Not Working? Better Work It: How to Make SAP Sexy
For decades, SAP GUI was the only interface available for working in SAP. In comparison to modern applications on smartphones and tablets, today SAP GUI has all the charm of a character-based operating system of the late ‘80s. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to keep SAP GUI around; even today, power users seem to really love the old interface.
At first, the advent of web technologies didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the SAP environment. Later on, SAP WebDynpro was offered for web-based access. However, WebDynpro became popular mainly with occasional users; power users continued to work with good old SAP GUI. Because of this, almost all customer-specific developments and adaptations to in-house business processes were developed for SAP GUI.
With the widespread availability of smartphones today, however, user demands are changing. Today’s users are used to handling simple tasks with apps – whether they want to work on the go, at different locations, while they’re on a business trip, or even in the evening. The graphic design of SAP GUI simply wasn’t built for this kind of use, let alone for external access to company networks.
SAP GUI applications were programmed with ABAP, a development language only rarely taught at universities. SAP needed to keep up not only with technological advancements, but with demographic change as well – the new interface SAP U15 / Fiori is the result.
Fiori brought elementary changes to the SAP design concept and to access parameters. These changes were made based on the following criteria, among others:
- Role-based – Every user sees only the information which is truly relevant for their role and necessary for their tasks
- Responsive – access to SAP is available from all kinds of devices (incl. smartphones and tablets) with the same user experience
- Simple – the complexity of large-scale SAP transactions is divided across multiple apps
Overall, this concept makes the interfaces more attractive and designed for modern screens, like the programs users are familiar with from cell phone apps or modern desktop apps.
Bigger Fun Factor
At EASY, we’ve been excited about this new design concept since SAP Fiori came out, and we’ve already started to develop our SAP-based solutions to work with SAP Fiori. You can already create interfaces in SaP Fiori with the push of a button using nextPCM Process2Design (the function is also still available through SAP WebDynpro as well). nextPCM Contract Management will be available as a SAP Fiori app soon, and we are currently working on implementing all file functionalities in SAP Fiori.
This means that SAP interfaces and EASY solutions can grow together, making it even more fun to map document-based business processes in SAP than ever before.
Many customers have asked us whether they will need to use the cloud for these new features. The answer is no. All functions are also available in purely on-premises installations.