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First, why I chose to write about this app. Of all the apps I have looked at, this is an app where most of the functionality works right out of box, with little to no configuration required.

I will walk you through most of the functionalities of the app one by one, and explain when it will work out of box. I will also mention the changes we did for the business processes we had faced.

Product Search

It is one of those functionalities that will work out of the box as it is a lookup against MARA and then some more tables. According to FIORI apps library documentation you can “Find any product by entering a description, product ID or GTIN (bar code) in the search field”.

Limitation and changes we did

For the most part it works as designed, but the search against GTIN is very slow when GTIN is typed in or scanned in using a handheld scanner in a browser based access (not app). We had to

  1. Interrupt the default search
  2. Check if search string is all numbers and of particular length
  3. If above condition is satisfied then go against the table MEAN and bring up the results

Next, camera based barcode scanning is horrible. Not SAP’s fault, but a camera needs good amount of light to work and in real life scenario it never worked for us. We ended up doing a custom app with Cordova plug-in for the mobile devices (a matter of entirely separate discussion).

Another part which I liked but business did not like at all was that the number of products that show up in the search is limited. So we had to change that limit (which was very hard to find but very easy to do) and then incorporate navigation options for all the products that show up. There were two options that we considered

  1. Infinite list, where the list keeps getting refreshed every time you scroll down
  2. Page by page navigation, essentially you divide the results in a chunk, paginate those results and when user presses the next button, you show the next set of results.

Product Details: Information tab

For the most part, this tab works out of box.

Limitation and changes we did

If you allow negative stock then you will have to write code to handle negative quantity, because the front end UI does not differentiate between negative or positive stocks. We wrote java script code to change –ve to 0.

Product Details: Promotions tab

Promotions will only show up if you maintain them. So no comments here…

Product Details: Stock tab

This is the most important tab of the app. Takes some work to set up but once functional, provides a very strong business case for good ROI in terms of cross-sell, up-sell and customer satisfaction.

Incoming shipments will show data only if you use POs, STOs etc. i.e. SAP’s recommended 3 step stock transfer process. Nearby stores will show up once you have them set up using a utility accessed via txn wsd_cbp.

Limitation and changes we did

In one of our implementation, we were using 3 step process for receipts from warehouse but inter-store or inter-plant transfer was 2 step process (movements 303 and 305). So we had to write code to bring in material movement documents.

For nearby stores we did following changes

  1. One of our client had us de-hyperlink phone, mobile and email address because the mobile devices they were using had phone or email disabled.
  2. Number of stores that will show up are again limited to 50. So once again, we had to change that limit and then incorporate navigation options of Infinite list or page by page navigation.
  3. Setting up and maintaining nearby stores is lots of work, we ended up writing a program which will take a characteristic from Plant master and then organize based on that. For more details on setting up and enhancing nearby plants/stores, please click here.
  4. Default nearby store logic, does not consider closing date in plant/store master. We had to correct that situation.

Product Details: Similar Items tab

This tab does provide information as it has been programmed, but unfortunately that logic is not correct.

Limitation and changes we did

The issue with the logic is (as mentioned by our business users), if I am looking for a Green blouse in XS size , I do not want to look at other sizes, though I may look at other colors and other blouses. So we ended up providing filters for color and size.

This is the filter we developed

 

These are the results if you choose a size

These are the results if you choose a color

 

Summary

Feature Works Out of Box Prerequisite Limitations
Find any product by entering a description, product ID or GTIN (bar code) in the search field Yes None

Default search by GTIN is very slow. In our case it takes about 5 seconds after GTIN is entered, more details in next sections.

 

Camera based bar code scanning is horrible. Not SAP’s faults, but a camera needs good amount of light to work.

Access real-time product, promotion, and stock information Yes, but conditional. See prerequisites Stock information only if you have one storage location, multiple storage locations will need extra work
See different styles, colors, or sizes for a product Yes, but business did not like what showed up. Default logic is not useful, but still a very good start
See product availability in nearby stores No, see prerequisites. But once functional, provides one of the most powerful ROI in terms of cross-sell, up-sell and customer satisfaction. You need to setup nearby stores using txn wsd_cbp. Need lots of business inputs. Lots of work, we ended up writing a program which will take a characteristic from Plant master and then organize based on that.

 

For a detailed discussion of FIORI implementation, please refer to my blog here

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments

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  1. Mahesh kumar palavalli

    Hi Vivek,

    I am also facing the same issue with the inbuilt bar code scanner that comes with Fiori Client. Could you please let me know how you have solved the issue.

    1) did you create a custom Fiori client with new cordova scanner plugin which has flash light support?
    2) Or have you integrated an external barcode scanner(handheld) and connected it to Custom Fiori client?

    In above ways, i haven’t got enough knowledge on creating a custom Fiori client. Could you please help me on this

    Thanks & Regards,

    Mahesh

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  2. Jayakanth R

    Dear Vivek,

     

    I am trying to implement “Look up Retail products app”. When i use the ECC DB, search is very slow so i decided to connect to TREX/ HANA.

    When i try to create connectors for ARTICLE_H as described in the implementation page “http://help-legacy.sap.com/fiori_bs2013/helpdata/en/e1/b0c5520ed3a81ae10000000a44538d/content.htm”

    i am getting an error “Article_h switched off”. When we try to enable the switch i get an error that you need to install Hana DB.

    I am basically trying to connect my ECC system to a HANA DB and search to improve performance however i am unable to get this through.

    Do you have an idea here?

    Regards,

    Jay

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    1. Vivek Sharma Post author

      Jayakanth,

      More then dependency on DB, i think it is slow because of how the search query has been written. It is going through a few fields in MARA and then a few other tables to come up with the results.

      We had this problem, when we were trying to search 12 digits barcode and it will take about 15 seconds with about maybe only 5000 records in MARA.

      We ended up interrupting the standard query and re-writing it, so search results were almost instantaneous.

      I know I haven’t answered your query, but that’s kinda too technical for me 🙂 but just wanted to share one more option with you.

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        1. Vivek Sharma Post author

          Jared,

           

          Please refer to the documentation for this App on following link.

          https://help.sap.com/fiori_bs2013/helpdata/en/0a/b9c5520ed3a81ae10000000a44538d/frameset.htm?frameset=/en/C0/0349523E85D130E10000000A44538D/frameset.htm&current_toc=/en/ba/954353a531e647e10000000a441470/plain.htm&node_id=93&show_children=false

          Most important object/s you need to care about is the Roles and Authorizations. Most of the companies have different ways of dealing with Roles & authorizations and that’s what causes the most pain when getting a FIORI app to work

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