The SAP Fiori Launchpad is the main entry point for launching your SAP Fiori applications, but where is the SAP Fiori Launchpad running in your landscape? Which deployment options are available? Let’s take a look.
There are several options available to you, as detailed in the illustration below:
SAP Fiori Front-End Server (FES)
The first version of the SAP Fiori Launchpad was released in 2013. It was actually called ‘SAP Fiori Launch Page’ back then and had some specific architectural and functional limitations. This version was released together with 25 Fiori apps supporting Employee Self-Service / Manager Self-Service (ESS/MSS) functions such as My Timesheet and Approve Leave Request, and deployed on the ABAP Server.
When running the SAP Fiori Launchpad on the SAP Fiori Front-End Server, it is recommended that you use the Central Hub Deployment of SAP Gateway. This means installing an independent SAP Gateway server as a single point of access to your backend systems. More information about deployment options for SAP Gateway can be found in the SCN post SAP Gateway deployment options in a nutshell by SAP's Andre Fischer.
Role-based access to the tiles can be setup using the good old PFCG transaction in SAPGUI. This scenario is recommended if you have an on-premise SAP ERP system and want to utilise SAP Fiori applications.
SAP HANA Cloud Portal
The SAP HANA Cloud Portal is the cloud-based Portal solution that is part of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). With the HANA Cloud Portal you can easily create your own website. From creating a simple static one with HTML content to a dynamic site which exposes business data from another cloud system (e.g. SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Cloud for Customer) or connecting to your on-premise system.
One of the options for creating a new site in the Portal is to choose the Fiori Launchpad template. With this option you get a fully customisable Fiori Launchpad where you can add your UI5 apps deployed to the same HCP account where your HANA Cloud Portal service is running. These UI5 apps can also consume backend services on your on-premise system via the SAP HANA Cloud Connector. Access to the Fiori catalogs and groups can be managed by connecting them to roles defined in HCP.
This scenario is recommended if you want to focus your investment in the Cloud with the option to extend on-premise solutions for specific scenarios.
SAP Enterprise Portal
Many have an SAP Enterprise Portal running in their on-premise landscape. From release 7.31 the Fiori Launchpad is available; delivered as a new portal framework page. Once activated you can configure which content you would like to make available to your end users via the Fiori Launchpad. This is recommended for consuming the SAP Portal on a mobile device.
A note of caution: not all content available in the Enterprise Portal (like UWL, Web Dynpro applications) is optimised to be shown as content in the Fiori Launchpad. However responsive UI5 applications deployed on the Enterprise Portal are ideal for consumption via the Launchpad.
Role-based access to the Fiori Launchpad, as well as tiles, can be managed by creating roles via the SAP Portal Content Directory and assigning them to users or groups via the SAP Portal User Management Engine.
As mentioned above, if you have an existing Portal running in your landscape you can now easily add a new responsive entry point with the Fiori Launchpad.
SAP Fiori Cloud Edition
As of late March 2016, the latest offering in Fiori Launchpad deployment is the SAP Fiori Cloud Edition. Hosted and maintained by SAP, this gives you access to a Fiori Launchpad running on HCP. It comes with limited number of SAP Fiori apps spanning the most frequently and commonly used use-cases. The list of currently available Fiori apps running in the Fiori Cloud Edition is maintained in the post SAP Fiori Cloud Edition - Apps Scope by SAP's Aviad Rivlin.
You can experience a demo right here and try it out for yourself. This option connects the Fiori Launchpad in the Cloud with your on-premise backend system. It also comes with ability to customise these apps, and of course create your own custom applications all with the Web IDE, in addition to giving you the Fiori Launchpad and also the theming and branding support.
Part of the Fiori Cloud Edition is HCP OData Provisioning (previously called "Gateway as a Service" or "GWaaS"). This option can replace your on-premise SAP Gateway Hub server which you usually need to connect the SAP Fiori apps to your backend.
SAP Fiori Cloud Edition is a great option and arguably the fastest way if you want to use the Fiori Launchpad in the Cloud and let SAP take care of the hosting and upgrades.
Want to know more?
Hopefully this overview of deployment options will help you make a decision about which option best suits your organisation based on your existing SAP landscape. As seen above, the deployment options vary between on-premise and cloud solutions with different integration options and own ways to manage authorisations.
If you’d like to start or enhance your Fiori journey, we are offering complimentary Fiori workshops in May run by our very own Nathan Adams. Alternatively, you can watch The SAP Fiori Launchpad as a Human-Centric Dashboard webinar.