S/4 HANA comes with a new extensibility concept. SAP has announced the new extensibility concept in a white paper published some weeks ago (S/4HANA Extensibility – The new White Paper). A mayor pillar of the extensibility concept is the key user extensibility tool set that is part of S/4 HANA.
In this article, I want to share some insight into the key user extensibility tools. But at first, let me summarize the most important facts.
The S/4HANA key user extensibility tools follow the principle of leading cloud services (see for example the SAP cloud services of SuccessFactors, Ariba, Cloud for Customer and SAP Business ByDesign, but also services of SAP’s competitors). So they are designed for the cloud, but also made available in the on-premise edition:
- They are completely web-based (developed along the Fiori principles and technology) and targeted for the key users and therefore easy to use.
- The artifacts created with key user tools are lifecycle-stable. This means, they are based on public, stable APIs and technology so that they will continue to work without adaptation after the next upgrade.
After this short introduction, let me introduce the tools in detail:
As a key user you can change the layout of you tables and forms directly in the running UI in the UI Adaptation Mode. You can:
- Hide fields in a form, table, or filter
- Rename labels
- Add field to UI from field repository
- Move form field or UI block
- Define new filter and table variants
- This feature is available as of S/4HANA version 1506 (cloud) for selected UIs.
Figure: UI Adaptation Mode
In the Custom Fields and Logic Fiori app, you can add and edit custom fields. You can
- Create and edit custom fields (extend the SAP table, application, CDS views and OData services)
- Manage the usages of a custom field such as other UIs, reports, forms, service interfaces, processes (data flows), search.
The Custom Fields and Logic Fiori app completely hides the technical details of the underlying software stack (for example database table, CDS views, OData services) from you as a key user. Together with the UI adaptation mode, you can simply add a new field end-to-end with a few clicks.
This feature is available as of S/4HANA version 1506 (cloud) and 1511 (on premise) for selected SAP business contexts (for example Marketing Interaction, Marketing Interaction Contact). Additional SAP business contexts will be enabled for custom field extensibility in 1511 and subsequent versions. See also the video in the SAP user assistance: General Functions for the Key User.
Figure: Custom Fields Fiori App
Custom Business Logic
In a state-of-the-art Web editor in the Custom Fields and Logic Fiori app, you as a key user experience can easily add business logic to existing enhancement options.
The Web editor completely hides the technical details of the underlying enhancement technology (e.g. SAP BAdIs) from you as a key user. It provides an easy way of exploration of APIs with key user documentation, and syntax check, syntax highlighting, code completion. Testing capabilities are included.
As programming language wit use a Cloud- and key user enabled version of the ABAP language optimized for:
- Robustness / security / data consistency: For example, the following statements are not allowed: any DB operation except selects from released views, tweaking new tasks, dynamic programming, code generation
- Simplicity: For example, obsolete ABAP statements are removed from the syntax
This feature is available as of S/4HANA version 1506 (cloud) and 1511 (on premise). Selected SAP business contexts will be enabled for business logic extensibility for version 1511 and in subsequent versions. See also the video in the SAP user assistance: General Functions for the Key User.
Figure: Custom Business Logic Fiori App
With the Query Builder Fiori app, you can create and manage analytical queries:
- Copy a query from a SAP delivered standard analytical query
- Add or remove or customize field defined in the query (defining new labels for a field, display data as key or text, show or hide result rows etc.)
- Add or remove filters (pre-configured fixed value filters or user input values filters)
- Create parameters to read the values from the user
- Create custom fields such as restricted measures or calculated measures
- Testing included: Preview the results by executing the report
- The Query Builder is available as of S/4HANA version 1506 (cloud-only). Selected SAP data sources (CDS views) will be enabled for creating queries on top for version 1506 and in subsequent versions. See also the SAP user assistance: General Functions for the Key User
Figure: Query Builder Fiori App
With the Adobe Forms Designer and the Maintain Form Template Fiori app, you can create new form templates:
- as a copy of a SAP standard form
- based on an existing data source (ODATA service)
- based on an extended ODATA service using already existing fields and associations from published CDS views
With the Maintain E-Mail Templates Fiori app you can create new e-mail templates
- based on an existing data source (CDS View)
- based on an extended SAP data source (CDS View)
The forms extensibility tools are available as of S/4HANA version 1506 (cloud) and 1511 (on premise). Selected SAP forms scenarios are enabled for creating new forms for version 1506 and in subsequent versions. See also the video in the SAP user assistance: General Functions for the Key User
Figure: Maintain E-Mail Templates Fiori App
As mentioned in the introduction, key user tools are available in cloud and on premise (based on the feature roadmap). However, lifecycle management is different for the objects created with the key user tools.
In the cloud version, the transport of adaptations from the test to the production system is performed by the key user with Fiori apps without interaction with the service provider and outside of the maintenance window of the service provider. The extensibility transport tools are available as of S/4HANA version 1506 (cloud). See also the video in the SAP user assistance: General Functions for the Key User.
In the on-premise version, customer manages SAP updates and customer transport with “classical” transport tools (correction and transport system, CTS).
Figure: Manage Software Collections Fiori App
Beyond 1511: Additional Key User Tools and Adoption
SAP plans to provide additional key user tools, for example for table extensibility and CDS extensibility in the next versions and further SAP APIs and SAP business contexts to be released so that the capabilities of the key user extensibility will grow over time.
Visit us on TechEd in Las Vegas and Barcelona
We will explain the existing key user extensibility tools and the roadmap (and of course the existing capabilities for side-by-side and managed extensibility) in our TechEd sessions: We will provide a shorter version (1h Overview) in TEC208 “Extensibility Concepts for SAP S/4HANA”, and a longer version (2h) in DEV105 “Extensibility Framework for SAP S/4HANA: An End-to-End Scenario” (Las Vegas | Barcelona). In addition we will present the tools and roadmap in the ASUG preconference session “How to build and extend ABAP based Fiori applications in SAP S/4HANA”.