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Is SAP Fiori a set of apps or a technology?

Concept, design and practical implementation all come together in the Fiori user experience.

Is SAP Fiori a set of apps, or is it more properly considered a technology? SearchSAP has already covered the idea...

of SAP Fiori as a set of apps, but that's not all it is. According to Sam Yen, SAP's chief design officer and the leader of the team that developed SAP Fiori, there are three aspects: "Fiori the concept, Fiori the design, and Fiori the technology."

That's an apt description of SAP Fiori, but it still may not be entirely clear to those who haven't been following along. Let's expand it a little bit:

  • The concept of Fiori is an approach to developing applications to address specific problems. It takes heavily from the ideas of design thinking, and makes user experience (often shortened to "UX") a priority rather than focusing on just the user interface -- in other words, prioritizing how it works rather than just how it looks.
  • Fiori is also a design language that has sprung from the development of applications that follow the Fiori concept. The design language continues to evolve, but recognizable aspects include clickable tiles for launching apps, the ubiquitous master-detail view, and a fairly "flat" look using a muted color palette. You can take a look on SAP's demo platform.
  • Lastly, Fiori is characterized by actual implementation -- the apps themselves. Most of these applications are implemented using SAPUI5 technology in the browser, with either HANA or the ABAP application server on the server side of the equation. It is possible to implement the Fiori concept and design language using an entirely different technology.

I find that when talking and thinking about Fiori, it is important to keep all three of these aspects in mind. None works without the others. Concept and design without implementation have no effect. Implementation without a common design language results in user confusion. And design without a solid conceptual foundation will go astray.

Next Steps

Read about SAPUI5's impact on the new Ariba UI

Watch a video interview about SAPUI5 and Fiori

Learn what free SAP Fiori really means

How to use custom Fiori apps with smart controls, Fiori Elements

This was last published in April 2015

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