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SAP for Mobile

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Next week mobile movers and shakers will meet at the usual mobile time and at usual mobile place - Mobile World Congress, Mar 2 to 5, 2015, Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain. 

 

For those attending Mobile World Congress 2015 I encourage you to learn how to Run Simple with SAP.  Furthermore, stop by stand 6A30 to experience the SAP vision of “improving people’s lives by unlocking the value of contextual data in a networked society.”  Check out the video below from Rick Costanzo, EVP & General Manager, Telco Industry and Mobility Solutions and hear what he has to say about Unlocking the Value of Context and SAP plans for #MWC15.

 

(And, of course, if you are not attending in-person, follow along at www.sap.com/mwc for live video updates and content.)

 

 

Moreover, The team at SAP has prepared 759 square meters of space for conversations, showcases, demos, meetings and more. We are located in Hall 6, A30 at the  Fira Gran and I encourage you to come by this integrated, innovative showcase to learn how you can run simple with SAP.  In addition to our exhibit area, SAP will take the stage 2 times to share our vision and customer stories. These include the following:

 

mwc speaking sessions.png


But there's more.

 

Yesterday, Ian Thain hosted a CodeTalk with Jim Jaquet and me to talk about what people can expect from SAP at #MWC15. You can watch the replay below.

 

 

Lastly, you can find more information including how to book a tour of our showcases, how to request a complimentary hall pass, how to book a meeting with SAP experts and SAP partners including Accenture, Apigee, Atos Canopy, DigitalRoute, Google, iQuest, Microsoft, Mocana, RBM Technologies, T-Systems and VeliQ at www.sap.com/mwc.

 

Safe travels to all that are headed to #MWC15 and stay tuned for more updates from the show next week!

DROID.. DAndroid_Robot_100.pngROID.” Had robots taken over the office?

 

DROID…DROID.” Would I survive the invasion?

It was 2010, but the voice speaking to me was one I had only heard in sci-fi movies. My workspace had been infiltrated, but no humanoids were present. From where was the sound emanating? The imposing voice spoke again. I leapt from my seat to survey the situation, just as my cube neighbor held up his mobile phone, waving me over to check out a joke his buddy just texted him. How could he be so relaxed during this forthcoming assault? As I approached him, I heard the voice again. This time, I also saw his phone light up, signaling that another text had arrived!Android for Work device-2015-02-16-161605.png


Droid (more specifically Android) growth has been on a tear for several years. As these devices became popular, consumers (like my coworker) started bringing them to the workplace. First they wanted to access the basics - their professional email, contacts and calendar. Then they started asking for more such as corporate apps that could boost their productivity and enable them to get their job done better – anytime, from anywhere. However, the much beloved diversity and choice associated with the Android OS also became a challenge for corporate IT managers and security professional tasked with safeguarding corporate data. And frankly, even when these workers brought their own devices to the job, they didn’t want IT controlling their personal data.


Things are about to change. This week Google formally announced Android for Work, a program that brings together OEMs and other technology partners to harness the power of Android for the enterprise and to support mobile adoption in the workplace.  It’s all about enhanced security with a dedicated and managed work profile that is isolated from personal apps, simplified management and an open platform for innovation. SAP is excited to partner with Google on this “game changing” initiative, which fulfills the needs of our customers who are looking for a simple and secure way to support Android. With several hundred Android-based enterprise mobile apps, we’re already a leader in the space. Through innovations in wearables, localization, AR and more, we’re leveraging the advancements of this OS to power the worker of the future, today. Now, companies can use SAP Mobile Secure to safely manage and secure these amazing Android experiences for their employees and business partners.


For more info, please check out Google’s blog announcing Android for Work along with SAP’s press release. Visit SAP and Google next week at Mobile World Congress - Hall 6, 6A30.


If you’ve experienced a similar Droid invasion, follow me on twitter.

We are pleased to announce that SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 (SP06) was released for download on SAP Service Marketplace on Friday, February 20th.

We are delivering new capabilities in the following three big areas:

Integration with non-OData sources, Expansion of Fiori capabilities and Out of the box readiness for production Deployment.

 

The enhancements for “integration with non-O-Data sources” are the support of clustering of the integration Gateway. This allows customers now to also scale out and run in high availability their mobile solutions based on integration gateway. Additionally we have enabled single sing-on authentication mobile solutions, which are leveraging the integration Gateway.

 

We also continue with our enhancements around enabling features for mobile Fiori apps. Additionally to the already existing offline capabilities we offer to the Fiori mobile application we now also enable offlining attachments. With this feature customers can also store media content offline so that the user can work with it offline. This could be images, pdf or other media files with more product details for example. Furthermore we added support for SAP web dispatcher as a reverse proxy. This enablement can simplify the landscape for a lot of customers who have the web dispatcher already deployed, as they can reuse this now for the mobile deployments as well. For details on this please check the PAM.


Finally, we are using a new embedded administrative database for developer and other non-production installations of the SMP Server Runtime.  We have replaced Derby with the developer version of SQL Anywhere for these non-production configurations.  Additionally, we have also added SQL Anywhere as an option for productive use, making the complete list now HANA, SQL Anywhere version 16, ASE, Microsoft SQL Server (both 2008 and 2012 versions), Oracle 11, and IBM DB2.  You can consult the SMP PAM on Service Marketplace for details (SMP3 PAM (access to the Service Market Place is needed)).

 

 

 

Want more information?

Sami

 


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Ali Chalhoub

SMP 2.3 Architect

Posted by Ali Chalhoub Feb 19, 2015

Have you ever wonder what each component is called within SMP 2.3 and how each component talks to the other one and where the information is logged. In this WIKI below, you will find all the information you need to know about:

 

  1. SMP 2.3 RBS
  2. SMP 2.3 MBS
  3. SMP 2.3 with Agentry

 

The following WIKI can be accessed through here:SMP 2.3 Architect for RBS MBS and Agentry

It is not that hard to use a Sniffer trace to prove that the network is causing the Relay Server connectivity issues.
For more info please see:

How to use a sniffer(WireShark) trace to troubleshoot Relay Server issues - SAP Mobility - SCN Wiki


This blog is for you, if you can relate to the questions below, when you think about mobility solutions.

 

You may also be like me, coming into the SAP world with no prior knowledge of SAP, having experience of only open source mobility solutions.

 

To begin with, you would like to have an understanding of the big picture and how individual technologies/platforms come together.

 

So, the questions…

  • How to create a mobile app in context of SAP products and technologies? What is the architecture?
  • How to expose internal backend services to the Internet, in a secured and maintainable way?
  • How to manage security of the data on mobile device of a user?
  • How to enable and support features like offline capability, push notification etc. for a mobile app?
  • Do I need to maintain a separate user store for authentication purposes?
  • How to get the analytics/statistics of app usage. Factors like the number of users, device types, logs, audits etc.?
  • What is the meaning of buzzwords like Cordova, Kapsel, HCPms and HCC and how do they fit together?

 

A couple of months ago, I started working on mobility solutions using SMP. SMP3 SDK was released a few months earlier and then it was just an acronym to me.

When I started, I was not sure what to look out for and where to start. However, once I figured out how the various technical components fit together, I could find some fantastic technical blogs to help me with implementation. With this blog, I aim to present the big picture without any technical details.

 

Problem statement was to come out with a mobile app, which interacts with existing backend either ABAP based, or Java based (PO), which are not even on the Internet.

So how do I connect these two components together?

 

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The answer lies in bridging components with the SAP solutions/products…

 

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GREAT… but what are these SAP technologies/platforms?

 

So, lets bridge the gap with the components that will come together to weave a solution.

 

So here we go!

 

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Awesome!

So, now that we know what the ingredients are, let’s have a look at the recipe. To begin, let’s break down our task into smaller sub-tasks:

  • STEP 1: Exposing backend (ABAP/PO) in form of OData services
  • STEP 2: Take the backend (ABAP/PO) from Intranet (internal landscape) to internet (external)
    • Take care of issues like firewall, security etc.
  • STEP 3: Develop a mobile app that
      • securely accesses on-premise backend services
      • saves critical information on the device securely
      • has offline capability
      • has push facility
      • can be developed using JavaScript.

 

 

So let’s embark on our journey …

 

STEP 1

To expose backend (ABAP/PO) services in form of OData, we may make use of:

  • NetWeaver Gateway for ABAP backend
  • Integration Gateway for PO backend. Another alternative could be a bespoke solution of using Apache Olingo/OData4j façade. (The blog here provides information on the bespoke solution)

This takes us a step closer to our understanding:

 

4.jpg

 

STEP 2

Next, we need to expose our existing service to the Internet, without exposing the whole internal landscape. This is where HANA Cloud Connector comes into the picture. The Cloud Connector provides a light and easy way to establish secure connections from on-premise systems to SAP HANA Cloud Platform accounts (in our case HCPms, which is discussed next).

 

Following is the next refinement of our understanding

5.jpg

 

The output of this step – a logical URL that maps to on-premise services, is configured within applications in HCPms, which are then accessed from mobile apps on device.

HCPms is an on-demand mobile solution hosted on SAP HANA Cloud. HCPms offers authentication, secure on-boarding, native push notifications, and reporting capabilities for enterprise mobile applications. It enables secure and seamless connectivity while on-the-go to on-premise systems hosted behind the internal firewall (or) on the Internet.

This brings us to following understanding:

 

6.jpg

 

Let’s identify the last piece of the jigsaw. How to connect from device to HCPms for accessing the backend? This is where Kapsel SDK and Cordova come into the picture.

To understand, what Kapsel (SAP component) is, let’s first have a quick look at Cordova (open source standard).

Mobile apps are specific to a given device OS type for example apps that run on iOS is of *.ipa type, for android they are of *.apk type etc. These apps may be developed using Native SDKs, which would mean different development for same app on different device –

 

 

 

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To avoid having two different developments, and instead develop once deploy multiple times a HYBRID approach is used. This is done using Cordova.

The development is done using open standards like JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 – referred to as an HTML5 application. This application is wrapped using Cordova, which provides APIs to interact with devices and abstracts all device specific interaction –

 

8.jpg

Cordova JS API provide JavaScript methods to access device features like

  • Camera,
  • Network Information etc.

Adding respective plugins to your Cordova project configures such capabilities.

SAP has created a similar plugin to:

  • Access local storage in a secured way (encryption enabled)
  • Logon, register and authenticate against the application created in HCPms/SMP
  • Provide offline capabilities
  • … several others

The plugin that provides these and many other features is called as Kapsel.

 

Kapsel is a set of plugins for Apache Cordova, which adds SMP capabilities to a Cordova application. Kapsel is a part of SMP3 SDK’s collection of libraries aimed at targeting hybrid development.

Note: SMP3 SDK provide other features for native development as well.

 

This brings us to the following understanding:

 

9.jpg

For sure, there are alternate options to replace components for instance SMP (on-premise), HCI, API Management (APIGEE), Mocana (App Security), MDM (Mobile Secure) and corporate App Store (Mobile Place) etc.

 

A word on authentication

Although, not in scope of this blog, but let’s just have a flavour of the authentication capabilities of HCPms. HCPms subscriber can customize an identity provider (IdP) configuration with their own on-premise SAML 2.0 provider. Thus, eliminating a need of having a duplicate user store.

 

10.jpg

 

This brings me to end of presenting a high level overview(my interpretation) of an end-to-end scenario for creating an app that consumes backend (on intranet), using SAP technologies. Hope it helps!

Earlier this week I had a great opportunity to travel to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to present to an audience of Oil & Gas industry professionals about mobilizing their businesses. A few interesting experiences made this a memorable trip, and a good story to share.

 

While I was in town I had a few spare hours to explore the city and I stumbled across a great sale on winter boots. Being from a very cold part of Canada, I knew I needed them and I didn’t think far enough ahead to realize that I couldn’t fit them in my suitcase. After the seminar and another business meeting I hurried to the airport – dressed in professional business attire and giant snow boots. Needless to say I stuck out like a sore thumb and drew some funny looks and interesting comments in the security line. My business attire simply didn’t work well with the snowboots.

 

Similarly, one of the customers presenting at the seminar commented that “Handing a piece of paper and a pen to someone makes you look like you’re in the Stone Age”. In their business it just no longer makes sense to use pen and paper for a field worker job. Like the snowboots at the airport, paper and pen are the wrong tools for the job. You might say we’re at the point where even the thought of trying to run a business with paper-based processes simply doesn’t make sense.

 

For the audience at the seminar, the focus of the conversation was not about how to do mobility – it was about giving people the tools to access the work data they need. Using the right tools for the right job.

 

It’s hard to believe that in the past these companies would print work orders and documents out a full week in advance.  Timelines like that don’t work any more. A week is like a lifetime – it is incredible what can change in a timespan of 3 hours – or 3 minutes. Fast, accurate access to critical information is key.

 

I haven’t worked a lot in the oil & gas space, so the term “wrench time” was new to me, but the basic idea is that the industry average amount of time field workers are actively working (as in with a wrench) is 25-30% of a given day. Our customers are seeking to leverage mobile technology as the right tools to significantly increase that to 50-60% wrench time. 

 

In summary, great mobile technologies can help simplify work practices and procedures in any industry. Whether it’s a pen and paper to record data manually or a 15-page instruction manual… These are tools of the past. Like a pair of snowboots in the airport, even thought they may have been a great deal, they are the wrong tool for the job!

Ensuring a positive user experience is about more than ensuring a mobile app has a great UI. App configuration challenges, security requirements and network authentication can often complicate a mobile deployment.

 

But that doesn't have to be the case. One of the biggest reasons why people abandon corporate mobile apps is the barrier added by security requirements. Having to authenticate multiple times from a mobile device to connect to an app 10 times a day is definitely a roadblock to mobile adoption.

 

To increase mobile app usage – and in particular SAP Fiori app usage – customers need to enhance both the user experience and the connectivity experience while ensuring the strictest security requirements are met. We can help accomplish all three goals by pairing SAP Fiori with SAP Mobile Secure.

 

Join us on March 11th for a partner training session titled “Deliver an Elegant Mobile Experience by Pairing SAP Fiori UX and SAP Mobile Secure”

 

In this session you'll learn how you can help customers deploy SAP Fiori UX successfully on mobile devices by pairing this solution with SAP Mobile Secure to accomplish two important things:

  • Simplify the process of building, configuring and deploying your customers’ SAP Fiori apps with SAP Mobile Secure’s new SAP Fiori app configuration service
  • Add robust authentication, encryption, and data security protocols so instead of negotiating numerous authentication screens, users need only sign on once to access the information they need.

 

I look forward to speaking with you during this session. I'll be joined by Scott Bonnell of Mocana to discuss how together we can help you simplify mobilizing SAP Fiori for your customers. Partners can register here (please note a PartnerEdge account is required to register).

The app store version of the SAP Fiori Client version 1.2 is now available on the Google Play Store and Apple iTunes.

To all SAP Work Manager users,

 

As a proactive support to our general users, we are sharing a case study on how the SAP Work Manager Time Confirmation Screen cannot be successful when the Activity Type is grayed out. The information of this case study is documented in the Knowledge Base Article (KBA) below.

 

Symptoms:

 

  • The mobile client activity field is grayed out (see picture)
  • The ctActivityType complex table was not populated with any values
  • The users control area 'CAC' is mapped to 0010 and this was properly setup for the current year
  • The Cost Center/Activity Type: table CSSL was properly populated with the current year (ex: 2015) data by means of transaction code: KP26

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Case study KBA # 2129524 - Complex Table: ctActivityType is returning no values and the Time confirmation screen Activity Type is grayed out in SAP Work Manager

 

Thanks to all the queries and request from our customers to make us aware of areas that you need more information on. We continue to be proactive in our quest to support you all in our SAP One service effort. The information in the said case study can also specify or imply certain things that are assumed to be correct to help users use this as a guide and to help developers/administrators get trained by following SAP for Mobile in the SAP Community Network (SCN).

 

Best Regards,

 

Mark Pe

SAP Senior Support Engineer (mobility)

SAP Mobile Platform and HANA Cloud Platform Mobile Services for Consumer Mobile Use Cases


In an ever changing world, an organizations agility in acting and reacting to consumers needs and expectations is a major key to continued business success. Consumers of the Digital age value the most when they´re treated as individuals, receive continued quality of service, gather insight which is superior to the non-digital’s and work with easy accessible and delightful applications. There´s even a group of people, the “digital natives” who have never experienced a world without the internet, social media, and mobile technology. Anything not available and appealing in digital for them is simply non-existing!

“Digitally demanding customers are a threat if companies do nothing to change the traditional ways they interact and do business. If your competition is providing the digital avenues that customers want (think of the inform, buy, use, and help framework), then chances are that your competition is winning favor.”  Introducing: The “Digital Savvies”, 2013 Accenture

SAP itself has recently decided to create SAP Digital as a new integrated business unit which will market and sell traditional ecommerce and digitally native software, content, education and services direct to the consumer via SAP’s digital store. With our Mobile Platform solutions, we´re equally supporting and servicing our customers easing their path to success in the digital world.


Already in 2013, SAP has launched to market it´s next generation Mobile Platform (SMP) which provides unprecedented capability for Mobile Application Development and End-to-End Customer Service. 2014 SAP achieved the next big step and launched HANA Cloud Platform – Mobile Services (HCPms), which offers the flexibility to build and run native and hybrid apps in the cloud while still connecting to their on-premise or cloud-based back-end systems.

 

And 2015 will be the year of the Mobile Consumer!

 


SAP launches a series of new Mobile Premium Services on HCPms and SMP 3.0, providing capability far beyond what one´s used from a Mobile Application Development Platform. Capability that can be leveraged specifically aiming for an easy yet configurable method to build Consumer Applications – not just another “App”, but true End-to-End digital Applications that meet the digital native consumer´s expectations. Context Awareness will play a major Role in this new approach. Context-awareness is bringing together all aspects of information: identity, community, environment, and our intentions to make our lives and work simpler. Precise Context filters out the noise so we can simply get things done.


In a recent Study by Forrester Consulting[1], Marketing Leaders responded, they´d focus current personalization initiatives on customer-specified preferences and past interaction history while they expect a huge rise in personalization using consumer’s emotional state, social media sentiment, and context in near future. 77% of Marketers want to capitalize on the consumer’s current contextual behavior by the end of 2016.

 

Forrester Graphic.png

 

The consumer´s Mobile Phone is at the center of creating and enjoying context-aware user experience. As we bring the insights of the digital and physical worlds together in meaningful, precise ways, Consumers are getting familiar with the concepts via their usage of mobile applications. One can glance a view of SAP´s Consumer Mobility Vision at Mobile World Congress 2015 (www.mobileworldcongress.com) taking place in Barcelona from March 2nd to 5th. In Barcelona, where you can join an urban network of tourists, citizens and visitors to explore the City of Barcelona. Using this real-life solution, the City of Barcelona is able to efficiently manage tourist crowds and optimize the way people experience attractions and public services by incorporating real-time asset data. Gamification and Loyalty Modules allow the city to manage the preferred tourist areas and lets local businesses benefit by integrating them into the city urban network and increase their share of tourist expenses. The showcase is built by SAP with Telefonica and the City of Barcelona using SAP HANA Cloud Platform Mobile Services, SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 Consumer Edition and uses real-time data sources, including connected assets such as Smart Vending Machines.

 

Carsten Kress

Head of Consumer Mobile Solutions & Innovation



[1] Delivering New Levels Of Personalization In Consumer Engagement, A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By SAP, November 2013

In part 1 of this blog series (you can read it here - http://scn.sap.com/community/mobile/blog/2015/02/05/fiorifying-your-erp-system-ingredients-of-a-successful-fiori-implementation), I have tried to outline what all things you need to think about when planning your Fiori implementation. In this blog we will discuss the actual implementation itself. Scenario we are using as a topic of discussion here is Leave Management with some extensions.

 

Get, Set, Go! Starting the Implementation

Once you have a plan in place, you are ready to work on the pre-requisites for your implementation.

 

Step 1: Test core functions well in ERP!!

This is probably the most ignored step but the biggest time saver. Fiori uses same good old ERP core functionalities. So you need to make sure that you can perform these core functions in your backend sandbox/development system.

For Example, in Leave Management scenario, you may ask yourself following questions:

Are you able to create a leave from transaction PTARQ? Does it trigger the right workflow?

Are basic workflow configs in place for Leave Approval workflow? (Workflow customizing configs, Event Linkages, workflow definitions are active, human tasks are made as General Tasks, Org Structure and Agent Assignment as per Org Structure etc.)

Have you activated ESS Business Function? (Surprise! Yes you need it!)

Have you made your leave quotas available for use in ESS (Along with basic quota configuration)?

Are Team Calendar configs available in MSS for Leave Approval Apps?

And so on…

 

Take another example.

If you are interested in purchasing related apps (Like Order from Requisitions, Track Purchase Order or Approve Purchase Order), in the backend system, you should be able to create POs, Create PRs, have a release strategy setup, tested standard workflows and so on.

 

If you don’t know this bit, your partner or architect/functional consultant should be able to help you explaining which app uses what in the backend.

If your backend is not in place, you are destined to face horrible problems when you put Fiori in.

 

Step 2: Set up systems and perform the installation and initial configs

Once you have done your landscaping its time for basis team to step in and start the install.

Then, once right components are in and services have been activated, your architect can help basis team perform Gateway configuration (different Types of RFC Destinations, System Alias for various services and Task Gateway etc.) and do a connectivity check between systems.

 

Now you are ready to put the Fiori Components in. For each app, there is a relevant UI Component and a corresponding OData/Backend components. In case of Central Hub generally, UI components go on Gateway Hub and OData components go on your backend.

For Example: In case of Leave Creation App, UI Component is UIX01HCM 100 and Backend component is GBHCM002 600. 

UI Components can also be common across many apps. Once components are in place you need to activate and register the services on Gateway.

For a basis consultant reading this blog, you have to be careful as to which activities here are transportable and which ones are manual. It will help you prepare the right cutover plan before go-live. Also, apart from this you should have a close eye on what notes are available for the apps in your scenario. Keep an eye on what patches/notes are coming up in this area.

 

In short, this is a work of close coordination between your architect and your basis team. Having seen a few setups now, I can safely say that its very hard to do these things in isolation.

 

Step 3: Perform App specific configurations if needed

For Approval Apps, you will need a specific configuration telling Fiori what workflow tasks to use for which app. These configs are explained in the configuration section for approval apps in sap help.

The documentation also talks about relevant details about the Launchpad configuration for each app (Semantic Objects, Role for LPD_CUST etc.).  Personally, I prefer to do this as a separate activity later along with Launchpad Designer configurations.

 

Tip: If you get an unending spinning wheel when you open an approval app, you have missed this scenario configuration or you have done it wrong.

 

Step 4: Test the standard App via SICF transaction on your Gateway system

Now you can test your app via sicf transaction or may be wait for next step and configure Launchpad before testing. Full SICF service paths are available in the Fiori documentation.

 

Step 5: Launchpad config for your Apps

In order to enable tiles for your apps on Fiori Launchpad, you need to perform Launchpad Configurations.

Majorly there are 4 steps involved for this set of configs.

    a) Creating/Enabling Roles in LPD_CUST transaction in your backend system

    b) Create Semantic Objects in a defined IMG for each app

    c) Creating/Enabling Roles with appropriate Catalog for each app

    d) And finally Launchpad Designer Configuration (Creating catalogues, adding them to group, creating tiles)

 

Tip: Some of these configs have to be added manually to a Transport! 

There are some good blogs/How-to guides on SCN for this. Below are a couple of links explaining how to add custom app to Launchpad. But concepts of standard apps are more or less same:

http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-56166

http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-55106

 

This is a fairly quick activity even if you do not understand Launchpad Object Relationships but its recommended to understand it before you play around with Launchpad Designer.

 

Step 6: Perform Extensions

Once you have tested the standard app via Launchpad, you are ready to perform modifications.

This is where your UI5 and ABAP developers come into picture. The extensibility documentation of each app helps you identify all the views and associated enhancement points and dictionary objects to modify.

The approach, I personally prefer here is top-down approach. You determine what you want to see on UI, do some mock-ups and once you are happy, have a look at how can you support this new field or screen from the backend (Dictionary Enhancement->API Enhancement->OData Wrapper Enhancement).

If your extensions include changing or adding another level of approval with an associated UI, you will use custom providers in Task Gateway along with workflow APIs. There are two major elements here,

Reading the workflow container for the custom task you have added via Task Gateway and Performing user decisions along with the data in the tasks. (Workflow consultants! Remember Terminating Events in tasks?)

Again, this is a topic of a separate blog in itself.

As for ABAP developers in particular, skills needed are Enhancement Framework, OO ABAP and Gateway development skills.

 

Step 7: Final Tests and Transport Planning

When you have tested the application in dev., its time now to transport the extended solution to QA where you can get multiple business users to test the apps with the help of your HCM consultant. Generally you would perform the installations and system specific Gateway/Fiori configs (like RFCs/Alias) on each landscape but things like Launchpad roles and your extensions can go via usual transports in both Gateway and Backend Systems.   

And finally, as usual, if business users are happy in QA, you can perform the cutover and request a downtime for a technical or full-fledged go-live.

 

To summarize, implementing and extending Fiori Apps is not difficult if done with right tools, technologies and people. Along with UX renewal these apps can provide a significant business value in a very short span of time. Happy learning and please share you feedbacks!

 

Next blog/blogs in the series would be for Analytical and Factsheet Apps.

Morning to all Fioriers,

I am not actively blogging these days. Last time I blogged on SCN; one and half year back. As Fiori is gaining more and more momentum,I feel there is a need to present a big picture/approach towards tackling Fiori projects and get it up and running quickly. So, after some encouragement from my colleagues Owen Pettiford and Paul Abrahamson I decided to jot down my experiences, from the Fiori projects we completed successfully last year, in the form of this blog series.

Part 1 is about planning your Fiori setup and Part 2 (I have supplied the link in the end) is about the implementation itself.

(Next parts in this series will be on implementing Analytical and Factsheet apps in Fiori)


Fiori UX talk is all around these days. From its humble beginnings i.e. simplifying/rethinking 30 most used SAP transactions to a mammoth collection of 511 apps in Wave 7 (at the time of writing this blog) coming from almost all major functions of SAP Business Suite, its still growing.

There are mainly 3 categories of Fiori Apps: Transactional, Analytical and Factsheet Apps.

You need HANA for Analytical and Factsheet Apps. Transactional Apps, on the other hand, for a familiar business function, could be a good start towards UX renewal in your company.This blog is meant for those SAP customers and consultants who are already working with SAP Business Suite and wondering what it takes to get their feet in the door and implement a successful Fiori project.

 


Conception and Scenario

So you are a classic ERP customer using the traditional SAP Business Suite system and you are impressed with the demos you see all the time by SAP and various partners for new Fiori UX paradigm. You want to play around with these standard apps, asses their suitability and see how much you need to customize before you can think about going live with them.

Let’s say your area of interest is Leave Management and you want to have a look at My Leave Requests and Leave Approval Apps. Also, you want to perform some customization in the Leave Approval App.

 

Building the know-how or engage with a partner who has done this before

Now you need to figure out technicalities of the product, skills needed, current state of your systems for Fiori (versions etc.) and how best you can have Fiori with minimum or no upgrade to your backend systems.

To figure all this out there are two options:

a) If you already have an SAP competence in your company and want to maintain this kind of solutions yourselves going forward, you need to get your architects have a look at above mentioned things and draw up a learning and implementation plan.


b) There are a few specialist partners in this space whom you can contact for a consulting advice as well as implementation itself. For a first time customer, with no experience in these technologies, engaging with a partner could be very beneficial. One advantage here is that generally these partners have the apps running in their landscape so you can get them to demo these to your business users even before starting the project.

Also, they may have already wrestled with the real world problems hidden behind the marketing slides of a new product


 

Planning your implementation - Food for thought

Below are some pointers regarding technologies, skills and the kind of landscape needed to kick start a Fiori project for the scenario we have chosen:

 

a) Technologies involved and architecture

To implement and use Fiori Leave Management apps you need following technological pieces:

  • A Backend SAP ERP with HR business functions ESS/MSS enabled
  • SAP Gateway (Embedded or Hub Deployments)
  • SAPUI5 Libraries (As Fiori is currently implemented in SAPUI5)

 

b) Putting together the right Fiori team

You might have heard that Fiori and Gateway are freely available for the customers who already have the license for relevant business function with underlying NetWeaver layer. But, as you know, for all non-plug & play products, there are implementation costs involved. Fiori is no exception. You need people who can play following roles.

  • Involvement of business users for discussions since the beginning of project to understand the actual pain points in their day to day work. This is extremely important for obvious reasons.
  • An Architect who knows how things fit together technically – Prerequisites, right Gateway/Fiori deployment options for your landscape, which apps use which ERP functions/workflows in the backend ,needed reverse proxies setup, System Aliases for services and Task Gateway, OData-UI5 app architecture know-how, Launchpad concepts etc. Most importantly, someone who can coordinate between various teams to get things done in time.
  • A Functional Consultant who can assess the apps functionally, determine enhancement needs, help technical teams during implementation, write test cases and work with business users with UAT.
  • A Basis Consultant who can install and configure Fiori apps with the help of your Architect and ABAP Team members.
  • Member/Members from the Network team in your company to address issues in Reverse Proxies, Cross Domain Access, Firewalls/Ports for external access etc.
  • An ABAP Consultant who knows SAP NetWeaver Workflow, Enhancement Framework, OData and Gateway
  • An SAPUI5 Consultant who can do UI extensions and theming etc.

 

These roles can be played by any number of people depending on the competence in your or your Partners’ Team. Last two roles are need-basis and required at the time of app extension.

 

c) Landscaping: Are you on the right version? Whats the right deployment choice for you?

This is a very important discussion you need to have with your architects and it varies from case to case and customer to customer.  You may setup an Embedded Gateway Deployment (ERP, Gateway, and UI5 on 1 box) for your Sandbox/Dev but a Central Hub (Gateway and UI5 on a separate box connected with your ERP) for your QA and Prod. Or it could also be a Central Hub for all 3 landscapes.

If you are doing a Central Hub, you will get Gateway core components available as part of NW 7.4. You just need to install Backend-Enablement component (IW_BEP) on your backend system. This component is quite compatible to old versions of ERP/NW. On the other hand, if you are doing an Embedded Gateway, you need to find out if you on the right version for Gateway Framework components (scope of GW_CORE/IW_FND) .

Also will the Launchpad be a part of your existing portal or a new entry point altogether?

 

Generally your architect can work with the basis team for this. Poor decisions in this space could lead to a bad start and unnecessary overhead costs. So doing your landscaping right is a great start in Fiori projects.

 

d) Authentication and Authorization

This is where Network and Basis teams can collaborate with you and your Architect to determine how users will access these apps internally and externally. Firewalls and Ports to be opened, reverse proxy you use currently, redirecting or renaming URLs and most importantly the current situation of SSO in your company. This is often the most challenging piece in such projects. Do you really need an SSO? What combination of OAuth/SAML/X.509 can serve the purpose? What about security and SSL? Do you need to secure your RFCs as well with SNC? Have you thought about using User-Mappings feature of SAP Gateway? (Yes! There are more features in Gateway then SEGW stuff).

Story doesn’t end here, what about security? Are the role templates provided by SAP for Fiori sufficient to create custom roles and use straightaway? No they are not

This is a huge topic in itself. In fact, achieving SSO via User Mappings in Gateway (via X.509 or SAML 2.0) is a topic of a separate blog in itself.

This is also a space where your experienced partner can help you a lot.

 

e) Documentation

SAP, in past (2013-Early 2014) have confused everyone by releasing many documentations frequently (PDFs initially). But now as the apps themselves are relatively more stable, as of today, there are three main documentations available:

  • Fiori App Reference Library

http://www.sap.com/fiori-apps-library.

I especially like this one. This documentation explains the pre-requisites/components/notes not only for every app but for each release of every app. Thank you SAP for this and I hope you will maintain this going forward!

 

  • SAP Help Documentation

http://help.sap.com/fiori_bs2013/helpdata/en/1a/ebc553bd51eb1ae10000000a441470/content.htm?current_toc=/en/59/69c553c9519638e10000000a44176d/plain.htm&show_children=true

 

  • And lastly "All Things Fiori" Page

       http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-41598


Also, new Fiori space is live on SCN now!

http://scn.sap.com/community/fiori

 

I think, once you have thought about all of this, you are on the right track and ready to evaluate the pre-requisites and start the implementation.

In 2nd Part of this series, I will talk about the actual implementation itself.

Here is the link to Part 2:

http://scn.sap.com/community/mobile/blog/2015/02/06/fiorifying-your-erp-system-ingredients-of-a-successful-fiori-implementation-part-2


Wanted to share some great videos that has been produced in the past few months covering the latest around HANA Cloud Platform mobile services (HCPms), our on- premise SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and the SDK that they both have in common. All these (and many more not listed) are posted on our official SAPEnterpriseMobile - YouTube channel or on our Mobile Application Development Platform events page. Make sure you are subscribed to these two places to not miss the latest around the SAP Mobile Platform.

 

We are currently building out more content like this and planning new webinar sessions so feel free to reach out to us and let us know what you would like to know more about and we will try to include that in our future planning. You can add you ideas in the comments area.

 

HANA Cloud Platform mobile services

 

TitleDate

Webinar (~50 min):

Mobile Services for HANA Cloud Platform

Jan 2015
5 min Introduction

SAP HANA Platform mobile services

Nov 2014

SAP CodeTalks:

#1: HANA Cloud Platform Mobile Services Intro

#2: HANA Cloud Platform Mobile Services - UPDATE


Oct 2014

Jan 2015

 

 

SAP Mobile Platform 3.0

 

Title

Date
SAP Mobile Platform Server 3.0 SP04 - What is new? Oct 2014
New SMP 3.0 Rapid Deployment Solution AvailableJan 2015

SMP 3.0 SP04 Installation in under five minutes

Oct 2014

SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 –Deploy your Mobile applications in less the 5 min

Jan 2015

New SAP Mobile Platform Offline Capabilities -

Nov 2014

 

 

SAP Mobile Platform SDK

 

Title

Date

Stay Connected to Business Data while Offline

Jan 2015

Migrate an Online App to become an Offline App

Jan 2014

 

Thank you for reading and hope you will enjoy the content. Remember we like to hear from you!

 

/ Jenny Lundberg

Just in case you did not know you can use your HTTP Browser to test your SAP Relay Server (RS) and Relay Server Outbound Enabler (RSOE) connectivity.

Please take a look at:
How to use a browser to test RS-RSOE installation for SUP-SMP - SAP Mobility - SCN Wiki

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