Recommendation for Structuring Roles, Spaces and Pages in the SAP Fiori Launchpad Based on Common User Behaviors
*** Updated 19th November 2021: With SAP Fiori front-end server 2021 for S/4HANA (SAP FES 2021) and cloud products like e.g. SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2108 or SAP Launchpad service, SAP delivered new features for spaces and pages. This leads to some changes on the recommendations. In the text below you will find the differences outlined between previous releases and SAP FES 2021 or cloud products.
Spaces and pages in the SAP Fiori launchpad have been available for quite some time now. To help you define them, we have put together a set of recommendations. They are based on our research across many customers on how users typically use the launchpad and how they usually search and access content.
The main idea behind spaces and pages is to allow users to consume the content of the launchpad in an easier and more structured way. For new users in particular, the benefit of a good default layout of spaces and pages is that they can quickly get an overview of the main apps which are relevant for their work context.
On top of that, if the pages are designed together with the business team, this encourages user adoption. The reason for this is that all users in the team understand the value of using the same pages for accessing their main work activities, and the business intention behind each page.
In addition to navigating within the spaces and pages, users can browse and access additional content via search, the “All My Apps” menu or the App Finder.
From all those options which are available for accessing additional content, we learned that search is the approach which is used the most frequently.
Accessing additional content is particularly useful for expert users who may have access to additional apps they use to resolve exceptional business situations. And here is our first recommendation.
Recommendation: Make Use of a Good Naming Convention for Business Catalogs
A good naming convention for business catalogs aids discovery of additional content in the default Catalog tab of the App Finder and the “All My Apps” menu, accessed via the Home navigation button (as shown in the following screenshot). Business catalogs act as sub-collections of related apps within a business role and can be seen in the left-hand pane of the Catalog tab in the App Finder and the “All My Apps” menu.
Recommendation: Offer a “Favorites” Page
From surveying customers currently using the classic home page we learned that many users like to personalize which apps they wanted to see on their start page – they typically define their own My Home group containing all their favorites. This leads to the following recommendation:
SAP FES 2021 and cloud products as e.g. SAP S/4HANA Cloud or SAP Launchpad service
With SAP FES 2021 and current cloud product versions, the launchpad offers a My Home space, where the user can add their favorites to. This space is always displayed as the very first space in the space menu. To learn more about this feature, please have a look at the blog post SAP Fiori 3: What’s new with SAP S/4HANA 2021 (on-premise) in the paragraph A My Home space giving users their own personal start page. You will also find a video there, showing the feature in action.
SAP FES 2020
With SAP FES 2020, the My Home space is not yet available. This is how you can achieve a “Favorites” page for your users instead: Give each user a dedicated “Favorites” space with one empty page as their start page. This will allow them to create their own entry page, showing their favorite apps. If they want, they can group these into sections, too. This is helpful for all users, and in addition, makes it easier for users familiar with the classic home page to move to spaces.
In order to make this “Favorites” page their start page, put the space to which it belongs at the very beginning of the space menu. The spaces are ordered via their space IDs, and by making use of this knowledge you can define the ID of the “Favorites” space so that this space will be displayed at the very beginning. The SAP Note SAP Fiori Spaces: How to sort spaces via technical keys explains this in detail.
Even though it is possible to actively search for specific content via search or also via the integrated search capabilities in the App Finder, browsing and finding content is a cumbersome endeavor if there is too much of it. It is even more laborious if you need to do this for apps you use every day or even every week. This leads us to our next recommendation.
Recommendation: Limit the Number of Business Roles per User
Keep in mind that users need a way to browse their content efficiently. The spaces approach is designed so that each user receives a space for each of their roles, giving them access to the most important applications needed for their work in that role. A large number of roles leads to a large number of spaces with a correspondingly large number of apps overall, which will be difficult to browse through.
From a user’s perspective, 1 to 5 roles are ideal. For new users, a space for their main business role, and a space for Employee Services or Manager Services has been proven to work well for some customers we surveyed. You can add more roles as their knowledge grows or their working needs change.
For business experts with a lot of roles and needing many apps, putting all the content from those business roles on spaces and pages is not beneficial for the users. Too many pages and tiles are overwhelming and make for a lot of visual “noise”. So, the spaces and pages for each role should focus on the major activities for the role.
Recommendation: Provide Well-Structured Spaces and Pages
These are the best practices for structuring spaces and pages:
- 1 space per role
- 1-5 pages per space
- 2-5 sections per page
- 3-7 apps per section, but ideally not more than 25 apps for the whole page
When adding apps to pages, you should only provide the most important or frequently used apps for the role at hand. Remember that providing spaces and pages to your users should support them in easily finding and accessing their most important content for the roles to which they have been assigned.
Recommendation: Consider Performance
A lean launchpad is easier to navigate, and quicker to load. This is especially true for supervisor and managerial roles, where you are most likely to include dynamic data tiles such as Smart Business KPIs on your page. A few well-chosen KPIs help your managers focus on maintaining key thresholds. For example, keeping within their allocated budget, or reaching sales revenue targets. Each KPI comes at a small performance cost of an additional call to retrieve current KPI data, which quickly sums up to a high workload on the servers. So, while useful and while this data is temporarily cached to minimize these data calls, the number of dynamic data tiles should be kept to the essentials.
The guidelines outlined above, to give users a small number of business roles, is based on learnings from many customers: most users actually only use a very small number of applications, and generally never need access to a large number of applications. The spaces approach has been built based on this understanding.
In an SAP FES 2020 implementation, the time to load a page depends on the total number of applications – including both SAP Fiori apps and classic User Interfaces – assigned to a user via launchpad catalogs, i.e. the total number of applications that can be selected in the Catalogs tab of the App Finder, via search, or via the “All My Apps” menu. Therefore, you should limit the total number of applications assigned.
Be aware that the total number of applications assigned is independent of the number of tiles available to the user on pages. As a general guideline, the number of tiles available on pages is expected to be a subset of the total number of applications available in the Catalogs tab of the App Finder, search, and the “All My Apps” menu.
In SAP FES 2021, the time to load a page does not depend on the total number of applications assigned to a user via launchpad catalogs anymore.
If there is a need to assign a very high number of applications, a user can be given access to classic User Interfaces via the classic SAP Menu and User Menu in the App Finder as well. This is a further option in an on-premise or Private Cloud Edition system.
Recommendation: Take a User-Centric Approach to Testing
When testing, test from a user-centric view. That is, create test users that mimic how your solution will be deployed to real-world users.
For example, you could take a sample user who is a Purchaser who also needs to access some Employee Services and create a test user that mimics how the solution will be deployed to them. While you may not have the capacity to do this for every business role, you should consider doing this as a minimum for your most important business roles where high user adoption is critical to achieving strategic business outcomes.
This user-centric testing approach has several major advantages:
- You can confirm how your solution will appear to real users, including the launchpad layout and launchpad features
- You can verify that users will be able to access all the content they need
- You can verify authorizations that users will need to access their applications
- You can verify app and launchpad features that depend on specific user authorizations, for example:
- which cards appear in an Overview Page
- which links appear in a Smart Link dialog
- which apps are listed in a Related Apps button
- which buttons appear in a List Report
- which business objects appear in search
- You get a realistic assessment of performance under real-world conditions, which can help you focus any mitigation efforts
- You can use your test user(s) for walkthroughs and other user communications to encourage user adoption and gain acceptance from your business stakeholders and project sponsors.
You should avoid creating mega-users that are assigned to every application possible, or even to every application in a specific Line of Business. To a technical person, using mega-users may superficially seem a convenient approach to test everything, equivalent to “SAP_ALL” users common in many SAP Business Suite projects. In practice, the mega-user approach brings many distractions that complicate your project significantly, such as:
- Navigation confusion – a bewildering array of tiles and links
- Authorization confusion – segregation of duties issues causing unnecessary concern for auditors and regulators
- Feature confusion – far more features showing than expected causing unnecessary authorizations rework
- Unrealistic performance issues – slow launchpad loading times
These distractions typically result in a lot of unnecessary diagnosis and troubleshooting efforts that make little difference to your actual deployment.
Now let me end by going back to where I started: the main idea behind spaces and pages is to allow users to consume the content of the launchpad in an easier and more structured way. For new users in particular, the benefit of a good default layout of spaces and pages is that they can quickly get an overview of the main apps which are relevant for their work context.
To achieve this, we recommend that you:
- Make use of a good naming convention for business catalogs
- Offer a “Favorites” page – as the start page
- Limit the number of business roles per user – to around 1 to 5
- Provide well-structured spaces and pages – with 1 space per role, and 1 to 5 pages per space, containing only the most important apps for the given role
- Consider performance
- Take a user-centric approach to testing
Spaces and pages should not be another kind of navigation menu containing all the apps available to a user. Remember, users have the means to easily find all the content available to them via search, the “All My Apps” menu and the App Finder. As a further option in an on-premise system, a user can be given access to the classic SAP Menu and User Menu in the App Finder as well. So, as you can see, users never need to find all their apps on pages.
Instead, spaces and pages should be defined to give users easy access to their most important and frequently used apps required by the roles they play in your company.
By following these recommendations, your users will profit from the enhanced layout capabilities in form of a focused entry point for their everyday work.
Great blog! Very practical advices for doing with Space and Page features on S4. Thanks Sylvia.
thanks for the great blog post.
I know this might not be recommended, but in the case that a user has more spaces than the "spaces bar" is able to display, is there a way to change the sequence of spaces?
Thanks and regards,
Right now, as an administrator, you can define the order of spaces as described for the "Favorites" space in Recommendation: Offer a “Favorites” Page. This approach can be applied for any space in the space menu. You then need of course to consider the order of spaces for your users before you actually create the spaces, because the order is defined by the space IDs, which cannot be changed after they have been created. As this is a quite laborious approach if you do this for several spaces, we plan to offer the managing of the sort order of spaces as part of the Manage Launchpad Spaces app in one of our next releases. With this the idea is to be more flexible when administering the space order. Please note, that plans might change anytime by SAP.
For the user on the other hand there is currently no possibility to change the order of spaces.
One additional question, considering the performance, is there a general recommended maximum number of tiles pre-assigned to an end user based on rule of thumb? 100?
Please have a look at the SAP Note https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/3029431 for further guidance with regards to performance and the total amount of assigned apps.
Thank you for the great post.
Through section "Recommendation: Consider Performance", I understood that number of applications affects Fiori Launchpad loading performance more than the number of tiles. All applications accessed via Search, App Finder, All My Apps should be limited to improve the performance.
On the other hand, in my understanding through some blogs and Notes (before Space mode released), it was recommended that the number of tiles shown in Fiori Launchpad at one time should be decreased by: "Tab Bar" option and limiting the number of tiles shown on the Launchpad Home page. If customers want to use applications that were not shown on the Launchpad Home page default, they can access them via App Finder. I feel that the previous recommendations focused on tIles, not applications, mainly. The high number of assigned applications was acceptable.
According to your post, I wonder if decreasing the number of shown tiles on the page doesn't improve Fiori Launchpad's performance anymore. To do it, I also have to limit the applications including one accessed via App Finder, right?
Is there any recommendation change from the former implementation (until S/4HANA1909) to the current "Space mode" implementation?
Decreasing the number of tiles from a page has a positive effect on the loading, but the number of tiles that are removed from a page needs to be significant in order to have a positive effect on performance. Only removing 1-2 tiles is barely noticeable. On the other hand, keeping in mind that removing only few dynamic data tiles indeed makes a difference, as they have a higher performance cost.
The issue with many tiles on the previous classic home page was mainly, because all the tiles were displayed on one single home page, unless you changed the display mode to tab mode. Now, having spaces and pages in place, the tiles of a page are only loaded when the corresponding page is opened. This loading behavior is similar to the one when you switched to the tab mode to show only one group at a time on the classic home page. Therefore, we do not have the option anymore to switch to such a mode, as it is not needed anymore. Thus, this recommendation for the classic home page has become obsolete with spaces and pages.
Thank you for your prompt reply. Let me sort it out.
# For classic home page (= before Space and Pages)
- Recommendation: Avoid showing too many tiles on one home page. To do it,
- Setting tab mode
- Making the number of grouped tiles decrease by modifying Catalogs
# For Space and Pages
- Recommendation: Avoid assigning too many applications to a user. It is not only a single page, but also All pages, via App Finder, Search, or via the "All My Apps" menu.
- Removing only a few tiles barely affects performance, except dynamic data tiles.
I feel that Space and Pages function has higher performance than the classic home page. It's great because I and customer often faced Launchpad performance issues. Thanks.
Let me state the last answer more precisely:
1. For the classic home page, the recommendation that you wrote is perfectly correct. The recommendation is to really show less tiles on the user's launchpad. This could mean e.g. to put less tiles on groups and assign less groups to the user's roles - or to switch to tab mode. However, in the past few years we changed the loading behavior of the launchpad so that the problem with showing too many tiles is not that serious anymore.
2. For spaces and pages, we need to distinguish between the number of apps that are assigned to a user via catalogs and the number of tiles that are shown on their pages.
2.a Unlike with the classic home page, the issue is with the number of apps that are assigned to the user's roles via catalogs. This means, here the problem is that apps that are currently even NOT displayed on a user's page lead to performance issues, if there are too many of them assigned to the user.
2.b Number of tiles shown on a page: When I talked about "removing tiles from a page" in my previous answer, I was not talking about the assigned apps to a user via catalogs, but about the tiles that are added to a page. Having a lot of tiles on a single page (far more than 25) would have a negative impact on performance as well. But this is anyhow not recommended (recommendation: max. 25 tiles per page - at least for the reason to provide a reasonable work context to the user).
Instead of having several pages for a single space, I want to have several spaces for a business role. That will give users to navigate them horizontally like good old Enterprise Portal instead of 2nd level navigation.
Can I have several spaces for a business role?
As tiles and TMs are references in Business Catalogs from technical catalogs and I also want to assing pre-defined tiles from technical catalogs to the space/page and control showing them with assinged business catalog. But when I try to assign a technical catalog based Tile, the Page designer showing that catalog is not derived from the role and tile may not be visible. How to avoid this. So that I can mass assign the tiles using technical catalog to space/page instead of assinging them using Business Catalog for the page.
I have several business roles, several tiles per technical catalog and referred to business catalogs.
How can I design the page and reuse them for different business roles?
It is possible to assign multiple spaces to business roles. For on-premise this is possible via the PFCG role menu, and for SAP S/4HANA Cloud there is the possibility in the app Maintain Business Roles. In the launchpad of the user, all of those assigned spaces will be displayed in the space menu.
About your question of adding tiles from technical catalogs, while users have corresponding business catalogs assigned via their roles: This is currently not possible. We are currently working on a concept where we discuss similar use cases, but right now I am not able to tell yet, how this will look like. For now, you need to make sure, that the tiles that you add to the page, have their origin in the very same business catalog than the one the users have assigned via their roles.
Thanks for the wonderful blog post.
I had a follow-up question although:
Can we lock the Pages/Sections personalization using the Manage Launchpad Pages application or any other method to achieve the same?. Just like we had an option to lock the groups. The idea here is we want to restrict the end users to not alter or personalize (add/remove/edit) the page created by administrator.
They could still use the My Home tab but we want to restrict page personalization.
Thanks in Advance!
If you are using an SAP Fiori front-end server 2021 for S/4HANA release or a cloud product like e.g. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you can use the My Home space which is part of the SAP Fiori launchpad. The My Home space can be personalized by users, even if launchpad personalization has been deactivated by an administrator.
If you are using your own custom My Home space, then there is currently no option to prevent all other spaces and pages from being personalized by users.
Thanks for the great blog. We're thinking of an approach where we either offer a complete business role as a space, with all belonging activity areas as pages below that, but we also want to be able to offer a sub-set or single one of these activity areas (pages) to a user. Hence we also build variants of the same spaces but with less or one page(s).
We now noticed that if we assign multiple of these limited variant spaces to a user via pfcg roles, SAP FLP interprets this in such way that it places all these spaces horizontally next to each other. (all with same name of course)
Is there a way for SAP FLP to role these spaces to one single space + the result set of pages below that?
(Perhaps complex in explanation, so if it's not clear, please let us know)
Thanks in advance & kind regards
Currently the SAP Fiori launchpad is not capable of "merging" such spaces as you explain them in your example. In your case it might be better to structure your PFCG roles and spaces a little bit differently:
Would that be an option?
Hi Sylvia Strack - I have an issue were I have added a particular tile to page > section from a sap standard catalog via the manage launchpad pages app. The user's role authorises the user for that tile via a custom Z catalog, role also contains the spaceId.
When the user's logs in, is not able to see that tile defaulted in the Space > Page > Section.
Question is, do I need to add the tile to the page from the custom catalog as well? If yes, this might become an administration overhead as we will need to add tiles from custom catalogs as well as the security team authorise users for the apps they need through custom catalogs only.
Also noticed that if I add the same tile from 2 different catalogs to the same page and if the user has both those catalogs assigned in their role it shows the tile twice for the user.
Would appreciate your thoughts/advice on this.
Your conclusion about the need of adding the tile from the custom business catalog is right. Right now the tile that you put on a page references the business catalog from where you have initially added the tile to the page. If the user does not have the authorization for exactly this business catalog, then the tile will not be shown for that user.
With SAP Fiori front-end server 2022 we plan to change this behavior. With the new behavior, the tile that you will add to a page will reference the original tile in the technical catalog. This will allow you to add the tile from any business catalog to the page and the user will see this tile, as long as he/she has a business catalog tile which references the original technical catalog tile. With this new approach you would only need to add a tile once to the page and then you won't have the issue that you have mentioned that a tile is displayed twice on the page.
Hi Sylvia Strack - thanks for your update. We are on SAP FIORI FES 2020 FOR S/4HANA and I'm struggling with the solution that the tile has to be added to a page from the custom catalog that authorises the user access to that tile. This is our first spaces implementation in NZ and we are trying to keep the Space/Page structure consistent so it enhances the look and feel, navigation and overall UX for the users.
We initially set up the Spaces/Pages structure using SAP standard catalogs. Now security consultants are in the process of building custom catalogs as per business requirements and blue prints and are finding this limitation that the tile has to be added to the page from the custom catalog. There are some cases where a tile can be found in more than one custom catalog and role and if a user is assigned those roles ends up seeing duplicate tiles.
Similar behaviour is observed when we create a separate but similar space>page structure using custom catalogs per role. If a user is given two or more roles which contain the same space name they see duplicate Space names in the FLP.
Are there any plans to release a note to fix this for SAP FIORI FES 2020 FOR S/4HANA? Should I be logging this as an issue in the SAP support portal?
I can understand the issues that come along with the current implementation in SAP Fiori FES 2020 with such a business role / catalog setup. Unfortunately we will not be able to provide a note for SAP Fiori FES 2020, because the implementation with the new behavior includes a large part of our code base, where the main part is part of the SAPUI5 delivery. However, if you stay on SAP S/4HANA 2020, you can upgrade the SAP Fiori front-end server component to SAP Fiori FES 2022, and then you would be able to make use of the new functionality. This is explained in general on page 5 of the SAP Fiori Deployment Options and System Landscape Recommendations.
With regards to the second observation that you wrote about: Soon we plan to provide merge capabilities where spaces and pages can be merged. I am not able to tell a specific release yet, as we are currently evaluating for which release we can put this feature on our roadmap.
Hi Sylvia Strack .... Just wanted to confirm, if we upgrade the SAP Fiori front-end server component to SAP Fiori FES 2022 now we can make use of the new functionality (i.e. what you have mentioned above) immediately?
As soon as SAP Fiori FES 2022 will have its release to customers in Q4/2022, you will benefit from this new functionality. Once it will be available towards end of this year, you can upgrade to SAP Fiori FES 2022.
Thanks for this. This is great blog.
Got a question on below point.
"In SAP FES 2021, the time to load a page does not depend on the total number of applications assigned to a user via launchpad catalogs anymore."
What are the major factors influencing the time to load a page in FES 2021 then? In FES 2021, we can only load part of applications set to the user which is only relevant to tiles assigned to landing page?
Hi Yoon ho,
In SAP FES 2021, the time to load a page depends on the tiles that are on that page. The rendering of each tile takes some time, and as a consequence having a lot of tiles on one single page would have a negative impact on performance. As written in this blog post further above, the existence of Smart Business KPI tiles on a page has an impact on performance as well. All in all it is a good practice to keep the number of tiles on a page to a minimum, not only to provide the user with a good overview, but to reduce the rendering time and also the number of requests that are sent to the backend.
First, thanks for this excellent blog and sharing! I read carefully your article and the questions/answers. Like some other people in the conversation, I do have the need to display more/less tiles into a page depending to the user authorization.
We are using the business catalogs for that (and PFCG roles affectation of course), as suggested in the previous answer.
Regarding the SAP FES 2021 time to load a page. I understand the performance is based on the total number of tiles in the page.
Let’s take this example: 1 page containing 3 sections with 4 tiles each = 12 tiles in the page.
I would like to know if there is a performance impact having multiple business catalogs (BC) [and roles] to load in the same page? I mean, will the page be longer to load if the 12 tiles are coming from multiple BC rather than from 1 single BC?
Thanks & Kind regards,
In principle, a higher number of business catalogs used on a page leads to a longer loading time of that page. All business catalogs, that are part of the page context, need to be processed and for each of them it needs to be checked whether the user is authorized to see the corresponding tiles on the page. However, if we are talking about only 12 tiles, the performance decrease is probably barely noticeable. We do not have any benchmarks regarding this, however if you do not put like, let's say, 50 or 100 tiles coming from different business catalogs on a page, the user of the FLP will probably not notice if all 12 tiles are coming from the very same business catalog or different ones.
Hope all is ok for you.
I have a question concerning the PAGES organization into the FLP. Currently, we are in 1809 release and it's difficult to put in "alphabetic" order the tab ( that are groups name in fact). With PAGES, in release 2021, is it possible to put into the SPACES tab all PAGES in alphabetic orders ( or in the order we decide )?
SPACES tab : financial items
PAGES (into "financial items" tab) : financial display items, orders type, orders zone
in other words, is it possible to arrange the PAGES order into a SPACE tab like we want ?
Thanks and have a good day 😉
You can already with the SAP Fiori Front-End server 2020 release define the exact order of the pages that you would like to have displayed within a space: Documentation, 2020 Latest: Details View for Spaces. The corresponding documentation for the 2021 release can be found here: Documentation, 2021 Latest: Editing a Space.
I hope this helps.
Thanks a lot Sylvia !
Have a good day 😉
This is a great blog. We have a case where some of the business roles (the roles where the Space get assigned), are site specific - not only from data point of view, but the Apps also vary based on Site to Site.
Users may have access to one or more sites. There are 20 plus sites, and we don't want to create site specific Spaces which will be daunting while also cause duplication of Space.
What we initially thought is to create 1 space for a business role e.g., Warehouse Operator, but create site specific catalogs and site-specific pages with Tiles pinned from their corresponding catalogs. But when we tested this, Pages assigned without their corresponding catalogs (against sites that user don't have access) still appear in the launchpad as empty pages.
Other option we tried is to create 1 space for a business role e.g. but create a single page with 20 sections for each of the sites. Tiles for these sections were inherited from the catalogs for their respective sites. When we removed the catalogs for the sites the user should not have access to, the corresponding sections were not visible. This is what we want.
But the downside to this design is that the user who have access to more than one site would have lot of duplicate Tiles as well in the same page but in different sections.
What is the SAP recommendation/best practice in scenarios like this?
Thanks, I'm glad that you like this blog post.
As long as hiding empty spaces and pages is not supported in the SAP Fiori launchpad, it is indeed more difficult to come up with a space and page structure that the user can work with well. Your last option, having one page containing all apps from all the catalogs from the different sites, would be in your case the best option, as you also do not want to go for 1 space for each business role. Although this means that with the approach from your last option, it might not be possible to stick to the recommendation to only use 25 apps at the maximum per page. For now, this would be the drawback that would be acceptable in this case.
Hiding empty spaces and pages is on our roadmap: Hide empty spaces and pages in the SAP Fiori launchpad (S/4HANA Cloud) and Hide empty spaces and pages in the SAP Fiori launchpad (S/4HANA on-premise). Until then, you might need to consider the approach that you have already tried out in your last option.
Thanks Sylvia. Good to know that hiding empty Spaces and Pages is in the roadmap for 2024/2025. Yes, we will be exceeding the 25 Tiles per page recommendation for such scenario unfortunately. We are still going with the design that works today.