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Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel

SAP Screen Personas roadmap update December 2021 – moving to the cloud

As we look forward to 2022, it’s time to update the roadmap for SAP Screen Personas. Our goal is to help you plan your UX transformation projects along with any other SAP-related upgrades that might be on your list. As always, we prioritize our investment decisions based on customer impact, so your feedback drives our innovations. We greatly value the ongoing dialogue with our customers and partners, as it presents an opportunity to learn how you are using the product.

SAP Screen Personas is closely tied to SAP S/4HANA

Organizationally, the SAP Screen Personas development team is still part of SAP UX Engineering. This allows us to take advantage of the synergies with SAP Fiori elements and SAP Fiori tools, since all three of these products are aimed at improving the user experience for SAP’s ERP customers. We roll into SAP S/4HANA, which makes sense, since we bring the value of personalization and simplification to our customers. Collaboration with our colleagues across the SAP S/4HANA organization leads us to our latest (planned*) innovation.

SAP Screen Personas has many innovations planned in the coming years

 

Adapt the UI for classic applications in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

For the past decade, SAP’s ERP customers could improve their user experience using SAP Screen Personas. Soon, we are planning to make SAP Screen Personas available to simplify classic applications in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, which is our public cloud version of our flagship ERP system. “Classic applications” refers to the SAP GUI screens that do not yet have a corresponding SAP Fiori app based on SAPUI5.

Specifically, we are planning to make the following capabilities available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud:

  1. Flavor editor
  2. Script editor
  3. Template editor
  4. The ability for authorized users to select flavors

There are a few key differences between the SAP Screen Personas add-on and the version that will be part of SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

  • SAP Screen Personas will be pre-installed into SAP S/4HANA Cloud, unlike the current add-on that you install into your ECC or SAP S/4HANA system.
  • Theming will come from SAP S/4HANA Cloud using the UI Theme Designer, so we will not include the SAP Screen Personas theme editor in the version for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
  • Since the personalization capabilities will be a core part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud offering, we will not include the SAP Screen Personas branding. Access to the personalization capabilities will be through the “Adapt UI” feature (same wording used for SAPUI5 flexibility that allows you to move fields around in SAP Fiori apps) rather than the familiar blue “P” pulldown at the top of the screen.
  • The admin functions will be adjusted, since this is not a separate add-on, but integrated with SAP S/4HANA Cloud identity and access management. You will still assign flavors to roles in the system, but in a different way.

For SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud, since you control the complete environment, you install the SAP Screen Personas add-on, similar to how you would in an on-premise system. This means that screen personalization and simplification capabilities are available to anyone that wants them, regardless of how they choose to move to the cloud (or stay on-prem).

We are working on a new openSAP course on how to “Adapt the UI for classic applications in SAP S/4HANA.” It will include all the latest SAP Screen Personas functionality for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. (We also plan to include units for on-prem SAP S/4HANA and ECC systems). We are planning to release the course in mid-2022.

SAP Screen Personas 3.0 continues to evolve

With all the work to bring SAP Screen Personas into SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we still made time to add new functionality for our existing customers. In addition to planning for the release of SP14 later this year, we have several other innovations listed on our roadmap. We will continue to make SAP Screen Personas easier to use.

We position SAP Screen Personas as an easy way to simplify screens to improve usability, which it is. However, there is always room for improvement. We’re working on providing more documentation, tutorials, and how-to videos so you can make the best use of the product.

Aligning with the evolving SAP Fiori design system is another development area. We will be adding support for the Horizon theme to SAP Screen Personas when Horizon becomes available in SAP S/4HANA.

Longer term, we, like almost every other part of SAP, are looking at how to integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence to do more of the work for you when creating flavors.

View the latest official SAP Screen Personas roadmap at https://roadmaps.sap.com/. Search for SAP Screen Personas in the SAP Roadmap Explorer.

How you can influence the roadmap

Where to learn more

For the SAP UX Engineering team, Peter Spielvogel.

 

Disclaimer:

* This blog contains forward-looking statements about SAP‘s strategy and possible future developments. This information is subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice.

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      6 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Per Lundh
      Per Lundh

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for great information, as usual.

      Based on the way Personas will be implemented in S/4 Cloud, is it likely that Personas will be more seamlessly integrated into S4, also on-premise? Being "built in" and the way you adapt screens (big or small changes), and possible also be part of the technology behind more basic adjustment of existing UI5-apps?

      Wishlist for the roadmap:

      • Responsive design.
        • For me, this is the big one compared to "proper UI5-apps". Have you discussed options for "more responsive" design than current "adaptive screens"? I realize the challenges but somehow being able to create rules for device type Mobile, Tablet & Desktop within Personas (just as UI5-apps are labelled/supported) and then having screen elements be responsive within that device type? Buttons, spacing etc. being relative in size and position within a device-type but then setting the bigger changes of behavior on the device-types? A centered button looks better than one that is slightly off 🙂
      • Admin-transaction
        • Any updates coming to the admin-transactions? Compared to the rest of personas (flavor/script editor), it's a bit buggy and complex. Also some functionality is overlapping with the flavor-editor (role assignment eg) and I have experienced conflicts with this.
      • Evolving "UI5 applets" to make it easier.
        • As a non-technical person, UI5-applets seems to be out of my reach. Any plans on making it easier to use features from UI5 such as "drawers" (minimize/maximise), Convert to "UI5-lists" instead of ALV, etc?
      Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel
      Peter Spielvogel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Per,

      Thanks for the suggestions. We will evaluate them for feasibility.

      For now, we plan to keep SAP Screen Personas as an add-on. This process works today for both ECC and SAP S/4HANA.

      Regards,
      Peter

      Author's profile photo Tamas Hoznek
      Tamas Hoznek

      Hi Per,

      Regarding the Admin transaction: I'm interested in your opinion what do you think should be made less complex. If you can explain where do you see that the current application needs improvement, that would help in making it easier to use.

      Also, you mention that it is "buggy". Could you please be more specific where did you find bugs? We certainly want to fix what is not working as it should.

      As for overlapping functionality between the browser client (flavor editor) and the Admin transaction while assigning flavors, that is intended and should work as designed. There are certain things that a flavor developer or even a power user can do when determining what a user or user group (role) can access, and an administrator who is not necessarily working with the browser client certainly needs to have such assignment capability. Thus, there will be some overlapping functionality between the two different angles. Again, we would like to hear what conflicts did you have while using them.

      Lastly, as Peter said, thank you for your suggestions. we will certainly take them into consideration while planning the next improvements for the tool.

      Author's profile photo Per Lundh
      Per Lundh

      Hi Tamas,

      Well, mainly I just feel that the web-interface is a joy to use when it comes to assigning to roles/users, uploading images, managing flavors, setting defaults etc. I was just curious if more features where planned to move into here from the admin-transaction (setting company colors, delete permanently, assign theme to flavor etc.) I however realize the admin-transaction is more complex and is also based to traditional GUI-layout/functions.

      Regarding functions, this is some that came to my mind:

      • Show the list of Flavors, Themes etc. as default without restriction to "25 hits". Changing to "All hits" and then clicking search does not seem like 2022 and HANA-speed 🙂
      • Auto-adjust width of columns. This might be specific to me but the column width in for example "company colors" was hiding one field which got me confused for a couple of hours first time.

      Not ideal but I don't have a good list of detailed bugs. I've just experienced some glitches over the years but I do believe most of them has already been fixed. Some things I remember:

      • Could not do "Delete Permenantly". Object locked somehow - fixed with update to SP13
      • I had problems uploading icons using zip-file. There was some popup with a "plus" that was not working. (years ago and now the import-interface looks different)
      • Had problems/errors when trying to delete many icons at once. I believe the "Select All"-button only selected the 50 hits displayed in the current view of the table.

      Conflicts web-interface/admin-transaction. Both of these are in "SAP CAL 1809"-system and it unfortunately runs SP12. However, this system is not so important and I've found work arounds.

      • Flavor assignment to user/role will not show in admin-transaction, only in web-interface.
      • Not a conflict but not being able to upload images in web-interface, only in admin-transaction.
      Author's profile photo Per Lundh
      Per Lundh

      Another question regarding the roadmap. Will Slipstream continue to be supported and developed? In notes 3069276 and 3071554 it is described that SAP recommends SAPGUI for HTML and Personas.

      In my experience, Personas-flavors works a lot better in Slipstream and there are also functional differences. With slipstream, you can add buttons to the top-menu, device preview etc.

      Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel
      Peter Spielvogel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Per,

      Yes, we are continuing to invest in Slipstream Engine. For mobile phones, this is the only supported way to display transactions.

      For other scenarios, here is a table to help you determine whether to use SAP GUI for HTML or Slipstream Engine.
      https://blogs.sap.com/2021/07/01/choosing-slipstream-engine-or-web-gui-to-render-sap-screen-personas-flavors-on-mobile-devices/

      Regards,
      Peter