A common but misplaced complaint from functional application experts on S/4HANA projects is this one: “Where’s my app? There must be tiles missing!” After all the Fiori Apps Library shows so many apps and the Fiori Launchpad in S/4HANA shows so many tiles surely they must have a 1-1 match? Actually no – there are several ways apps can manifest as this brief blog explains.
Knowing where and how to look for Fiori apps in your Fiori Launchpad is a fundamental skill of anyone involved in a S/4HANA project. So many apps are presented prominently on the Fiori Launchpad, it can be easy for the newcomer to think that is the only way they appear. Actually there are 4 common ways Fiori apps are included in the Fiori Launchpad of S/4HANA.
An app can appear as a:
- Navigation Target
- Reuse component, i.e. a shared sub component of one or more other apps
Let’s take a brief look at these and how they contribute to the S/4HANA User Experience.
A tile is the most obvious way for a Fiori app to appear. Tiles are useful as a prominent and obvious entry point to the most important apps assigned to a user.
Tiles appear on the Home Page viewport of the Fiori Launchpad, and when searching for apps in the App Finder.
Tiles are also a useful way to display additional static dynamic information on the Fiori Launchpad itself. At some customers, subtext information on the tile is even used to educate and motivate users, e.g. “Desktop only” or “Mobile version coming soon”.
Where there is no need to show additional dynamic or textual information, using a Link instead of a tile is a simple way to declutter the Fiori Launchpad – particularly for less frequent tasks.
Changing a tile to a link is part of Tile Group configuration. It’s a good idea to include this option when tailoring the Launchpad for each Business Role in scope of your project.
Tip: Make sure you validate the design with end user representatives who know and perform that Business Role. You want to make sure that you aren’t demoting a task they want to spot easily every day.
Like tiles, links appear on the Home Page viewport of the Fiori Launchpad.
Tip: If a Tile Group contains both tiles and links then links will appear below the tiles.
Apps you have just used also automatically appear as a special kind of link in the Recently Used section of the Me viewport.
Fiori provides smooth transitions from one app to another. This transition is intentionally subtle so that a user ideally will not even notice that they are in a different app. Indeed when you are in the middle of a task, having to return to the Home viewport to move from one app to another would be very tedious.
There are many apps – particularly Display <Business Object> apps – otherwise known as Object Pages, the successor of Factsheets – that don’t need to appear as an entry point on the Fiori Launchpad Home Page but play an important part as a target of other apps.
These are just some of the navigation techniques can potentially take you to another app:
- Select a hyperlink
- Press a button
- Click on a link in the results of a Fiori Search
- From the Task-Specific detail of My Inbox
- From a Notification in the Notification Center
There are a small number of special apps in the Fiori Apps Library that are marked with the App Type “Reuse Component” – at time of writing this blog there were 34 reuse apps relevant to S/4HANA. Reuse apps act as a shared subcomponent of a group of related apps, providing common services to ensure coherent behaviour across the related apps. They are listed as their own app type because they have their own configuration requirements and support lifecycle. Dependencies to a reuse app are cross referenced in each of the apps that share the reuse app, so if you are configuring an app, you can see if there’s a reuse component needed as well.
- FIN User Default Parameter Plugin – which provides default values for Personalization in the Settings section of the Me viewport
- Central Worklist Component
- Generic Tools
- Common ARP Line Items Library
- Application Jobs Reuse Library
- Sales Analysis Reuse
- Attachment Services
How to Find “Missing” apps
The easiest way to find allegedly “missing” apps is to use the Fiori Search. A quick keyword search on any part of the app name is usually all that is needed to set the minds of newcomers at rest.
NOTE: The exception to this are Reuse Components. You won’t find them in the search because they provide services to other apps, rather than being an app themselves. For these your UX Lead or administrator can check if they are active in the Fiori App Activation tool if you have installed it, or by checking the relevant ICF Nodes in transaction SICF and OData Services in transaction /IWFND/MAINT_SERVICE as per SAP Best Practice Guide Fiori Apps Deployment (MAD) which you can find in the Best Practices Explorer.