SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – Why some SAP S/4HANA apps are marked as Accessible
Latest Update November 2020: The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that as of SAP S/4HANA 2020 there are no longer any apps in the SAP Fiori apps library marked as (Accessible). Instead now the Web Dynpro apps are named without the accessible tag, e.g. F0996 Trial Balance, and the matching SAP Fiori app is named with the Design Studio tag, e.g. F0996A Trial Balance (Design Studio). This is hopefully a clearer approach for everyone.
Sometimes if you really want to be inclusive you need to accept that one size fits all will never be enough, and there will always be situations where different people with different abilities will need the option to play by different rules. This is an effective way to view the duality of Multidimensional Report offerings in SAP S/4HANA, where each report is offered with a choice of either Fiori Design Studio versus Web Dynpro for ABAP Grid.
Recently the Invictus Games was held in Sydney where I live. The Invictus Games are an international celebration of recovery & rehabilitation of wounded warriors from the Armed Services through sports. Many of the participants have serious physical and/or mental injuries. Many have lost limbs, lost eyesight, or hearing, or suffered serious mental issues such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a consequence of their service.
While some sports were much the same as you would see in any swimming pool or on any athletics track, other sports needed completely different rules and even physical configurations. These were called adaptive sports. Take basketball – the favourite sport of my friend’s very tall 17-year-old. Now obviously if you have someone in a wheelchair, the usual rules of basketball such as jumping up to slam a ball through a hoop, and even the height at which the hoop is placed needs to be adjusted. And the same sorts of considerations can apply in some user experiences.
For instance, while many of the SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA user experiences adapt relatively easily to people with diverse abilities and needs, some need a different approach. Multidimensional Reports are a such a scenario.
If you have been paying close attention, you might have noticed that in the Fiori Apps reference Library: some S/4HANA apps are marked as (Accessible). For SAP S/4HANA 1809 there are 93 of these apps (in SAP S/4HANA 1709 there were 55 of these apps).
These apps are listed in the Fiori apps reference library filter All Apps for SAP S/4HANA.
If you look even closer at the Application Type you will notice that all of these (Accessible) apps are Multidimensional Report apps. Furthermore they are all:
- Web Dynpro Grid for ABAP applications, and
- Have duplicate equivalent SAP Fiori Design Studio apps.
For example, the matching Fiori Design Studio apps for the (Accessible) apps mentioned above are:
So from time to time as a member of the S/4HANA RIG (Regional Implementation Group) and as someone who has spoken and written about SAP Fiori accessibility – i.e. making sure Fiori apps work for people overcoming a variety of physical, cognitive, and neurological challenges – I get asked why.
So let me illustrate with just one example of why the rules need to be different for different types of users.
If you ever used a Fiori Design Studio app, it uses a drag and drop approach to quickly & flexibly adjust the dimensions & measures of the report. For most people with good hand-eye coordination this is a very natural and intuitive way to pivot the display to their needs. So it’s a great innovation for most people.
However, drag & drop doesn’t work so well for those for whom hand-eye coordination is problematic. This can include people with vision or motor skill impairments, such as people who use Screen Readers, Screen Magnifiers, may suffer from cataracts, arthritis, amputations, and many other conditions.
By providing two alternatives, we help as many people as possible to continue doing their job whatever their circumstances, i.e.
- the older form & table approach of the Web Dynpro for ABAP Grid,
- alongside the drag & drop approach of Fiori Design Studio.
There are also a couple of other differences worth noting between the Fiori Design Studio and the Web Dynpro for ABAP Grid applications:
- Web Dynpro for ABAP Grid app offers PDF printing of reports
- Fiori Design Studio offers a universal display hierarchy
As an added benefit for people with software accessibility requirements, from SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 and SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1809, the Web Dynpro for ABAP Grid app also offers accessible tags in PDF printed reports.
You can find out more about the capabilities of these two multidimensional reporting clients in S/4HANA Embedded Analytics Design Studio Template vs. Web Dynpro Grid Visualization of Analytical Queries.
You will find SAP delivered Business Roles that include Multidimensional Reports offering both options. You will also find some additional explanations and videos in the related App Documentation (you will find the App Documentation linked to the Product Features tab of each app in the Fiori apps reference library), such as this example:
You can see this in the App Documentation for the above examples:
How this affects you and your SAP S/4HANA project
Most of the time you will not exactly know which app style is best for a particular user. Many people with impairments have good days and bad days where one app may work better for them than the other. Lighting conditions and the seat they are using can make a difference. People who normally are ok with drag & drop can also have temporary issues, such as sports injuries that might make moving that hand a little harder.
So to make sure you meet the productivity needs of all your users:
Make sure that for every business role that’s using Fiori Design Studio apps, you also make available the equivalent Web Dynpro for ABAP (Accessible) app.
Make sure your users know that they have the choice of using either the Fiori Design Studio or the Web Dynpro for ABAP (Accessible) app equivalent, at any time. A simple strategy is either to include them both in the Fiori tile groups on their Fiori launchpad Home Page or make both available via the Fiori tile catalogs that users can access in the App Finder.
You can also use the same approach for any custom Multidimensional Reports you create in SAP S/4HANA. Just follow the advice in SAP Note 2623507 – Fiori Multidimensional Reporting in S/4HANA onPremise using custom analytical queries
IMPORTANT: It’s worth knowing that with SAP Fiori launchpad for SAP S/4HANA, Web Dynpro for ABAP accessibility mode is switched on by default as explained in Administrator’s information in Accessibility Settings for Web Dynpro ABAP applications.
And of course, when it comes to SAP Fiori apps, accessibility is always on. In fact there is no option to turn it off, which is even better.
The (Accessible) suffice is only relevant for Multidimensional Report apps. It does not in any way imply that apps without the (Accessible) marking are not accessible. In fact the reverse is true. The majority of Fiori apps in the current SAP S/4HANA 1809 product version are already accessible.
Note that the SAP GUI transactions and Web Dynpro for ABAP applications which are available in S/4HANA are essentially unchanged compared to the SAP Business Suite. This is also true for their accessibility. It is recommended to use the SAP GUI for Windows client for users with specific accessibility needs. SAP strives to eliminate any accessibility restrictions of these transactions which might occur.
For more details please refer to the Accessibility (Administrator’s Guide) for S/4HANA.
Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru
You’ll find much more on our SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA wiki
You can find out more about Fiori Accessibility on our experience.sap.com User Experience Community site (tag accessibility) and on our Fiori accessibility wiki.
Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG