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Author's profile photo Tobias Trapp

Analysis Path Framework – a hidden Gem for Creating Awesome Analytical Apps

Working Capital Analytics (especially Days Sales Outstanding) and was a demo case shown at several SAP keynotes of major events. It showed perfectly the combined power of SAP HANA and UI5. For me it was a huge inspiration and I started to build my own UI prototypes using crossfilter.js and dc.js (and of course d3.js). These are extremely cool frameworks and help doing visualization with multiple filters. Aggregation and Filtering are extremely useful for exploring huge data sets but you’ll need some JavaScript skills: DC is very easy to use but you should wrap it in a control to be compliant with MVC paradigm. With crossfilter this is easy but it takes more effort to use it.

But today you can to better: fortunately the infrastructure of Working Capitals Analytics turned out to be very powerful and was created into a general framework called Analysis Path Framework. This framework has become as guideline Fiori Analytics Apps and covers the following use cases:

  • the end user need flexibility in drill-down sequences to explore data in a Fiori resp. UI5 applications
  • when doing this he or she uses several drilldown dimensions on multiple data sources by defining filters and creates an analysis path
  • analysis may be required to switch between different KPIs  working in real time on operational data

This is done very easily since APF is a consumable UI5 library and is integrated in Fiori and SAP Smart Business. So if you have HANA license (and so HANA Live) and SAPUI5 you can start: use views of the SAP Virtual Data Model or create own calculation views in SAP HANA and start do configuration.

On Youtube you find some videos that show how powerful APF is. Here is an overview of APF based apps:

This shows how an analysis path is created:

Further options of analysis paths are described here:

And here it is shown how to use filters in APF and how the filter works in detail:

In fact APF and Smart Business are related:

To use this feature you need Smart Business (Fiori Wave 7 and an Fiori Launchpad) and you can create KPI tiles based on APF.

Last week in Walldorf I had a talk with Dirk Degrell, Product Owner, and Wolfgang Schaper, Solution Manager of APF:

Which SAP products are using APF?

Wolfgang: “Several products make use of APF. This holds for SAP Financials for instance. Additional products, like SD or Fashion Management, are currently validating APF.”

What’s the connection from APF to Fiori?

Dirk: “APF is a Fiori App, meaning APF uses the technical Fiori infrastructure, and follows Fiori design guidelines.”

In products like Working Capital Analytics or Smart Business APF comes out of the box. Can I use any entities of VDM in the APF?

Wolfgang: “All appropriate HANA views of the VDM can be used in APF. “Appropriate” means the views have to fulfill some simple requirements, e.g. they have to be aggregating views.”

Can I use APF also in sidecar scenarios or only with primary persistence on HANA?

Dirk: “Sidecar scenario or HANA as primary database does not make a difference for APF. Both is fine.”

Does APF support custom made VDM entities?

Dirk: ”Whether the HANA views are developed and shipped by SAP or built on customer site does not matter for APF.”

Can I use APF in own Fiori/UI5 applications?

Wolfgang: “An APF based application is a Fiori application on its own already, so it comes with a certain UI that ensures compatibility with Fiori Design Guidelines, that provides responsiveness (i.e. the application can be executed on desktop/laptop as well as tablet devices), etc. You can use APF in your own applications in the sense that you navigate from your application (e.g. Smart Business KPI tile) to an APF based application for further analysis and out of this analysis you may navigate again to another application of yours, e.g. to take action. In this navigation you can of course take over the business context of your analysis in your application (e.g. all parameter settings and selections/filters). A UI integration of APF into another application is currently not possible as an APF based application is much more than a (smart) control only … as said it is an application on its own.”

You can find more information about APF in the BI space of SCN I can’t wait to get my hands on APF and hope to find the time to build a prototype, soon. What do you think? What’s your experience with APF? IMHO this would be a real cool showcase for an SAP CodeJam since you can use it to analyze operational data (perhaps from IoT) by using HANA and Fiori.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      good one

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tobias,

      one thing I couldn't find in all the videos is: how do I create the actual APF tile?

      I created an APF application in the APF Configuration Modeler (preview works) but I have no idea how to create the APF tile now?! I tried doing it in the KPI Workspace App, but I found no possibility to connect an APF application to a KPI.

      Could you help me out here?



      Author's profile photo Tobias Trapp
      Tobias Trapp
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Klaus,

      I'm planning a blog series and I hope I will cover this topic.



      P.S.: The first part of teh series is just out: Analysis Path Framework – Installation

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tobias,

      that's great - thank you!

      Author's profile photo Jerry Wang
      Jerry Wang

      Hello Klaus,

      I am a newbie for APF. I have started my self study on it last Friday. I have written down my step how to create a tile based on Smart business framework on top of an application created in APF Configuration Modeller: Access the OData service exposed by your CDS view via Smart Business Tile in S4HANA system

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tobias,

      Is it possible to create dashboards with APF? So far I have seen a straight forward consecutive path. Is it possible to create a Tile in Fiori Launchpad which opens an APF app where at first different Tiles or charts are shown and pressing on those tiles/charts will go even deeper on that path?