Fiori is free! What are the next steps…?
Fiori offers business users a simple, easy to use experience for SAP software functions and works seamlessly on desktop, tablet and smart phone. The clean user interface will make the business users love SAP again, so what is required to implement?
Fiori is definitely not a plug and play solution – speak to any basis consultant that has implemented it. One challenge is that the original Fiori apps were released in May 2013, were re-released again in November 2013 with a new front end architecture – making understanding installation and various OSS notes complex to get to grips with.
Here I provide a brief architectural overview, and some key considerations for implementation. Fiori will likely require you to install additional software add-ons and infrastructure – and depending on which applications (which are grouped in waves) you require will determine your implementation time frame. Make sure you have bought your technical colleagues some coffee.
Note: Fiori has a number of application types: Transactional, Analytical, Fact sheets and SAP Smart Business (the last three types are only available if your underlying database is HANA).
High Level Architecture:
The following is a typical Fiori landscape:
The key software components are:
- ABAP Front End Server – which contains the SAP NW Gateway 2.0, the UI Add-ons for the various products you are enabling e.g. ERP, CRM, SRM etc.
- ABAP Back End – your business suite server which has the fiori extensions for talking to the gateway server.
While it is possible to install all of these components on your back-end ERP system (termed Embedded deployment) the more likely scenario is when the front end is installed on its own separate server (Central Hub).
Steps to consider for your Fiori implementation
- Which Landscape (deployment) option will you be following? Central Hub or Embedded?
- Which of the Fiori applications do you want to expose? This will obviously depend on your deployed solutions and architecture – you HANA don’t you? J Here is a list of all the Fiori applications available – http://help.sap.com/fiori_bs2013/helpdata/en/ba/954353a531e647e10000000a441470/frameset.htm
- What versions is your business suite currently running on? This will determine which application combinations are possible.
- Do you require access to Fiori apps when not in your corporate offices (think remote users)? If so you will likely need to implement some type of reverse proxy and secure the communication layer (VPN, SSL etc).
- Will the Fiori apps work using your current configuration or will you need to enhance or extend how the applications to work? You will need specialist technical skills because this is a non-trivial task.
- If possible send one of your technical colleagues on the Fiori training course – SAPXO3 although when I checked the curriculum there were no classes sheduled to run in South Africa – cost is R17,200.00
Other alternatives to consider
While SAP does not charge for Fiori, they do have a SAP Fiori RDS offer which may be suited for organisations that have allocated significant budget.
Specialist mobility partners like Barnstone, provide managed mobility solutions and abstract some of the complexity away from your core ERP environment. We also recommend using mobility development specialists and basis consultants that have experience in installing Fiori as well as looking at tools like Neptune Software to help you deliver Fiori like applications in days rather than weeks.
The following are set of additional resources to help with your Fiori implementation:
- Embedded Hub Deployment restrictions – SAP Note 1830198
- List of current Fiori Applications
- Technical blog showing all steps of implementing Fiori app
- SAP User experience community
Need even more information? visit the BPSE blog for more articles of what the south african office is developing.