SAP Fiori provides the modern SAP User Experience (UX). It’s tempting to think of it purely as a technology for Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). It is that, but it’s much more. Fiori is part of a new way of architecting SAP landscapes. With this new architecture come several different SAP Fiori deployment options.
Elements of SAP Fiori
Fiori, which runs atop the SAP HANA in-memory database, replaces the traditional SAP GUI. It introduces a more intuitive interface with fewer menus. For the end user, Fiori presents itself initially as the Fiori Launchpad (FLP). Fiori Launchpad consists of customizable tiles. The user clicks on a tile to launch an application which runs with a Fiori user interface.
The user sees FLP because it is served through a Fiori Front End Server (FES). The FES, in turn, connects with the SAP back end. The back end might be SAP Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA or other elements of the SAP core.
SAP Fiori Roles
SAP allows for the designation of different user roles for the Fiori FES. In addition to Developer, the two main roles are Administrator and Runtime User. Each user has different access privileges. They can also perform different administrative functions, and there is a range of customizations possible. Runtime users can be granted authorization to specific sets of Fiori applications, for example.
SAP Fiori Deployment Options
You have five basic SAP Fiori deployment options. SAP provides a useful paper to guide you on deployment, with detailed descriptions of the pros and cons of each scenario. These include FES embedded deployment, FES hub deployment, gateway embedded, gateway hub and cloud. The figure shows a simple, comparative reference architecture for these choices.
SAP Fiori Deployment Architectures
Each deployment architecture is suitable for a different set of enterprise architecture requirements and SAP landscape preferences.
- FES embedded deployment – in this SAP Fiori deployment option, FES is embedded in a single SAP landscape. This is a useful approach when you need to have just a single instance of SAP Fiori running. It is the simplest deployment. Embedded deployment is also recommended for SAP landscapes running multiple SAP S/4HANA systems. For example, you might have S/4HANA 1709 FPS1, S/4HANA 1709 FPS2 and S/4HANA 1809 operating in parallel. Each will need its own FES. One advantage of this approach is the ability to scope changes to the local level. You can make fine adjustments the FES configuration according to the S/4HANA version you are running.
- FES hub deployment – multi-system SAP Business Suite scenarios do well with the FES hub deployment approach. In this deployment architecture, the Fiori UI components, SAP Launchpad and SAP Gateway are bundled into a centralized FES. At the same time, the business logic and classical UIs remain on the back end system. It is then possible to integrate multiple back end systems, such as SAP SRM and SAP CRM into the FES. In administrative terms, the FES hub deployment lets a single administrative endpoint control multiple FES instances. For complex environments, it may be a welcome way of structuring the FES admin workload. The hub deployment approach is also good for High Availability (HA).
- Gateway embedded – here, the SAP Gateway is embedded into the back end system. Using this architecture, it is possible to integrate cloud instances of FES using a cloud connector.
- Gateway hub – the SAP Gateway serves as the hub in this architecture. The backend can then easily connect with FES in the cloud
- SAP Fiori Cloud – FES can operate in the cloud on a standalone basis, connecting to back end systems that are on-premises. Fiori UIs and FLP content are available on the SAP Cloud Platform. It will require use of OData provisioning in the cloud as well as the Cloud Connector.
Executing Your SAP Fiori Deployment
Sifting through the SAP Fiori deployment options to find the right solution for your business will take careful analysis of your SAP requirements as well as planning for the future. In some ways, what you expect to do next year is more important than your current needs. You want to architect Fiori for long-term value, not set it up to be dismantled and re-deployed down the road.
The planning process should also include your roadmap for updating your back end systems. For example, if you are planning to migrate to S/4HANA, you should definitely think that through regarding your FES options.
A variety of other deployment challenges emerge as you go through the planning and requirements process for Fiori. For instance, you will need to support HTML5 for the SAP Gateway. There are also compliance and security controls to consider like Segregation of Duties (SoD) among others.
Controls set up for monolithic on-premises SAP landscapes do not automatically port over to Fiori. Fiori is not designed to grant access through its structure of service authorizations. SoD conflicts that result will go unnoticed, leading to issues of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC). We have devised ways to port SoD controls and conflict notifications through our ControlPanelGRC solution.
Symmetry has the experience and resources to help you determine which of the SAP Fiori deployment options is best for your business. Then, we can help you implement it. We are an SAP Certified Partner with years of experience helping companies like yours migrate to the cloud, HANA and S/4HANA databases. Talk to Symmetry’s experts today to see how an SAP-certified partner can work with you on Fiori deployment.