Older software solutions from SAP had a reputation of having complex user interfaces and of being inconvenient to use. SAP Fiori provides a technology that offers a completely new orientation for the design and user-friendliness of SAP software.
What is SAP Fiori?
Modern SAP applications such as, for example, the ERP solution SAP S/4HANA offer companies numerous innovative functionalities so as to orient business processes in a way that is suitable for the future. SAP Fiori offers contemporary interface designs and technologies for all these software solutions. The aim is to structure user interfaces to be intuitive and to raise the user experience to a new level. In the best case, SAP applications can be used just as intuitively as is usual for the apps used privately. purposes.
What is the purpose of SAP Fiori?
SAP Fiori brings in a great deal of added value that extend to advantages of SAP software and, in particular, of SAP S/4HANA
Usability & Customizing
SAP Fiori provides a high level of usability for SAP applications through a modern interface. Users are guided in a better way, and primarily in a more goal-oriented way; individual areas can be completely personalized. The tiled look remains the same on all end user devices and thus provide a uniform and consistent design.
The user experience should be substantially rethought since business processes are increasingly being digitized. Furthermore, a successful UX contributes to a higher degree of employee satisfaction resulting in better involvement and binding of the employee
SAP Fiori provides an optimal software environment not only for individuals but also for groups. Teamwork is supported by intuitive interfaces, simple operability, messaging functions as well as the integration of MS teams.
SAP S/4HANA in particular offers a great deal of potential for analyses of large amounts of data in real time. SAP Fiori and its Launchpad simplify queries and provide clear visualizations.
Mobility and Speed
SAP Fiori reduces waiting and transfer times thanks to a high level of usability and mobility. Corporations and employees alike can thus handle tasks even more quickly and from any location.
SAP Fiori provides personalization thanks to role-based access via a browser or the Web, with responsiveness and freedom from barriers. The software creates a device-independent and central portal for SAP applications with open standards, uniform access to SAP functions and personalized designs.
What else does SAP Fiori bring to the table?
Corporations can derive a great many advantages from SAP Fiori. The modern design of the interfaces and optimized user guidance provide greater productivity and reduce the number of errors. Through its device- and browser-independent and personalized design, SAP Fiori reduces the need for training for software and also reduce the amount of time needed to get up to speed.
The improved usability puts users in a position to quickly access the relevant data and to be able to make justifiable decisions on this basis that concern the success of the corporation.
Technological basis of SAP Fiori
In the first instance SAP Fiori concerns the look of SAP applications. Although it is a question of the visual effect for the user, there is a great deal of technology hidden behind SAP Fiori and the corresponding SAP Fiori Apps. Intuitive interfaces and device-independent access options would not be conceivable otherwise.
Interface Technology: SAPUI5
Previous SAP technologies such as SAP GUI, for example, entailed certain restrictions, especially with regard to user-friendliness and when customizing for individual users. Above all, SAPUI5 was developed for this reason: This is the most modern interface technology from SAP; a User Interface Development Toolkit and a UI Framework that is based on Web standards such as HTML, Java or CSS and jQuery. For many developers, entry into the world of SAPUI5 is made easy through well-known languages such as HTML and the like.
SAPUI5 is not used only but also primarily for SAP Fiori apps. The technology is suitable both for desktop-based and mobile applications. Mobile in this case means that apps automatically adapt to the screen size and can adjust the layout of buttons, etc., as required.
The SAP Web IDE development environment was introduced for the production of SAP Fiori apps and applications based on SAPUI5. This online-based environment is part of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (SCP) and is suitable both for initial development as well as for subsequent extensions to the apps.
Despite what its name implies, SAP Fiori is not a separate SAP product and does not involve any extra costs or licensing. It is far more the case that Fiori has been integrated by SAP into the various software applications.
Access Portal: Fiori Launchpad
Many SAP users always work with the same SAP Fiori apps. The Fiori Launchpad was developed by SAP to enable easy access for them. This involves a type of portal or start page for SAPUI5-based developments that is carried out by the client.
After logging in, users see an overview in which the main applications can be arranged by the user. The tiled look of the Fiori Launchpad also makes it possible to make visible the most relevant KPIs at this prominent point. Furthermore, additional links or jump marks to other systems can be set up here. In total, the Fiori Launchpad can be personalized to a high degree and likewise contributes to usability and the user experience.
Backend Technology: OData
While SAPUI5 is responsible for the interface design, OData is used as a Backend technology to structure and program the logic behind all the tiles. Exchanges between various systems can be controlled with the HTTP-based protocol. The technology thus becomes the interface between SAP and non-SAP applications and the relevant associated data. In addition, the data from various systems can be read, amended or deleted. In this way OData links the SAPUI5-based Frontend with the systems in the Backend.
App Development with SAP Fiori
SAP Fiori is not just a design concept for attractive and easily comprehensible user interfaces. It is far more the case that the SAP Fiori design can also be used for the development of applications. The element templates of SAP Fiori, such as buttons or fields, can be integrated into any mobile or responsive app; if desired the design can also be personalized. In this way, five properties that should be applied to each development are retained in the SAP Fiori Design Guidelines. This should avoid unnecessary complexity and establish certain standards.
- Role-based: Users should only be able to access those applications or elements of applications that are relevant for their role. This means that not only is there better control over access rights, but also that interfaces can be designed to be economical and clear.
- Attractive: Use of the app should be fun. Interfaces and user guidance should therefore be intuitively comprehensible and easy to use.
Coherent: Operation and design should be consistent across all applications to enable a high degree of usability.
Flexible: It should be possible to use the applications regardless of the type of device or the size of the screen. The same applies to browsers and operating systems.
Simple: The app should be reduced to its essentials so as to make use of the app as easy as possible.
All the applications that are based on SAP Fiori are listed in the Fiori App Library. These SAP Fiori apps relate to all the application areas of SAP solutions, especially those on SAP S/4HANA as an ERP system. A search function or various filters can be used to find a special Fiori app.
The course of development: from SAP GUI to SAP Fiori and beyond
SAP GUI – the classical SAP user interface
For a long time, SAP Graphical User Interface (SAP GUI) and also WebDynpro were the usual visualization technologies for interfaces in SAP applications. SAP GUI in particular was the predominant tool, so that in SAP ERP the interface was even designated as “SAP GUI.”
Here SAP GUI itself is only responsible for the interface technology and not for the logic behind it or the handling of the relevant data. The interface technology has been regularly updated over many years. In addition, there have been a number of modifications to SAP GUI, such as for Windows and the programming languages HTML and Java.
From SAP GUI to SAP Fiori
However, many users had problems with the interface of SAP GUI – usability was not its strong suit. The technology was also not always able to cope with mobile devices, often resulting in display problems. These deficits have been overcome by SAP Fiori. Mobile apps and devices played a major role in the development of this interface technology in 2013. Operability by the user was also a priority: the interfaces and user guidance were to be simple and intuitive.
SAP Fiori 2.0
SAP Fiori has been further developed several times in the meantime. SAP Fiori 2.0 shone with its new design, which is to be extended to all SAP applications in the course of time. The Launchpad had also been optimized. In accordance with the “Viewport” concept, the view was split into three areas: a personal area, a work area in the middle, and a message area. This means that the user had all the main information available at a glance at any time.
SAP Fiori 3
The design was upgraded once again in SAP Fiori 3 so as to provide an even clearer overview and even greater ease of use in the interfaces and user guidance. A card design can also be used in the Launchpad in addition to the tiled view; the view was revised again and the three-way split of SAP Fiori 2.0 was done away with. The themes are extended as well – here the user profits from a greater choice. In addition, a search function that permits a corporation-wide search through documents has been built in. Items such as transactions, business objects or apps can now be searched for.
Fiori for iOS & Android
Working together with Apple, SAP has put Fiori for iOS on the market to deal with the increasing use of mobile apps. This thus allows applications based on Fiori to be designed for iOS. A primary goal here is to create a design suitable for all users who also profit privately from the usability of Apple apps. Hence Swift was also used for such applications and not SAPU5, but without infringing the Fiori design guidelines. As a result, such apps can also be used on the vast majority of Apple devices.
SAP Fiori can even be used on Android. Apps for Android and also for iOS can be developed with the SAP Software Developer Kit (SDK).