SAP Fiori Update: More Products with Horizon, Entry Point strategy, UX news for SAP S/4HANA and More
We continue to execute on our strategy to provide users with an intuitive, seamless user experience. Read about our strategy and latest innovations for our web and mobile entry points, and look at how further products are adopting Horizon: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and SAP S/4HANA; SAP Sales Cloud; SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement and SAP SuccessFactors. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition has some significant enhancements: auto-generated spaces and pages, reducing administration efforts here to almost zero, plus some cool new enhancements to the new My Home page, collaboration, and user assistance. Finally, we have some updates for you on mobile UX and UI technologies.
Content of this blog post:
- Entry point strategy and product news.
- Horizon in further products:
- SAP SuccessFactors.
- SAP Sales Cloud.
- SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement.
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and SAP S/4HANA.
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2302 UX updates.
- Mobile UX updates.
- UI technology updates.
To see other products which already have Horizon, have a look at these two blog posts:
- SAP Fiori Evolution: Horizon Now Generally Available in UI Technologies and Some Products, showing
- SAP Service Cloud.
- SAP Mobile Start.
- SAP mobile apps.
- SAP Business Technology Platform: UI technologies for web and mobile, profile page.
- SAP Fiori Update: Major Horizon Next Steps Available Now – SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 and More, showing
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.
- Further SAP Service Cloud examples.
- These products also have Horizon today:
- SAP Integrated Business Planning.
- SAP Marketing Cloud.
Entry point strategy and product news
Our strategy is to provide an intuitive, simple yet powerful entry point in the web, complemented by a native mobile entry point, to be able to access all business applications used by a user. As announced at SAP TechEd in November, we are consolidating our web offerings into one platform with three levels of capabilities for you to choose from, based on SAP Build Work Zone. These are:
- SAP Start: built on the SAP Build Work Zone foundations, SAP Start (currently in beta) provides a central home page for SAP (Public) Cloud solutions. Our goal is to make this available out of the box to every user who has access to at least one public cloud product from SAP.
- SAP Build Work Zone, standard edition (formally SAP Launchpad service): Gives customers the flexibility to provide further options for accessing applications, and supports integration to cloud and on-premise systems.
- SAP Build Work Zone, advanced edition (formally SAP Work Zone) extends the standard edition by empowering business users to build and publish site content, mashup unstructured content with business data, and leverage premium pre-packaged SAP content.
SAP Mobile Start provides access via mobile devices to all three of the above.
In addition to providing a central entry point across our portfolio, each SAP product provides its own entry point (also known as a start page or a home page), for users who only or mainly use that product. Later in this post you’ll see examples from SAP SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.
The design approach: push relevant information to users
Rather than providing a fairly static entry point with links and tiles for launching applications, our design approach is to proactively inform users about what needs their attention. The essence of this is already provided by SAP Start, namely:
- ToDos: cards showing the ToDos or tasks a user needs to attend to – provided by the SAP Task Center.
- Interest Cards: cards recommended by the system, showing relevant business information for each user – in other words tailored to the role(s) a user has. Hence a sales manager may see information relevant for sales, but also information relevant for a manager, such as onboarding status for new hires, or a project staffing watchlist.
- Notifications: alerts and notifications from all the business products a user has access to, in one place.
- Search: quick access to your most recently opened apps via a drop-down list, and fast search of all apps available to you.
We already followed this design direction with SAP Mobile Start, and now we bring this to the web – not only in our central entry points, but also increasingly in our product-specific home pages too. Later in this post you can look at updates for the home pages of SAP SuccessFactors and of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.
The next three figures show this design direction applied to the three levels of web central entry point.
SAP Build Work Zone, standard edition gives customers flexibility, with some powerful new features now available (the new features are currently in beta):
- Integration with cloud and on-premise systems.
- Sections for application tiles.
- Supports custom shell extensions: adding custom icons and functions to the shell header bar.
- New (in beta): Flexible workpage builder for creating local pages (as opposed to importing pages from back-end systems). This is shown in Figure 5 further down below.
- New (in beta): Customers can define a navigation menu for accessing remote and local pages.
- New (in beta): Custom business apps and UI cards can be integrated into the pages.
An example of the kind of page and navigation structure you can create is shown in Figure 3 below.
SAP Build Work Zone, advanced edition gives customers even more flexibility, and also empowers business users to define their own interactive workspaces. On top of the standard edition, it offers:
- An extended menu builder.
- User engagement with interactive workspaces.
- Blending of SAP and 3rd-party apps, business data and web content into a unified experience.
- Integration to a company-wide knowledge base.
- Pre-built business content packages – for example for SAP SuccessFactors.
An example of the kind of page and navigation structure you can create is shown in Figure 4 below.
Perhaps the most significant new feature in the advanced edition is the new Workpage builder, which gives users a visual page editor with a six column grid layout, with a no-code drag & drop experience for placing tiles, cards and widgets chosen from a catalog – and which ensures a consistent user experience across the home page and workspaces. Customers can leverage UI integration cards to surface business data, which is made available then in the catalog for users to place on their pages. The editor is shown in Figure 5.
Check out these blog posts for more information about SAP Build Work Zone:
- SAP Build Work Zone: SAP’s no-code offering for building business sites
- Welcome, Workpage in Work Zone
Horizon available in further products
We continue to extend the number of products supporting our new Horizon visual theme. To find out more about the benefits of Horizon, and its availability in our UI technologies, and in our products, have a look at these blog posts:
- SAP Fiori Evolution: Horizon Now Generally Available in UI Technologies and Some Products
- SAP Fiori Update: Major Horizon Next Steps Available Now – SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 and More
Below, we’ll have a look at Horizon in:
- SAP SuccessFactors
- SAP Sales Cloud
- SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and SAP S/4HANA
Horizon in SAP SuccessFactors
With the availability of the 2H2022 release last year, most of the highest usage features in SAP SuccessFactors have been updated in Horizon. These capabilities are now fully available in the following product areas:
- Home Page (see Figure 6)
- People Profile
- Organizational Chart
- Dynamic Teams
- SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding
- SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace (see Figure 7)
- SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking
- Global Page Header
We have worked to integrate the Horizon visual design with existing custom theming in a manner that minimizes customer adoption effort and any unexpected impacts. You can continue with the custom themes you’re using today – no themes are overwritten or retired.
To find out more, have a look at:
Look for more great content coming this year!
Horizon in SAP Sales Cloud
SAP Sales Cloud has been modernized: not only with the new Horizon theme, also the usability has been brought up to best-in-class, along with providing intelligent guidance for users to get their job done best. Users benefit from:
- Visually engaging contextual information such as an engagement history and key insight.
- Guided experience with ML-driven recommendations to complete the next best task to do.
- Seamless experience from desktop to mobile.
Figures 8 and 9 show desktop examples for Guided Selling and opportunity details, Figure 10 shows some examples on a mobile phone.
You can also have a look at this two-minute video explaining how the product team used our user centric approach, which includes focusing on inclusive design right from the start, to come up with the UX examples shown throughout:
Horizon in SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement
SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement has also invested in updating its user experience – not only with the new Horizon theme:
- New components have been introduced, such as the redesigned Dialog component, the Illustrated Message component and the Password Input component.
- New features have been added to existing components, such as adding beginning and end date filters to our Datagrid component, adding the ability to manually confirm the selection in our Date-Time Picker component, adding “cozy” and “compact” spacing options to Tab Bar and Action List, and more.
- Inclusive design is a focus for all of our products, and SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement is continuously expanding the list of keyboard accessible components, most recently supporting Rule Builder, Emoji Picker, Color Picker, Dialog, and more.
Horizon in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and SAP S/4HANA
Horizon was made available as a pre-view version with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and SAP S/4HANA 2022 last year, as outlined in this blog post:
Now we have completed testing and collecting feedback, and are on track to make Horizon generally available with Feature Pack Stack 1 (FPS01), currently planned for February 22nd, 2023. To get an impression of what it looks like, have a look at the above blog post, or watch this demo video of both Morning Horizon and Evening Horizon in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208, which looks the same as it appears with FPS01.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2302 UX updates
With this release we continue to bring improvements for business users, as well as an important improvement for administrators. The highlights I’ll be introducing below are:
- Spaces and Pages out of the box – new default, all key roles supported.
- New card types and features for the new My Home
- New collaboration capabilities.
- Improved user assistance: help for Classic UI fields, and new Quick Tour.
- Improved information density.
- Further improvements in design and usability.
Spaces and Pages out of the box – new default, all key roles supported
We are continuously listening to feedback from our customers and end users in order to improve the UX, especially the experience when first entering the product. For this reason, we introduced spaces and pages to the SAP Fiori launchpad to replace the classic home page: to give customers the ability to tailor the entry page experience to the needs of their users. Most recently we introduced the new My Home page as further significant improvement, which requires spaces and pages to be used instead of the classic home page.
The feedback to spaces and pages has been very positive from a user perspective, but our customers’ administrators have requested a way to reduce their efforts by giving them the option to use out-of-the-box space and page definitions for users who have been assigned SAP-provided roles. I’m pleased to say that this is now available with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2302.
You can significantly reduce your effort in setting up the SAP Fiori launchpad with spaces and pages now, by assigning SAP-delivered spaces and pages directly to roles rather than having to define your own spaces and pages. You don’t need to copy the SAP-delivered spaces and pages anymore if you work with SAP-provided catalogs or with roles that are based on SAP-provided roles. Together with the mass change options in the Maintain Business Roles app this allows a faster move from the classic home page to the spaces and pages layout.
With the 2302 release we have also introduced SAP-delivered spaces for the employee and administrator roles (SAP_BR_EMPLOYEE and SAP_BR_ADMINISTRATOR).
If users have multiple roles, and hence more than one space made visible to them, the spaces are sorted in a meaningful way, putting related topics near each other. We have used the overarching SAP taxonomy, the Business Capability Model, to guide the sort order.
As a result of the above, we have now made spaces and pages the default for all new SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition systems.
Note that SAP-delivered spaces can’t be edited by administrators but can be personalized by users (if the administrator has enabled personalization). They can be updated by SAP, for example when providing new apps for a given role.
Now that you can use SAP-delivered spaces and pages, we have now also enabled the integration of these SAP-delivered spaces and pages with SAP Build Work Zone: content exposure is now enabled for these spaces and pages too.
New card types and features for the new My Home page
With the 2302 release we bring several improvements to the new My Home page. Perhaps the most significant is the ability to add list and table cards to the insights section. These can be added from an overview page, but we also offer a completely new capability: users can create table cards themselves, which have not been delivered by SAP in overview pages. They can do this from any SAP Fiori elements based list report application that uses a responsive table for the list, by setting the filters as needed, and placing the card in the insights section of the My Home page.
We also bring new functionality to all cards on the My Home page: users can directly view the applied filters and also navigate to the application from which the card was created. Cards also support semantic dates and provide a refresh option if users have updated their default values.
The Pages section has been enhanced: the name of the space in which the page is to be found is shown as a subtitle now.
Users now have further personalization options:
- There is an expand mode for each section, to enable a full-screen view of the section – which is particularly useful if a section has a larger number of cards.
- The settings have been consolidated, making it easier to edit sections.
You can see some of these enhancements in Figure 14, and all of them in Video 1 below.
Video 1: Showing all the new features of the My Home page (3 min.).
You can find out more details in this blog post:
New collaboration capabilities
Microsoft Teams Integration
The share as link / share as chat functionality, which was introduced for a limited number of customers participating in the Early Adopter Care program with the 2208 release, is now generally available. Users can share content from SAP Fiori elements apps with other users in Microsoft Teams via chat. This improves efficiency in processes where SAP S/4HANA Cloud users need to collaborate based on the data in the system. Typical cases are approvals, exceptions, and validations. The receiver of the chat can directly launch the SAP S/4HANA Cloud app from Microsoft Teams. If the sender defined filters for the application, for example to select only a few entries in a list, the receiver will have these filters applied, too. This video shows it in action.
An even more powerful way of integrating with Microsoft Teams is by sharing a screen as a tab in a Teams channel. We are giving select customers a chance to try this out before general availability. If you are interested, you can register via the influence page of the Early Adopter Care program.
The share as tab feature is supported by all applications based on SAP Fiori elements in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2302. Users can share their application selection as a tab in a Microsoft Teams channel, so that all other users of the channel who are authorized to use the same application can access the shared application directly in Microsoft Teams. Figure 15 shows what this looks like. You can also see it in action in this one-minute video.
SAP Collaboration Manager in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition
We are introducing a very first version of the SAP Collaboration Manager with the 2302 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, for customers using the three-system landscape. With this first step, some of the person-to-person collaboration features offered by SAP CoPilot in the two-system landscape become available to users in the three-system landscape. As you can see in Figure 16, it allows users to:
- Take notes.
- Chat with other users.
- Upload and share files.
As I mentioned, this is the very first version, we plan to provide further features in upcoming releases. If you have concrete requests for improvements, you can request them via the Continuous Influence Session for SAP S/4HANA Cloud for User Experience and Cross-Topics, public edition.
Improved user assistance: help for Classic UI fields, and new Quick Tour
Classic UIs (SAP GUI for HTML and Web Dynpro ABAP) now also help users with the meaning of individual fields on the screen. This makes it easier for new users to get started with these applications. Users access it via the SAP Companion icon in the shell header, and then via the green help icon next to the field, or by selecting the topic in the list on the right, as shown in Figure 17 below.
The 2302 release brings a new Quick Tour, for applications based on the SAP Fiori elements list report. When users first open any list report application, a Quick Tour is started, giving an overview of the key features:
- Users are shown all the useful features proactively right from the beginning.
- Users see animations immediately, much richer than just showing text and static images.
The Quick Tour is only started proactively once in total, no matter how many different list report applications are used. Users can restart manually via the “help” icon. Figure 18 gives you an impression of what it looks like, and how the embedded animations are immediately visible.
Improved information density
Increasing numbers of users benefit from large, wide screen displays at their desks. As a result, we have received feedback that some of our screens show too much white space when viewed on large screens. In particular, when looking at an object page, only a maximum of four columns of text used to be displayed in the form sections. Now, the maximum has been increased to six, which not only reduces the white space between columns, but also means that the section takes up less vertical space, so that users see more of the application on the screen. Figure 19 shows an example.
Further improvements in design and usability
The details matter for a good user experience, and we continue to work on these with each release. An example of this is the dialog for defining filters on a table, which we have made more intuitive, so users can now grasp the filter criteria immediately, as you can see in the example in Figure 20, showing the same filter definition as it was before, and how it looks now.
You can find out more, and look at another example, in this blog post:
Another nice improvement in detail has been made to object page personalization: tables and charts in object pages provided by SAP Fiori elements have variant management enabled by default. As a result, the table and chart personalization settings can be saved in the corresponding object page views defined by users.
You can find these, and all other improvements, in the
If you want to watch a summary video, along with additional demo videos of the main innovations, have a look at this blog post:
Mobile UX updates
Our mobile apps provide great usability, with the Horizon theme. We build them with our mobile development kits, provided by SAP Business Technology Platform, which means that you can also build great mobile apps easily, with the same look and feel as SAP’s apps – for iOS and Android phones and tablets, as you can see in Figure 21.
You can find out more about SAP Mobile Start and our native mobile apps, which support Horizon, in this blog post:
SAP Service and Asset Manager for Windows
Very recently we have introduced SAP Service and Asset Manager for Windows, our first native Windows mobile app. Find out more in this blog post:
Corporate branding for mobile apps
Now, customers can adapt the Horizon theme for mobile apps to fit their corporate branding – for example by replacing the SAP logo with the company logo, and adapting the colors used on the screen. The UI Theme Designer is a browser-based tool which allows you to define your corporate branding once, and then deploy it your web apps as well as native mobile apps.
For example, with SAP Mobile Start 1.5 and the recently released SAP BTP SDK for iOS 9.0 and SAP BTP SDK for Android 5.1.0 you can apply your UI theme designer definitions also to SAP Mobile Start.
Find out more in these blog posts:
- Branding and Theming for Mobile Applications
- SAP Mobile Start supports UI theme designer based branding
SAP Ariba Shopping app now generally available
The SAP Ariba Shopping app has recently become generally available, for iOS and Android and with the Horizon theme, built using the SAP Fiori SDKs with their Horizon components.
It focuses on the casual buyer with an optimized and personalized shopping experience, giving them a sleek, modern, and efficient mobile app to order items such as their office essentials with only a couple of clicks. Not only that, but the application has a number of built-in key features for providing great usability:
- Dashboard with Kits and Recently Viewed Items.
- Image Search – finding the same or similar items.
- Voice Search – efficient and fast search by saying what you are looking for.
- Sustainability Info – enabling employees to make more sustainable choices.
- Augmented Reality Mode – preview items in your environment.
- Buy Now – the express check-out option to bypass the typical shopping cart process.
Find out more in this blog post:
Further information on mobile
Native mobile apps make sense for those specific use cases where people are always or very often away from their desk as part of their job. To help you better understand for whom the apps are built, we have published persona descriptions for five of them – the last three are the newest ones from November 2022:
- Field Service Technician Persona in SAP Service and Asset Manager
- Inventory Clerk Persona in SAP Service and Asset Manager
- New: SAP Mobile Start for the Treasury Manager
- New: SAP Mobile Start for the Industrial Hygienist and Environmental Engineer
- New: SAP Mobile Start for the Hiring Manager and Temporary Worker
If you are interested in developing your own mobile apps, check out these two blog posts:
- Latest Release: SAP Fiori for Android & iOS – Enrich your mobile experiences with cards, accessibility improvements and more
- What’s new in Mobile development kit client 6.3
UI technology updates
Many of the above new features in applications are enabled by updates to the underlying technology, such as SAPUI5, SAP Fiori elements and our mobile technologies, as well as the UI Theme Designer.
Beyond all those, I would like to highlight this new capability of SAPUI5 flexibility for on-premise and private cloud customers: multi-level adaptation projects. Adaptation projects in SAP Business Application Studio extend SAP’s standard applications and now also extend already-deployed adaptation projects. These are created by SAP (e.g. for industry solutions) or SAP partners. Up until now, customers were not able to adapt these already-deployed adaptation projects themselves. Now this is possible, enabling customers to adapt even more solutions to their needs.
Adaptation projects also have a new capability, allowing developers to preview an adaptation project in a separate browser tab. This enables a stand-alone preview for testing.
If you want to get an overview of recent technology innovations to make your life as a developer easier, I recommend these blog posts which were published in November alongside TechEd, and which contain a lot if helpful links to further details:
- SAP BTP Innovations for an Enhanced Professional Developer Experience – TechEd 2022
- What’s new in SAP Cloud Application Programming Model | SAP TechEd 2022 Edition
- How to use side effects for data-entry apps built with SAP Fiori elements on CAP and on RAP.
Finally, you might want to listen to this year-end podcast:
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this very long blog post!
I am looking forward to hearing from you on the community about your experiences with SAP Fiori. Please continue using the community to share your learnings and best practices, either by posting articles yourselves or via comments on this post. You can also follow me in the community if you want to be notified about further similar updates from me.