dynpro ABAP, but you might run into a staffing roadblock since there are not (yet) a ton of good UI5 developers.
In current implementations, employees and managers access ESS and MSS via EP. What will be the role of EP when we go for NetWeaver Gateway-based HR Renewal?
Jeremy Masters: Hi jags!
EP – Enterprise Portal – can be leveraged as it is today for SSO, personalization, content management, knowledge management, etc. This does not need to change.
SAP now has additional options for you in terms of entry points including NWBC (NetWeaver Business Client, NetWeaver Business Client for HTML, SAP Fiori Launchpad) in addition to the SAP Portal. There are pros and cons for each. This could be a topic for entire Q&A in and of itself!
I personally feel passionate that you should stay away from NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) thick client – not a very scalable solution.
Does HR Renewal completely change the look and feel of ESS/MSS?
Jeremy Masters: Hi Gareth,
Yes and No. From an entry point perspective, absolutely. The concept of “lanes” is new to most SAP folks – we are used to the portal having tabs such as “ESS”, “MSS”, and “HR Self-Service” (or something similar). The concept is similar to some other SaaS applications.
With HR Renewal, the navigation and taxonomy of the portal is different. Also, the styling is different from the previous Web Dynpro ABAP, as well as the CORBU theme from prior self-service deliveries.
Hi Jeremy, can you tell me what the user experience looks like for clients running Employee Central and the UI enhancements coming with HR Renewal?
Jeremy Masters: Hi Geoff,
You hit on a BIG item – how will the user experience be for customers who run two different systems such as SAP and SuccessFactors? There are a few ways to make this transparent to the end user, but it requires knowledge around single sign-on (SSO) as well as “mashups”.
By “mashups”, I mean a concept in which you can pull in content from another system. So, for example, if you are logged into your SAP Portal, you can pull in screens (via SSO) to SuccessFactors cloud app. It can work the other way too, where you can pull in SAP screens (e.g. WebDynpro ABAP, SAPUI5, etc.) into a page within the SuccessFactors UI. What you will need to work on is the branding, the look-and-feel, as well as of course the SSO.
Not something out of the box, but can and will be done for customers having both solutions.
Hi Jeremy. Could you please elaborate a bit on how to create a “mashup” if I wanted to access a SuccessFactor page inside HR Renewal? What is involved in doing that, and how complex would it be to set up?
Jeremy Masters: Hi Aage,
Sure thing. A mashup, in web development, is a web page or web application that uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface.(***from Wikipedia). In other words, we can use a mashup to render an SAP service in SuccessFactors, OR vice versa. In some cases, it’s just easier to link out to SuccessFactors Single Sign on. SAP has a “cookbook” already on this. You can access that here. Essentially this just equates to a “pop up” from one or more of the HR Renewal lane.
What is difference between HR Renewal services and Fiori HCM services? Both HR renewal services and SAP Fiori HCM services are conceptually same, based on SAPUI5, Gateway/ODATA services.
Jeremy Masters: Hi Jags, You are asking the 100 million Euro question. 🙂 Right now, the HR Renewal program and SAP Fiori program have conflicts. For example, they both have:
- Leave Request
- Pay Statement
- Workflow inbox
And, yes, they are conceptually the same, except that SAP Fiori is 100% SAPUI5 but not expansive, and HR Renewal is a mix of SAPUI5 and WebDynpro ABAP — but a lot more expansive. Whether these worlds collide, align, that is a question for SAP. I am sure we will find out some information at the HR2015 conference in Vegas in a few weeks from SAP themselves.
What if we are running Renewal and want to use a SuccessFactor module, but also want the UIs look and feel to remain the same? I was under the impression that SuccessFactors in the future would also receive a Fiori-like skin. Is this correct and if so, is there a timeline for it?
Jeremy Masters: Yes, the “Fiorification” of SuccessFactors is already in the works. Not sure about the timeline – as you can imagine, that’s a pretty big effort.
The mobile portal also offers mobile UWL, but the Fiori UWL seems more appealing. Which one we should adopt?
Jeremy Masters: Well, I wouldn’t install mobile portal just for the UWL. SAP Fiori UWL might be a better option due to its smaller footprint, but again it depends on your current landscape. Do you already have a Gateway installed and configured for your environment? Do you already have the mobile portal installed and in use? These are questions you need to consider before investing additional energy in one solution or another.
(There are many interesting Q&A sessions like this and for full reference please visits the blogs I have mentioned above from SAP Insider.)
Questions are still arising specially around the roadmap for HR Renewal versus SAP Fiori and where/when/how these roads will merge within the SAP HCM. Many challenges around integration, types of skill sets that customers/consultants will need in the future around these technologies.
In a recent Tweet Chat Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer at SAP mentioned over the overall strategy of SAP on UX with Fiori and Personas and he also clearly mentioned the future with “Fiorification” and we could hope the same in HCM in this changing ERA.
Another great explanation from the SAP HCM Insights Podcast by Sven Ringling in his blog I hate to have missed this Podcast: Fiori, HR renewal, changing consulting models and SAP UI strategies which could guide us in SAP UI strategy with Fiori and Renewal.
Here are some of the other Resources that are available to us out there:
How about Fiorifying your ERP System – Ingredients of a successful Fiori Implementation which is a series of nice blogs by Saumil Jyotishi
A short update document from SAP on SAP UX Strategy is available. All Things Fiori and, specifically for HR, SAP HCM Fiori apps are also available on SCN. There are numerous blogs which could guide you on SAP ERP HCM Self-Services: HR Renewal, SAP Fiori, and SAPUI5. You can also refer to my blog Some useful and must read blogs in HCM spaces on the dedicated section you would able to find many usefull blogs and documents.
The new SAP PRESS book on HR Renewal and SAP Fiori, the new Employee, Manager and HR Professional self service, from Jeremy Masters, Brandon Toombs, Kris Bland, and Justin Morgalis is also available over this topics.