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How and why to upgrade SAP Fiori for your SAP S/4HANA solution

As part of the SAP S/4HANA Regional Implementation Group, I have the privilege of working with a lot of customers who are implementing SAP S/4HANA locally, regionally, and internationally.

Now that SAP S/4HANA has been available for over 3 years, we are more often finding customers who are upgrading their version, sometimes as part of their initial project, sometimes as a next phase.

Are you already live or doing a project with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori apps in your company? Maybe you wonder how to implement this on your system?

In September 2019, SAP released SAP Fiori 3 for SAP S/4HANA, providing UX harmonization across SAP Solutions and brought also on SAP S/4HANA a new Quartz theme and some new features.  SAP S/4HANA 1909 comes with SAP Fiori 3 by default but you can also upgrade other SAP S/4HANA releases to get it.

You can read about SAP Fiori 3 for SAP S/4HANA in the blog SAP S/4HANA in the Upgrading from SAP Fiori 2.0 to SAP Fiori 3 for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 and SAP S/4HANA 1909 Users, and in SAP Help Documentation SAP Help – Upgrade to SAP Fiori 3 Design

Next to technical improvements like the new Quartz theme, new launchpad functionalities, improved performance, every SAP S/4HANA release (1610, 1709, 1809, 1909, .. ) comes with many new apps, while existing apps are updated and get new functionalities (eg. more export to spreadsheet opportunities).

Upgrading SAP Fiori on your SAP S/4HANA system will bring your end-users:

  • New features and apps
  • The latest SAP Fiori 3 design improvements
  • Improve performance and bugs fixes
  • Move to the latest long-term SAPUI5 maintenance release, in case you are looking at the end of maintenance dates for your current SAP Fiori frontend server (FES) or SAPUI5 release

In this blog post you can find out how to approach upgrading your SAP Fiori in an SAP S/4HANA context.

NOTE: All recommendations below are applicable for both embedded and hub deployment options. The embedded deployment option is the recommended deployment option. For an overview and comparison of the different deployment options and recommendations, please refer to the document SAP Fiori Deployment Options and Recommendations.  If you are running a hub (aka standalone) deployment now, consider moving to embedded.  See blog and step-by-step guide Transition from Standalone to Embedded Deployment. This will provided you a lower total cost of operation (TCO) since there is no additional server needed and enable SAP Fiori Rapid Activation, lowering the effort to activate additional SAP Fiori apps.

 

Upgrade Scenarios

We can identify 3 different ways/options to upgrade:

  • Upgrade your SAP S/4HANA release – this is the preferred option!
  • Upgrade SAP Fiori Frontend Server (FES) – Reasonable alternative
  • SAPUI5 patching – bug fixing with minimal functional impact

Keep reading to find out the differences!

Upgrade Scenario 1: Upgrade your SAP S/4HANA release – this is the preferred option!

e.g. you are on SAP S/4HANA 1610 and upgrade to SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS1.

With this upgrade you will update the following components in your SAP S/4HANA landscape:

  • SAP S/4HANA (e.g. S4CORE, NW ABAP release)
  • The corresponding SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA
  • The SAP Fiori Frontend Server (FES)

NOTE: FES upgrade is in most of the cases mandatory when upgrading your SAP S/4HANA system and FES 6.0 is currently recommended to be used for all releases.  All supported combinations are described in SAP Note 2217489 – Maintenance and Update Strategy for SAP UI (SAPUI5) in SAP Fiori Front-End Server.  Latest release is FES 6.0 SP1 and available for most S/4HANA releases (not for 1511), see SAP Fiori Front-end Server 6.0 – Extended maintenance and upgrade recommendations blog.  Some more info also in the later on in this blog.

Pros:

  • With this you will get new apps, and latest SAP Fiori Frontend Server (FES) with new features, new tools.
  • Greater opportunities, e.g. new simplifications, changes in business processes, new intelligent options to consider.

Cons:

  • The downside is you have to do lots of regression testing.
  • You also have greater business expectations and more choices to work through beyond simply new apps.

Who’s doing this?  An Australian automotive customer recently upgraded from SAP S/4HANA 1610 to SAP S/4HANA 1909.  Recent upgrades for SAP S/4HANA include USA customers moving from 1610 to 1809 – in the manufacturing/retail, and insurance.

How can you do this? In the following blog the steps to upgrade from S/4HANA 1610FPS1 to 1809FPS0 are described.

You can find in the SAP Fiori apps reference library which apps are available in every release.   For example: Filter by Product Version using your SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA version and FPS release:

Currently as at March 2020 you will find the below numbers showing there is an increasing apps for every S/4HANA release:

  • SAP S/4HANA 1909 > 1647 SAP Fiori apps
  • SAP S/4HANA 1809 > 1327 SAP Fiori apps
  • SAP S/4HANA 1709 > 948 SAP Fiori apps
  • SAP S/4HANA 1610 > 540 SAP Fiori apps

In the Finding the Delta of New Apps between SAP S/4HANA Versions blog we describe how to find the delta between versions.

In the SAP S/4HANA What’s New Viewer you can also find an overview of the new, changed and deleted features and functions in the most recent SAP S/4HANA releases:

IMPORTANT:  What is the difference between FPS and SPS in the context of SAP Fiori on SAP S/4HANA?

For the product SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition, SAP is shipping 1 new key release per year e.g. SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS0 released in 2018, and 2 successive Feature Pack Stacks (FPS), e.g. FPS1 (01/2019), FPS2 (05/2019).

Then comes the next key release (eg. SAP S/4HANA 1909), followed again Feature Pack Stacks, etc.  On the previous key release there are in parallel SPS released eg. SAP S/4HANA 1809 SPS3 (10/2019). 

From the SAP Release and Maintenance Strategy document:

Feature Packages and Feature Package Stacks (FPS) – deliver nondisruptive innovation for generally available product versions as well as bundling software corrections and legal changes.  Support Package Stacks (SPS) – sets of support packages and patches for the respective software release that must be used in the given combination.

So, an FPS upgrade, e.g. SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS0 to FPS1, can include new or enhanced functionality and patches/bug fixes.  For SAP Fiori we also see some apps get new functionality and also bugs are solved.

A SPS upgrade e.g. SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS2 to SPS3, issues with some SAP Fiori apps are solved, no new functionality is introduced

Upgrade Scenario 2: Upgrade SAP Fiori Frontend Server (FES) – Reasonable alternative

e.g. you are on SAP S/4HANA 1709 and upgrade your FES from 4.0 to 6.0.

Upgrading FES will update components SAP_UI and UIBAS.

NOTE: FES stands for SAP Fiori Frontend Server, however this does not mean you need a separate server.  Actually, the FES components are recommended to be deployed embedded on the SAP S/4HANA system.  More info in the SAP Fiori Deployment Options and Recommendations blog

Pros

You get a new looking SAP Fiori launchpad (FLP) including:

  • SAP Fiori 3 (even on “older” releases like SAP S/4HANA 1610)
  • A few (frontend only) FLP new features, e.g. new personalization options
  • Some improvements to apps in UIBAS – i.e. My Inbox and general functions for Key User apps, e.g. Custom Fields and Logic.
  • Fewer business and org change management impacts – No changes in business processes, simplifications or intelligent options

Cons:

  • No new apps
  • Some regression testing is needed of the launchpad and a sample set of existing apps

IMPORTANT:

  • You will *not* get any new or updated SAP Fiori apps until you upgrade SAP S/4HANA itself.
  • Similarly, upgrading your SAP_UI or SAP FES may *not* bring new launchpad features or launchpad support/admin tools where these depend on backend capability e.g. no new business objects for Enterprise Search
  • Review differences between SAP Fiori launchpad guides

SAP FES 6.0 is the long-term maintenance version and the recommended go-to-version for SAP Fiori front-end server upgrades for SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA customers both for embedded and hub deployments.   When upgrading to FES 6.0 SP1 your SAPUI5 release is on long-term maintenance (until 2025) version 1.71.  More details in the  SAP Fiori Front-end Server 6.0 – Extended maintenance and upgrade recommendations blog

Who’s doing this? Some current projects implementing 1809 FPS2 are now upgrading to FES 6.0 SP1, i.e. SAPUI5 1.71.

How to do such an upgrade?  In the SAP Maintenance Planner tool, select “Install or Maintain an Add-On”, choose SAP FIORI FRONT-END SERVER 6.0 – SP01.

Example of the installed product versions in a SAP S/4HANA 1809 system upgraded to FES 6.0 SP01 :

IMPORTANT:  SAP S/4HANA 1511 is not supported for SAP Fiori Front-end server 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0. (SAP S/4HANA 1511 continues to run on version 2.0) See SAP Note 2775163 – SAP-Fiori-Frontend-Server 6.0 – General Information

– therefore customer on 1511 should look into the first upgrade scenario (Upgrade SAP S/4HANA Release)

IMPORTANT: For any deployed SAP Fiori apps that are not part of SAP S/4HANA you must also do due diligence check that these apps are still supported, see SAP Note 2825540 – Release of Fiori Product Versions for SAP Fiori front-end server 6.0

You can check the following note for the release schedule for FES :

SAP Note 2217489 – Maintenance and Update Strategy for SAP Fiori Front-End Server

Upgrade Scenario 3: SAPUI5 patching – bug fixing with minimal functional impact

We recommend patching your SAPUI5 to the latest patch level. Patching applies any already known and resolved bug fixes of that SAPUI5 version.  Patching SAPUI5 can be done regularly to keep your version up-to-date or to solve a known issue.

IMPORTANT: SAPUI5 releases a more patches than SAP_UI releases support packages, therefore this patching should also be done after upgrade scenarios #1 and #2 described above. Why is this important?  We have seen several customers apply the SAP_UI component changes and end up experiencing issues because their minor patch level was so very low.  It is better to directly upgrade the SAPUI5 directly as well.

NOTE : SAPUI5 uses a 3-digit version identifier, for example 1.60.2, the third digit specifies the patch number and is solving known issues,  see also Versioning of SAPUI5

You can find the available SAPUI5 versions here in the SAPUI5 Versions Maintenance Overviews Status page.  Differences between SAPUI5 version capabilities can be derived from the What’s New section of the SAPUI5 SDK for each version.  You will need to go through each version’s What’s New & Changelog to get a full picture.

NOTE: You can easily find the SAPUI5 version and patchlevel you are currently running via the About icon in the FLP, as described in the Finding the technical name of an app blog.

Who’s doing this? This is something every customer should be doing! It’s particularly important to make sure you have patched SAPUI5 prior to User Acceptance Testing to minimize issues.

How to do this patching is described in the following notes:

Involved ABAP software components

On an SAP S/4HANA system the following ABAP components are involved:

  • SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP_UI
  • UIBAS
  • SAP_GWFND

We share some more details on these components further below.

SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA : this component contains the actual SAP Fiori apps and there is a strict (1:1) dependency with the SAP S/4HANA release.

For example:

  • SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS1 <> SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1909 SP1 (02/2020)
  • SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS0 <> SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1909 SP0 initial shipment pack
  • SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS3 <> SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1809 SP3 (10/2019)
  • SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS2 <> SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1809 SP2 (05/2019)
  • SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS1 <> SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1809 SP1 (01/2019)

Release notes of this software component:

  • 2805572– SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1909: Release Information Note
  • 2667191– SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1809: Release Information Note
  • 2482461– SAP FIORI FOR SAP S/4HANA 1709: Release Information Note
  • 2200415– Release of Fiori Product Versions for SAP UI Addon 2.0 / SAP_UI 7.50
  • 2310351– Release of Fiori Product Versions for SAP Fiori Frontendserver 3.0

SAP_UI:  this ABAP software component contains the SAPUI5 libraries.  New SAPUI5 versions bring new functionalities, bug fixes, performance improvements (in apps and in the FLP).

You can check the release schedule for SAP_UI component here:

https://support.sap.com/en/release-upgrade-maintenance/maintenance-information/schedules-for-maintenance-deliveries/SAP_UI-schedule.html

NOTE: while it is technically also possible to only upgrade the SAP_UI component SAP recommends to always include the other FES components SAPBAS (upgrade scenario #2).  These are supported combinations that also other customers are using.   And you might face unexpected bugs, for which you will need to raise SAP Incidents.

Upgrading to the current latest SAP_UI version 7.54 SP2 will currently bring you the SAPUI5 1.71, a long maintenance release version (currently supported until Q4/2025).

Upgrading SAP_UI (and the included SAPUI5) will also bring you general improvements of SAP Fiori launchpad.  Please check the What’s New section of the SAP Fiori launchpad guide for your SAP S/4HANA version.   See  SAP Help – SAP Fiori Launchpad , select the SAP Fiori launchpad guide for your SAP_UI and ABAP platform version.

SAP S/4HANA 1909

SAP Fiori launchpad with SAP_UI 754

 

SAP S/4HANA 1809 SAP Fiori launchpad with SAP_UI 753
SAP S/4HANA 1709 SAP Fiori Launchpad with SAP_UI 752 
SAP S/4HANA 1610 SAP Fiori Launchpad with SAP_UI 751 

 

UIBAS:  contains basis UI libraries like MyInbox and general functions for key users.  Closely linked to the SAP_UI component. These are shipped together in the SAP Fioiri Frontend Server product version, e.g FES 6.0 SP1.

SAP_GWFND :

This software component replaced IW_PGW (frontend), IW_BEP (backend) and GW_CORE components since the ABAP NW 7.40 release.

SAP_GWFND was part of the FES release until NW 7.52 (SAP S/4HANA 1709).  As from NW 7.53 (SAP S/4HANA 1809) it is part of the core ABAP NW Platform.  See SAP Note 2634691 – Task Gateway – Software components

SAP_GWFND offers development and generation tools to create OData services to a variety of client development tools.

Related SAP Documentation and SAP Notes to check

Before making your decision go through all relevant SAP Notes and information regarding the relevant versions of the SAP FIORI for SAP S/4HANA, FES, and SAP_UI for your current and target versions.  While we try to keep also this blog updated, SAP Help and Notes are the official documentation and up-to-date information from SAP.

Usual SAP Notes and links of the latest releases:

 

 Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru

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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