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.
- Bump up the Kernel to 7.42 SP 300.
- Update SPAM to the latest patch
- Check the latest Personas note: 2013453 – Release strategy for ABAP add-on PERSONAS
- Install SP02: SAPK-30002INPERSONAS
- Up and running in about an hour in our lab system
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?
- 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:
- 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));
- 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?
- 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:
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:
This break in UX consistency can be mitigated with the Personas Fiori Theme.
How to Theme
- 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).
- 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).
- 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:
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.