One of the more confusing aspects of SAP Fiori for those coming to it for the first time is the concept of intent-based...
navigation. How does it work?
Intent-based navigation is a flexible navigation concept that allows the SAP Fiori Launchpad to dynamically determine which navigation options to provide to a user based on their assigned roles and catalogs in the system.
Technically, this means defining objects, called Target Mappings, that have a key consisting of a semantic object and an action. A semantic object will usually be a business object, such as AccountingDocument or SalesOrder, while the action will be something a user can do with the object, such as display, change, or approve. Together, they form an intent. For example, a user who wants to display an accounting document has the intent AccountingDocument-display.
The Target Mapping links the intent to the action that results, such as launching a Fiori application or SAP transaction code to view the accounting document. Target Mappings are defined in Fiori Catalogs, and you can create multiple target mappings for the same intent in different catalogs.
So, in one catalog, AccountingDocument-display might launch a Fiori Object Page, while in another, it might display the document in the SAP GUI. Just make sure that each user only has one Target Mapping per intent. The /UI2/FLIA transaction for Fiori intent analysis can help check for this problem.
How intents are expressed in SAP Fiori Launchpad
Intents are usually expressed when users take an action of some sort, such as clicking on a tile or a link in an application. But intents can also be expressed through search, coming to the SAP Fiori Launchpad via an external link, or in new applications, such as SAP's CoPilot demo. The indirectness of the navigation concept allows for greater flexibility.
In the case of a tile, it is linked to a specific intent, as shown in the figure. But within an SAPUI5 application running in the SAP Fiori Launchpad, a smart link section will display links for all the actions assigned to the user that are relevant to the semantic objects defined in the application. So, a smart link on an AccountingDocument might include links for display and change actions for one user, but only for display action for another user.
Other interfaces, such as search or CoPilot, may make different determinations about which navigation options to display, and most can be influenced through configuration or customization.
Understand SAP Fiori technology and applications
Start developing in SAP Fiori
Dig Deeper on SAP UX
Related Q&A from Ethan Jewett
The design rule of thumb is to keep the Launchpad tile count under 20. But what about power users who need to launch more applications? Here are ... Continue Reading
The way Launchpad versions relate to each other and to SAPUI5 versions isn't intuitive, and both affect app compatibility and access to newer ... Continue Reading
If you want to get more serious about developing UI5 apps, you need to know how the libraries fit into the broader architecture, as well as their ... Continue Reading