In a normal year at this time, I would be in Orlando, at SAPPHIRE NOW, running around presenting at a few ASUG sessions, meeting customers and partners on the show floor, and enjoying a cocktail with some of my favorite customers, partners, friends and SAP Mentors. I would be chasing a wristband to the (in)famous Howl at the Moon party. Sadly, 2020 is not a normal year.
Our customers and partners are working tirelessly to ensure the health of their employees (as is SAP). They are making multiple contingency plans to figure out how to maintain their revenue, as their customers are cutting back on spending. They are looking at ways to save jobs, even as they cut costs wherever they can. And, they are exploring how they can get the most out of their SAP systems without incurring new costs.
Because there are no show floor, escalator, or hallway chats, here’s a quick update. It has been a year of change and opportunity for me since last SAPPHIRE. My team now spreads across four countries. We work on a portfolio of three products, all of them aimed at helping customers achieve their goal of improving SAP usability with minimal cash outlay. Since we won’t have a chance to talk in Orlando, let me share what we are doing in UX Engineering.
SAP Fiori tools
This is the latest addition to the UX Engineering portfolio. We started working on SAP Fiori tools based on comments from customers about the issues they faced developing apps with SAP Fiori elements. While SAP Fiori elements significantly reduces the amount of coding compared to freestyle SAPUI5 development, you still need to know your way around OData annotations to give your app the functionality your users request.
SAP Fiori tools is a collection of productivity tools to make software developers more efficient when developing SAP Fiori apps. We built SAP Fiori tools as an extension to SAP Business Application Studio (SAP’s successor to WebIDE) or Visual Studio Code. If you are creating software in one of those development environments, SAP Fiori tools provides shortcuts to common functions involved in writing or modifying SAP Fiori apps.
The plan was to launch SAP Fiori tools at SAPPHIRE. Stay tuned for our official release announcement later this quarter. We’ll include details about how this collection of tools can help you build SAP Fiori apps more quickly and with less debugging. Our beta customers are excited about its capabilities and I hope you will be too.
SAP Fiori elements
We continue to improve the capabilities of SAP Fiori elements. We are working closely with our internal development teams to deliver the functionality they need to write SAP Fiori apps for SAP S/4HANA. You will soon see examples of their work in the new video series, “Using SAP Fiori elements.”
More customers are seeing the value of using the same tools that SAP uses to build SAP Fiori apps. Most scenarios (roughly 80% by our calculations) of the use cases seem to fit the list report / object page flow (including analytical list pages or worklist pages) or be covered by an overview page. The coverage model will expand as we add support for OData v4 later this year. We have started a notification list to contact people that want to join that beta program when it starts.
We are planning to participate in some virtual events in the coming months such as SAP UX Day and UI5con, so you will be able to see the latest versions then.
SAP Screen Personas
With no licensing cost, an easy learning curve, and fast time to value, SAP Screen Personas is increasing in popularity. We are seeing new applications in auto factories to reduce the number of pick errors, wind farms to cut maintenance costs, and consumer products to empower sales reps to work from anywhere. A recent email came in from a customer in India looking to enable their employees to work from home on SAP transactions using iPads and iPhones. Yes, the Slipstream Engine was the answer to their immediate problem.
As is our usual practice, we were planning to announce a new service pack at SAPPHIRE. Watch the pages of the SAP Community to see what new functionality we have included with this release.
I really miss seeing my colleagues, and friends from SAPPHIRE. Let’s have a virtual beer or coffee together. You know how to reach me. Please text ,email, or call me to schedule some time to catch up via video call. It’s the best we can do this year.
Stay safe – stay healthy!
For SAP UX Engineering,