Skip to Content
Technical Articles
Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham

Building a central Launchpad using SAP Launchpad Service – Integrating with Remote Content Providers

Note that this asset was created before our branding changes related to SAP technology were announced on January 2021. Note that SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad was renamed to SAP Launchpad service, and SAP Cloud Platform Portal was renamed to SAP Cloud Portal service

In this blog post, I cover a key concept on the integration of the launchpad with remote content providers like S/4HANA and SAP Enterprise Portal.

Building a central Launchpad using SAP Launchpad service on SAP BTP

Part 1 – Getting Started

Part 2 – Understanding the options around developing HTML5 apps in Cloud Foundry

Part 3 – Developing HTML5 apps

Part 4 – Integrating HTML5 apps with the Central Fiori Launchpad

Part 5 – Integrating 3rd Party apps with the Central Fiori Launchpad

Part 6 – Integrating chatbots with the Central Fiori Launchpad

Part 7 – Integrating with remote content providers

Part 8 – Enabling Notifications

Part 9 – Transporting Launchpad sites using SAP Cloud Transport Management service

 

At the time of writing this, there are two content providers which are supported with the Launchpad service. Its now possible to expose the contents from these content providers in a common data model (CDM) format and access them from the launchpad on SAP Cloud Platform. All the applications remain in your respective backend systems. The integration of remote provider is done at the role level. This means all the contents under the roles – like apps/groups/catalog will be accessible from the launchpad service. The role of the Launchpad is to federate these contents and bring them together in a central launchpad.

In the previous blog post, I also covered integrating bespoke HTML5 apps which are deployed in the SAP Cloud Platform account. In this scenario, SAP Cloud Platform is a content provider providing access to HTML5 apps within the Launchpad service.

When planning to configure your S/4HANA system, ensure that its has a Front-End Server 2020. Similarly, SAP Enterprise portal needs to be atleast NW 7.5 SP19 to be able to federate the contents in the Central Launchpad.

Now let’s get into the actual setup which are required to be in place for federating contents from remote content providers. I will be using a S/4HANA system for this blog post.

Connectivity Options

You can enable access to the apps in your S/4HANA system from the central Fiori Launchpad either via direct access or tunneled access. Direct access refers to the users accessing the apps in the central Fiori Launchpad within the corporate network. This can be setup using a SAP Webdispatcher. However, the most common scenario is to leverage SAP Cloud Connector for the tunneled access. In this scenario, SAP Cloud Connector setup a secure tunnel through which all the API calls, Fiori/Webdynpro apps from S/4HANA system are surfaced to the central Launchpad. Users will be able to access apps outside the corporate network and this approach is recommended for mobile scenarios.

The setup of SAP Cloud Connector is documented in many tutorials and blog posts. For this blog post, I have configured my Cloud Connector to connect to my SAP Cloud Platform subaccount and exposed an on-premise S/4HANA system.

Destinations

In order to communicate with a remote content provider, you will need to have a design-time and runtime destinations configured.  The design-time destination is required to fetch the contents that are exposed via the remote content provider. You can use a Technical User in the destination.

The runtime destination will be used during the runtime when users access the Central Fiori Launchpad. It defines the locations from where the resources/app will be obtained. Note, for this destination, in a productive setting, you would need to use “PrincipalPropagation” as authentication method. This is required for Single Sign-on and propagating the user to the backend system.

 

Setup of Content Provider

Ensure the CDM3 service in SICF transaction is activated. This service will be invoked by the above destination. I had to enable “Use All Logon procedures” to get the content federation working.

As an admin of S/4HANA system, you would need to expose the apps by selecting specific roles. To expose the role, you would need to launch the transaction /UI2/CDM3_EXP_SCOPE.

Once you select one or more roles and click on expose, you will get to see the logs with a message stating that the contents have been exposed. All the related contents such as catalogs, groups, apps can be consumed in the launchpad now.

SAP Help Reference: Managing Content for Launchpads on SAP Cloud Platform

Setup of Launchpad service

In the launchpad service, you will need to create a new content provider referring to the S/4HANA system which has been setup.

In the “New content provider” popup, provide a name and reference the two destinations which were created earlier. In the “Content addition mode” you can choose between Manual or Automatic. Manual mode means you will have the flexibility to pick and choose which roles/contents you want to add to “My Content” tab enabling you to work on those contents. Automatic mode will by default bring in all the exposed contents in the “My Content” tab.

Once your content provider has been configured, you can edit the settings or fetch updated contents (when there are changes to the source system)

Now we can move over to the Content Explorer in the menu “Content Manager” and locate the newly added content provider.

This will list all the roles which you have exposed from the S/4HANA system. As an admin, you can select them and click on “Add to My Content”

You can also click on the respective roles to explore the apps which are assigned to them.

Switching to the “My Content” tab will show the newly added roles. Notice the name of the content provider in the “Provider” column.

The next step is to add these roles to a launchpad site. Click on a site settings icon for which you would like to assign these roles.

Assign the relevant roles which are available from your contents. In the below screenshot, I have added roles which have been locally created “Sales” and few roles from the remote content provider. Also, notice that I have enabled “Pages and Spaces” setting to see the apps grouped as spaces/pages in the Fiori Launchpad (similar to what is available in S/4HANA). Here is a blog post if you like to know more about the new space concept in Fiori Launchpad – Get to Know the New Spaces Concept for SAP Fiori Launchpad

Role Assignments

Before accessing the Fiori Launchpad, relevant roles need to be assigned to the user in order to see the app from the remote content provider. Importing the roles from the provider system, creates a corresponding role collection in SAP Cloud Platform. As you can see below, it has the format ~<Provider Name>_<Role Name>.

Within the identity Provider settings, you can either directly assign the role collection to your user or map them to an SAML attribute from your Identity Provider.

Please check the roadmap on the availability of IAG/IPS integration to automate the role provisioning and assignments.

Once the roles have been assigned to the users, the respective apps will show up in the Fiori Launchpad. As you can see below, each role from the S/4HANA system shows up as a space at the top. Within the space (example Accounts Payable space shown below), there are multiple pages and the user can navigate to each of those pages to access the relevant apps which reside in a S/4HANA system.

If you have any questions related to integration of remote content providers, please raise a question in the forum with the “SAP Cloud Platform launchpad” tag.

Credits to my colleague Sibylle Brehm for helping me setup this scenario.

Assigned Tags

      31 Comments
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Aviad Rivlin
      Aviad Rivlin

      Thanks Murali Shanmugham. Great blog as always!

      The following link is a good resource to understand the pre-requisites (being updated as new capabilities are released): https://help.sap.com/viewer/8c8e1958338140699bd4811b37b82ece/Cloud/en-US/a7e6bbbd849f4718bce3c5a3e879d27c.html

      Author's profile photo Stefan Ressing
      Stefan Ressing

      Great blog my friend. I love it. I just setup my CP Launchpad with manual integration for S/4 1909 and Webdynpro. So with S/4 2020 it will get easier.

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      .
      Emoticon Thumb Up transparent PNG - StickPNG

      Author's profile photo Naga Prakash
      Naga Prakash

      Great and detailed blog!! Is this applicable for Portal Service?

      Thanks,

      Naga

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, it is applicable to the Portal service too. As mentioned in the first blog post, both Portal and Launchpad share the same roadmap for Central Fiori Launchpad concepts.

      Author's profile photo Georg Schmidinger
      Georg Schmidinger

      Great and very useful content, thanks Murali Shanmugham!
      How is authentication handled in this scenario?

      Author's profile photo Husain Dahodwala
      Husain Dahodwala

      We are having on prem S4 1909 system with FIORI launchpad configured, we want to enable the My inbox to appear on the Central launchpad service ? Is this possible?

      How can we setup navigation to another app from the My Inbox?

      For instance if there is a PO approval item in the inbox and we want to navigate to the PO from the inbox ? will this work the way it works on Prem using Intent navigation in the Target Mapping ?

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Husain,

      I recall that My Inbox apps is not fully integrated into the Launchpad service. Please check the roadmap to see if this now available. I haven't explored this topic. I would suggest to raise this as a question in the Workflow Management forum.

      Author's profile photo Aviad Rivlin
      Aviad Rivlin

      Please see the limitation about the Inbox app: https://help.sap.com/viewer/8c8e1958338140699bd4811b37b82ece/Cloud/en-US/8cf196a5a8544c309086619df29595b1.html

      Author's profile photo Mike Raßbach
      Mike Raßbach

      Hi Murali, Hi Aviad,

      first of all thanks for providing such detail information to start with building a central launchpad and remote content integration. We updated our on-premise business suite system with the latest SAPUI5 1.71.42 but can't access the My Inbox which added to our own catalog. The app is not shown in the role which comes from the remote content provider. If we use a default role from SAP we can see the My Inbox app. Is there still a restriction for My Inbox app?

      Also we got the message:

      xxxx.authentication.eu10.hana.ondemand.com refused the connection

      Information from SAP help:

      My Inbox The integration of the My Inbox app that runs on the SAP Front-End Server is supported only for content federation (not for manual integration of content).

       

      Thanks in advance for any hints and tips.

      Best regards,

      Mike

      Author's profile photo Hari Cahyadi Windyadi
      Hari Cahyadi Windyadi

      Hi Murali,

       

      I cannot execute tcode : /UI2/CDM3_EXP_SCOPE and I cannot find the /sap/bc/ui2/cdm3/entities in in the sicf.

      Can you please advise.

       

      Thanks in advance.

       

      Best Regards,

      Hari Cahyadi

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Hari,

      Can you please open a question in the right forum providing your system version details. Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Ravindra Singh
      Ravindra Singh

      Hi Murali,

      First of all, Thanks for the blog.  Are these steps only applicable for the S4HANA multi tenent system as I am not able to find this tcode:  /UI2/CDM3_EXP_SCOPE  in our S4HANA Cloud single tenant system?

       

      Thanks

      Ravindra

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Ravinder,

      These steps are applicable only to S/4HANA on-premise versions. Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Vincent Sahayaraj
      Vincent Sahayaraj

       

      Hi Murali,

      Thanks for detailed information.

      We have : S/4HANAOn-prem + SuccessFactors  +SAC Planning + SAP Kronos Time Management

      Would like know, via central Launchpad service  can we able to have one universal Inbox for all these system, where Managers / Employees can manage their task in single place rather going to multiple system.

      Regards

      Vincent

      Author's profile photo Aviad Rivlin
      Aviad Rivlin

      I recommend looking at the following useful links:

      • https://help.sap.com/viewer/8c8e1958338140699bd4811b37b82ece/Cloud/en-US/86bacc3e5bbe435d89a4ccf8005d9769.html (SAP Launchpad service)
      • https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2977611 (SAP Task Center)

       

      Author's profile photo Vibhor Bhatnagar
      Vibhor Bhatnagar

      Hi Murali

      Thanks for a great blog series.

      I have a scenario where I have successfully integrated a custom UI5 app served by a custom app router on the launchpad site via configuring a destination to domain and creation of 'Dynamic URL' App in the content manager .

      Just wanted to check if there is any way to access shell level services like 'CrossApplicationNavigation' from Dynamic URL apps.

      When I try something like window.parent.sap.ushell.Container.getServiceAsync("CrossApplicationNavigation") , it works in  web security disabled mode ,however is blocked in normal mode due to CSP. Is there any option for configuration of a whitelist of trusted domains. or any other way by which I could access shell services.

       

      Regards

      Vibhor Bhatnagar

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Vibhor,

      Can you please raise this as a question in the forum and tag "SAP Launchpad service". Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Vibhor Bhatnagar
      Vibhor Bhatnagar

      https://answers.sap.com/questions/13341466/access-shell-container-services-from-dynamic-url-a.html

      Author's profile photo Carsten Michels
      Carsten Michels

      Am I restricted how many S4 on Premise Systems I can use in the Launchpad Service?

      We want to connect 2-4 systems via Cloud Connector to our BTP and want to use some Apps in the Launchpad!?

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, it can connect to multiple S/4HANA systems. That is the goal of the central Launchpad concept offered by the Launchpad service

      Author's profile photo Markus Schneckenburger
      Markus Schneckenburger

      Hi Murali Shanmugham,

       

      in one of the latest SAP events I heared about plans regarding the availability of content federation from SAP Business Suite into Launchpad service.

      When I look at help.sap.com for Launchpad Service I only find information that "manual integration of apps" would be possiblr:

      Supported Platforms/Products - SAP Help Portal

      But in the referenced documentation there is no hint how to manually integrate an app running on  FES 6.0 (Hub Deployment) connected to an SAP Business Suite ERP 6.0 EHP8 system:

      Manual Integration of Apps - SAP Help Portal

      Could you please answer the following two questions:

      Will there be a Content Federation be available for SAP Business Suite (and if yes, when)?

      How to manually integrate an SAP FIori App on  FES 6.0 (Hub Deployment) connected to an SAP Business Suite ERP 6.0 EHP8 system) into SAP Launchpad Service?

      Thanks a lot in advance

      Kind regards

      Markus Schneckenburger

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Markus,

      The roadmap indicates that content federation for SAP Business Suite is planned towards the end of Q2/2021. https://roadmaps.sap.com/board?PRODUCT=73554900100800003081&range=CURRENT-LAST#Q2%202021

      With regard to the documentation, I see where the confusion is. For now can you please try to follow the manual app integration steps which have been documented for S/4HANA. It should be the same approach. I will check and revert back on this if there is a change.

      Author's profile photo Frank Schneider
      Frank Schneider

      Hi,

      looks like the "content federation for SAP Business Suite" vanished from the roadmap or has it been released already?

      Thank you
      Frank

      Author's profile photo Aviad Rivlin
      Aviad Rivlin

      Business Suite content federation is now release: https://help.sap.com/viewer/8c8e1958338140699bd4811b37b82ece/Cloud/en-US/86bacc3e5bbe435d89a4ccf8005d9769.html > Supported Platforms/Products > SAP Business Suite

      Aviad

      Author's profile photo Marina Sugiura
      Marina Sugiura

      Hi, thank you for your great blog! It is very helpful.

       

       

      I have a question to ask you.

      I somehow cannot access integrated UI5 application from S4HANA without using VPN.

      I looked with developer tool, it uses physical host when accessing UI5 application from cFLP and because of that, UI5 application is not authorized and cannot be accessed.

       

      Could you help me with this problem?

      Thank you.

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Marina, It shouldn't be using the physical host as the connectivity should be via the BTP destinations/Cloud Connector. Its best to raise a question in the forum for the experts to support you on this. Thanks

      Author's profile photo Ramesh Shrestha
      Ramesh Shrestha

      Hi Murali,

      I saw ES5 added as content provider. But I am not able to add it. I am getting below error.

      I have attached the ERROR Screen and Destination configuration.

      Can you please suggest on this.

       

      ES5%20Error

      ES5 Error

      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Ramesh, I don't think ES5 system is configured for the content federation. As you would see in the SAP Help documentation, there are per-requisites for frontend server.

      Author's profile photo Anubha Pandey
      Anubha Pandey

      Hi Murali,

      Thanks for the wonderful blog.

      I need couple of clarifications on setting up Fiori Launchpad in production environment.

      The first part - 'Exposing Launchpad Content to SAP BTP FLP service' executed on S/4 HANA on-prem (as is my use case), is not captured in any TR and is to be done at the time of System Preparation itself i.e needs to done manually in each of DEV, QA, Pre-Prod and Prod environments

      While second part - 'Setting up Fiori Launchpad'

      1. Managing Content Providers -> to be done manually in each of Dev, QA and Prod subaccounts (configs cannot be exported)
      2. Managing Content under 'My Content' -> this can be exported from Dev subaccount and imported in QA and Prod subaccount.
      3. Managing FLP Site -> this also can be exported from Dev subaccount and imported in QA and Prod subaccount.

      Please confirm if my understanding is correct.

      Regards,

      Anubha

       

      Author's profile photo Surve Pooja
      Surve Pooja

      Hello Murali,

      Thanks for the blog.

      We are trying to use SAP Enable Now as our content provider for the web assistant. As of now, we are facing CORS error because the domain of the launchpad and SEN manager are different.

      Is it possible to follow the approach you have shared to resolve this problem?

      Thanks and regards,

      Pooja