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SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – New Rapid Content Activation on SAP S/4HANA 1909, 1809 & 1709 – Part 1 – Overview

Latest Update March 2020: Updated the title to reflect that this process is available for SAP S/4HANA solutions 1709 or higher. This was already explained in the body of this blog post, however changing the title just makes it a little easier for people to discover this e.g. via Google Search

Latest Update December 2019: The Fiori Foundation task list has been further improved to help you optimize your Fiori launchpad for usability and performance from day 1. Check out the latest details in blog Part 2: Pre-requisites and executing the Fiori Foundation task listFor activating and transporting custom catalogs in your Development environment you can now use the task list provided by Fiori launchpad content manager. Check out the latest details in blog Part 4: Customizing & transporting your activated business roles

Latest Update: 12/10/2019: A new SAP note has been added with details for SAP S/4HANA 1909 2834415 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for SAP Fiori in SAP S/4HANA 1909

Latest Update 19/9/2019: A new SAP Note has been added with specific details for 1809 FPS02 and above SAP Note 2823926 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for Fiori in S/4HANA 1809 FPS02

Latest Update 1/08/2019: Another big step forwards… Rapid Content Activation now supports transport of OData Services similar to the older task lists.  So if you are looking to use Rapid Content Activation in DEV for transport to your QA and PRD systems, please refer to 2686456 – Fiori Setup: Content Activation for Business Roles.

If you want to customize or copy your activated business roles you can now take advantage of the Fiori Launchpad Content Manager as explained in the blog New SAP Fiori launchpad content manager tool available for S/4HANA 1709 and 1809 customers

Latest Update 15/05/2019: You can now download the list of Business Roles from your selected ist of aggregated apps in the Fiori Apps Library.  For a complete technical step by step please refer to this excellent blog by my colleague Mahesh Sardesai New Installation of S/4HANA 1809FPS1 – Part 4 – Rapid Activation for Fiori 

Latest Update 14/05/2019: A new SAP Note has been added with specific details for 1809 FPS01 2777142 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for Fiori in S/4HANA 1809 FPS01

As a UX specialist in the S/4HANA Regional Implementation Group team I’m privileged to work with many of our SAP S/4HANA customers.  Many of these SAP S/4HANA customers are looking to drive the business benefits of S/4HANA by implementing Fiori at scale.  It is experiences with those customers that have driven the need for new tooling to make it easier to activate Fiori at scale.  On your S/4HANA project, you can take advantage of a new approach to activating Fiori at scale that can cut activation time from weeks down to hours or days.

SAP Fiori is how business users access S/4HANA innovations.  Many SAP S/4HANA customers are keen to make the most of these innovations, whether as a big bang or as a carefully staged journey.  That means they may need to activate 100s and in some cases 1000s of SAP Fiori apps and other Fiori launchpad content, such as Web Dynpro ABAP applications and SAPGUI for HTML transactions. If this is your project, naturally you want an easy way to do this – now you have one!

You can now use the new rapid content activation task lists to dramatically cut the activation effort from days to weeks down to hours to days. You do this by activating delivered SAP Business Roles as a consolidated single unit, complete with ready-to-test business user ids.  This is very different from the app by app by app approach of early alternatives.  The good news is that even if you only intend to activate one business role as a showcase, these new task lists will make things much easier for you too.

A few months ago, these new Rapid Activation for Fiori in SAP S/4HANA task lists were quietly released for customer use for customers on SAP S/4HANA 1809 and SAP S/4HANA 1709.  The feedback so far has been very positive. Not only do they decimate the time needed to activate apps, they also avoid a lot of the common issues, missteps & stumbling points experienced by project teams new to SAP S/4HANA.

You can find these new task lists in the following SAP Notes:

<Coming SAP Note for SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS01 – in the meantime please use the SAP Note for SAP S/4HANA 1909 and report any issues> 

SAP Note 2834415 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for SAP Fiori in SAP S/4HANA 1909

SAP Note 2823926 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for Fiori in S/4HANA 1809 FPS02

SAP Note 2777142 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for Fiori in S/4HANA 1809 FPS01

SAP Note 2704570 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for Fiori in S/4HANA 1809

SAP Note 2695653 – Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for Fiori in S/4HANA 1709

The rapid activation approach is particularly useful when activating apps in your sandpit and demo systems.  With some care you may be able to use it for activating apps in your development system too (make sure you have also applied 2686456 – Fiori Setup: Content Activation for Business Roles so that you can transport your OData activations).

If you have a little time, before you start using them, you may find it helpful to keep reading further to understand the task lists in more detail.

Part 1: Overview (this blog)

  • Why these Rapid Activation task lists were created
  • What’s in the Rapid Activation task lists

Part 2: Pre-requisites and executing the Fiori Foundation task list

  • Pre-requisites
  • How to execute the Fiori Foundation task list

Part 3: Scoping & Executing the Rapid Activation Task List for your business roles

  • Selecting your business roles
  • How to execute the Rapid Activation task list
  • Testing your activated business roles

Part 4: Customizing & transporting your activated business roles

  • How to customize the business roles you have activated by the task lists
  • Transporting activation and activation alternatives
  • Where to get help

TIP: If you are technical and would prefer to jump straight to a step by step guide, please refer to this excellent blog by my colleague Mahesh Sardesai New Installation of S/4HANA 1809FPS1 – Part 4 – Rapid Activation for Fiori

Why Rapid Activation for Fiori in SAP S/4HANA

The aim of the rapid activation task lists is to help you get started exploring Fiori in SAP S/4HANA as quickly as possible.  This is particularly important in the early Explore phase of SAP Activate methodology, where you are focused on understanding what apps have been delivered with your SAP S/4HANA system. This is the starting point for deciding which apps you will use, and how these apps fit to your organization’s specific business processes & business users.

In the past, many customers found there are 2 main hurdles to overcome in getting to that starting point: scale and inexperience.

Dealing with the scale of SAP Fiori in SAP S/4HANA

Five years into the S/4HANA journey, the number of SAP Fiori apps available has grown from around 300 in SAP S/4HANA 1511 to the nearly 1400 apps available in the latest version SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS01. And that is not including the many other types of delivered SAP Fiori launchpad content such as Web Dynpro ABAP applications and SAP GUI for HTML transactions.

While many of the tools and accelerators we used in the early SAP S/4HANA days are still good for some smaller use cases, for customer projects wanting to enable a large SAP Fiori scope there was quite some effort required to activate using even only standard SAP Fiori apps and roles.  With traditional mass maintenance tasks lists, customer experiences over the last 4-5 years have found activating Fiori apps at scale can take days or even weeks of effort, especially for those consultants new to SAP S/4HANA.

Activating apps at such large scale clearly needed some careful rethinking.

IMPORTANT: Activation is not the only area where you will find improved tooling.  Since 2018, you could also decrease a lot of the manual effort of business role maintenance, and gateway service activation, as discussed in these blogs:

You should also watch out for more tooling in the 2019 roadmap to help with mass maintenance of custom catalogs.

Dealing with inexperience (avoiding newbie errors)

One of the common missteps of many early SAP S/4HANA customers was to select and activate SAP Fiori apps one by one. This is a very high effort approach.  It was also very error prone, as often related apps & dependencies needed to complete the end-to-end app deployment were missed resulting in confusion, frantic troubleshooting, and delays.

Fiori apps are organized very differently to SAP GUI transactions. Compared to SAP GUI transactions, most Fiori apps are not intended to be used standalone or individually. Instead Fiori navigation enables a high degree of reuse & natural app-to-app navigation as the user completes a task.

It’s more than just a change in organization: the UX paradigm of Fiori differs fundamentally to the classical SAP GUI transaction pattern. Instead of big multi-purpose transactions which are typically launched individually (often via the TCode field), Fiori offers a navigation network of task-oriented UIs, which are interconnected via Fiori Launchpad Content. This means, there are usually multiple options to launch any app, such as:

  • from the Home page by clicking on a tile or link
  • from the Navigation Menu at the top of the shell bar
  • via a Fiori Enterprise Search result
  • by selecting an app in the App Finder in the Me area
  • via the Frequently Used or Recent Activity lists in the Me Area

And once launched users can use forward navigation to reach related apps by:

  • using hyperlinks, e.g. via the Smart Link “List of Links” popup
  • buttons or hyperlinks that launch other apps to perform a task

This degree of app-to-app forward navigation in SAP Fiori is much higher than SAP GUI transactions. The whole mechanism is controlled by authorizations, i.e. users see only those apps and links to apps which they are authorized to use. That’s another fundamental difference to SAP GUI transactions.

A selective Fiori implementation by cherry-picking single Fiori apps breaks the user experience and leads to very high implementation costs. Since Fiori apps are not designed to be used individually, to support the end-to-end task this may need even you to (re-)configure the complete app-to-app navigation network, which is defined in SAP’s delivered Fiori Launchpad Content. This is why SAP recommends a role-based approach to implement Fiori, i.e.:

  • Copy the SAP-delivered business roles and catalogs and adjust them to your needs.
  • Implement complete business roles and not just single Fiori apps.

What’s in the Rapid Activation task lists

There are 2 task lists included in Rapid Activation of Fiori in S/4HANA:

  1. A task list for activating the Fiori Foundation named SAP_FIORI_FOUNDATION_S4
  2. A task list for activating Fiori Content by selected business roles, named SAP_FIORI_CONTENT_ACTIVATION

Task List Fiori Foundation (SAP_FIORI_FOUNDATION_S4)

You run this task list first as a once-off activity to set up your Fiori Foundation, that is:

  • Execute basic configuration for Fiori Launchpad, SAP GUI for HTML and Web Dynpro ABAP common services
  • Generate generic user roles for Administrator and End User

Task List Fiori Content Activation (SAP_FIORI_CONTENT_ACTIVATION)

Once you have the Fiori Foundation in place, you use the Fiori Content Activation task list to activate all the apps associated with your selected business roles. You can select one business roles or activate multiple business roles together.  You can run the task list as many times as you need to, to complete the activation of all your selected business roles.  The more business roles you select in one run, the bigger the saving in time and effort. For each business role the task list will:

  • Activate all the associated Fiori apps (i.e. activate the related ICF node & OData Service(s))
  • Activate all the associated Web Dynpro for ABAP applications
  • Generate the business role (i.e. the PFCG security role) with default authorizations
  • Optionally, generate a Test user per business role

IMPORTANT: Some of the current limitations of these 2 task lists are:

  • Only standard roles can be selected. If you have created your own custom Fiori Apps these have to be activated separately.
  • Some apps have additional post activation activities. These are typically performed by functional business process consultants. Check the App documentation.
  • Not all activation steps done by the task list can be saved to a transport request – therefore this method should be used to activate SAP Fiori apps in sandbox or demo systems. For Dev, Q and P systems see the separate section Transporting your apps in the blog Part 4: Customizing & transporting your activated business roles.

Want to take advantage of this new Rapid Activation approach?

Then read on to Part 2: Pre-requisites and executing the Fiori Foundation task list 

Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru

This particular blog series has been a collaborative effort between the S/4HANA RIG and the Global Fiori Design team.  I’d like to add my personal thanks to all the contributors – they know who they are!  And especially to my colleague Hannes Defloo who has shepherded this initiative on behalf of the S/4HANA RIG, as well as drafting this blog series.

You’ll find much more on our SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA wiki

Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG

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  • Thanks for the blog. Rapid content activation was very much needed, I myself can vouch for it as have been activating lot of apps one by one. #MuchNeed

    • Thanks Nabheet – we’d love to hear your experiences and how much you have found the new technique saves you.  Remember the more business roles you activate at the same time, the higher the savings.

    • Hi Sarbjeet Singh,

      No unfortunately – there are some things that are just too difficult to automate when working across a hub frontend system to backend system.

      What you can do instead is use a similar approach (i.e. activate all apps of a business role together) using the existing task lists.  This at least minimizes issues caused by broken app to app navigation links.  You can also follow the advice in the Rapid Content Activation SAP Notes re pre/post activities for the business roles you are activating.

      You can find more on the alternative approaches in part 4 of this blog series.



    • Hi Nary,

      What I would suggest for that is running the tasklist for the roles content activation again – just for the transport & OData Service activation. There’s no harm in activating the content twice and that would record them against the transport at the same time.

      Also remember that ICF nodes still need to be transported using the Export/Import approach explained in  Part 4: Customizing & transporting your activated business roles as ICF nodes do not have a transportable object


  • Hi Jocelyn,

    great blog.


    A question regarding access to the catalogs. After the mass activation is there an easy way to assign the catalogs to ID’s? or is this step still manual.

    If we use the Task List to generate the test IDs, do those IDs automatically have access to the catalogs and tiles?
    • Hi Ian,

      Yes absolutely.

      Part of the Rapid Activation task lists is the option to create a test user per business role.  The related security roles are generated and automatically assigned to the test users.

      You can then use the test user to immediately test the role – both the apps and the related authorizations.

      That is why the test users are provided – to make the whole process of exploring the business roles that much easier.