Updated: Dec 8, 2020
When SAP launched SAP R/3 in year 1992 with user interface, it was the revolution as it announced the end of classical green screens for interface. SAP very quickly came to dominate these early years of client-server computing. Though SAP undergone several version revisions, including a major change in 2004 with the launch of SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), the SAP user interface remained largely untouched for many years.
SAP changed UI with web portals through their NetWeaver technologies in the early to mid-2000s, but with little take up of the technology. It was not really until S/4HANA arrived on the scene in 2015 with its free-to-use web based user experience, Fiori, that the SAP user interface was dragged into the 21st century. Let's have a look at this various UI in this blog-
SAP Graphical User Interface is a full-form for SAP GUI. This is the part of presentation layer of a classical SAP structure.
Access to the SAP system is done via the SAP Logon, which users use to select the required system. In the second step, the interface display, where user enters the desired client, their user name and their password in order to log in.
To access different business process or navigation could be done using either SAP Menu tree or transaction codes. Every transaction has a unique code.
It presents end users with a seamless integration of classic SAP GUI-based transactions and newly developed applications based on Web Dynpro ABAP.
The desktop version of SAP NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) 5.0 has a modern and simple look and feel, and implements an easy-to-use, web-browser-like user experience coupled with easy navigation and a focus on content (tabbed browsing).
The use of GUI & NWBC depends on the requirement. If the user accesses only the SAP system and no web-based applications are used, SAP GUI is preferred.
When the user has both SAP system and web-based application, it is recommended to use NetWeaver Business Client.
Fiori delivers a modern, visual user experience for SAP that differs from the linear, menu-driven SAP GUI.
Unlike GUI, it lets users to start tasks on one device and complete them on another.
SAP Fiori provides multiple role-based applications like HR, Manufacturing, Finance, Procurement etc. When you open the SAP Fiori home page application, you will see a picture of the flowers. It is because Fiori means ‘flowers’ in Italian.
SAP Fiori apps are divided into three categories. They are distinguished on the basis of their function and infrastructure requirement.
Transactional Apps- Transactional apps let you perform transactional tasks, such as creating a PO or approving it. They present simplified views and let you interact with existing business processes and solutions.
Fact sheets- Facts sheet display Master Data or Business Documents in display mode. Fact sheets are called from other apps like Analytical apps by using app-to-app navigation in Fiori Launchpad. Also you can search master data or business documents like google search.
Analytical Apps- Analytical apps have another name as SAP Smart Business or Smart Business Cockpit. This apps are used to provide role-based real time information about the business operations. It provides real time information from large volume of data in front-end web browser.
Characteristic of SAP User Experience-
Role-Based − Users have access to only those applications, where they need to perform their task. The applications are specific to completing their task.
Responsiveness − When SAP Fiori is combined with the power of SAP HANA, it provides an unmatched application response and query executions time.
Simple − To make SAP Fiori simple to match the user demand, SAP has designed it as a 1-1-3 scenario. This means 1 user, 1 use case and 3 screens.
Coherent − The application are developed with a coherent structure. All application speak the same language, and can be implemented in multiple landscapes and environments.
Instant Value − Instant value through a low adoption barrier, both on IT-system side and on User-adoption side.
While SAP GUI requires clicking on a series of menus to accomplish anything, FIORI works more by touch.
FIORI lets users start tasks on one device and complete them on another. Architecturally, Fiori also enables the more fluid and easily connected universe of RESTful APIs.
When simple and effective UX of FIORI combined with S/4 HANA, it becomes a faster and powerful tool for transaction as well as report execution.
So, this was our little try to explain different UIs of SAP application. Stay tuned for exploring S/4 HANA world with us.