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Author's profile photo Rajen Patel

Comparison – SAP Fiori UI5 and Screen Personas : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

SAP provides two paths to a delightful user experience (UX)

SAP Fiori UI5 apps and SAP Screen Personas are two ways to achieve SAP Fiori user experience.

  • Fiori UI5 UX strategy aims to transform the transactional operational model to a role-oriented one
  • SAP Screen Personas simplifies scenarios not yet covered by Fiori applications or for your custom transactions

UI v/s UX

There is a distinction between User Interface (UI) and User experience (UX).

User interface deals with intuitive screen design, screen flow, buttons and colors.

User experience deals with how users feel when they interact with the technology. It includes integration between processes, people and technology

Example:  Uber

  • Intuitive screen design to call a ride from your mobile phone  > Great UI
  • You can walk out of your ride without using your mobile phone >  Great UX


SAP provided technologies (Fiori UI5, Personas) can be used to improve UI for screens as part of organization’s UX improvement initiative. Here is a perspective of each technology.

1. Fiori UI5 apps:

The Good:

  • Role based development
  • Develop once, use on any device i.e. Mobile phone, tablet and desktop
  • Develop based on your need (independent of existing SAP transactions)
  • Leverage SAP Fiori Launchpad to personalize landing screen
  • Fiori design is the future UI for all SAP products
  • Dynamic search functionality
  • Smart tiles with analytical annotation

The Bad:

  • High cost of development
  • Different approach for development compared to traditional development (Design thinking)
  • Need to provide complete “end to end functionality” for designated roles otherwise users end up in two different user interface (Fiori and SAP GUI)

The Ugly:

  • High cost of change (develop once and develop right)
  • Easy to deviate from SAP’s Fiori design guidelines

Bottom line:

Great for complex business processes, high development cost, great UX improvement, long term approach aligned with SAP’s UX strategy

2. Screen Personas

 The Good:

  • Modify existing transactions (standard and custom) > Keep existing business logic
  • Easy to simplify > remove fields
  • Relatively easy to beautify screens by applying themes
  • Great screen editing interface for screen editing and great libraries for JavaScript
  • Great for simplifying display transactions
  • Can be integrated with Fiori Launchpad

The Bad:

  • Limited to SAP GUI transactions (Very difficult to combine different edit transactions on one screen > It gets ugly pretty fast)
  • JavaScript can be used for front end development i.e. SAP GUI for HTML screen (One can also create flavors in SAP GUI for HTML and render in SAP GUI for Windows. Limitations are noted here:
  • Limited to fixed screen-size per theme (You need to create flavors for every screen size. Development time multiplies with every flavor)
  • Every transaction needs flavor (i.e. Three flavors for MM01, MM02 and MM03). Multiple flavors if you are creating different variants for different users groups

The Ugly:

  • For edit transactions it gets ugly to merge fields from multiple tabs esp. grids
  • It gets even uglier if you have mandatory fields on different tabs
  • Must utilize an ABAP expert and a JavaScript developer for any meaningful automation or custom screen development
  • Numbers of scripts and flavors can get out of hand very quickly
  • Screen can look like Fiori screen but will not provide intuitive fluid UI functionality available in Fiori UI5 screens

Bottom line:

Great for simple transactions and linear business processes, limited development effort, limited UX improvement gain.

3. Hybrid approach:

Improve UX by implementing Fiori UI5 and SAP Screen Personas

  • The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither. ~ Confucius
  • If you “the organization” want to chase two rabbits, setup two different teams and send them to chase one rabbit each ~ Confucius 3.0
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      Author's profile photo Peter Brasket
      Peter Brasket

      Rajan - good post -- a couple of observations on the "Bad" of Fiori:

      • High cost of development : At a Fiori open house to internal business partners within a Mindset 150,000 employee client recently, the DevOps team highlighted the overall LOWER cost of Fiori vs. traditional project development.    This client sees 6-8 week production delivery (including Design Thinking) of Fiori apps via a high-velocity Fiori Agile Build team.  So in addition to lower costs, the value provided by very fast time-to-market becomes a strong ROI drive.


      • Different approach for development compare to traditional development:  This is true -- but for most of our clients this Digital Transformation using an Agile approach is what they're seeking, and Fiori is a great way to develop that competency.   Our Director of Ops Luke VanEpern posted on this recently.


      • Need to provide complete “end to end functionality” for designated roles otherwise users ends up in two different user interface (Fiori and SAP GUI):  Also true, but this is resolved in Design Thinking. Avoiding multiple interfaces (SAPGUI, WebDyn Pro, non-SAP, etc.) is a factor in determining MVP, and how many sprints to achieve it.


      Peter Brasket, Mindset Consulting


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Rajan, Good post . I liked the chasing rabbits comparison .


      Best regards,

      pradeep .

      Author's profile photo Clemens Gantert
      Clemens Gantert



      great post. Just one comment to the "bad" point for SAP Screen Personas "JavaScript can be used only for front end development i.e. SAP GUI for HTML screen". This is somewhat imprecise and confusing (to me at least). Your are correct that script editing just like flavor editing can only be done in the SAP GUI for HTML, but the finished flavor including the JavaScript scripts will run on all supported GUIs (SAP GUI for Html, Windows and Java). I consider this a big plus for Personas that you can simplify screens for WinGui users.



      Author's profile photo Rajen Patel
      Rajen Patel
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the update Clemens.

      I have updated the article with this text: "One can also create flavors in SAP GUI for HTML and render in SAP GUI for Windows. Limitations are noted here:"