What ails traditional SAP user interfaces?

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

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Excerpt from First Steps in SAP Fiori by Anurag Barua – what ails traditional SAP user interfaces?

Initially, I wanted to call this chapter “What ails SAP GUI?” because SAP GUI is synonymous with SAP user interfaces. SAP GUI is used by millions of users spanning companies of all sizes, straddling all kinds of industries, and across all continents. It is therefore one of the most widely used and recognized user interfaces in the world. There are others, such as Web GUI, NetWeaver Business Client, etc. However, these other technologies generally fall within the “Plan B” or “Plan C” realm and SAP GUI is considered the default interface.


To return to my question: using SAP GUI as the primary manifestation of the SAP user interface, let us take a look at its less pleasing aspects:

  • For any standard transaction such a purchase order, sales order, invoice, etc., the standard SAP screens contain hundreds of fields, many of which are of little to no relevance to a user.
  • The number of tabs and fields leads to excessive clicking or navigation, which is not productive.
  • The options for customizing/personalizing these screens are not straight-forward or easy for the casual user. In some cases, coding is required to customize the screens, which is not something you can expect from even a power user.
  • The overall user experience with SAP GUI is generally considered to be less than pleasant.

This is a statement that I have been hearing for many, many years, even when “user experience” was not as prominent a factor as it is today. Dark gray screens have become synonymous with SAP GUI and for years, users have been complaining about the unsatisfactory experience. Although this is a qualitative assessment, it is hard to argue with it.

  • There is no direct way to access SAP GUI via mobile devices. Suffice to say, SAP GUI was conceived long before mobile computing became the craze it is today

Keep reading in First Steps in SAP Fiori by Anurag Barua.

126 3D-CoverAre you wondering what SAP Fiori is all about? Dive into SAP’s new user interface and gain an understanding of core SAP Fiori concepts and get quickly up to speed SAP Fiori functionality, architecture, prerequisites, and technical components. Walk through key configuration and get examples of what has gone well (and not so well) on real SAP Fiori implementation projects. Take a technical deep dive into the types of Fiori apps including transactional apps, analytics apps, and fact sheets and walk through custom development and enhancements. By using practical examples, tips, and screenshots, the author brings technical and non-technical readers alike up to speed on SAP Fiori.

  • SAP Fiori fundamentals and core components
  • Instructions on how to create and enhance an SAP Fiori app
  • Installation and configuration best practices
  • Similarities and differences between SAP Fiori and Screen Personas

13Author Anurag Barua is an SAP expert and currently a Principal at TruQua Enterprises. He has 23 years of experience in conceiving, designing, managing, and implementing complex software solutions, including nearly 18 years of experience with SAP applications. He has led multiple SAP implementations in various capacities. His core SAP competencies include FI and Controlling, Logistics, SAP HANA, SAP BW, SAP BusinessObjects, Enterprise Performance Management, SAP Solution Manager, SAP Fiori, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), and project management. He is a frequent speaker at SAP conferences globally and contributes to several publications. He has written two books on SAP, including First Steps in Crystal Reports for Espresso Tutorials. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. He is a PMI-certified PMP, a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and is ITIL V3F certified. You may contact Anurag via email at Anurag.barua@gmail.com.