SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – How to include GUI transactions in the launchpad – User Menu versus Catalogs

A common desire of most of the SAP S/4HANA customers I and my team – the SAP S/4HANA Customer Care and Regional Implementation Group – have worked with, is to include at least some classic standard or custom GUI transactions in their launchpad. In this blog post, you will learn why, when, and how to include GUI transactions in your SAP Fiori catalogs versus including them in the App Finder User Menu.

TL;DR – If you are considering integrating classic UIs into your SAP Fiori launchpad, you need to be aware of the consequences of how you integrate them. For many use cases it is better to include classic UIs in SAP Fiori catalogs rather than via the User Menu.  While creating the entries in the catalogs takes a little more effort, the difference in usability more than repays the additional effort. 

So here’s a question you might lose some sleep over…

Is your Security role design derailing your User Experience?  

Did you know?

How you choose to structure your business roles – with catalogs or with menus – can significantly improve or impair your User Experience for your business users.  This is unfortunately a common problem seen across multiple customers. Too often for critical everyday use cases, the realization that the wrong approach has been chosen comes too late and/or costs a lot of effort to fix.

How does this happen?

Let’s start with the reasonable business objective:

You want to mix and match the tried and trusted business value classic UIs with the innovative business value of SAP Fiori apps, features, and intelligent use cases.

This makes perfect sense!

After all, one of the major advantages of the SAP Fiori launchpad is that it supports multiple UI technologies. This makes the SAP Fiori launchpad the ideal place to manage the pace of change of your business.

Yes%20you%20can%20launch%20SAP%20GUI%20transactions%20from%20the%20FLP%20Search

Yes you can launch SAP GUI transactions from the FLP Search

To the user all apps/UIs appear equally as tiles and/or links, so you can readily mix and match:

  • your classic UIs that still work and are familiar to your users – such as GUI transactions, ABAP Web Dynpro applications, and Web Client UIs
  • with the SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA innovations that bring new business value – such as apps, features, and intelligent use cases
  • links to Cloud-based apps and analytics

Better yet, you can mix and match custom-created and standard SAP-delivered content freely.

So what’s the problem?

There are some traps for young players here when including classic UIs. As usual, SAP gives you a few options to integrate classic UIs. Some are better, and some are worse depending on what you are trying to achieve.

The 2 main options for including classic UIs are:

  • Include classic UIs in the User Menu in the App Finder
  • Include classic UIs in the SAP Fiori business catalog as part of your business role
For most use cases think: User Menu = Good. Catalogs = Better. 

In this blog post, you will learn:

  • Overview of when to include classic UIs in SAP Fiori catalogs versus User Menu
  • How to include classic UIs in the User Menu
  • How classic UIs in the User Menu impacts business users
  • How to include classic UIs in the SAP Fiori catalogs
  • How classic UIs in SAP Fiori catalogs impacts business users
  • Doing nothing – the consequences of NOT including classic UIs in the SAP Fiori launchpad
  • FAQ: The answers to the usual questions customers ask

Please note: All screenshots in this blog post were taken from a SAP S/4HANA 2021 FPS01 system, however the same principles apply to all earlier SAP S/4HANA releases.

This is a simple choice based on the capabilities you need. In the table below, you can see a  comparison of:

  • launching SAP GUI transactions included in the User Menu, versus
  • launching SAP GUI transactions included in SAP Fiori catalogs.
Requirement User Menu SAP Fiori catalogs
You need your users to launch all apps and UIs from one place, i.e. a single entry point. Yes Yes
You need your users to be able to launch transactions from the App Finder. Yes Yes
You want to search for transactions in the Search for Apps – by name or tcode id No Yes
When launched, you need defaults to be passed to the transaction Yes – ABAP Set/Get Parameters can be used Yes – Default Values can be used
You want app-to-UI navigation e.g. be able to launch a SAP GUI transaction from a button or link in a SAP Fiori app No Yes
When navigating from SAP Fiori apps/features to SAP GUI transactions you want parameters to be passed from the source app to the target UI No Yes
You want to find transactions in dynamic navigation. For example, you want to launch a SAP GUI transaction from

  • Search results,
  • Related Apps buttons,
  • list of link dialogs,
  • jump-to navigation targets in analytics
No Yes
Where needed, the administrator can add the transaction to any of the launchpad pages assigned to the user’s business role No Yes
Optionally, the user can add the transaction  to their launchpad pages, such as their home page or any unlocked page Yes Yes

As you can see there is quite a difference in usability.

Read on to find out how and see some examples.

Including classic UIs in the User Menu is straightforward.

Your security administrator simply navigates to transaction PFCG, and add the transactions to the Menu tab of the relevant business role.

Hot Tip: When adding menus, always add them to the single role not the composite role level. Refer to SAP Note 2538787 – Catalogs in composite role cannot be seen by end users

They can structure the transactions in folders or add them to the root “Role Menu” folder.

Adding%20the%20User%20Menu%20to%20the%20role%20in%20transaction%20PFCG

Adding the User Menu to the role in transaction PFCG

Once added to the role, they update the related authorizations as usual.

Prerequisites:

  • Users must be authorized to use the User Menu
  • You can either authorize all users by setting the launchpad configuration parameters

Seems simple enough? Let’s check the impact on business users.

Users can access classic UIs by going to the App Finder, and then to the User Menu tab.

Transactions appear as tiles and can be launched from the User Menu tab.

However there are some usability watchpoints to keep in mind.

Watchpoint 1: You cannot access any transactions assigned to the root “Role Menu” folder

In SAP GUI you can see all the transactions in your user menu, including those in the root folder.

However in the SAP Fiori launchpad, only transactions in the folder hierarchy will be seen. That is, navigation of the User Menu starts from the top level folders. Transactions in the root folder are ignored.

User%20Menu%20in%20SAP%20Fiori%20launchpad%20ignores%20transactions%20in%20the%20root%20folder

User Menu in SAP Fiori launchpad ignores transactions in the root folder

Provided transactions are assigned to folders you can expand the folder and access the transactions within them.

The transactions appear as tiles. The transactions can be added to the user’s pages, such as their My Home page by using the + button on the tile.

In%20the%20User%20Menu%2C%20transactions%20appear%20as%20tiles%20within%20the%20expanded%20user%20menu%20folders

In the User Menu, transactions appear as tiles within the expanded user menu folders

In the App Finder > User Menu, you can search by transaction code or transaction name across all your menus.

In%20the%20User%20Menu%2C%20you%20can%20search%20by%20transaction%20code%20or%20name%20across%20your%20entire%20user%20menu

In the User Menu, you can search by transaction code or name across your entire user menu

Watchpoint 2: Transactions assigned to the User Menu cannot be found via the Search on Apps

Transactions that are only known to the user menu are not known to the Search in the SAP Fiori launchpad..

Transactions%20assigned%20to%20user%20menus%20are%20not%20able%20to%20be%20found%20via%20the%20Search%20on%20Apps

Transactions assigned to user menus are not able to be found via the Search on Apps

Watchpoint 3: When transactions are assigned only via the User Menu, the transactions do not appear in dynamic navigations

Dynamic navigations include, for example:

  • Search result links
  • List of Links dialogs
  • Related apps
  • Jump-to targets of analytics

Transactions%20added%20to%20the%20User%20Menu%20are%20not%20listed%20as%20a%20related%20app%20in%20the%20Search%20results

Transactions added to the User Menu are not listed as a related app in the Search results

Ok so a brief explanation of navigation types may help here…

SAP Fiori uses intent-based navigations i.e. the target app/UI is linked to a logical “intent” which consists of a Semantic object and action combination. So when navigating app-to-app there are 2 main types of navigations:

  • Static navigations – where an app always navigates to one and only one other app, based on  a strict combination Semantic Object and action
    • These are the apps that you typically see in the SAP Fiori apps library listed in the Related Apps tab, typically marked as a Navigation Target
  • Dynamic navigations – where an app can navigate to any other related app based on the Semantic Object alone.

Dynamic navigations are particularly powerful as they let the user immediately follow their train of thought to view/act on the object using any related app/UI they are authorized to use.

In this example below, the List of links dialogs on Journal Entry automatically shows all apps and UIs the user is authorized to use.  If the user has:

  • No authorizations to other apps – Field value is shown only – no link provided
  • Authorized for one other app – Link is shown and selecting the link goes to the only target
  • Authorized for multiple other apps – List of links dialog is shown – user can go to all apps/UIs in More Links and select favourite apps/UIs

Where does the list of apps/UIs come from? Only apps/UIs assigned via catalogs are shown.

Transactions%20in%20the%20User%20Menu%20are%20not%20listed%20in%20list%20of%20links%20dialogs

Transactions in the User Menu are not listed in list of links dialogs

Transactions added to the User Menu are NOT shown. This makes sense because it is only in the catalogs that you can nominate a Semantic Object and action for each app/UI.

Watchpoint 4: When transactions are assigned only via the User Menu, no parameters can be passed from other apps when the app is launched.

Even Default Values entered in the launchpad are not passed, i.e. defaults maintained via User Actions/Profile menu > Settings.

  • Classic Set/Get Parameters are still applied, and can be synchronized to some extent with Default Values

Transactions%20launched%20from%20the%20User%20Menu%20do%20not%20pass%20any%20parameters%20from%20other%20apps%20-%20only%20Set/Get%20Parameters%20are%20applied

Transactions launched from the User Menu cannot pass any parameters from other apps – only Set/Get Parameters are applied

This follows the usual process for creating launchpad content.

  1. Create the tile/target mapping in a custom technical catalog
  2. Reference the tile/target mapping to one or more custom business catalog(s),
    1. The business catalog is assigned it to one or more business role(s).
    2. The business role is assigned to one or more user(s).
  3. Optionally, you can assign the tile to a launchpad page assigned to the business role.
    1. Even if the transaction is NOT assigned to a page it can still be used from: the App Finder; the Search on Apps; and dynamic app to UI navigation features including Search results, list of links dialogs, Related App buttons, etc.

You can find out more about the general approach in Best Practices and Typical Scenarios for Setting Up Launchpad Content in the SAP Fiori launchpad guide.

Prerequisites

You use the standard launchpad content and layout tools to refining the launchpad content.

You can get access to these tools by using the Fiori Foundation Administration role generated by task list SAP_FIORI_FOUNDATION_S4. By default, the name of the generated role is Z_FIORI_FOUNDATION_ADMIN.  You can assign a user to this role using transaction PFCG or SU01.

Launchpad%20content%20and%20layout%20tools%20are%20delivered%20as%20part%20of%20the%20SAP%20Fiori%20Foundation%20Admin%20user%20role

Launchpad content and layout tools are delivered as part of the SAP Fiori Foundation Admin user role

Step 1: Create the tile/target mapping in a custom technical catalog

The recommended tool is the Launchpad App Manager – i.e. tile Manage Launchpad Apps Cross Client.

You can use the Launchpad App Descriptor Items tab to check for a similar SAP-delivered tile/target mapping combinations to use as a starting point.

Searching%20for%20similar%20transactions%20in%20the%20Launchpad%20App%20Descriptor%20Items%20tab%20of%20the%20Launchpad%20App%20Manager

Searching for similar transactions in the Launchpad App Descriptor Items tab of the Launchpad App Manager

In your custom technical catalog, you copy your preferred template entry into the technical catalog using the action button Copy from other technical catalog. You can search for the other entry using tcode, app id/name, etc.

Adjust the Tile/Target mapping details of your copy as you need, e.g. assign a unique action id, specify the link name in the Target Application Title. In the Tiles tab, you can adjust the Tile name and keywords for Search on Apps

Example%20settings%20for%20a%20transaction%20in%20the%20Launchpad%20App%20Manager.%20Highlighted%20are%3A%20the%20button%20Copy%20from%20Other%20Catalog%3B%20the%20action%20and%20the%20Target%20Application%20Title%20on%20the%20All%20Fields%20tab.

Example settings for a transaction in the Launchpad App Manager. Highlighted are: the button Copy from Other Catalog; the action and the Target Application Title on the All Fields tab.

Pay particular attention to the parameters, as these control what is passed when a transaction is launched.

  • Semantic Object is automatically passed to the identically-named parameter.
  • Identically-named parameters are automatically passed. Use Rename To if the target app/UI has a different parameter name to the source.
  • Default Values are primarily used when launching the transaction directly from the launchpad, from the App Finder, or from the Search on Apps.

Example%20of%20the%20parameter%20settings%20of%20a%20transaction%20in%20the%20Launchpad%20App%20Manager%2C%20showing%20Default%20Values%20and%20Rename%20To%20settings%20have%20been%20adjusted

Example of the parameter settings of a transaction in the Launchpad App Manager, showing Default Values and Rename To settings have been adjusted

The tile/target mapping is then ready to be referenced to one or more custom business catalog(s).

You can find out more in the SAP Fiori launchpad guide section Maintaining Launchpad App Descriptor Items. Launchpad App Descriptor Items is the official SAP term for tile/target mapping combinations.

Step 2: Assign the tile/target mapping to a business catalog/role/user

You use the Launchpad Content Manager to reference your technical catalog entry to your custom business catalog(s).

In the Catalogs tab you can create a new business catalog if you need to. You can use the Add Tiles/Target Mappings action to add your technical catalog entry to your custom business catalog(s).

In%20the%20Launchpad%20Content%20Manager%2C%20on%20the%20Catalogs%20tab%2C%20the%20Add%20Tiles/TMs%20to%20Selected%20Catalogs%20action%20is%20shown%20in%20the%20Content%20in%20Catalogs%20pane

In the Launchpad Content Manager, on the Catalogs tab, the Add Tiles/TMs to Selected Catalogs action is shown in the Content in Catalogs pane

Each business catalog is assigned to your custom business role(s), and this assigns the transaction to the user.

  • This can also be done in the Launchpad Content Manager on the Roles tab via the action Add Catalog.
  • As usual, authorizations of the role need to be checked and adjusted. You can use program PRGN_COMPARE_ROLE_MENU to assist you to resolve any missing authorizations.

All users assigned to a custom business role that contains your custom business catalog will then have that transaction included in their role.

Transactions assigned via the catalogs can be found by Search on Apps by transaction name.

When%20the%20transaction%20is%20in%20your%20assigned%20catalog%28s%29%2C%20yes%20you%20can%20use%20the%20Search%20on%20Apps%20to%20find%20transactions%20by%20name%20or%20partial%20name

When the transaction is in your assigned catalog(s), yes you can use the Search on Apps to find transactions by name or partial name

Transactions assigned via the catalogs can be found by Search on Apps by tcode id.

Tip: You must have maintained the tcode id as a keyword in the Launchpad App Descriptor Item settings.

When%20the%20transaction%20is%20in%20your%20assigned%20catalog%28s%29%2C%20yes%20you%20can%20use%20the%20Search%20on%20Apps%20to%20find%20transactions%20by%20tcode

When the transaction is in your assigned catalog(s), yes you can use the Search on Apps to find transactions by tcode

In the App Finder in the Catalogs tab you can search by transaction code or transaction name across all your catalogs.

Tip: If you don’t have access to the User Menu or the SAP Menu, then the Catalogs tab name is not shown. The Catalogs are always available.

When%20the%20transaction%20is%20in%20your%20assigned%20catalog%28s%29%2C%20yes%20you%20can%20use%20the%20cross%20catalog%20search%20in%20the%20App%20Finder%20to%20find%20transactions%20by%20name%20or%20tcode

When the transaction is in your assigned catalog(s), yes you can use the cross catalog search in the App Finder to find transactions by name or tcode

When assigned to the business catalog, the transactions automatically appear in the dynamic navigation links.

  • Where they appear depends on the Semantic Object assigned in the target mapping.
  • You can use SAP-delivered content as a guide to determine the Semantic Object, including app F3036 Manage Search Models to find the Semantic Object used for search Navigation.

Tip: The name of the link is the Target Application Title set in the Launchpad App Manager.

When%20the%20transaction%20is%20in%20your%20assigned%20catalog%28s%29%2C%20yes%20the%20transaction%20is%20visible%20in%20dynamic%20navigations%20such%20as%20Search%20results%20links

When the transaction is in your assigned catalog(s), yes the transaction is visible in dynamic navigations such as Search results links

In this example the List of links dialogs on Journal Entry automatically shows all apps and UIs the user is authorized to use.  If the user has:

  • No authorizations to other apps – Field value is shown only – no link provided
  • Authorized for one other app – Link is shown and selecting the link goes to the only target
  • Authorized for multiple other apps – List of links dialog is shown – user can go to all apps/UIs in More Links and select favourite apps/UIs

Only apps/UIs assigned via catalogs are shown. Transactions in business catalogs are included.

When%20the%20transaction%20is%20assigned%20in%20your%20catalogs%2C%20the%20transaction%20is%20available%20via%20dynamic%20navigations%20such%20as%20list%20of%20links%20dialogs

When the transaction is assigned in your catalogs, the transaction is available via dynamic navigations such as list of links dialogs

Tip: The name of the link is the Target Application Title set in the Launchpad App Manager.

When assigned to the business catalog, the relevant target mapping parameters are automatically applied when launching the app.

When launching the transaction from a page or directly from the App Search, any Default Values defined in the target mapping are passed.

When launching the transaction from another app, including Search results, the ID and other fields from the app context are passed to the transaction, as defined in the target mapping.

When%20the%20transaction%20is%20assigned%20in%20your%20catalogs%2C%20source%20to%20target%20parameter%20mapping%20is%20applied.%20For%20example%2C%20the%20values%20of%20the%20selected%20search%20row%20are%20passed%20when%20the%20transaction%20is%20launched

When the transaction is assigned in your catalogs, source to target parameter mapping is applied. For example, the values of the selected search row are passed when the transaction is launched

In this example, when all mandatory parameters are passed, the transaction skips the initial screen and opens on the selected document.

When%20launched%20from%20Search%20results%20all%20of%20the%20mandatory%20fields%20have%20been%20passed%20and%20the%20transaction%20skips%20the%20initial%20screen%20as%20expected

When launched from Search results all of the mandatory fields have been passed and the transaction skips the initial screen as intended

What happens if you take the easy way out and DO NOTHING? That is:

  • Only access SAP Fiori apps via the SAP Fiori launchpad
  • Only access classic UIs via SAP GUI

If you choose this approach:

  • Users have to login to 2 places – SAP GUI and SAP FLP.
    • You can expect a lot of complaints from your business users.
  • It’s harder to shift users who are comfortable with SAP GUI to SAP Fiori
    • Many will avoid changing old habits
  • If your users do not adopt the new innovations, you will not get new business value or the desired business outcomes.
    • You can expect a lot of complaints from your business stakeholders.

Q. Can Catalogs and the User Menu be used in parallel, e.g. include some transactions in catalogs and some via the User Menu?

A: Yes you can. This can be useful if you don’t have sufficient time to include all SAP GUI transactions in your catalogs, or you know your experts have some special transactions that only they use on rare occasions.

Q. If we only have time to include some classic UIs in catalogs, what’s the best way to prioritize?

A: You should prioritize by usage, because putting classic UIs in catalogs improves usability/ So you should look to include your most used transactions in catalogs, especially anything used daily or multiple times per day. You can leave lesser used transactions in User Menus if you must. Consider gradually incorporating them into your catalogs over time.

Q. Are there any other options for integrating classic UIs?

A: You can also access classic UIs from the SAP Menu in the App Finder – however this only works for standard GUI transactions and uses the standard SAP Menu – i.e. the transaction needs to be listed in the SAP Menu.

Q. Can we control which users can access the User Menu?

A: Yes you can.

You can control whether the User Menu is available globally for all users by setting the Launchpad Configuration Parameter APPFINDER_EASYACCESSMENU_USERMENU to true or false in transaction /UI2/FLP_CUS_CONF.

If you only want selected users to have access to the User Menu, you set the global parameter to false, and then assign your selected users the client setting “renderers/fiori2/componentData/config/applications/Shell-home/enableEasyAccessUserMenu”.

You can find out more in Setting Launchpad Parameters in the SAP Fiori launchpad guide.

You can find more in the SAP Fiori launchpad guide in the SAP Help Portal for your SAP S/4HANA release.

For example:

For integrating GUI transactions into catalogs, in the Best Practices and Typical Scenarios for Setting Up Launchpad Content

Especially read the sections:

Integrating Applications from SAP Easy Access Menu

You can also refer to the blog post on this topic:

SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – Adding Transactions to Fiori Launchpad

You’ll find much more on the community topic page for SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA

Other helpful links in the SAP Community:

Brought to you by the SAP S/4HANA Customer Care and RIG.