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Thanks Peter Spielvogel for your recent blog on the latest in Personas 3.0 SP02!

In the midst of this blog I was writing on Fiori theming for Personas, the SP02 came out, so I installed it and took it for a quick test drive.

SP02

Installation steps:


A few random thoughts on Personas 3.0 SP02:

  • I really like the “analytics” feature. I’m not sure the naming is ideal (is this related to Cloud for Analytics? 😉 ), but it is a great enhancement for usage tracking. Perhaps Fiori and Personas could both benefit from some kind of universal UX tracking mechanism? Even better than having a tool to track usage on Personas screens, wouldn’t it be ideal to track the standard screens to help customers identify which t-codes they should be enhancing? And further — the star-rating on a flavor — you could embed this into the universal menu?

     Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.50.21 AM.png

  • Control theming is good, but theming needs to go further. It’s nice to be able to pinpoint a control in a theme and apply your branding directly. It’s also nice to be able to go through each control item in themes and apply your branding and have this work with Personas flavors. However, it seems like it should be easy to create one generic theme, and have it apply to ever t-code, whether it is a Personas flavor or not? Hopefully I didn’t just miss that somewhere. Also, why not just include the Fiori theme with a note or latest support package?

Some features I would still like to see in Personas 3.0 SP03/04:

  • Dynamically create controls through scripting. Everything seems so “static”. Why can’t in Javascript I do something like:
    • For each menu item in SMEN, create a button on the screen that let’s me launch a t-code”? Something like mygroup.append(new GUIButton(“Launch”, onClickHandler));
  • Add html / javascript / css snippets. I would love to add in my own CSS, or perhaps insert Google Analytics.
  • Ability to change text alignment. Sometimes I would like to justify in the middle or to the right.
  • Apply a global change. Instead of adding a menu button or removing the print button on every single t-code screen by creating thousands of flavors, wouldn’t it be nice to make a global change one time?
  • Flavor Gallery, embedded. Why not allow the flavor selection to use publicly available assets directly from the Flavor Gallery? Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.17.52 AM.png
  • Fiori Themes embedded…

Everything considered, a welcome set of features for Personas. Hoping for more soon!

Let’s Talk Fiori Theming

A common conversation we have with customers is how to craft a UX strategy that gains the benefits of both Personas and Fiori. Fiori in the role of a strategic UX as customers move towards S/4 HANA, HCP, Hybrid infrastructure, and want to gain the benefits of a true responsive and mobile platform. And Personas, as a means to quickly simplify traditional SAPGUI screens to enhance efficiencies.

There are a few ways to call Personas screens, but let’s focus on a scenario where customers have committed to the Fiori Launchpad as the primary access point for SAP.

The user will login to the Fiori Launchpad and see something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.43.52 AM.png

You would then launch a “flavor tile”. Here is a blog that cover embedding a tile by Tobias Queck : Start Personas Flavors from the Fiori Launchpad – SAP Imagineering – SCN Wiki

When it launches (embedded or in a new window) you will see your flavor. However, if you launch a flavor that does match your Fiori theme, you will see something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.47.59 AM.png

This break in UX consistency can be mitigated with the Personas Fiori Theme.

How to Theme

  1. Create a new theme in Personas and apply these settings: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/Img/SAP+Screen+Personas+3.0+Fiori+Style+Guide (okay, this is about 200 pages … hence my request above to embed this theme natively).
  2. Create a new flavor for your transaction, and apply those same settings and design principles to redo the the screen to match Fiori guidelines. Applying the theme to this flavor should hopefully help with a lot of elements here (another caution, this is going to be a lot of manual alignment work).
  3. Assign the flavor to the appropriate user group and also grab the URL to map it back to the Launchpad.


Thoughts on Theming


  • It is a LOT of work. I would really like it if the Fiori theme came as an option by default.
  • Since Gateway can host a Fiori theme, could we simply have Personas read the same theme for consistency?
  • I’m not sure if using all elements of Fiori design really makes sense. For example:
    • Because Personas uses absolute / fixed positioning, the header bar and footer bar look to be floating in the screen. In Fiori they are always pinned on the absolute top and bottom with 100% width which makes it easy for users to find the buttons they are looking for.
    • Fiori includes a lot of design patterns, with the master / detail being the most common. The overall flow and layout of Personas doesn’t really match this, so possibly we should create all new design patterns? One major drawback in Personas is it is too wide open and we are seeing some very ugly screens.
    • The big advantage of Personas is the absolutely rapid time to develop a simplification. By completely redoing the screen and scripting all of the mash-ups, this advantage is quickly lost and Fiori may be a better fit.
  • With that said, I think it makes sense to incorporate a lot of these Fiori design elements sparingly to maintain consistency.
    • Apply the Fiori theme to flavors to match colors, backgrounds, etc.
    • When doing custom Personas scenarios, use the Fiori icon library and placement that is consistent with Style Guide.
    • When launching from the Launchpad to Personas, consider navigational elements. What does it mean to go back, up, exit, etc.
    • See the Flavor Gallery for some inspiring examples: /wp-content/uploads/2015/11/81_828338.png

Summary

Utilizing both Fiori and Personas can be a great benefit to any SAP customer. As everyone continues to embrace Fiori as the primary UX of SAP, it will be important to consider how Fiori and Personas can work together. With new features in Personas such as theming, UX tracking, and more continue to roll-out, I hope that a greater consistency will continue to develop between these two technologies. In the meantime, I hope you learned a few tricks to make for a more consistent experience.

Please let me know if you have any other tips or tricks I missed, and share your thoughts on future Personas feature ideas.

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4 Comments

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  1. Krishna Kishor Kammaje

    Nice blog!

    After following Fiori Style guide, I agree that creating a Fiori theme is a very tedious job requiring lots of effort. But I guess having a default Fiori theme may not be feasible as most GUI screens are complex and Fiori style guide cannot be applied to most screens as it is. (unless you simplify the screen beforehand).

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  2. Peter Spielvogel

    Hi Gavin,

    Great blog. Thank you for the comments and ideas. Some are already in the product.

    • However, it seems like it should be easy to create one generic theme, and have it apply to ever t-code, whether it is a Personas flavor or not?

    This is exactly what the theming does. If you apply a theme, it applies to all transactions, whether they have additional personalization or not.

    • Add html / javascript / css snippets. I would love to add in my own CSS, or perhaps insert Google Analytics.

    This is already ossible in SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP2

    • Apply a global change. Instead of adding a menu button or removing the print button on every single t-code screen by creating thousands of flavors, wouldn’t it be nice to make a global change one time?

    We have heard this request from other customers. It is on our backlog. I cannot commit to a delivery date.

    • Flavor Gallery, embedded. Why not allow the flavor selection to use publicly available assets directly from the Flavor Gallery?

    There are some technical reasons why we do not do this. Interesting idea. Happy to explore with you in a call.

    Regards,

    Peter

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    1. Gavin Quinn Post author

      Hi Peter — regarding the theme application to every transaction. Is there directions on this? In the Theme Editor, I see an assignment tab, and it requires a Role and Transaction to be set?

      Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.12.02 AM.png

      Regarding the CSS / javascript direct entry — where would this be applied? I see an option to insert HTML into an IFRAME, but I don’t think that will let me directly manipulate the existing page?

      Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.15.06 AM.png

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      1. Tobias Queck

        Hi Gavin,

        You are in the right place to assign a theme. We support assigning themes by role (by user is not supported) and allow to limit it by transaction. If you don’t want to limit it to a transaction then you can use wild cards e.g. the sales order transactions VA01/2/3 would be VA0* or all transactions is *.

        Regarding CSS/JS direct entry, you are right, you cannot manipulate the CSS or JS code of the existing page with officially supported features. Having said this, when you write you own script that e.g. is executed onLoad of a screen, we allow you to access the window object, therefore, theoretically, you have quite some freedom. BUT, let me caution you, this is not a supported feature and we will not be able to handle incidents with problems based on scripts manipulating the DOM and the resulting behavior is not as expected.

        You also mentioned you would like to hide e.g. the print button on every screen. This is already possible for the print button (and all other toolbar buttons) by using the control specific theming. We do not yet support adding a control on every screen or re-positioning it. However, you feature request is noted and we will for sure evaluate it.

        Last but not least, I really like your feature requests, keep them coming. If we hear the same feature request from multiple sources and it is feasible then we always try to raise the priority internally.  As usual, nothing I said in my response is a promise of a feature or any future development.

        Cheers!

        Tobias Queck

        SAP Screen Personas

        Lead Architect

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