SAP is generally considered to be the leader in business applications thanks to its market share, the breadth and depth of its software portfolio, and the functional completeness of its solutions. One area, however, where SAP takes criticism is the user experience (UX) of the software. SAP software is undoubtedly rich in functionality, but in the past, end users were expected to be knowledgeable, often even trained, to be able to use SAP solutions to their maximum benefit. At the same time, we live in the age of consumerized IT; where great user experience is expected by default. SAP has recognized the growing gap between new user expectations and the reality of their software and has made user experience their highest priority.


The cornerstone of SAP’s journey to improve user experience is SAP Fiori and SAP Fiori launchpad (FLP). FLP is the central point of access for all SAP Fiori apps. It is a real-time, role-based, and personalized aggregation point for business applications. It was developed based on SAPUI5 and follows core SAP Fiori principles.


/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/fb_share_876722.jpg


Architectural Options

SAP is implementing SAP Fiori UX across the SAP software portfolio. This implies that the central access client to SAP Fiori apps (SAP Fiori launchpad) is expected to support all scenarios that

SAP customers may have to run SAP applications. Whether applications are predominantly hosted on-premise on Java, on an ABAP stack, or in the cloud, SAP Fiori launchpad must cater to all of these scenarios. This is why SAP has created the following three deployment options for SAP

Fiori launchpad:

  • ABAP frontend server

The ABAP option was the first created by SAP; therefore, currently, it is still considered the most proven option. In this option, SAP Fiori launchpad runs on SAP Gateway, providing all three SAP Fiori app types (transactional, analytical, and fact sheet) with other supported UI technologies.

  • SAP Enterprise Portal

The SAP Enterprise Portal option is based on a portal framework page, which has been specifically created by SAP to enable SAP Enterprise Portal to host SAP Fiori launchpad.

  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform (SAP HCP)

SAP HCP is a key strategic platform for SAP, and as such, it is under continuous development. SAP Fiori launchpad on SAP HCP is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that enables the SAP Fiori cloud offering, where the business processes may run in the cloud or on-premise.


Scenarios and Corresponding Roadmaps

SAP customers can make use of various UI clients to connect to SAP systems.


The following are some of the main clients:

  • SAP Enterprise Portal
  • SAP Business Client
  • SAP GUI
  • Mobile clients

Most customers use a combination of these clients, but may still rely on one or another more heavily. Relatively few customers use all clients. SAP has made it clear in its UI technology roadmap that all these clients will be consolidated into one client UX in the future: SAP Fiori launchpad. The actual implementation of this SAP Fiori UX is still in progress by SAP. The roadmaps of UI clients describe the transition paths.


Setting Up SAP Fiori Launchpad

As previously mentioned, SAP Fiori launchpad can be deployed in three ways:

  • AS ABAP
  • SAP Enterprise Portal
  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Just to take the most common option at the moment, the setup on AS ABAP consists of the following steps:

  • Initial setup
  • Configuration hierarchy
  • Login and logout pages
  • Configuring user access
  • Configuring Catalogs, Tiles, Roles, and Groups


Real-Life Examples

We see 3 main types of use of FLP in real life:

  • Renewing the SAP Enterprise Portal user experience with SAP Fiori launchpad
  • Running your application entry point in the Cloud
  • Renewing the User Experience for ABAP customers


Outlook

Since the introduction of SAP Fiori launchpad to the market, SAP Fiori has taken a big step forward to be the de facto SAP clients’ user experience. The overall concept that SAP Fiori launchpad delivers—a simplified and modern UX, personalized access points, responsiveness, and ease of use—will remain the same, but we expect the experience of SAP Fiori launchpad to get regular updates and adopt new design paradigms and capabilities.

Are you interested to learn about these subjects in greater detail? Aviad Rivlin and I captured our experience and recommendations in an e-bite.

To report this post you need to login first.

Be the first to leave a comment

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

Leave a Reply