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Digital Transformation
SAP Fiori Apps: The Whys and Therefores – an Introduction

SAP Fiori Apps: The Whys and Therefores – an Introduction

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It could all be so easy - and it is: with SAP Fiori apps. SAP systems used to shine with many functions and little usability. Since 2013, SAP has been relying on the Fiori design concept and making it the foundation of its user interface (UI) strategy. This means that in the future, all SAP user interfaces will be based on Fiori and Fiori is already standard for SAP S/4HANA. This blog article is aimed at Fiori newbies and focuses on the basic framework as well as the advantages of SAP Fiori.

Clever design makes a product understandable which means that its use is self-explanatory. Classic design rules follow scientific findings on intuitive information processing, and the SAP Fiori design guidelines are also based on this. What is best of all is that the user requirements are at the heart of Fiori applications.

This is because Fiori apps provide only the functions and data that users need to successfully complete a task within their role, such as invoice approval. The SAP Fiori design guidelines create a consistent user experience (UX) that is based on the familiar look and feel of smartphones and tablets.

Target group for SAP Fiori apps

An intuitive and simple operation is of benefit to all users. In the case of Fiori apps, target groups that work with SAP on an occasional basis benefit the most. The mobile apps seamlessly close manual system gaps. There are quite a few examples of use cases in this regard, such as disruptions in production that need to be recorded, document releases, requirement coverage requests, status overviews, and many more.

The five principles of SAP Fiori

Leonardo da Vinci was right when he said that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This is what SAP Fiori apps also strive for and therefore rely on the following five principles.

  1. Role-based: task-related
    Complexity is broken down into subunits because a role-based approach mainly implies a focused approach. Fiori apps only provide functions that are necessary to successfully process a use case.
  2. Adaptable: responsive, adaptive web design
    Be it desktop, tablet or smartphone, Fiori apps automatically adjust to the respective user interface: device-independent.
  3. Coherent: consistent & appealing
    The SAP Fiori guidelines provide a standardized interface design. As a result, users will enjoy the same user experience, find their way around quickly, and be able to focus on using the app.
  4. Simple: the 1-1-3 scenario of SAP Fiori
    A Fiori app is limited to what is really necessary and follows the 1-1-3 scenario of SAP Fiori: one user and one use case on a maximum of three screens. The focus is on the results of the user experience and not on the functions.
  5. Convenient: intuitive
    The application establishes an intuitive connection to the user and thereby ensures self-explanatory operation.

The development environment: SAPUI5 framework and the like

Fiori apps are principally developed using the SAPUI5 framework, which is based on HTML5 and JavaScript - a widespread standard on the Internet. The framework clears the way for flexible access to Fiori user interfaces by desktop or mobile devices.

In addition, there is still the option of developing native Fiori mobile apps that are customized for iOS (Apple) or Android. In this case, the Fiori apps are not based on SAPUI5, but on the programming languages of the respective manufacturers. This means, it would also be possible to develop Fiori apps for Apple or Android smartwatches, for example.

The Fiori launchpad – completely personalized

Users access their Fiori apps centrally through a tile display via the SAP Fiori launchpad - similar to the home screen of a smartphone. Depending on their authorization and role, users can arrange, add or remove their apps individually. For example, a buyer can view all Fiori apps in the purchasing area, and a responsible from financial accounting can view the apps in the accounting area.

Graph: Launchpad Demo AFI

Three types of SAP Fiori apps

One Fiori app is not like the other. They are fundamentally divided into three categories. Particularly "transactional Fiori apps" replicating a transaction in SAP can also be used without SAP S/4HANA. The other two types of Fiori require the HANA database to fulfill their purpose.

  1. Transactional Fiori apps (create, change, display, post)
    As the name suggests, these apps perform typical SAP transactions, such as creating a purchase order, posting or changing an invoice.

    → Transactional apps work in both SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP systems.
  2. Analytical Fiori apps (visual display, KPIs, metrics)
    These Fiori apps provide real-time analysis of relevant business data, visualized through graphs, charts or dashboards, for example.

    → Analytical Fiori apps only work using SAP S/4HANA, as they rely on the SAP HANA database.
  3. Fact Sheets Fiori apps (fact sheets, contextual information)
    Fact Sheets Fiori apps enable searching for business objects such as fact sheets or terms of contract.

    → Fact Sheet's Fiori apps only work on SAP S/4HANA, as they rely on the enterprise search of the SAP HANA database.

Standard Fiori apps

SAP provides basic templates for developing your own apps as well as several thousand standard apps in the Fiori App Reference Library. It is important to carefully check which Fiori apps are relevant, especially when companies migrate to SAP S/4HANA. Currently, SAP even delivers best practices that are suggested in the readiness check during an SAP S/4HANA conversion. Up to 100 Fiori apps can become relevant.


Fiori applications provide many benefits

Since the user interface of Fiori apps is the same on all devices, SAP companies save costs and gain productivity.

  • More productive and satisfied staff
    Working with SAP is significantly easier and more convenient. User errors are reduced. The standardized user experience leads to faster acceptance of new processes as well as higher productivity.
  • Reduced training costs
    Training costs are reduced due to the self-explanatory use of Fiori apps.
  • Fast and easy implementation as well as low support effort
    It is no longer necessary to maintain multiple device versions because Fiori applications run on all end devices - stationary or mobile.
  • Efficient and individual process support
    Authorizations are role-based, so that users only see the apps that are relevant to their area of responsibility. In addition, the user interfaces of the Fiori apps can be easily adjusted to individual preferences.
  • Flexible use everywhere
    Fiori applications run on all end devices - stationary or mobile. As part of this process, Fiori apps adjust flexibly to the respective screen sizes.
  • Customizable
    The user interfaces of Fiori apps can be adjusted to individual requirements, so that only certain information is displayed in the app.

Which SAP Fiori apps does AFI Solutions provide for your document processes?

  • AFI Invoice Release App: release made easy
    The AFI Invoice Release App is a Fiori app for the release of invoices. Fiori MyInbox provides for direct and easy release and thereby eliminates the double maintenance of users in the workflow. Result: less administrative effort, full integration in SAP and use of the SAP standard authorization concept.
  • Order and Invoice Analytics App: predictive data
    With the Fiori analytics apps for incoming purchase orders and invoices, companies can focus on internal processes and customer trends at an early stage. The analytics tool allows targeted evaluations, the determination of KPIs, and extensive graphical analyses. For more information please refer to our release news.
  • AFI Invoice Communicator App
    The Communicator App permits quick agreements with the vendor, e.g. regarding incorrect invoice totals. It provides e-mail templates that can be sent directly to the vendor in different languages - including attachments.
  • Price Variance App for incoming order confirmations
    The Fiori Price Variance App for incoming order confirmations allows price variances to be resolved quickly and directly. If there are price variances in an order confirmation, the purchasing team starts an approval workflow directly from the AFI solution. This ends up in the hands of the requester through the Fiori app, for example. The requester opens the app and can either approve or reject the new price.

Less is more, as SAP has already proven with the Fiori design concept. The apps make professional life with SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP easier because they take over selected functions within the overall system and ensure more flexible use. With Fiori apps, everyone works with SAP in a faster, more convenient and clear manner.

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