SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – Role-Based for App Discovery and Activation
Latest Update April 2020: Extensively updated for SAP S/4HANA 1909 and the latest changes in the SAP Fiori apps reference library. Added some hints for those wanting to download the list of apps for a specific role. Now with over 1760 SAP Fiori apps (as of SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS01) and some roles with over 60 SAP Fiori apps, being able to download and share the list offline with your stakeholders and project team is needed more than ever. Have also expanded the list of *always needed* roles and updated a few of the screenshots, and some of the advice around activation. Removed the mention of the Fiori app activation tool which was deprecated some time ago.
One of the early challenges facing UX and UI Leads on SAP S/4HANA projects is gathering the list of Apps that are possible for SAP S/4HANA and their associated configuration information. This blog shows how following the Fiori Design Principle of Role-Based speeds this process ensuring the optimal Fiori bang-for-your-buck on SAP S/4HANA projects; and demonstrates a typical flow in the Fiori Apps Library.
While installing SAP S/4HANA delivers a Big Bang collection of new SAP Fiori user experiences, the actual Apps you want to use still need to be chosen & individually activated.
You may also need to find & activate the related apps for a specific business role when:
- Upgrading your SAP S/4HANA release and wanting to increase your SAP Fiori scope to introduce new business roles
- Executing a Business Change Project to derive more value from your current SAP S/4HANA release by introducing more business roles.
Incidentally, if you are upgrading and want to examine the delta of new apps available for existing business roles in your scope, you can also use the approach described in Finding the delta of new apps between SAP S/4HANA releases.
IMPORTANT: For SAP S/4HANA 1709 and higher, you are recommended to use one of the mass maintenance approaches to activation.
- If you are using the recommended approach of an embedded SAP Fiori frontend server and you want to explore or implement a whole SAP business role template, you can use the Rapid Content Activation approach for maximum efficiency.
- If you are using a hub mode SAP Fiori frontend server, or you have already explored the whole business role in your sandpit and need to refine the SAP business role before implementing it, then use the Fiori launchpad content manager to refine the role and use the related task list.
Only once you activate the apps will they be available for use. Every app exposes certain data as well as user interfaces, so you only want to expose the apps you are actually going to use. This minimizes: data exposure risks; confusion for users and project team; and support issues.
Early in your S/4HANA project as a UX Lead you will need to sort out which Fiori Apps are actually available on your S/4HANA product version. Similarly as a UX Lead you will need to gather the configuration information for all the Apps to be installed. You will need to do this even if you are using Best Practice Content because, while Best Practice Content provides some of this information in spreadsheet lists, it’s normal for the project to want to add some extra apps not covered by Best Practice Content.
This will involve delving into the depths of the Fiori Apps Library to explore:
- Which Fiori Apps are available
- For each App you will also need to gather:
- The App type, which is the starting point for app behaviour, app feature potential, and troubleshooting
- What needs to be installed on SAP Fiori Frontend and Backend servers, as the app may be optional add-on modules on SAP S/4HANA
- What ICF nodes and OData Services need to be activated
- What Search Connectors and other analytical components need to be activated
- Where to find the associated sample Fiori Tile Catalogs and security roles
- What SAP Notes to check first for any queries re correct configuration, expected behaviour, or support fixes
You can collect this information individual App by individual App but with over 1760 SAP Fiori apps delivered in S/4HANA 1909 FPS01 that’s a very tedious and time-consuming approach. Surely there is a faster and more efficient way? Yes there is. Aggregation by Business Role!
Business Role for holistic, prioritized view of available apps
You might be wondering – why filter by Business Role? Surely we just want to grab the whole list of apps for SAP S/4HANA. Well having been through this personally several times now, and played around with the different filter options in the Fiori Apps Library, for SAP S/4HANA the “By Role” filter is the most reliable method for finding all Fiori Apps that can be run on SAP S/4HANA.
Searching “By Required Backend” alone – as suggested by this otherwise excellent guide – misses out on apps that can be run on optional modules in S/4HANA. Searching “By Product Version” only reveals the Apps where your version is the “Leading Product Version” and misses inherited apps from previous product versions and common apps that run on all SAP backends and solutions, such as My Inbox.
Searching by business role also makes sense from a project viewpoint as when project timelines are constrained you can prioritise apps based on:
- Which apps are relevant for users in scope for the current project phase
- Which apps are needed first/next based on functional consultant availability
Aggregation for Efficiency
Using aggregation you can quickly:
- Eliminate apps only available on SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition versus SAP S/4HANA AnyPremise depending on your chosen SAP S/4HANA solution
- Eliminate apps that are not relevant on your release and Feature Pack Stack of SAP S/4HANA
- If upgrading to SAP S/4HANA, identify and eliminate apps that are superseded by new apps on your version of S/4HANA
- Download spreadsheet lists of apps, ICF Nodes, OData Services, and SAP Notes which can then be uploaded into accelerator tools such as Rapid Content Activation and Fiori launchpad content manager
To start this process someone needs to provide a list of the business roles in scope – usually this is the Project Manager. When you are first moving to SAP S/4HANA you can use the Readiness Check 2.0 tool to scope your initial set of business roles.
There are also some roles you ALWAYS want regardless of whether they were asked for or not:
- The ADMINISTRATOR role – which contains common apps for email/form templates, job scheduling, custom CDS views, and custom fields, among others. These you will need even in your Development system to configure your other apps.
- The ANALYTICS SPECIALIST role – which contains configuration apps for Smart Business tiles. These you will need even in your Development system to configure your other apps.
- For SAP S/4HANA 1709 and higher, the BUSINESS PROCESS SPECIALIST role – which has a focus on managing workflows
- For SAP S/4HANA 1909 and higher, the CONFIGURATION EXPERT – BUSINESS PROCESS CONFIGURATION role which contains common administration apps for new SAP S/4HANA processes including central procurement, group reporting and many others.
Working with the SAP Fiori apps reference library
Here’s a typical flow you can follow starting from the SAP Fiori apps reference library home page…
Start by selecting the main filter SAP Fiori apps for SAP S/4HANA
NOTE: This blog focuses on the SAP Fiori content. If you want to see all content for a role including all of the classic user interfaces, then use the main filter All Apps for SAP S/4HANA
Classic user interfaces that can be launched from the SAP Fiori launchpad include:
- SAP GUI transactions (via SAP GUI for HTML)
- ABAP WebDynpro applications
- WebClient UIs (in SAP S/4HANA 1909 and higher)
You can also launch URLs – however URLs are always custom created in your Launchpad Designer and are not listed in the SAP Fiori apps reference library.
NOTE: Be aware that even if you are using the Best Practice Content you will find some business roles that do NOT contain any SAP Fiori apps and have classic user interfaces only. For these you must use the SAP Fiori apps reference library main filter All Apps for SAP S/4HANA
Select Apps by desired Business Role
In the Categories list, select By Roles
Aggregate Apps relevant to your S/4HANA version
Select all apps – using the Select All icon at the top
Check your correct target release and Feature Pack Stack are selected – if not use the dropdown to adjust.
Now go back and expand the list of available apps.
If you are upgrading and some apps have been superseded you will see these listed as Successor also chosen. Latest versions of apps where older versions are still available are listed as Alternatives available.
You can select the Successor also chosen or Alternatives available hyperlink to see and compare the alternatives. The recommended latest version is shown at the top of the list.
As a rule of thumb, you want to move to the new version wherever possible to gain the latest improvements. If you are doing a fresh install and only want the latest version you can use the radiobuttons to choose your preferred app
Alternatively you can use the x icon on the main list to remove the older versions from your selected apps.
You now have a final list of apps you can use for that business role in S/4HANA. If you want to simply download the list of apps use the List View button in the footer to do that.
Before downloading, check you are only downloading your Current Selection – this will ensure the apps you have already descoped are not included. That way your downloaded list can also be used as a starting point for refining the SAP Business Role to your custom business role using the Fiori launchpad content manager. Finally use the Download button in the footer to download the list to a spreadsheet
You should consider renaming your downloaded list after the relevant business role and S/4HANA release/FPS to make it easier to share this information with your stakeholders and project teams.
Collecting App Activation information
In the aggregation view, scroll down to find:
- Important SAP Notes – you can use the download icon to take this list offline for further review
- Aggregated Installation Requirements – you can check these quickly in case any add-ons are required
- Aggregated Configuration Requirements
BE WARNED: many of these are composite notes or contain general advice that you should read.
These SAP Notes should be your first port of call for any issues or confusion around configuration needs.
You can now download all sorts of information, including the business catalogs, ICF nodes, OData Services, BEx Queries, Search Connectors, etc. Everything you need to activate this information.
IMPORTANT: You only selected 1 business role, so why is it showing 51 business roles to be downloaded? Simple – this indicates that some of the apps you are using are shared with other business roles.
For example you can download the list of ICF Nodes and the list of OData Services to be activated to be activated in the Fiori frontend server.
NOTE: When using the All Apps for SAP S/4HANA main filter, if there are any Web Dynpro Applications you’ll see a similar download option – remember these will need to be activated in the Backend (S/4HANA) system.
It’s also a good idea to grab the list of Search Connectors
These you will activate via transaction ESH_COCKPIT in the Backend (S/4HANA) system.
But what about …
One thing I don’t worry about too much at this stage is gathering the technical security role ids. I can always get those again later following much the same approach…and from 1610 we have a much easier way of creating security roles described in Mass Maintenance of Business Roles for Fiori launchpad.
ONE LAST AND VERY IMPORTANT TIP:
You will definitely need to keep a list of ALL the Apps you are activating… for security authorization, for launchpad customization, and for testing… and for your next upgrade or business change project.
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