In my last post on SAP HANA I promised we’ll have a short discussion around SAP Fiori. I’ll keep my promise with a very short post now. Short for two reasons – One, since I’m really short on time. Two, since there is only little knowledge I have on Fiori by itself.
But let’s start with the first reason – why am I short on time? Writing your master thesis can be a very intense learning process. After working a few years and then going back to school has a lot of advantages. I will list one that is not – Writing a 100+ page document that essentially gives you your degree 🙂 In the last 2 weeks I have slept a little under 40 hours. Writing, then re-writing, then re-structuring and then re-doing various parts of your thesis in hope to get a ‘green-light’ is somewhat time-consuming and mind-numbing.
I write this post at 3am because of a phone call I had today with an amazing lady. We spoke about HANA and it suddenly struck me how Vishal Sikka called HANA his baby. Only a second later, a picture of a smug Larry Ellison rolling out the ‘alpha-male’ he calls 12c. The intentions of 12c are ominous. This article is not about HANA and 12c though.
In 3 lines, I’ll summarize one of my future articles on this topic –
12c, in 5 words, is a – “columnar, compressed, high-speed, in-memory database”.
HANA, in 5 words, is a – “columnar, compressed, high-speed, in-memory database”.
In 1 word the result – “competition”.
Of course, this is a gross oversimplification since there is much more to it but this bog post is about Fiori so let’s not divert attention. I pick up Fiori because I expect this concept to become integral around SAP’s culture and way of work in the future (around HANA of course).
So, while we spoke briefly about the basics of HANA a few weeks ago, let’s understand Fiori now.
What is Fiori?
Very simply – Fiori is a set of apps built to cover the core SAP processes.
These apps are designed for a better user experience and interaction. The next piece is to extend ease of use – Fiori works on desktops, smartphones & tablets supporting HTML5.
At the moment there are 25 apps released covering “the most common business functions, such as workflow approvals, information lookups, and self-service tasks”. Quickly translated into common words, tasks like – approve leave requests, travel expenses, timesheets, create sales orders and customer invoices, and track purchase orders – for example. Meaning over half of the core process that are SAP’s bread and butter. Over half the processes customers of SAP need/use almost daily (contentious in some ways, since the apps are targeting the “casual” users – not the “power users”. Hence a lot of heated discussions and debate about the pricing).
Here you can watch a quick video and the list of apps.
Fiori is significant also for another reason – SAP is going very strong on their strategy of mobility. They launched ‘Mobile Secure‘ in a move to capture the Android and iOS devices to work/support SAP functions securely.
The implications of this are exciting in my opinion. For one it means with Fiori, SAP’s approach towards configuration and deployment will be simple, secure and fast. These apps will force them to approach things differently. The architecture for Fiori seems simplified – meaning there is a whole lot of integration going on at the back end for things to also look easy on the front end. There’s been a lot of talk around SAPUI5 – SAP’s User Interface framework based on HTML 5, which I have not any idea about except for the acronym-full-form part of it. But, what we increasingly hear is SAP’s focus on this – meaning now developers can be ‘anyone’ familiar with HTML5 and not necessarily one familiar with ABAP. The implication is- front end developers can just about design any app they want – customizations can be many (which is awesome) but the translation/integration into the back end business logic – will it be just as easy?
This is a very good post on the first impressions of Fiori – definitely worth a read to gain a good basic understanding.
It’s going to be interesting days ahead for sure. Time for me to get back to making my report! Until that happy moment of completion, any student writing a thesis should read how they can get plenty of energy and stay calm.