SAP S/4HANA System Conversion: bye bye SAPGui, welcome to SAP Business Client and SAP Fiori Mobile App

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SAP S/4HANA System Conversion: bye bye SAPGui, welcome to SAP Business Client and SAP Fiori Mobile App

Sergio Ferrari | Aug 30, 2019

It is well known that SAP Fiori is the User Experience (UX) for SAP S/4HANA. Compared to SAP ECC, the expectations are high but, at times, the fear of trying new things scares who is in charge of the end user support and change management.

In our S4H Landing Qualified Partner packaged solution, we included our proven approach: we believe it is the foundation for future enhancements that will support a gradual shift from the old (SAPGui) to the new User Experience. We developed it to best fit each desired transition speed.

But let's talk about it more in detail with our UX expert, Fabio Di Micco.

Hi Fabio, would you like to introduce yourself?

Hi Sergio, thanks for inviting me on this SAP S/4HANA Conversion blog series. I am an SAP Consultant since around 20 years, passionate with UX and early adopter of BSP, Adobe Interactive Forms, Web Dynpro for ABAP even with Adobe Flash Islands, Neptune - and obviously, SAP Fiori. I am used to working with WebIDE and even more with the incredible powerful CDS annotations.

In the System Conversions context, I love working in the UX Lead role.

Which front-end technologies do you usually propose for SAP S/4HANA end-users?

At Techedge, we have a clearly defined strategy and we love to propose the following front-end technologies:

  • SAP Business Client for Desktop for professional users running an MS Windows PC
  • modern Web Browsers (e.g. Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox) for occasional users or those using a Mac OS or Linux
  • SAP Fiori Mobile App (iOS/Android) to support specific tasks like approvals and KPI monitoring

Interesting! Let's focus on SAP Fiori Mobile App, which are the available capabilities?

SAP Fiori Mobile App well supports the login process, the SAP Fiori LaunchPad and Fiori Apps, Embedded Analytics and the possibility to scan of the barcode.

On the other hand, it doesn't support off-line scenarios or Push Notifications. These require specific developments leveraging also capabilities of SAP Cloud Platform or those provided by Neptune Software.

Is SAP Business Client for Desktop as fast as SAPGui for Windows?

Yes - with the latest version (>7.0) I would say that it is really comparable.

SAP Business Client installation is on top to SAPGui that is still there, just hidden. The only difference is about the SAP Business Client shell, that looks like modern Web Browsers with a Tab approach and the Search field always available. This means you can move tabs, pin them to be reopened at each new login, set the full-screen option, define the font size, set your favourites and define the Fiori Theme of preference.

You can open the SAPGui directly from the SAP Business Client inheriting the same SAPGui theme, for example choosing the “SAP Theme Default Color” to recognise your production system. Thanks to the new bar in SAP Business Client for Desktop you can also search for transactions, using the code or description.

SAP Business Client for Desktop is amazing but, unfortunately, is only available in MS Windows - not in Mac OS, neither in Linux.

If you're interested in learning more, I suggest to check out this interesting blog post by SAP on SAP Business Client 7.0.

Fabio, why do you suggest using SAP Business Client for Desktop instead of a simple Web Browser?

Speaking about Module Pool and Reports, the performances are much higher - that's why I recommend to use the SAP Business Client for Desktop instead of Web Browser. In addition, a more comfortable integration with MS Office applications is available. That is basically due to the still limited performance and usability of the GUI for HTML (WebGUI) compared to the SAPGui.

In a few words, SAP Business Client for Desktop uses the SAP Fiori LaunchPad as entry-point (first screen/Home-page), runs very well any SAP Fiori App but it also launches SAPGui internally for the old-styled transactions.

Any notable UX project you would like to share with us?

Well, we're working on a lot of interesting stuff here - but I am particularly proud of a couple of tiny and elegant SAP Fiori Apps we developed recently:

  • Launch SAP Easy Access, missing in the standard SAP system, that proposes an approach via App Finder, we suggest to include our Fiori App into the SAP Fiori LaunchPad Home page of each end-user, so that he/she can easily open his/her “dear old SAP Enjoy menu” even with their important collection of Favorites
  • Launch Remote Fiori LaunchPad, our Fiori App hat allows to jump easily into a remote SAP S/4HANA system.

We noted that our Fiori Apps reduce so much the training efforts and the time spent with the App Finder.

In addition, they considerably reduce the effort of the UX Lead and the User Profile manager required to re-engineer the custom menus and user’s favourites into Fiori LaunchPad Catalogues and Groups.

SAP Fiori LaunchPad - What's so interesting about it?

End-users really like SAP Fiori LaunchPad since it's similar to the way they use their smartphones.  It's one of the most appreciated new features of SAP S/4HANA, where end-users can also find Analytics Tiles with KPI and multi-dimensional reporting, along with the wonderful SAP Fiori search (Enterprise Search) that makes SAP similar to the Google Search engine. 

We recorded professional training videos to help our customer end-user community to use also advanced features (e.g. easy personalization, hiding or moving tiles, user settings) as well as the My Inbox Fiori App.

Last question: what's your favorite SAP Fiori theme?

The best themes are surely SAP Fiori Belize and SAP Fiori Belize Deep (Dark version).

An interesting thing to note is that the Belize theme, until SAP GUi 7.5, was using text instead of icons. In the end, it was comfortable for occasional users but not for professional ones. Also, specific training was required. For these reasons, at that time, we were always suggesting to use the Blue Crystal theme.

Fortunately, with SAPGui 7.6 the Belize theme reintroduced the Toolbar Icon... and is now my favorite Fiori theme.

Can’t wait for the upcoming SAP Fiori 3.0!

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