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SAP Fiori transforms the SAP user experience (UX) by providing an intuitive, modern, graphical user interface (UI).  The Fiori Launchpad is the user’s point of entry into this new SAP UX. It consists of clickable tiles that launch Fiori-powered applications. SAP Fiori Launchpad configuration is a manageable process, but it does take a bit of explaining. This article offers an overview of the configuration process.

Understanding SAP Fiori Launchpad

SAP Fiori Launchpad is a shell. It hosts SAP Fiori apps while providing those apps with services like configuration, navigation, personalization and embedded support. It is a tile-based information architecture, with each tile representing a business application launchable by the user. It is role-based, with tiles shown according to the user’s role. The tiles on the Launchpad show live status indicators, e.g. how many tasks are open.

The Launchpad is designed using the concept of the “viewport.” The user will see one part of the viewport on the screen. The others are off to the side, out of sight when not in use. It’s a partial view of a bigger interactive surface. The user can use a toggle shell bar to scroll to the left or right to reveal specific data and system information relevant to the user.

The Launchpad’s main center of activity is its home page. It’s the user’s starting place. The user can personalize the home page, adding tiles or setting up grouped bundles of tiles. The “Me” area, which is located off-screen (via the viewport construct), contains the user profile, picture, online status and more. It shows the user’s setting and preferences as well as a catalog of apps that are available for use. The Me area also gives a list of recently visited apps and objects as well as tools for personalization of the main area.

To the right is the Launchpad’s “Notifications Area.” This shows system-generated notifications like workflow inbox messages and notifications about chat. The user can prioritize and organize notifications into groups. It is possible to access the notifications area from every app that is shown in the main content area.

SAP Fiori Launchpad components include:

  • Tiles – containers that represent apps
  • App Finder – an interface resembling an “app store”
  • Shell Bar – toggle buttons that allow the user to open and close the Me Area, the notifications area and the CoPilot
  • Enterprise Search – for searching across all apps and business objects
  • Services – central services for use by app dev teams, e.g. navigation between apps and controls for gathering user feedback

SAP Fiori Launchpad Configuration Cockpit

Administrators configuring Fiori in the cloud through the SAP HANA Cloud Portal can use the SAP Fiori Launchpad Configuration Cockpit to create and maintain the content that populates SAP Fiori Launchpad. The Configuration Cockpit consists of menus, each of which take the admin into different functional areas. The “Site Settings” menu enables the admin to configure the Launchpad site properties and options at runtime. The “Apps” menu is for configuring app tiles, both new and existing. “Catalogs” is a feature for admins that allows them to establish role-based access to applications. The “Tile Groups” menu is a place to set up groupings of tiles on the Launchpad. This menu is available to end users as well as admins.

The “Services” menu leads to an extensive collection of options. These include:

  • Translations – support for multiple languages on SAP sites
  • UI Theme Designer – for creation of themes that customize apps’ visual appearance
  • Theme Manager – custom themes for apps
  • Transport Manager – for moving content through export and import functions
  • SAP Web Analytics – a detailed analysis of site clicks and page loads

The Configuration Cockpit also contains an Account Apps section that lets admins select apps from a SAP HANA Cloud Platform account and add them to the current site. From there, the admin can edit their tile configurations. The Usage Analytics segment of the Cockpit offers a dashboard, with charts, graphs, and tables showing statistics Launchpad site usage as well as that of its apps.

It is important to reiterate that the SAP Fiori Launchpad Configuration Cockpit is only used when Fiori is configured through the SAP HANA Cloud Portal.  For those with an on-premise deployment of Fiori, you’ll have a catalog designer, which limits you to modify only theming, catalog, and groups.

SAP Fiori Launchpad roles

Fiori Launchpad allows for the designation of different user roles. These, in turn, associate with settings for apps, their catalogs and tile groupings. It’s endlessly customizable. For example, users in the accounting department could comprise one group. They are only allowed to see accounting apps on their Fiori Launchpads. HR users might for another group. They would not see accounting apps, and so forth. There are so the roles of Developer and Administrator. Each user has different access and admin privileges.

The concept of Segregation of Duties (SoD) arises in this context. SoD is a control necessary to prevent financial fraud. For example, if an employee with the HR user role could somehow access accounting apps, that user might be able to commit fraud. Similarly, certain accounting processes (e.g. approving and signing checks) need to be split between different users in order to maintain strong controls over financial operations. (This is necessary for Sarbanes Oxley compliance.) Fiori roles and groups are an essential part of SoD. We have extensive experience helping companies set up SoD for Fiori Launchpad.

How to launch Fiori Launchpad from SAP GUI

It is possible to launch Fiori Launchpad from the traditional SAP GUI. However, this is not an out-of-the-box capability. It requires some coding. This process involves creating a class and a method along with a Call Function in the browser. Then, it’s necessary to create a transaction with a start object as ‘Method of a class’. This process is detailed here.

Executing SAP Fiori Launchpad Configuration with an SAP Partner

Symmetry has the experience and resources to help you set up the best SAP Fiori Launchpad configuration for your organization. We are an SAP Certified Partner, with years of experience covering the entire SAP portfolio. This includes extensive experience with SAP Fiori, SAP HANA and S/4HANA.

Nick McCall, Senior Basis Consultant

Nick McCall is a Senior Basis Consultant on Symmetry's consulting team, delivering expert technical day to day system monitoring support directly to Symmetry’s valued SAP customers. Nick goes beyond performing daily database administration by also providing SAP system troubleshooting and problem solving – he is always willing to learn the latest SAP trends and advises customers to take advantage of new technologies should it fit their business needs. He pairs his sound technical knowledge with outstanding customer service. This is demonstration by his work on large customer project initiatives, most recently working on: S/4HANA 1809/1709/1610, Fiori FES 5.0, AWS/Azure implementation, SLT, BOBJ/BODS, Solution Manager full implementations and configurations, domain migrations – homogeneous, database upgrades, compressions, reorgs, and much more. Nick’s skilled approach ensures Symmetry’s clients receive highly disciplined support instilled with industry best practices to keep their SAP system continuously running smoothly.