SAP S/4HANA Cloud - MythBusters

As technology evolves, so do the misconceptions surrounding it. In the realm of enterprise solutions, SAP's S/4HANA Cloud has been subject to its fair share of myths. In this article, we're taking on two prevalent misconceptions head-on and providing you with the real insights you need. 

Today’s agenda: 

  • Myth #1: S/4HANA Cloud can’t be extended, and the Clean Core policy is only beneficial to SAP. 
  • Myth #2: Custom Fiori applications look different from SAP standards; they require a lot of work and are therefore expensive. 
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Myth #1 - S/4HANA Cloud Can't be Extended - Clean Core Policy Only Benefits SAP 

One common myth surrounding S/4HANA Cloud is that it's a closed ecosystem that can't be extended to fit your unique business needs. This notion couldn't be further from the truth. At the heart of this misconception is the misunderstanding of SAP's Clean Core policy. 

SAP strongly supports the Clean Core paradigm, which means a zero-modification policy and restriction to released APIs only. While some might question its feasibility, Clean Core offers businesses a unique advantage in terms of stability, adaptability, and integration.  

Clean Core's stable interfaces play a pivotal role in meeting customer needs. They provide a robust framework that supports different use cases across various levels of system extension. This versatility empowers customers to tailor S/4HANA Cloud to their specific business needs without compromising the stability of the core system. 

Furthermore, decoupling S/4HANA and custom applications leads to truly independent lifecycles and enables regular software updates to bring all new features and improvements to business applications. 

As a result, businesses can seamlessly integrate new features and enhancements into their applications, staying at the forefront of innovation.  

Extending S/4HANA Using Fiori Apps 

Key users can extend S/4HANA in several ways using Fiori apps.  

These apps offer a range of options, including UI customization (including changing label texts), creating custom reports, KPIs, print forms, e-mail templates, and more.  

Additionally, key users can leverage Fiori apps to introduce new custom fields to SAP business objects, such as Purchase Orders and Product Masters. These fields become part of the system's APIs, allowing for integration with corresponding UI apps and communication via integration APIs. 

Fiori apps also enable key users to extend business logic using simplified ABAP for Key Users in various BAdIs. This flexibility empowers them to tailor S/4HANA Cloud to their organization's specific processes, enhancing efficiency and productivity. 

On-Stack Developer Extensibility for Complex Cases 

As business requirements become more complex, on-stack Developer Extensibility comes into play. This approach involves utilizing released objects and local APIs to extend S/4HANA Cloud.  

It's especially useful for cases that require tighter yet still well-separated integration with the S/4HANA backend. The ABAP RESTful application programming model serves as the foundation for this extensibility, ensuring uniform and standardized developments. 

Side-by-Side Extensibility for Loosely Coupled Cases 

In loosely coupled scenarios, where only remote APIs are essential, Side-by-Side Extensibility is the right approach.  

This scenario is particularly relevant for applications that require integration with multiple cloud and on-premise systems. An excellent example is the creation of S/4HANA business objects by non-S/4HANA users, such as Purchase Requisitions.  

By leveraging Side-by-Side Extensibility, businesses can seamlessly integrate diverse systems while preserving the stability of the S/4HANA Cloud. This approach ensures efficient collaboration between different applications and enables streamlined processes. 

Myth #1 Busted

With the Clean Core policy, you have the freedom to tailor S/4HANA Cloud to your organization's unique requirements, all while enjoying the benefits of a stable and upgradable system. 

Myth #2 - Custom Fiori applications look different from SAP standards; they require a lot of work and are therefore expensive. 

Another myth that needs debunking is the misconception surrounding Custom Fiori applications. Many believe that these applications require extensive resources, are visually distinct from SAP's standard interface, and are therefore prohibitively expensive to develop. 

SAP Fiori vs. SAPUI5 

SAP Fiori and SAPUI5 are often mentioned together, leading to misconceptions. Recognizing this distinction is crucial for businesses seeking to deliver an optimal user experience.  

SAP Fiori is a design system focused on generating a consistent user experience (UX) akin to standard SAP Fiori apps. On the other hand, SAPUI5 serves as SAP's technology base for developing modern HTML5 and JavaScript applications.  

Developing a SAPUI5 application from scratch (freestyle), indeed, can be laborious and eventually may not adhere to SAP Fiori principles.  

SAP Fiori Elements Framework 

However, with the introduction of the Fiori Elements framework, the development process becomes streamlined and cost-effective.  

The framework takes care of all lower-level processing and enforces UX consistency across SAP standards as well as your custom apps.  

With five different predefined floorplans, developers can create impactful applications without a single line of JavaScript coding. It is possible thanks to UI, driven using annotations from the backend. The framework's extensibility and TypeScript support further enhance its value proposition.  

Currently, 80% of new S/4HANA applications are built using Fiori Elements. Utilizing Fiori Elements can significantly save project costs. 

Myth #2 Busted

Creating Custom Fiori applications doesn't have to break the bank. By leveraging the Fiori Elements framework, you can efficiently develop applications that seamlessly integrate with your S/4HANA Cloud environment while adhering to SAP's design principles. 

Debunking the Myths with ACTUM Digital 

The world of S/4HANA Cloud is not limited by misconceptions. The Clean Core policy empowers you to extend your system while maintaining stability, and Custom Fiori applications can align with SAP's design standards without draining your resources.  

It's time to put these myths to rest and embrace the true potential of S/4HANA Cloud. Still have questions left? Connect with our certified S/4HANA Cloud experts to address them. 

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