Introduction to S/4HANA Cloud In-App Extensibility and Key-User Tools – Part 1

Target Audience – Key Users

While S/4HANA provides many extension options, as a S/4HANA customer In-app extensions are the most interesting as they enable your Key Users to make simple adjustments to Fiori apps by themselves. This speeds up the rate of innovation by reducing reliance on your IT team.   It’s also very efficient – letting you redeploy costly designers, developers and administrators to focus on high expertise innovations such as integration extensions. Bert Schulze introduces the concepts in the following blog

https://blogs.sap.com/2016/10/11/sap-s4hana-expert-series-1-new-extensibility-paradigm/

Key User Extensibility is a part of In-App Extensibility in the S/4HANA Cloud and is mainly pointed towards the needs of Key Users of any organization and is managed through web based Key User Tools.

 

Let us understand Who is a Key User?

In any organization, a Business Expert is called as Key User in S/4HANA Extensibility paradigm. As you can see from below image, a Business Expert is someone who would only like to see the S/4HANA Extensions on cloud for his or her LOB. It is important to note that these extensions should only affect the people under him. To achieve these extensions, SAP provides you Key User tools. It is important to note these tools are restrictive in nature (We will learn more about this little later in the blog).

So, what distinguishes a Key User from a normal business user? The answer to this is – the authorization to adapt artifacts like UIs, views on services, processes, etc. to the need of his or her assigned user group

Image Source 1: SAP TechEd

 

The main functions of such users are to do simple extensions in the UI, add and test simple business logic or add new custom fields to the UI

One such example to relate this is for example – the head of any purchasing department would like to add new fields or remove some fields or add some small business logic without needing the full development or developer support and this change should affect the employees or users under his or her line of business only

 

What advantage does these tools provide to a Key User?

The main advantage of the Key User Tool is to provide easy and friendly access to customize the software without having the need to know what all is going on behind the scenes in the backend. You as a Key User don’t necessarily have to have technical or programming skills. Some of the advantages you as a Key User –

  • You as a Key User can adapt the UI to your company’s naming terminologies by changing the field labels on the fly
  • You as a Key User can adapt the UI and make it look more clean by hiding the fields not required on the fly
  • You as a Key User can organize the field layout of the UI to make it look more organized and sequenced per your organizations needs on the fly

All this is possible through the web based tools released suitable for S/4HANA Cloud

 

What are these Key User tools then?

Image Source 2: SAP TechED

As you notice from above image, to a Key User, SAP has provided Web-Based Key User Tools (…which are nothing but SAP provided Fiori Applications) for end-to-end extensions like – adding custom fields, custom business logic (ABAP in the Cloud), Custom CDS Views, Custom Business Objects Etc.

For more feature richness and complexities (Towards the right of the above graph) organization wide, a developer role is required and more advanced tools like SAP Web IDE, ABAP Development Tool Kit etc. will come into picture and you would need a developer with such expertise

 

How to get these Web Based Key User tools in S/4HANA Cloud?

Business Catalog SAP_CORE_BC_EXT must be assigned to the Business Roles which in turn are assigned to users. Doing this would enable Key User tools for the user. This can be done through Identity and Access Management Tiles in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Launchpad

These catalogs can be found under Tile – Business Catalog

Image from S/4HANA Cloud version 1702

You can search for the available Business Roles that must be assigned to the respective Key User so that the S/4HANA Cloud Web based Extensibility tools are available to him/her. The Identity and Access Management apps helps your business users to have secure access to the S/4HANA Cloud solution

 

What Key User tools made available through S/4HANA Extensibility?

As you can see from the image source 2 above, SAP S/4HANA Extensibility divides extensions between Key User Tools and Developer Tools.

When we talk about quick and easy extensions made easy and simple for Business Experts (Key Users), following Tools are made available –

  1. General UI adaptions like: Hiding Fields, Removing Fields, Moving Fields or Groups, Creating new Groups, Adding new fields from list of available standard field list
  2. Add new Custom Fields for existing standard UI’s
  3. Add new Custom Business Logic for existing standard UI’s
  4. Create new Custom Business Objects (Custom Business Objects allows you analyze the data of underlying database tables
  5. Create Custom CDS views

Once you log on to the S/4HANA Cloud Launchpad as Key User you would see these tools as Fiori Tiles. It will be like below –

 

Key User Extensibility – Some technical details around it

  1. These are loosely coupled custom extensions in SAP S/4HANA Cloud
  2. These are not modifications, but restricted extensions in SAP S/4 HANA delivered extensions which are enabled by SAP Whitelisted APIs’ (like Classes and Interfaces, CDS Views which are not Private, BADIs etc)
  3. Extensions are cloud enabled
  4. Read SAP note 22837162283716 to set up the ATO to manage the transport of extensions

 

Congratulations you have successfully understood the basics of Key User In-App Extensibility on S/4HAHA Cloud!

Rohit Khan, S/4HANA Regional Implementation Group

For any clarification or support, feel free to reach rohit.khan@sap.com

 

Good Links to know more about In-App Key User Extensions

SAP S/4HANA – Extensibility for Customers and Partners Whitepaper

Application for General Functions for Key Users

What is S/4HANA Cloud – 2-minute overview

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Free Trial

 

Click the below link to visit the Part 2 of this blog series

Part 2: Key User Extensibility on SAP S/4HANA Cloud – UI Adaptions for Key User

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