Working with the SAP Fiori Launchpad

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Navigate the SAP Fiori Launchpad
  • Review the Digital Assistance with SAP Conversational AI capabilities
  • Review the situation handling framework
  • Manage teams and responsibilities
  • Review the custom business workflow functionality
  • Review the analytics applications and capabilities

SAP Fiori Launchpad

What is SAP Fiori?

SAP Fiori is the design language that provides a consistent and holistic user experience for SAP software. By creating visually pleasing designs with a strong focus on ease of use, the experience is intuitive and simple, across all devices.

At its core, the design concept of SAP Fiori:

  • Provides role-based simplification of business processes
  • Shifts from monolithic solutions to activity-based apps
  • Empowers users and the way they work

What is the SAP Fiori Launchpad?

The SAP Fiori launchpad is the single entry point to all apps permissioned to a user on any device. The launchpad is role-based, meaning you only see what has been permissioned for you to access, based on the business role(s) assigned to your user. What you see on the home page may also change depending on the device that you are using. For example, not all apps support mobile devices, so they won't be visible on your launchpad when you access via a mobile device.

When end users launch apps from the SAP Fiori launchpad, the apps run within a shell. The shell bar is the outer frame of the SAP Fiori launchpad. The shell bar contains header and footer areas with various buttons, icons, and a logo. A default footer is not provided out-of-the-box with SAP Fiori launchpad. In the shell header, you'll see either Home (when you have the home page displayed) or the title of the current app you are using.

Note
The icons may change depending on where you are working in the launchpad. For example, you may see the back button when navigating in an app, but not when you are in the home page.

SAP Fiori Launchpad Shell Bar

Click on each of the orange frames for a description.

SAP Fiori Launchpad Layouts

Apps are displayed as tiles or links on the launchpad home page. A tile/link is a visual representation of an app, either in a square icon, or a basic link. Links can be useful for adding relevant apps (tiles) to a section without taking up the amount of space a tile would. There are two options for structuring the layout of apps in the launchpad: Spages and Pages and Classic Groups

Spaces and Pages Layout (recommended)

The concept of Spaces and Pages supersedes groups, although it has to be configured, otherwise groups will display by default. Spaces and Pages provide more flexibility to better control launchpad layouts for end users. With this concept, the space is assigned to the business role, and the app tiles/links are organized using Pages and Sections within the space. By defining pages with meaningful sections, you will be able to define in which order the apps are sorted on the page. For example, you can sort the most used apps in the top-level section and then create separate sections for apps that belong together. When you assign a business role with predefined spaces and pages, the end user will see the sections and tiles/links as they have been configured.

Note
Spaces and pages do not impact authorizations. If for some reason the group contains a tile/link that the user is not authorized to launch, that tile/link will be hidden and cannot be accessed by the user. SAP will deliver predefined spaces and pages that you can use as a starting point for your own spaces and pages.

Classic Groups Layout

Apps are clustered into logical groups on your launchpad. Administrators assign tiles from one or more business catalog to a group. The groups and business catalogs are then assigned to a business role. Users with the business role assigned can view the group with the relevant apps on their launchpad. If configured, users can also personalize their launchpad by adding or removing apps from the standard out-of-the-box groups and create their own groups. Access these personalization features in your User Profile > Edit Home Page.

Try it out

Learn how to navigate and personalize the SAP Fiori Launchpad.

SAP Fiori Launchpad User Actions Menu

The User Actions Menu offers user-related options (e.g. open apps, change the launchpad layout, define settings, contact support). To open the User Actions Menu, click your profile picture or the User icon located at the top right corner of the shell header. Your profile picture appears only if SAP Jam integration is enabled and you have uploaded a picture in SAP Jam.

Note
Some of the options in the User Actions Menu may not be available for all platforms. In some cases, options that are typically in the User Actions Menu might be shown in the shell header instead.

Click on each highlighted area of the screen for information.

App Finder

The app finder is a convenient tool for finding apps, all in one place, and then adding them to your home page, if the administrator has enabled user personalization of the home page. The app finder lists all the apps available for your role that you may potentially use in your daily work. You can access the app finder from the User Actions Menu.

SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library

An excellent resource for learning more about the functionality of the applications in your SAP S/4HANA Cloud system is the SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library. The SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library is a comprehensive library of all relevant SAP content for the SAP Fiori launchpad. The library enables you to explore information about SAP Fiori apps as well as classic applications based on SAP GUI and WebDynpro.

Digital Assistance with SAP Conversational AI

SAP Conversational AI Functionality

SAP Conversational AI (formerly SAP CoPilot), is a digital assistant and bot integration hub that enables you to accomplish tasks quickly in business applications. The conversational AI digital assistant bot is context sensitive, and can recognize business objects in apps that you work in. For example, you can add and create objects such as products, sales orders, and notes on the go by talking or typing to the digital assistant bot. You can use it on your mobile device, desktop, or through an external channel or platform.

As a technology, SAP Conversional AI refers to using chatbots to interface and hand-over instructions to execution bots. Chatbots assist users with access to peers for guidance and interaction, or smart support with an automated conversational bot. Consumers often use intelligent assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, and expect similar convenience in a conversational interaction with their business software. The more you use Conversational AI bots, the better the bots will be able to communicate with, and support you. You can also use the Bot Building Platform to create powerful conversational agents with training, building, generating, connecting, and monitoring modules.

With SAP Conversational AI, you can experience:

  • Natural Language Interaction
    • Interact with SAP applications in natural language, as if you're talking to another human being.
    • Type, talk, or interact with the screen depending on your device.
    • Control your conversation, interacting by text or voice recognition, based on your situational context and preference.
  • In-Context Chat
    • Chat with other users from your business application context without entering a collaboration room.
    • You can share notes, screenshots and business objects, and save the collection of chats, notes and so on for later use.
  • Business Object Creation
    • SAP Conversational AI recognizes business objects within the current application context as well as those referred to in notes or chats.
    • Create business objects with information prepopulated from your conversational context to take immediate action on relevant items within the context of your chat without having to navigate to the respective app.
    • You can also quickly create business objects via embedded QuickCreate UIs - fields will be prefilled from SAP Conversational AI context.
  • Cross-Application Access
    • Perform transactions across SAP solutions with SAP Conversational AI as your single point of interaction.
    • Experience smooth transitions between applications with a digital assistant that has one consistent personality and memory

Situation Handling

Situation Handling Framework

The Situation Handling Framework helps your business run smoothly by automatically informing the right users about situations that need their attention. A situation can be any kind of business situation (situation type) that requires the attention of an end user, such as:

  • An approaching deadline
  • A pending task
  • A deviating demand or turnover rate
  • A surpassed threshold

SAP delivers preconfigured standard templates for situation types for various business areas and for specific apps. These standard templates are not editable, but serve as blueprints for your required situation types. They can be copied and adapted (configured) by your business process configuration experts to match your business requirements.

As soon as the copied (new) situation type is saved, it becomes a ready-to-use situation type. Once this is enabled, situation instances are triggered, according to the Conditions defined in the situation type. Situation instances are displayed in text form through various channels to the specified end users:

  • As notification on SAP Fiori launchpad
  • As an e-mail notification
  • As in-app situation message in a specific app
  • As a list item in the My Situations app

Manage Situation Types Application

The Manage Situation Types app enables you to maintain situation types that detect actual situations and send notifications to the users. Situation types manage events that are critical to your business processes.

Monitor Situations Application

With the Monitor Situations app, you can monitor the handling of situations in your business, including the occurrence and the lifecycle of situation instances with respect to their status and related business objects.

Example: By entering a specific situation type, you can monitor how many activities were tracked for this situation type. Alternatively, you can enter a status like Open or Resolved, to see how many situations are open or were solved within the selection period.

Responsibility Management

Responsibility Management

As we move toward an intelligent enterprise, intelligent systems need to determine agents (responsible persons) who are automatically notified about events and who are responsible for business processes and objects. It is essential to define and manage these responsibilities, including authorizations for various contexts, and retrieve responsible agents that can react to tasks and activities.

With Responsibility Management, you can create teams and add members that are responsible for a business process. Each team member is responsible for performing certain tasks. Tasks are represented as member functions. Team members are assigned functions which uniquely describe their work tasks. For example, Operational Purchaser or Catalog Manager.

Teams are based on team types and differ by a set of attributes. A team category consists of one or more team types. A team category represents a business process (e.g. Procurement). A business process could include several subprocesses represented as team types. For example, the Operational Purchasing and Strategic Purchasing team types in the Procurement team category.

Team attributes are represented as responsibility definitions. A responsibility definition is a name-value pair that can be used to query teams. For example, Plant = 1010 in the category, Procurement. For certain business processes, you might need to add custom responsibility definitions and assign them to the standard team categories delivered by SAP. 

Note
Learn more with the Responsibility Management (1NJ) business process

Determining Responsible Agents Using Teams

Responsibility definitions and team member functions are assigned to SAP-delivered team categories and inherited by team types. You have the flexibility to customize a team type by excluding member functions and responsibility definitions.

You can also use responsibility rules to determine responsible agents. In addition to the standard responsibility rules, you can create custom responsibility rules and associate them with agent rules in standard responsibility contexts (for example, business workflows and situation templates delivered by SAP application teams) that have been extended.

Note
Learn more about teams and responsibilities in the SAP Help Portal.

Try it out

Learn how to configure the assignment of teams and responsibilities.

Flexible Business Workflow

SAP Business Workflows

SAP Business Workflow is used to define business processes that are not yet mapped in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. This cloud be simple release or approval procedures, or more complex business processes such as creating a material master and the associated coordination of the departments involved. SAP Business Workflow is particularly suitable for situations in which work processes have to be run repeatedly, or situations in which the business process requires the involvement of a large number of agents in a specific sequence.

You can also use SAP Business Workflow to respond to errors and exceptions in other existing business processes. For example, you can trigger a workflow to begin when predefined events occur.

Work packages are called tasks, with one person taking responsibility for each task. The assignment of each task to the right person (agent) is called agent-determination. The workflow specifies the sequencing of the tasks, such as specifying deadlines and escalation or mitigation routes, and the system uses events to trigger or terminate processes. Other aspects of workflow are related to how users receive tasks, how users are assigned to responsibilities and how reporting and administration are performed.

SAP provides workflow scenarios that map predefined business processes. A business expert can then use these scenarios and the related entities to configure custom workflows.

Note
End users receive information about their tasks in the My Inbox app.

Manage Workflows Application

The Manage Workflows app is used to define approval workflows for a line of business or an organization. You can find out which approval workflows are available in a certain scenario, inspect them, create new approval workflows, or create copies of existing workflows for reuse and customization.

Note
Learn how to Manage Workflows in the SAP Help Portal.

Try it out

Learn about the different workflow configurations and how to create a workflow.

Analytics

Data Integration Architecture in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

ABAP Core Data Services (CDS) views will always be the standard and recommended method of extracting data from SAP S/4HANA for customers to build analytics and extensibility scenarios.

What are Core Data Services?

Most databases, including SAP HANA, support SQL as the standard means to define, read and manipulate data. Higher-level models have been developed for most consumer technologies to make consumption of data easier. Examples of different stacks:

  • OData Entity Data Models (EDM)
  • Semantic Layer in the Business Intelligence (BI) platform
  • JPA and enterprise objects in Java
  • Business objects frameworks in ABAP

Problem: These models share many commonalities, but individual information cannot be shared across stacks.

Solution: Core Data Services (CDS) was developed as an integral part of the HANA database. CDS is a common set of domain-specific languages and services for defining and consuming semantically rich data models (i.e. universal language to read and process data across stacks).

What are Domain-Specific Languages?

Core Data Services comprise a family of domain-specific languages which serve as a common core model for all stacks on top. Think of these as "computer languages", just like English and German are "people languages".

  • The Data Definition Language (DDL) is for defining semantically rich domain data models which can be further enriched through Annotations.
  • The Query Language (QL) is for conveniently and efficiently reading data based on data models, and for defining views within data models.
  • The Expression Language (EL) is for specifying calculated fields, default values, constraints, etc. within queries, and for elements in data models

Core Data Services Functionality

  • Besides the Domain Specific Languages (DSLs), Core Data Services also comprise advanced means for writing data, handling transactions, access control.
  • Core Data Services provide functional services independent of any programming language and language paradigms.
  • They do not specify nor make assumptions on how to add application logic and behavior using general-purpose programming languages and services of application containers.
  • The Virtual Data Model (VDM) is a structured representation of CDS views and follows consistent modeling rules. It provides direct access to SAP business data using standard SQL or OData requests.

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, CDS views are used to pull data from the database for use in SAP Fiori apps or extract data for use in other landscapes. The SAP Fiori applications apply strict security and compliance measures as you access the SAP-approved tables and ABAP CDS views to ensure the stability of the system.

SAP Fiori Analytical Apps

  • Custom CDS Views
  • Manage KPIs and Reports
  • View Browser
  • Create Tile for SAP Analytics Cloud Stories
  • Custom Analytical Queries
  • Query Browser
  • Manage Date Functions
  • Analytical Apps Based on Analysis Path Framework (APF)
  • Predictive Analytics integrator (PAi) (now Intelligent Scenarios)

The Custom CDS Views app enables you to model data access across multiple database tables without changing underlying database tables. You can rearrange the table fields and describe the metadata of the fields that belong to one object but are located in different databases. In general, CDS views are intended to be consumed by a UI, analytics or other systems. You can use this app to create custom CDS views based on the predelivered data sources that are built on the virtual data model. In addition, you can build models using correlated ABAP CDS Views and enable them for extraction. By extracting data to other landscapes, you can build more complex models, calculations, machine learning, and reports using SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP Data Intelligence, and SAP BW/4HANA.

The Manage KPIs and Reports app is a single platform for creating all analytical applications using KPIs, reports, and stories. You can create applications that can be launched directly from the SAP Fiori launchpad and configure metrics in the KPI, visualize the data in chart or table format, and analyze the data to improve the quantity and quality of the different business units belonging to an organization.

With the embedded SAP Analytics Cloud engine powering this app, you can:

  • Create beautiful stories
  • View integrated dashboards based on SAP S/4HANA Cloud data using SAP Analytics Cloud
  • View and analyze stories with classic visualizations, navigate to them and share them with different business units in a secured environment
  • Pull data from analytical and non-analytical data sources and analyze it at runtime

Evolution of Analytical Report Applications: Design Studio to Web Dynpro Data Grid

You use analytical reports to analyze your data and display your results. You can switch the display from table to chart/graphical display or to a combined table/chart display. Both displays can be further configured via the settings menu.

Note
Design Studio will no longer be supported as a tool to create analytical reports, and the existing Design Studio UI5 Control-based applications will be replaced with Web Dynpro Data Grid applications. For existing custom applications that were built with Design Studio, we recommend rebuilding in Web Dynpro Data Grid, as the majority of these applications will be deprecated after release 2105.

The View Browser app enables you to get a list of all available CDS views and use the artifacts (for example, Category, View types, Dimensions and Measures, Annotations) for analyzing data. You can also view the supported capabilities and modeling pattern of CDS views. The advantage of using this app over the Custom Analytical Query app is that the latter displays only released analytical queries, while the View Browser app displays all the CDS views that were released by SAP, in addition to custom SAP views irrespective of draft or release status. However, only the Custom Analytical Query app can be used to create, edit, and delete CDS views.

Try it out

Learn how to use the View Browser app.

The Create Tile for SAP Analytics Cloud Stories app is used to create tiles on the launchpad to directly launch analytic cloud stories based on SAP S/4HANA content. Using the Create Tile for SAP Analytics Cloud Stories app reduces time and errors that occur while navigating between multiple products, and the built-in social collaboration function enables users to work together and act instantly. SAP Analytics Cloud stories connect to heterogeneous data sources for SAP or non-SAP, cloud or on premise applications. In addition, you can now export embedded stories to a PDF or Microsoft PowerPoint, which allows users to easily include specific page ranges. Each exported story page corresponds to one image on a PDF page or PowerPoint slide.

Custom Analytical Queries provides the fields required to design a query. The tool transforms and organizes raw data delivered from business documents into a meaningful grid, and abstracts the process of writing structured queries so you don't have to understand the query language or the technical details. You set the required fields and filters for your query and add restricted measures, calculated measures, and preview the query results. You can convert unit measures for fields in the data source and suppress rows or columns containing zeros. To create, copy, and view all analytical queries, use the View Browser app.

The Query Browser is a Fiori application that can be used to search, browse, and tag analytical queries. The application displays all SAP-released analytical queries and customer-specific analytical queries. Please note that you cannot modify or delete SAP-created analytical queries. However, you can create, save, and publish an analytical query from the Custom Analytical Queries app and view the details of that query in the Query Browser app.

The Manage Date Functions app is used to view SAP-predelivered and customer-created date functions. The app determines a single date or a date range using base and relative dates. The result displayed is the difference between the base and the relative date. You can search for multiple date functions using *.

Analytical Apps Based on Analysis Path Framework (APF)

Analysis Path Framework (APF)-based analytical SAP Fiori apps are interactive drill-down apps that you can use to explore KPIs and their influencing factors by drilling down into multidimensional representations of data, such as charts or tables. You can perform a step-by-step analysis of KPIs by looking at them from different perspectives with many different predefined analysis steps, which consist of data that is depicted on the UI in various types of visualizations (for example, charts or tables).

In each analysis step, you can select data to filter the information provided in subsequent steps. By combining different analysis steps and applying filters, you interactively create your own flexible analysis paths.

Evolution of Predictive Analytics integrator (PAi) to Intelligent Scenario Lifecycle Management (ISLM)

A predictive scenario describes a predictive business use case. The predictive use case defines a business goal or the type of prediction to make, such as a regression or classification. The type of dataset required to run a scenario must be either a training dataset, which contains historical facts and has known outcomes that are analyzed to build a predictive model, or an apply dataset, which is a selection of current data with unknown outcomes for which predictions are required.

A predictive model is used for predicting outcomes from a given dataset. Before a predictive model can be used for predicting outcomes, it must be trained in order to create a predictive model version. The predictive model version can be regularly retrained using the most recent data. To ensure the predictions generated are based on the most recent data, you use the Predictive Models app to train your model, and retrain your model version. This requires regularly reviewing the training status and quality, and deleting any inactive model versions that have never been set to active.

Intelligent Scenario Lifecycle Management (ISLM) provides a new framework in the basis SAP software layer (no additional license required), and is to be the successor of the SAP Predictive Analytics integrator functionality. The Intelligent Scenario apps provide the ability to create both predictive and machine learning scenarios. With a centralized cockpit, there is one central place to manage the lifecycle of your models. Scenarios are based on libraries provided by SAP HANA, such as the automated predictive library (APL). You can create intelligent scenarios directly in ISLM without the need for SAP Analytics Cloud.

Try it out

Learn how to work with analytical applications.

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