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Why new SAP UI will be a fiasco

Published in crm, sap-crm-consultant, software-development by max.favilli, 16/03/2015 (edited on 04/10/2016 ) 35

From my point of view one of the most exciting and promising component of SAP bit and pieces, was SAP netweaver gateway. Born to make it easy to build OData services, was potentially introducing a new, revolutionary, and disruptive approach at developing SAP based enterprise solutions: open RESTful interface to any external non-SAP platform, client, or system. Making much easier to build your enterprise solution on an heterogeneous mixture of SAP/non-SAP software components.

Now, it’s not that I consider SAP NW Gateway such a revolutionary product, or a technical achievement (in fact I do not), what I found exciting was the potential shift from a walled garden to an open approach.

Was that a definitive change of course in SAP history?

SAP doesn’t understand Web and Mobile

SAP is still struggling to offer a reasonable Web platform.

That’s somehow astonishing, it’s now year 2015, internet have been around for a while. Internet users amounted to 50% of world population in year 2000, Amazon was born in 1996, Salesforce in 1999 (more on salesforce later) and had 1M paying subscribers in 2007, and  (to make just one example) SAP has tried for years to sell its customers an e-commerce solution which was laughable (SAP ISA then SAP Web Channel) before to finally give up and apply some common sense buying Hybris.

Mobile have been even more tragic.

After years of struggling with a windows based mobile platform (SAP Mobile Solution) they realized how much the world had changed and bought Sybase to finally have something to offer (Sybase Unwired Platform, better known as SUP). Comparing SUP to the most familiar mobile app development framework was disheartening in terms of time to develop, but who cares, SAP customers have plenty of money and patient. The shopping spree continued with Syclo acquisition, which at the time was praised by many as a better alternative to SUP.

I am very supportive of the attempt to buy something which works, in both cases, Web and Mobile. But does it mean SAP understood the fundamental different nature of web applications when compared the old enterprise apps SAP have been selling for decades?

SAP never show its UI

Browse SAP websites and try to figure out what its user interface looks like, you will have a hard time, no screenshot whatsoever, a lot of beautiful picture of smiling business people using laptops, smartphones and tablets, but not even a glimpse of what SAP applications UI looks like. 

Trying to get an idea of what SAP UI/UX looks like maybe frustrating, but in a way is corroborating to see at least SAP is aware of the problem, in that context SAPUI5 is finally giving them something show off.

And we must admit they tried, launching attempt after attempt, to head in a different direction.

SAPUI5 is just the most recent one, will it be the last one? And is it really a sign of a change in SAP approach to UI?

SAP history

SAP is working hard on trying to revamp its image, from the giant mammoth of enterprise software to a more agile and sexy player in the IT innovation field. 

Looking at SAP history can be instructive. When Hasso Plattner and his peers left IBM to form SAP AG in 1972 they probably where the closest thing to Jobs and Wozniak in a garage that Germany in 1972 could produce.

Their client/server enterprise application, with real time database access, compared to the established mainframe enterprise software of the time (using punch cards to store data) was a bigger and more daring revolution than Apple iPhone.

History tell us Davids sooner or later become Goliaths, but can they turn back into Davids again?

The case of SAP CRM and Salesforce

Having witnessed few customers turning from SAP CRM to Salesforce, I can list few reasons why the latter is more appealing to today IT stakeholders, and why Salesforce, not SAP, disrupted the market Siebel systems created becoming the market leader.

The cloud vs on premise debate is misleading, enterprises are as much worried of clouds as happy to get rid of metal.

The truth is business needs in terms of CRM are diverse, are frequently changing, and UX expectations are much more uncompromising.

SAP CRM ability to address these needs have been disillusional for years. 

There’s seems to be a curse in SAP which just make it impossible for the german software giant to conceive a software application which is svelte, quick to adapt to new needs, and sexy to use.

If we believe this is not the side effect of their tactic to protect their walled garden, then we cannot avoid to spot the light of SAPUI5 trying to change things. But, is it?

Why SAPUI5 is going to be a fiasco

When I first got knowledge of SAPUI5 in 2012 it looked unbelievable.

I thought SAP had finally understood that even with its size (and enterprise market control), was impossible to fight web standards and was finally embracing them.

SAPUI5 is a client-side javascript runtime rendering library, for both desktop and mobile, which can be used together with other standard javascript libraries.

It allows developers to build SAP integrated dynamic application on top of HTML5 web standard.

They even introduced an open-source-licensed version of SAPUI5 and share it on github. As of today commits are very frequent but the same can not be told about wide spread adoption with only a little more of 150 forks and less than 500 stars, ridiculous when compared to frameworks as Bootstrap or AngularJS with tens of thousands of followers.

The problem is this library is another little baby mammoth growing. They choose to base it on jQuery and its functional DOM manipulation approach just when the Web was abandoning it. And just looking at the library is clear they spent a lot of time, of a lot of developers, in building it.

Some years ago they must have looked around wondering what is web development, and then chosen to re-do it SAP way, putting 500 developers in a building to write millions of line of code. Microsoft did the same mistake in the past few times before to realize that: if you can’t beat them, join them.

For the techie

Without going too technical and just to make one example, web development today is going in another direction, two-way data binding introduced a paradigm shift in how DOM abstraction is done in modern frameworks, making code much more concise and simpler. jQuery “imperative” DOM abstraction have been replaced by a “declarative” approach. If you are a developer and you want to get scared you can look at how data binding is done in SAPUI5, or the nightmare two-way data binding is in SAPUI5.

Another good example of why it’s the approach being wrong is SAP mentioning templating as one of the strength of the library, a Business developing a web application in 2015 doesn’t want “templating”, doesn’t want to be able to change the color of buttons. It needs total control of the user interface.

No matter how good their “templating” is, because it is. They even developed a powerful theme designer which translate into LESS. 

It’s evident they put a lot of care and love in building SAPUI5. And it would have been a great innovation, if released one decade ago.

For the business

From a business point of view SAPUI5 requires skills that are scarce on the market, hence more pricey, time to develop it’s slower than using the most popular modern frameworks (like Knockoutjs, Angularjs, React.js, and for the CSS part things like Bootstrap, Foundation, etc…) and  I don’t see any guarantees this is the road to the future.

So if SAPUI5 development is as expensive as previous iteration of SAP UI, plus it’s as complex, and it’s not going into the direction where modern svelte web development is going, why should business adopt it?

One reasons why for sure some will, is SAP ability to push it. Credibility and trust can sell anything, and SAP as a lot of deserved credibility and trust from the market. But as someone said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

A second possibility, is SAP building a broad and deep set of apps based on SAPUI5 to justify its adoption. Which is in my opinion what is trying to do with SAP Fiori; not just showcasing what is possible, but offering apps to SAP customers, ready for production out of the box and ready to be personalized with SAPUI5 development.

Another bold move could be to just replace SAP ECC interface overnight with a SAPUI5 based interface, which may sound a titanic enterprise but in my opinion is not, then it could still make sense, you have the same development cost and time-to-go live of the old UI but at least you moved a step forward.

Are the alternatives to SAPUI5 enterprise ready?

Maybe. It all depends on your definition of enterprise-ready. If Google, Twitter, and Facebook, developed AngularJS, Bootstrap and React.js respectively, to serve billions of pages a day, to make code reusable and to be able to adapt quickly to new needs… Well, I am inclined to believe these frameworks could suite the business need of SAP customers as well.

Are they natively integrated with SAP? No, but they are easy to integrate with anything, and closing the loop with this post opening paragraph, SAP Netweaver Gateway and odata open the doors to use whatever you want to develop your next UI/UX.

A final consideration

I can feel the frustration down there in Walldorf, and I feel sympathy for them.

I can feel the struggle to change skin they are going through, and I totally side with them. If they will ever succeed, the world will be a better place for their customers and for all of us working on SAP consulting.

Good luck SAP.

Join the discussion



by George - 20/02/2017 alle 16:06
I don't really get your point. Have you ever worked with WebDynpro and Dynpro? Don't you find it nice that using SAPUI5 controls (especially sap.m) you can build nice good looking Fiori apps that the users can use it really easy and ease their work? 
By having Fiori apps SAP doesn't only allow you to rework your screens -> you also can rework on the user flows in your modules. It's a good chance for some code and user flow refactor ;)
You mention Angular, React, Bootstrap -> things can go here reaaaally messy if you don't pay attention on what are your developers doing with all the two-way bindings and CSS. I like that for SAP I use only standard controls and they take care of browser compatibility (costs?) and other stuff :)
Perhaps they are a bit behind others like Google with Angular 2.0 (typescript etc) but they offer a really nice environment to develop / build (Jenkins, Maven etc) / deploy apps. I consider this really useful as I see over there all the jobs that are running for my projects (quality, integration, accessibility, delivery etc) and your company does not need to invest in such an infrastructure as it is provided by SAP. Things will improve, they always do, it just depends on you how you use a framework that someone provides. 
It always has been a difference between business corporate libraries and libraries for small apps.
Risposta di max.favilli il 2/20/2017 alle 17:10
I totally agree with you, SAP has a subpar solution to develop modern UI, but can still profit from it thanks to being SAP. The point is, a corporate app could still be crap and be wildly used because it's the only app a company is providing to its employees. And when the business whines the IT can defend themselves saying "it's a pain to use it but it's a certified corporate solution." So the incentive to invest, and risk, to improve UI in the corporate world is much weaker, and the result is stuff like SAPUI5.
by Antje - 17/12/2016 alle 02:46
ui5 fiasco fixed previous fiasco and will be improved by the next fiasco. that is how it seems to work, with marketing as good as always. the ui5 or angular alone are not enough to fix things, the whole setup is wrong. it looks to me that sap UI problem will be solved when the pressure to solve the problem becomes bigger from status quo forces, which did not happen over the last 15 years. in my company the business still runs on Dynpros, ui5 far from being useful.
by Roberto Malatesta - 30/11/2016 alle 16:46
This article title should be updated.
Things have really changed.
Now it should read :
Why SAPUI5 is a fiasco and will soon turn into a demijohn.

by Jose Erickson - 18/11/2016 alle 12:00
Sadly, all he says it is true. No way to deny it. I am developer and I can remember my days of Webdynpro ABAP / Java. SAP can't help himself. It is clear that proprietary technologies days of domination are over.
by saptechie - 02/11/2016 alle 13:47
The landscape around UI5, documentation, tools (IDE like eclipse, WebIDE), community, help from SDN is lacking and as an Angular app can be hosted as well on the Netweaver platform the web/mobile the framework of choice can be taken.
Also the benefit of openData /gateway server (just another box to be sold to the lucky customer who hasn't enough boxes) is so small whereas the underlying standard REST is so common for integrating frontend and backend technologies, it is hard to understand why SAP does make simple thing so complicated that one ends up with higher development time and technologies no one outside the SAP world settles on. But complicated thing are easier to sell as they are not fully understood by the happy customer.
Another awkward moment rises when starting to develope a UI5 app comes up when asked how the view should be developed, should is be JS, XML, json or HMTL... WTF?!?
by Kishor - 01/11/2016 alle 19:28
Well, for B2E customers SAP never thought UI quality matters. But now since new cloud strategies being adopted worldwide and more consumer facing apps being the requirement SAP is finally feeling need to upgrade it's UI. I really want to see a professional website built using SAPUI5. Do you have pointers?
by Anne - 01/11/2016 alle 03:12
Yea I have no idea why any React.js developer who has been building React.js in normal IDEs from scratch (custom) would ever touch SAP fact they'd run for the hills if they had to use some proprietary framework and IDE like this.  It reminds me of SharePoint...what good developer would want to waste any of their career in this garbage.  Anyone building React apps pick up their favorite editor, possibly a few other libraries or frameworks (open source) such as Redux, and simply uses their brain and is free to CODE without restraints or any weird proprietary garbage.  

I can't imagine having to be restricted by some weird proprietary thing such as SAP Hybris.  Ugh.  No thanks.
Risposta di max.favilli il 11/1/2016 alle 13:02
Well, I can tell you why a developer could be tempted into it. For a rate of 1000k+ a day plus expenses.
by Shaun Snapp - 25/10/2016 alle 16:37
Sam Beckett's comment is nit picky and anti-intellectual. This article offered excellent content. It is a serious article. I could care less if it has grammar errors here and there. I can find tons of perfectly grammar corrected material in SAP marketing literature, but the content is false. Which would you prefer? Obviously Sam prefers the latter. 

The real issue Sam has is he disagrees with the article's conclusions. He has nothing of substance to bring, so he brings up a grammar issue. Why don't you try saying something substantive Sam? Oh wait, check my grammar for an error before you respond. I gramma checked my response Sam. I hope you like it. 
by Sam Beckett - 04/10/2016 alle 12:55
If you want to write a serious article learn the difference between "it's" meaning "it is" or "it has" and "its" meaning "belonging to it"!
by whzz - 14/07/2016 alle 23:35
over an year has passed, and you're still absolutely on point.. UI5 lack the basics of a decent modern framework / library to work, and every single project I suffer. The main issue I've found when dealing with this topic is that "no-one outside SAP ecosystem knows about UI5 existence" so people browsing this text would be "SAP-oriented" people - the problems UI5 starts when you load UI5.
by bernard - 05/07/2016 alle 15:47

 Well this surely must be about perspective - the story of the blind men and the elephant refers.

To be clear SAP is an "opinionated" framework - i.e. one that has a fairly strong level of dictate and this has both positive and negative outcomes - how you weight these depends on where you are positioned: if you are a creative developer wanting to express yourself this is likely to upset you and you are likely to look at the negatives and play these up. An opinionated framework will stifle creativity. BUT, if you are say a build manager servicing the needs of a business and you are attempting to achieve a level of standardisation (consistency) then an opinionated framework may be a good choice. This is a critical understanding - while I could unpack this further I will not do that here.

From a underlying delivery perspective (e.g. the technical workings of the framework including binding and templating) - unlike others I would be slower in finding criticism here - I think decisions that confront management in bigger organisations (and therefore decisions) do not match those of developers who typically think from their perspectives - they can often be creatives and anti-establishment (something I understand well) and this naturally evokes a response when constraints (especially ones that cut against the edge of the current wave) are imposed. On this it’s interesting to note the pushback against Angular 2.0 

Using the logic applied in this article everyone should be game - but everyone isn't - hence factions are being spawned, newer frameworks are gaining traction,... This is an important note.

In addition someone correctly raised the issue of resources - we cannot leave our people behind - and therefore whether intentional or not, not adopting the very latest across the board as far as web's evolutionary delivery journey is not necessarily a bad thing - some people will need to crawl and maybe the intentional (or not) transition to an intermediate position is not as bad as a person could paint it.

From my perspective I do think that SAPUI5 represents a major step forward in modernizing SAP's presentation layer and we all know how desperately needed that was. And the issue wasn't for lack of trying - the issue was SAP consultants not making the leap to new proposed options - this time they have no choice.

We are using SAPUI5 to service build across different use cases that have nothing to do with the SAP back-end. Some individuals have argued for Angular. But when assessed in context: i.e. we are going to have to build capability in UI5 (as we are migrating to S4HANA currently) and the fact that we now have consistency across both SAP and non-SAP apps, and, from our perspective UI5 is leap years ahead of the build tech we are using (green screen on AS400 that has a reach largely limited to an AS400 instance) the whole discussion of declarative (or not) is a bit mute (again given a certain perspective).

So yes, you have some points, and thanks for the highlighting of those. I do want to say that considerations for SAPUI5 have to transcend the technical domain. To your credit you highlight scarcity of resources and this has to be a consideration - but this has to be weighed against some of the ALM features say that HCP brings and that enterprise are likely to leverage, in time.

There are many more facets to this discussion and this is a simple shoot from the hip response - at some point I may put down my take on the as many of the full set of factors that ultimate provide a legitimate view on SAPUI5 - know that these will never be the same - if I am blind and all I feel is the tail of the elephant - rope may be my very best position.

Risposta di max.favilli il 7/19/2016 alle 20:22
I am not against an opinionated framework, and I am not criticizing SAP UI5 for being opinionated (or trying to be...), I criticize it because to me it looks outdated from start. I can tell you management in big organizations have started to understand what UX is, and the impact on their work. Not necessarily when accounting or traditional ERP processes are involved. But let's take CRM or collaboration, your CRM is your business card to your customers, and a ugly collaboration system is not going to succeed in terms of internal adoption. SAP UI5 is a giant leap forward for SAP standards, agree; but it's a frog leap for the rest of the world. (Which may still mean it's a good thing for SAP world.) And, again in my opinion, is not the outcome of a pondered decision, is the consequence of SAP culture. It perfectly fits in an historical path, they are the perfect example of innovator's dilemma.
by Peter - 29/05/2016 alle 21:13
"They choose to base it on jQuery and its functional DOM manipulation approach just when the Web was abandoning it."

Well SAP certainly based SAPUI5 on jQuery, but I'm not sure of the demise of jQuery. By some measures 70% of all websites use jQuery.

There's a mild learning curve to SAPUI5, but once the developer is familiar with the approach, it's possible to turn around highly effective structured code very quickly. Which means it's also possible to create junk software quickly.

And if you don't like it, change it. OpenUI5 is open source.

For those who don't know, SAPUI5 is really nothing like any earlier SAP UI technology. It has nothing to do with BSP or WebDynpro (thank goodness). (BSP is like JSP or ASP but for ABAP).

And while the SAPUI5 library is enormous, because SAP uses lazy loading for the .js files the performance is not significantly negatively impacted. Only what is needed is loaded.

If you're looking for a comprehensive UI control library that includes a framework for building highly complex applications then SAPUI5 is a candidate - and it's free. The pitfalls are that it is easy to create complex applications that are not reusable, and navigation routing - as with most frameworks - is a problem (and hence has been redesigned at least once).

While I wouldn't argue about the binding approach being limiting, it's worth remembering that SAP customers have an enormous investment in highly expensive developers, and SAP needed to introduce a technology that retains a similar MVC "paradigm" to those with which those developers are familiar. (You can tell by reading some of the earlier posts). I assume that's why the somewhat "locked in" binding approach is used.

So far as templating is concerned, I'm not sure I get your point. While SAP for whatever reason does push the XML and HTML templating approach, the majority of developers I work with simply write .js files for views. For those developers who are not familiar with .js then the templates provide an alternative that doesn't require as much .js experience.
Risposta di max.favilli il 7/19/2016 alle 20:41
Well I agree with your points. Just to clarify about templating. When I was writing the post I came across an article from SAP empathizing the built-in templating of UI5, I found it funny. Because if you look at its capabilities from the perspective of SAP consultants who have shed their blood trying to change SAP look&feel you can understand the enthusiasm, but outsiders would just laugh at its functions.
by sk - 05/05/2016 alle 07:46
I call BSP, Webdynpro Best of breed because they offer the convenience to code in one language (ie abap) without having to worry about too many constraints(like servers, end user environments).. An application can be built and moved into Production in day(s) even with 1-2 developers (no need of separate UI developers and backend developers)

UX and sleek design are also achievable with great CSS designs... And what would you really do with 5-10 technical input fields displayed on the screen?(that is what most SAP screens are)..

UI5 libraries are really fantastic, SAP have used the UI building techniques from Dialog programming to Webdynpro/WebUi  to make the UI5 libraries. Yet these libraries have the latest standards integrated like HTML5, Mobile, Odata etc.

I don't think many commercial orgs will use UI5 for their ecommerce websites but will surely use it for their internal app developments, wouldn't be shocked if microsoft apps/technologies are pushed out completely from the organisation..

Risposta di max.favilli il 5/5/2016 alle 12:11
Let me just focus on the main issue I have with what you are saying. The average SAP customer who just need a small change, may be happy with a small solution like the ones you have described, I have seen that done an hundred time, in my experience was more happy with that solution ten years ago, but it's not very happy nowadays... Nevertheless... Then, there's the SAP customer who really need something like (just few examples) 1) a mobile solution to let its workforce do it's job, like in retail to push trade marketing campaign to sales teams and collect visits data, 2) a public facing website to give customer support, multichannel, with all the bell and whistles so common nowadays, 3) an e-commerce website who is not just solving a problem but empowering sales. These are just three examples, for each one of these examples, as far as I know, SAP wants to play, wants to be in that market, and SAP has tried for years to sell a proprietary solution which was crap unsatisfactory, and at the end started an acquisition spree to try to fill the gap. These are just three examples, but in my opinion are good examples of solutions where SAP failed because it's not in their DNA to deliver something which is sleek and effective in terms of UX. They don't have the culture and they don't have the technology. SAPUI5 is the last attempt to fill that gap. And as far as I know they know, at least Hasso Plattner said so, that either they will change and adapt or they will be relegated to the role of that old software vendor who has that old solution for SD/MM/FI/CO you have to bear with.
by sk - 03/05/2016 alle 05:15
This authors analysis is flawed.

SAP mostly provides new technology for its existing customers.

SAP had BSP, Webdynpro and ITS technologies long back. BSP and Webdynpro are the best web technologies. SAP UI5 is just an extension of BSP.

SAP Sales for some stupid reason does not push its gateway server (UI server) with the best of breed UI technologies.  The UI server is optimised for web development/hosting.. It has various development technologies in one server...

You could even build a great Mobile App using webdynpro but session management is an issue.. 
For most of SAP customers just using FI and HR apps, I think a webdynpro based Mobile App will also not be a problem. Webdynpro can detect the type of device you are using and can render the screen to fit into the device. Most SAP uses cases are for 5- 20 fields per screen.

Most SAP customers don't use SAP for e-Commerce and don't host high traffic websites like Amazon or Google etc on their SAP servers.

If SAP customers were really bothered about UX, they would have found ways to use JQuery with BSP and would have made custom CSS etc..

Salesforce is on the cloud and still have a sick UI. Salesforce just has a better sales team. 

SAP offered a CRM system which was slow(performance wise) and that led to bad UX.. SAP CRM Ui and Salesforce Ui design are almost the same..

Existing ABAP developers are now slowly taking up the UI5 javascript work and there is no shortage of developers..

Risposta di max.favilli il 5/3/2016 alle 10:45
Someone can probably build a great mobile app with a C64, but that doesn't make the C64 a cutting edge technology. Not that every work need cutting edge technology. But if you call BSP, WebDynpro and SAPUI5 best of breed, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "best of breed" means. Anyway, customers nowadays ask for sleek design and great UX, and SAP just doesn't deliver. Ask them.
by Zack - 19/04/2016 alle 21:09
As a developer, developing SAP MII applications (using SAPUI5 to develop UI) to integrate ERP (mostly SAP)  and manufacturing, shop floor, systems (mostly SCADA & Rockwell) I can tell you that SAPUI5 (integral part of SAP MII) is the only professional tool to do that. It is massive , to display plant or even multiple plants real time production on screen (HMI) and enable operators to control production and confirm these processes (goods movement) to ERP. You can additionally use MII SAPUI5 custom libraries (as SPC Charts). Nearly 80% of Fortune use SAP and SAPUI5 is the natural way to bring smartphones and tablets into these workplaces.
by Serdar - 09/02/2016 alle 14:07
Hi Max
Although I can see a good reasoning behind some of your criticism, I believe your analysis lacks some important points (or stressing the importance of them) which may be mentioned in favour of SAPUI5:
  • SAP is behind SAPUI5 and it is a crucial part of SAP's recent disruptive technology transformation. I believe SAP will do anything to keep it live.
  • It is a library that is local to the SAP domain. This means more developer tools, lifecyle management compatibility, SAP product support (may not be valid for OpenUI5) --> This is a real game changer for many businesses as at the end of the day, SAPUI5 will be capable of whatever you would expect from such a library, having appropriate skillset will -soon- be less of a problem and development support will become much more a priority in business software management
  • It takes care of device compatibility nicely
  • It mainly targets enterprise grade applications; so, SAP will include solutions for concerns which other frameworks may be late to implement or overlook, e.g. accessibility, internationalization, etc.
  • SAP can any time change the basis of the SAPUI5 library to be something else for good reasons, but the burden of transformation will be -mostly- theirs.
  • Google is not selling AngularJS, similarly Facebook ReactJS and Twitter Bootstrap; however, the success of SAPUI5 is paramount to SAP's commercial interest (although it is not directly sold) and this adds value in terms of SAPUI5's reliability and "future-proof"ness.
  • Non-SAP developers being generally reserved against the SAP world (well, SAP has a role in this) has a great effect in why OpenUI5 did/will not gain popularity when compared to other top frameworks of today. SAP is trying to drag more not-previously-SAP developers to its world (or -from a different aspect- opening its world to a wider community) by making HCP platform run mainly Java, Javascript and HTML5 applications and moreover by building HCP on top of Cloud Foundry and recognizing its BYOL (Bring Your Own Language) paradigm.
In terms of "luck", I believe SAP has quite a lot of it; hasn't it?

PS: I do not have any direct relation with SAP
by Guillaume - 20/01/2016 alle 17:42
Qualiture wrote:
I guess you haven't seen the "ICC Cricket World Cup 2015" SAPUI5 application which perfectly showcases what can be achieved with SAPUI5, and at the same time shows how serious SAP is with it's UI strategy and Mobile focus ;-)


I'm not at all convinced that this particular app is written using SAPUI5 technology and made available as an hybrid app! (SAPUI5 is a web-based technology not a native one).

I agree with the author that SAPUI5 is a HUGE framework in terms of size (barely usable in "classic" web application) although I sincerely found the framework interesting in some aspects (such as the sap.m library for its responsive capability and some of the charting libraries as well).

Even SAP knows about other technologies, I have seen some of their developments done using this technology (BUILD is using AngualrJS if I can remember correctly). But, a custom consumer app (where identity matters) is not the same as hundreds of enterprise applications (which should have a consistent Look & Feel, patterns and all...)

by asv - 21/12/2015 alle 09:46

I agree with you. SAPUI5 is really heavy for developers. Many solutions of SAP are dead now (like Guided Procedures, HTMLB for Java, cApps, I suppose CAF and NWDI and so on )

But for End user SAPUI5 is good. With SAPUI5 users get the same UI paradigm for all SAP systems and custom applications based on SAP system/SAP Portal including SAP GUI which follow the same UI concept. It's really great for users to work with uniform theme and UI principles no matter whether you will use SAP GUI, browser or mobile device. 

In such cases I don't see alternatives to SAPUI5. I really like Angular JS, but I don't know how to archive the same user experience/style with this framework. As developer I don't want to write raw HTML/CSS and because we develop business application we don't have HTML  coder/designer.

And yes SAPUI5 could me more simple and flexible.

Risposta di max.favilli il 12/21/2015 alle 11:41
I don't think is heavy, it's more or less as complex as jQuery, so I would say is rather simple. Other frameworks/libraries are much more complex to learn and use, ReactJs and AngularJs are for sure more tough. All SAP products would have the same UI if all of them were using SAPUI5, which is totally false right now, maybe sometimes in the future, but doesn't sound very realistic in the short/medium term given the complexity of rewriting the front-end of so many different applications. In fact SAP is promoting SAPUI5 for apps and web development, fields where so far any SAP attempt to gain traction have shown inconsistent results. As for HTML/CSS coding, I regret to say if you want to develop for the web you need to understand and know html/css. But I can easily see how unfamiliar it is for someone coming from SAP world.
by rk - 20/12/2015 alle 02:14
I agree with the Author of this article. Even as a novice in JS, the first thing I wanted to is use a Bootstrap template. ICC App may look pretty, It is not certainly not easy.
by René van Mil - 11/12/2015 alle 11:05
Great post, couldn't agree more! SAP doesn't need its own web framework. There's absolutely zero chance they will build something better than or even get anywhere near the open source leaders (Backbone, Angular, Ember, React, Meteor) and UI5 shows it - it's a trainwreck. If anything they could provide a Bootstrap theme which applies the SAP style.
Also, there is no such thing as "native integration with SAP", because it's all just http and json, like any other backend. You can easily build a proper restful interface on SAP without gateway and without the burden of OData (definitely *not* the best way to REST, as opposed to what they want you to believe).
As I see it, SAP should embrace the web dev community and instead focus on providing a proper RESTful BAPI, err API, for their systems, so we can build beautiful apps and integrate them much more quickly with SAP.
by JM - 03/12/2015 alle 17:38
Interesting post, agree with some of your points, however I think it's worth adding that UI5 is obviously targeted at the enterprise market, having worked for a large multinational organisation where users are stilling using IE6-8, it's not always feasible to use technologies that only work in modern browsers.
Risposta di max.favilli il 12/3/2015 alle 19:51
When a business choose SAP UI5 is because they want to target mobile or web with an application able to compete in terms of UI/UX with the best of breed. It's sold and bought as the solution to bring modern UI/UX to the SAP world, to fill a gap. Not only in terms of UI/UX but also in terms of time to develop/maintenance and adherence to modern web development standards. So I think we should judge it for that.
by mklopf - 30/11/2015 alle 09:29
Hi, I completely agree with your point. We develop with UI5 too, but the lack of support outside of SAP makes it hard to find good resources to fix problems.

The SAP documentation for UI5 itself is a disaster and really, really bad. We need a large amount of time to implement complex user requirements.

And when you ask questions on Stack Overflow or in SAPs community you rarely get a good answer. It's a real pain.

I'm constantly thinking about building a React based solution mimicking the UI of the framework. The problem is, when you want to be part of the Fiori experience, you need to host the application on the Netweaver gateway to get inside the launchpad, that SAP provides as entry point.

UI5 makes no fun when you see all the other stuff going around in the web community. It's hard to built apps, it's hard to motivate developers working with it. I think we could be much faster releasing products when not working around the idiosyncrasies of the framework.

I don't know what they do internally to help developers starting with development, but from the outside I sometimes feel lost.

Risposta di max.favilli il 11/30/2015 alle 12:36
You have all my sympathy. If I was developing for web or mobile now, I would give React a try and let UI5 rest in peace. I have been working on SAP projects since 1997 and I have always seen them stumble while trying to catch up with new technologies, and I know how frustrating it is to have to deal with that.
by soumyadeep - 30/08/2015 alle 09:28
Either you do not understand SAP Apps/The way they have been made for mobiles/responseive design/code once run anywhere... or You are getting biased. SAP UI 5 ways ahead than other JS platforms.
Risposta di max.favilli il 8/30/2015 alle 12:00
In my post I mentioned few issue I see in SAPUI5, if you think it's so great you are free to expose the basis of your logic as well. And it would be welcome. Otherwise you sound just like another fanboy. Let me add if it was ahead of other JS framework it would have been adopted outside of SAP world as well. If you check github pages for some of the major JS framework like (please note react have been launched after SAPUI5), and you will see no one care about SAPUI5.
by Qualiture - 16/03/2015 alle 17:11
I guess you haven't seen the "ICC Cricket World Cup 2015" SAPUI5 application which perfectly showcases what can be achieved with SAPUI5, and at the same time shows how serious SAP is with it's UI strategy and Mobile focus ;-)

(See for some background info)
Risposta di max.favilli il 3/16/2015 alle 17:36
No, I didn't know about that specific app, and I agree it's pretty. I also agree SAP looks very serious about it's new UI strategy. But I still believe SAPUI5 is years behind what modern web development is today, and more expensive, and time consuming to develop with... And I am not sure SAP, as strong as it is, is strong enough to lead its customers into that direction.