When browsing the SAP Fiori Apps Library you can among others filter by product suite and UI/user interface technology. This filtering enables you to get some interesting numbers from SAP.
S/4Hana + Fiori Elements = 438 apps
S/4Hana + SAP Fiori UI5 = 587 apps
S/4Hana + SAP GUI for HTML = 8059 apps
S/4Hana + WebDynpro = 655 apps
SAP Business Suite + Fiori Elements = 8 apps
SAP business Suite + Fiori UI5 = 551 apps
SAP business Suite + SAP GUI for HTML = 0 apps
SAP business Suite + WebDynpro as Fiori = 52 apps
SAP business Suite – Lower backend version + All Fiori UI technologies = 52 apps
But before getting into the details about these numbers, I want to make sure you understand, that SAP FIORI is not an app, it’s not a code library. Fiori is a design guide made up by SAP. This guide is made up aiming to make all the SAP apps look and act the more or less the same way. The basic design principles are: Role-based, Delightful, Coherent, Simple and Adaptive. Beside this SAP has come up with visual design, where the current most used themes are called belize (light blue) or belize_plus (dark blue).
This basically means that an app can be called a Fiori App if it fits into these design Guidelines.
SAP can therefore create Fiori like apps in many ways, using different technologies. Among some of them are:
- SAP Fiori Elements: An annotation based framework built on top of UI5, enabling a more Standardized way of building apps, ensuring more easy upgrading and an always FIORI compliant design
- SAP GUI for HTML: a HTML version of the classic Sap GUI. Like Webdynpro this is not adaptive and will therefore not scale on smaller devices. But when adding the additional SAP Screen Personas layer on top, you can enable mobile features, simplify the screen and automate steps (simple robotics ).
- WebDynpro for Abap:An ABAP based server-side Framework to create applications with a Fiori Look. These are not Adaptive/do not scale automatically to mobile device and are hard to change. You can change by using Screen personas, but this is limited.
- + Fiori for IOS and Android and others
Looking at the numbers, it strikes me that even though SAP claims they have around 9000 apps ready for S/4Hana, most of them are plain GUI for HTML apps with a Fiori Skin/theme on top. It is also interesting to see how many Fiori Element apps they have built, being aware that some UI5 Apps are old converted apps in comparison to the Fiori Element apps are all new.
As I read this, and as I personally has experienced it during development of numerous apps for larger companies, Fiori Elements is a very effective way of making Fiori apps in many scenarios where the user needs fits one of the 5 Fiori elements templates. The most important thing about Fiori elements, is the fact that you need less coding to make it and the final app is somehow more standard than most of the SAP Fiori UI5 standard apps are! It will even stay updated, since you only write annotations and the rest is handled by SAP, that take care of the updates. On top of that SAP has developed an adaption tools and a UI editor making it easier to make changes in the app.
Even though the numbers sound like a crazy number of apps, and you would believe that there will be an app for any case you can dream of, this is not the case, and will never be. Not all standard apps fits all! In fact, a standard app can do a lot of damage in your business if it doesn’t fit and solves your problem correctly! Therefore, don’t just install a standard app and see how it goes…. Unless you insist on repeating the history of mistakes. Analyze your needs first. Make user stories and user journeys and see if they connect to the features and flow in the app.
When to use a standard app, when to extend or adapt a standard app or when to create a “Standard template based” Fiori Elements app or a complete custom Fiori UI5 App is a discussion that needs more words than will fit into one blog. I will therefore continue this discussion in a later blog. This is also a topic that changes over time, since new SAP technologies like Fiori Elements changes the way you should look at this.
For now, just look at the numbers and try see if you read the same as I do: Fiori Elements as well as Screen Personas layers on top of SAP GUI for HTML is going to be important tools in S/4 Hana, and they are already great tools to use in your existing Business suite setup today!
As well I see that S/4Hana customers will have to list and group all their different users/roles/personas and map them against all the different FIORI looking apps SAP has made. A user journey for each business case has to be investigated ensuring no apps are missing in the flow, that all the apps you have found works on the device of your choice and that the apps are or can be linked together if needed. A Design Thinking Workshop approach is highly recommended in this phase.
Based on this, since GUI for HTML apps are not Mobile ready, additional UI Mobile layers, like Screen Personas, will be needed to be developed on top. As well other apps you choose may not solve your problems in the best and most efficient way and will therefore need adjustments by the use of Fiori Elements adaptions or UI5 flexibility services or extensions. In many cases even custom apps should be considered, if the return of investment (ROI) calculations points in that direction. After all, well-designed apps can, as we know, save many man hours in your daily work.
Let me know what you see in these SAP Fiori Apps Library numbers.