I was looking at the release notes for the Hybrid App Toolkit for 1702 (or 1.24 in their lexicon) recently, as I often do in my free time.  For those of you that don’t know, the Hybrid App Toolkit is part of what we call the mobile service for SAP Fiori developer experience.  You can read more about it in my blog The Fiori mobile service developer experience has arrived!  Parts of the Hybrid App Toolkit, or HAT as it’s most commonly known, are available without the mobile service for SAP Fiori, but some features, particularly access to the cloud build service, requires a subscription.  Anyway, in my review of the release notes, it occurred to me that the features are significant enough to warrant some additional discussion, and perhaps even a demo video!

There are three new features that were added to the 1702 release, all are noteworthy:

  1. Automatically create a new signing profile for Android
  2. Create Fiori Launchpad apps with multiple tiles
  3. Customize the theme for Fiori mobile apps

Let’s take them one by one.

Automatically create a new signing profile for Android

The topic of signing has been covered a couple times in a variety of blogs.  There’s a section in Dhimant’s blog, it’s covered in at least one of my blogs, you get the picture.  For iOS, you still have to go through the process, but for Android, we realized that we could significantly simplify the process for creating the signing profile.  Sure, you can still run the java or openSSL command line, but we thought it’d be easier if we put a nice user interface on top of it, re-inforcing our vision that everything required for the mobile service for SAP Fiori should be cloud-based.  Rather than post duplicate content, I recommend you read the appropriate section on signing in my blog SAP Fiori Demo Cloud takes on a mobile focus.

Create Fiori Launchpad apps with multiple tiles

There’s more to this feature than meets the eye.  When the developer experience was first released, there was a feature that many people felt left a bit to be desired.  We call this feature the “Single Tile Launchpad”.  It represented the fact that when the user interacted with the app, he was presented with a home screen with a single tile on it.  This is in contrast to the local add-in, where the user launched directly into the app content.  If you hadn’t noticed by now, this has been addressed!  Thanks to all the customers who provided us valuable feedback.  That’s great, but as anyone who has used the mobile service for SAP Fiori admin experience, creating a line of business app sometimes involves taking multiple SAP Fiori apps and putting them into a single binary.  While an admin could do this, a developer could not.  This release eliminates any restriction in that area, enabling a developer to create a true mobile app with either a single SAP Fiori tile, or with multiple tiles included.

Customize the theme for Fiori mobile apps

First let’s be clear about what we are referring to when we say Fiori mobile apps.  Actually before that, let’s make sue we understand what themes are.  That’ outside the scope of this blog, but I highly recommend if you haven’t already to read about theming and the UI Theme Designer here.

Remember that there are a couple different ways to  mobilize Fiori content.  The simplest way to do so is simply to run the Fiori app from a mobile web browser.  In this scenario you don’t really need the mobile service for SAP Fiori as the app is simply a web app.  Custom themes have been supported in that scenario as long as, well, custom themes have been supported.  Theming is also supported in the SAP Fiori Client as well as the custom SAP Fiori Client that can be generated by the mobile service.  Up until now, what wasn’t supported was theming for SAP Fiori packaged apps.  These apps were forced to use the Blue Crystal theme – until now.  Starting with 1702, SAP Fiori packaged apps will adopt the theme that you specify for your Fiori site.  At this point you can’t specify a theme to a specific app, but that’s under consideration for a future release.

Hopefully you’re as excited about these new features as I am.  We continue to add features to the developer experience, features that are focused on amplifying a developer’s ability to create truly amazing hybrid apps.

Stay tuned for future updates!

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