The SAP Fiori launchpad is an SAPUI5-based application that acts like an application container (called a shell) and is used to host multiple SAP Fiori apps (e.g., SAPUI5 components, Web Dynpro ABAP components, SAP GUI for HTML for running SAP GUI transactions, web client UIs, and arbitrary URLs).
It serves as an entry point to all these application types and related analytical insights that can be viewed or accessed on various devices with an adaptive design paradigm, as shown in this figure.
Along with the shell that provide access to applications and insights, the SAP Fiori launchpad also provides additional services such as navigation, personalization, embedded help, bookmarking, app configuration, notifications, usage analytics, and user info.
The access to these applications and the analytical insights are represented as tiles and links on the launchpad, which are used to launch the corresponding applications within the launchpad shell. The figure below shows tiles (e.g., Manage Sales Orders, Track Sales Order) in the first row and links (e.g., Create Sales Order, Sales Order Fulfillment) in the second row.
They can also be configured to open applications in-place (within the same browser tab) or ex-place (outside the tab, in a new tab).
The SAP Fiori launchpad presents different views to individual users based on the roles assigned to them and any personalizations. These roles are typically modeled on segregation of duties (SoD) compliance; that is, they are typically like a job description in an organization for an employee, manager, or purchaser and present only the relevant information required for the user to do their daily tasks. Let’s explore the role the SAP Fiori Launchpad plays, introduced through different variants, and discuss the key components.
The Role of SAP Fiori Launchpad
The SAP Fiori launchpad started as a single entry point option for accessing a specific product (or a couple of similar related products, for example, SAP ERP and SAP SRM, both based on SAP NetWeaver) in the past, and it evolved as a central entry point option with a motivation to integrate multiple cross products, for example, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Concur, SAP Ariba, SAP Customer Experience, and SAP Enterprise Portal, as shown in the next figure. The SAP Fiori launchpad not only gives options to launch and access multiple UIs from one place when acting as a shell but also provides federation capability to share preconfigured SAP Fiori Launchpad content and roles.
From the usage point of view, the SAP Fiori launchpad typically serves as a starting entry point for all the SAP Fiori business processes coverage that the user can access. It shows various application tiles/links and analytical information, such as counters, key performance indicators (KPIs) via graphs, and charts, on tiles.
From the launchpad, users typically access domain-specific information and actions via an analytical or drilldown-based app as a second step and finally reach the object-level transaction to execute operations on the business objects.
Consider the next figure for understanding navigation as part of the SAP S/4HANA SAP Fiori UX. The first level shows the SAP Fiori launchpad serving as the start point, the second level shows an overview page (e.g., procurement area), and the third level shows the Purchase Contract and the Display FLC Order apps that a user would use to deep dive.
In a generation use case, starting from the launchpad at level 1, the user would topically access the analytical apps, such as overview pages, list reports, worklists, analytical list pages, at level 2, and then eventually jump to specific business objects at level 3.
Variants of SAP Fiori Launchpad
Now that you have an understanding of the SAP Fiori launchpad, let’s investigate its variants available across different platforms. The following variants are available.
SAP Fiori launchpad on SAP Business Suite or SAP S/4HANA (On-premise Solutions)
This variant of the SAP Fiori launchpad is implemented as a part of the SAP_UI component on an SAP NetWeaver or ABAP platform and is typically launched by Transaction /UI2/FLP from the relevant client or via a launchpad URL provided by the system admins.
The SAP Fiori launchpad typically uses an SAP Gateway frontend component (IW_FND - Information Worker Foundation) to register the OData services, and the business enablement provisioning (IW_BEP) component is used to consume the data services. The launchpad itself is an SAPUI5-based application that requires few OData services to operate.
The SAP Fiori launchpad content is assigned to users via Transaction PFCG role assignments. And the SAP Fiori launchpad content is modeled via tools such as the SAP Fiori launchpad designer and the SAP Fiori launchpad content manager.
SAP Fiori launchpad on SAP Enterprise Portal
This variant of the SAP Fiori launchpad is based on a multichannel portal framework page (called SAP Fiori framework page) that gives you the SAP Fiori launchpad experience within the SAP Enterprise Portal environment. The SAP Fiori launchpad content is administered using the SAP Enterprise Portal roles concepts and is modeled using the portal content directory structure.
SAP Fiori launchpad on SAP BTP via SAP Launchpad service
This variant of the SAP Fiori launchpad is implemented via SAP BTP (formerly known as SAP Cloud Platform) software as a service (SaaS) launchpad or portal service and is accessed via a site URL provided by system admins.
The SAP Fiori launchpad content is assigned to users via SAP BTP roles and is modeled using site manager.
The table below shows a comparison of these implementations and what they support.
Editor’s note: This post has been adapted from a section of the book Configuring SAP Fiori Launchpad by Claus Burgaard and Setu Saxena.