SAP Mobile Start – the new native entry point to access applications & contents
SAP recently announced the launch of SAP Mobile Start – a native mobile app which serves as an entry point for users to access various applications and contents. This a major step towards fulling the objective of placing the intelligent enterprise at the fingertips of every customer. Typically, mobile users have the need to access different native & web applications to complete their end-to-end tasks. They also have the need to be notified of critical situations/alerts coming various solutions. Users want the simplicity in finding the right information and completing their tasks. This is one of the primary goals of SAP Mobile Start and the initial version covers all these fundamental requirements to access apps, notifications across various solutions by different personas. This app is currently available for iOS devices – iPhone & iPad.
Overview of SAP Mobile Start
Let’s look at some of the key capabilities:
Native Entry Point
The app offers a native launchpad to access different types of applications – Web apps, native mobile apps on your device, notifications, news feeds and Web links. Within the app, users have the ability to search for the app from the catalog and launch them too.
Deep UX Integration
With iOS 14, you can use widgets on your Home Screen to keep your favorite information at your fingertips. This is my favorite feature. SAP Mobile Start also enables users to add apps as widgets to the home screen and monitor how those key KPIs. Users can use the Spotlight search capability to find and launch their apps. SAP Mobile Start also offers native notification capabilities to display alerts and notifications from the backend SAP systems.
SAP Mobile Start is based on similar role concepts which are used with Fiori Launchpad. When user logs on to the mobile app, they get to see only the contents which are relevant to their job. Hence each personas accessing the app will have a different set of apps.
Here is the architecture on how SAP Mobile Start works. You will be able to see the details of this in the SAP Help documentation.
SAP Mobile Start runs on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and it requires the following services:
SAP Launchpad service: Many of you might know that the Launchpad service plays an important role of providing a central Launchpad on the cloud. Customers can use the Launchpad service to federate content from different solutions and also combine them with bespoke apps which are deployed on SAP BTP. You can view all the supported platforms in the SAP Help documentation.
The Launchpad service is the place where you will configure the apps which you want to display in SAP Mobile Start. Administrators will use the Site Manager functionality to federate contents from different systems and could also create apps/tiles which point to native mobile apps and determine which app can be displayed to the user depending on the device (Desktop, Phone, Tablet). So remember, SAP Mobile Start is an empty shell. The contents are made available through the Launchpad service – either via content federation or contents created manually in the launchpad service. The Fiori apps will be rendered without the header inside SAP Mobile Start.
I will update this blog post with links to detailed blog posts (posted by other community members) that show how the configuration can be achieved.
SAP Mobile Service
SAP Mobile Start leverages the Mobile service behind the scenes. Administrators will be able to access the app configuration for SAP Mobile Start within the Mobile service to maintain security configurations as documented in SAP Help. You can follow the instructions in the SAP Help to assign the relevant roles and launch the Mobile Service admin UI.
The Notification service plays a role in exposing the notifications received from the backend SAP systems. It enables the Launchpad service & SAP Mobile Start app to receive notifications.
Explore SAP Mobile Start Today
I would highly recommend trying out SAP Mobile Start. We have a blog post “SAP Mobile Start – Try yourself the new native entry point to the Intelligent enterprise” from
Jean-Christophe NURY explaining how to download SAP Mobile Start from the app store and using the demo mode to familiarize yourself with the app features.
If you have already setup your launchpad site, you can enable SAP Mobile Start from the Site Configuration. You can try this out in SAP BTP Trial environment too.
This will enable you to configure them in the Settings menu at runtime.
You can install and also register using the QR Code. Its an easy process.
SAP Mobile Start does not require a separate subscription. It is included in the SAP Launchpad service subscription.
At the time of writing this blog post, the supported backend systems are
- S/4HANA On-Premise 1909 or above with embedded Front End Server on SAP Netweaver Application Server for ABAP, version 7.55.
- S/4HANA Cloud 2108 or above
Please check the SAP Help documentation for any updates to the list of supported SAP backend systems
What about SAP Fiori Client?
Fiori Client has been around for many years and several SAP customer are still using it to access the Fiori Launchpad which has been setup either in their on-premise systems like S/4HANA, Business Suite system or on SAP BTP. It is easy to setup and provide device capabilities like camera to scan bar codes (which were part of few standard Fiori applications). To some extent, it served as an entry point for many SAP users to access the functionality in the SAP systems. Due to the changes in directions for Apache Cordova and SAP’s strategy, SAP Fiori Client is planned to be removed from the public app stores around Q1/2022.
This SAP Note Removal of SAP Fiori Client From Public App Stores offers more clarity for existing SAP customers who wish to continue using SAP Fiori Client.
For new customers, who are looking to expose their Fiori Launchpad, I would recommend evaluating SAP Mobile Start to see if it meets their needs. Its important to note that SAP Mobile Start is an online app and does not offer a container-based technology to tap into the underlying device capabilities.
For offline requirements, SAP Mobile Development Kit of SAP Mobile service is a good choice.
Links to bookmark
Sample contents at GitHub
SAP Mobile Start team have provided the Launchpad configuration with set of applications for different personas that can be used as a reference to tailor content based on the end-user needs. You can import these contents into your Launchpad service and get to see the the roles/catalogs/groups and apps which have been configured with different settings.
Link to the GitHub contents