Q&A from TechEd Session IIS102: SAP Fiori Launchpad – What’s Hot and What’s New
At SAP TechEd in last December, I was hosting two repetitions of the SAP Fiori launchpad lecture IIS102. Though the online format that was imposed by the pandemic surely had some disadvantages, we also saw some nice benefits, for example that we could reach a much wider audience and also that we were able to answer many more questions in the chat than we can usually do during a live session. For each repetition of the session, two experienced colleagues had agreed to join me for answering questions (Jocelyn Dart and Jorge Baltazar for the APJ/Americas time zone and Carola Steinmaier and Thomas Hensel for the EMEA/Americas time zone) which turned out to be a extremely helpful, as we received lots of questions and had very intense 40 minutes while answering them.
While some of the questions were quite specific, we still saw some center of interest around the following topics:
- Trial environment
- New spaces and pages concept
- New SAP Fiori launchpad administration tools
- Central entry point scenario on SAP Cloud Platform.
Below you can find a summary of the most frequent and relevant questions and answers of session IIS102. In case you missed the session, you can still watch the recording.
1. Trial environment
Q: Is SAP proving any trial SAP S/4HANA system for developing SAP Fiori ?
SAP provides a trial for SAP S/4HANA via the Cloud Appliance Library. Please check cal.sap.com. Besides that, there is also an SAP Cloud Platform trial including Business Application Studio that can be used to develop SAP Fiori applications.
Q: Is there any pre-configured trial for SAP Fiori on SAP Cloud Platform like we used to have with SAP Fiori Cloud demo?
The SAP Cloud Platform trial enables you to build your own SAP Fiori launchpad sites. You may find the new tutorials exciting – including integration of apps from sandbox or an SAP-hosted backend: developers.sap.com/mission.launchpad-cf.html.
2. New spaces and pages concept
Q: With which SAP S/4HANA release spaces and pages are coming? Can we also use spaces and pages on an SAP Fiori Launchpad on top of an ECC system / an SAP NetWeaver Gateway system with SAPUI5 7.5?
Spaces and pages have been released with SAP S/4HANA 2020 Initial Stack for on-premise systems, SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005, and SAP IBP 2005. Technically, the tools and features around spaces and pages will be available for SAP S/4HANA 1809 and SAP S/4HANA 1909 as well, if the belonging SAP Fiori front-end server components will be upgraded to SAP Fiori front-end server 2020 for SAP S/4HANA. It is planned to also release the SAP Fiori front-end server 2020 for SAP Business Suite systems with FPS01, RTC in February 2021. Currently it’s not supported for SAP Business Suite. For more information and details please have a look at SAP Fiori Deployment Options and System Landscape Recommendations.
Please note, that SAP delivered content, i.e. spaces and pages that can be used as templates, will only be available for SAP S/4HANA 2020.
Q: Have security and authorizations changed with the move to spaces/pages?
No, security and authorizations are still handled in the same way via (business) roles. Spaces are assigned to roles. Please see the following blog post about the configuration of spaces/pages in an SAP S/4HANA system. Please also have a look at the documentation for SAP S/4HANA Cloud or for SAP S/4HANA for more details.
Q: How can we migrate from home page configuration to the new spaces configuration? Do we need to start from scratch on a new launchpad?
Since the spaces concept is purely about representation, you would not start with a new launchpad, but start building up the spaces and pages in parallel and then at some point in time simply switch to the new experience either by default or by allowing users to select the experience themselves. When setting up spaces and pages, you can make use of the SAP-delivered content or use the groups in the home page configuration as a starting point. Please check blogs.sap.com/2020/10/07/set-up-sap-fiori-launchpad-spaces-with-sap-fiori-front-end-server-2020-for-s-4hana.
Q: Which roles does the admin need to have to be able to design the spaces/pages as shown in the session just now?
In an SAP S/4HANA system, the authorizations are delivered via the role SAP_FLP_ADMIN, and in an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system, they are delivered via the role SAP_BR_ADMINISTRATOR.
Q: What’s so different about spaces and sections compared to groups? Visually they both look the same.
Visually they are similar, that is correct. The idea is to provide end users with an experience that is close to what they know, but nevertheless offers lots of advantages both for the administrator and the end user, for example:
- We were often requested to enable an additional structuring layer to the SAP Fiori launchpad, so that users can have a navigation menu on top of the canvas instead of an often very long list of groups. This can be achieved now with having pages as a substructure of spaces.
- With spaces and pages, administrators can control the ordering of the apps inside a page precisely and in a stable way, while administrators cannot define the order of groups.
- With spaces, the end user can see admin changes to his pages, even if he has personalized the page content – without losing his personalizations. For example, the end user will get new tiles that an admin adds to a page even if he has personalized this page.
Q: Can we configure ‘sections’ in SAP Fiori launchpad designer? Are ‘sections’ role-based as well?
No, sections are defined in the Manage Launchpad Pages app, as they are just a visual element of the page and not really a content type like groups. They only exist inside a page. Since a page is assigned to a space and a space to a role, they are indirectly role-based, but there is no direct assignment of sections to roles.
3. New SAP Fiori launchpad configuration tools
Q: With which release is the SAP Fiori launchpad application manager available?
It is available as of SAP S/4HANA 2020 as an enhanced successor of the App descriptor mass maintenance tool.
Q: How can I launch the SAP Launchpad Application Manager? Is there a transaction code for this?
Yes, the transaction code is /ui2/FLPAM.
Q: Is there a tool to display which apps and transactions are part of a standard Business Role?
Yes, the best tool for this is the SAP Fiori launchpad content manager. You can see the roles, assigned catalogs, and the content of each catalog in this tool. Please check out this blog post about enhancements to the content manager and the documentation (for SAP S/4HANA 2020).
Q: Thanks for bringing in the content manager for SAP Fiori launchpad configuration. This will save lot of efforts and time. Can this be deployed in HUB as one of our clients uses hub GW for S4H?
The content manager can also be used in a standalone setup of the SAP Fiori front-end server with SAP Gateway. Please keep in mind that a hub deployment with one SAP Gateway system connecting to several SAP S/4HANA systems is not supported. Please check the SAP Fiori launchpad deployment recommendations guide for more details.
Q: What are the advantages of the SAP Fiori launchpad content manager compared to the SAP Fiori launchpad designer?
With the SAP Fiori launchpad designer, it is often difficult to identify which tiles and target mappings belong together via the intent and to find specific apps. The content manager offers much more capabilities here – enhanced search and filtering. It also provides a lot of analysis tools – like identifying missing service activation and tiles without target mappings etc. – and mass operations. From the feedback we receive, we understand that the usability is perceived as much superior to the SAP Fiori launchpad designer.
Q: Is there an SAP Fiori native version of Content Manager planned apart from SAP GUI version?
Currently, it’s not planned to offer an SAP Fiori app for the content manager tool, as this is an admin tool which deals which mass data and is tightly integrated into other GUI tools like PFCG.
Q: Is there a tool to compare what a user is getting in SAP Fiori compared to the physical roles in PFCG. If they have VA01 then check it is in a role for user, 1000’s of users!
This is exactly why the layers of business catalog (e.g. for SoD) vs technical catalog (lists of apps) is important. Some customers use Solution Manager alongside some custom reporting for this type of control. Please understand that there is a difference between what you are authorized to use via your security roles, and what you see on your home page and in the app finder. If you are authorized, you can access a transaction via the App Finder even if it is NOT in your SAP Fiori catalog. Even if a transaction is in your SAP Fiori catalog, you can only access it, if you are authorized.
Q: Is there any report or SAP Fiori app to track the usage of SAP Fiori apps (standard and/or custom)? If not, any recommendation?
You can track usage of SAP Fiori apps with SAP Web Analytics (an SAP Cloud Platform solution) or Google Analytics. There are some technical tracking options at the table level in the SAP Gateway as well.
Q: If I create multiple views of a tile, how can I assign them to different roles?
That might depend on how you are creating the views. These days we recommend using App Variants (see this blog post on variants for details) which can be assigned as a new tile and therefore to a new catalog. With views created via Variant Management there’s not an easy way at the moment, but new variant parameter capabilities in SAPUI5 should solve that in the future.
Q: Is there any new update on the SAP Fiori Launchpad Configuration process?
For the technical activation of SAP Fiori launchpad we now offer the Rapid Activation procedure. You can find additional details on this approach on the following blog series on Rapid Content Activation: and the related SAP Note 2947824. Be aware that the procedure is optimized constantly and it is available since SAP S/4HANA 1709 FPS01 and it is only available on Embedded deployments. To get some insights on the recent innovations you can check out this Content Activation Task Lists – Update and Quickguide blog post. On the configuration of launchpad features we now also offer the ABAP FLP Configuration parameters via transactions: /UI2/FLP_SYS_CONF and /UI2/FLP_CUST_CONF, here’s some details in the documentation.
Q: Who is normally responsible for tasks like managing groups and catalogs/spaces, creating new tiles/apps and managing them – is it the security people or developers?
Defining tiles/apps and catalogs is mainly an SAP Fiori admin task. Defining groups/spaces/pages might be more an LOB/key user task. But for many customers there is also a dedicated SAP Fiori content admin. Security admins are asked to assign the objects to the users via PFCG. You should consider that a Business Role needs to serve the needs of business users, and so it should be owned by a Business Owner – who makes the decisions about what is assigned and what is shown on spaces/pages (or groups). What we have seen across customers is some missteps when ownership is misaligned to business needs, e.g. when the security authorizations administrator is given ownership of the role, they are not best placed to understand how business users actually work – so the end result can be fractured. Please read blog post Understanding Business Roles for more information on this.
Q: Is there any guide of how to transport a few catalogs (i.e. not whole FLP) using a request?
You can transport single business catalogs with the SAP Fiori launchpad content manager – please refer to this topic on SAP Help Portal – and you can even transport single entries in technical catalogs in the SAP Fiori launchpad application manager.
4. Central Entry Point Scenario
Q: I would like to run the SAP Fiori in the Cloud with an SAP S/4HANA on premise as backend.
First, SAP Fiori needs to be setup in your SAP S/4HANA system and configured in the regular way (recommended: embedded deployment). In addition, you are welcome to expose the content structure and apps to the (central) SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad, in order to serve as common point of access across multiple systems. For further information read our deployment recommendations guide.
Q: Having an Enterprise SAP Cloud Platform Neo subscription, would you need to pay for the service subscription for enabling the central launchpad on SAP Cloud Platform? Or can you just proceed and enable the service?
The SAP Cloud Platform launchpad service is a separate service on Cloud Foundry – so yes, you need a separate subscription, or activation as part of your SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA).
Q: Can we leverage on premise SAP GRC to assign roles in SAP Cloud Platform?
We are currently enhancing the SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad’s admin tools and APIs for better integration with Identity Management tools (for example Identity Provisioning Service and Identity Access Governance) to automate role/authorization assignment. Specific integration with SAP GRC directly is open and still in early discussions.
Q: What is the difference between the Inbox and the Task Center? Or have I mixed up something here?
For details on that topic, you may find the TechEd session Central Workflow Inbox as a Key Intelligent Enterprise Quality (DEV112) helpful. SAP is currently working on a common SAP Task Center for the various inbox / workflow items and tasks.
Q: Where can I find the TechEd session about the central entry point scenario and content federation?
This is the session Recommendations for Building a Central Entry Point on SAP Cloud Platform (DEV211).
Q: For organizations with both SAP Fiori and Analytics Hub, what should be defined as the central entry point?
We are in discussions with the teams from SAP Analytics Cloud regarding integration into the (central) SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad service.
Q: When will live tiles be supported in the Launchpad Service on SCP?
Various use cases for using dynamic tiles are already supported. We are working on enabling additional scenarios and capabilities for SAP Cloud Platform launchpad service – such as UI integration cards. You can learn more about the planned road map items for SAP Cloud Platform launchpad in the Roadmap Explorer.
Q: Do we have detailed help document for content federation from SAP S/4HANA to SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad, like what are the prerequisites? What services needs to be activated like cdm3?