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Top SAP technology trends of 2016: Fiori

This article is Part 5 of a five-piece series on upcoming trends in SAP software for 2016. In this segment, we will discuss SAP’s latest user interface updates via Fiori.

As part of S/4HANA, Fiori is the user interface (UI) technology of choice. Fiori is based on Web UI5, an open-source, JavaScript-founded HTML5 architecture. It uses predefined templates for common UI problems with configurable navigation options — for example, the typical header with line item scenario. However, an interesting twist is that the application behavior is defined by the configuration, so improvements to the template are automatically available.

An important aspect of Fiori is the focus on usability and the focus of a given application to performing a single thing well, for a certain user group. This is a departure from traditional SAP UIs where the needs of expert users forced complex screen designs and workflows. The current recommended approach in Fiori, should you have a different need, is to not extend the existing Fiori application in order to cover more functionality and/or additional user groups, but rather creating a new one.

Fiori makes extensive use of OData services to access data business objects and metadata added via annotations. Such annotations vary in functionality, doing everything from enabling search to defining key fields, default field ordering and display options. These annotations allow for nearly immediate deployment of core data services via a single annotation.

It is possible to integrate a native UI5 application into the Fiori launchpad, a tile-based dashboard that makes remembering cryptic transaction codes a thing of the past. Each tile is not just static, but it can display dynamic information, such as the number of unpaid invoices a finance clerk should follow up on.

Fiori applications can be enhanced by non-developers by adding custom fields, filters and conditions (limited business logic). This is all achieved via the WebIDE — it looks promising but could be potentially dangerous and nerve-wracking for traditional IT workers.

Over the course of the year, the industry will see whether Fiori adoption will rise. There is a lot of potential for Fiori, since it resolves one of the core problems SAP users have today. However, at the same time, it means retraining everyone who touches the system, making more work for administrators. Adoption in 2016 will likely dictate the future of Fiori.

We hope this five-part series was insightful for you. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback, as well as your own version of the top trends in the comments section below.

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