One of my favorite things about working in IT is getting to research and try new technologies that make people’s jobs easier. Of course, not all technologies achieve this goal. In the SAP implementations I’ve been involved with over the years, users had sometimes claimed I was making their jobs harder and less efficient. Thankfully, SAP listened and delivered Fiori to help change that perception.
The challenge with many IT investments, Fiori included, is proving that the technology will do more than look cool. Investments in UI need to save money or increase user adoption. A unique aspect of Fiori is that you can implement some apps out of the box without making an investment in anything other than time. The best way I’ve found to do this is to find a task decision makers do in SAP, and start there.
In my organization the one thing a majority of managers do on a regular basis is approve workflows. The “My Inbox” app allows them to view and process workflows much more quickly than when using the GUI. “My Inbox” is also one of the apps that can be easily installed and used in production environments with little to no customization!
Installing “My Inbox” took me less than four hours. This time includes downloading the add-ons, configuring the app, and installing a couple notes that greatly improved the usefulness. There are several blogs available for configuring “My Inbox.” However, because I used a Netweaver 750 Gateway system, my experience was slightly different than others using 740.
The first step was installing the UIX01CA1 (UI for Cross-Applications) and IW_PGW (Process Gateway) add-ons and patching them to the latest version.
Once the add-ons were installed I activated ca_all_apv and ca_fiori_inbox in transaction sicf.
Next I created the TRUSTED RFC connections to the ECC system from the Gateway server, and back. It is very important to use trusted RFCs for this to work. When defining the system alias for the ECC system the My Inbox app requires a Software Version of /IWPGW/BWF and the “For Local App” box needs to be checked. If you have an alias setup to your ECC system already it’s a safe bet you’ll need to copy it to make these changes.
Finally you can add the SAP_FND_BCR_MANAGER_T role to your user. While I recommend creating a new custom role using the properties of the SAP role, it is ultimately up to you and your security team.
At this point I was able to launch the app. If you’re new to Fiori, a very helpful transaction is /IWFND/ERROR_LOG. If the app launches and just spins and spins, or if you get an error message, this is the transaction that will allow you to find more details. My experience is that these types of issues almost always lead to an inactive service, or an incorrect software version entry in SPRO->SAP Netweaver->SAP Gateway->OData Channel->Administration->General Settings->Assign Data Provider to Data Model. For error determination, the developer tools within Chrome are extremely helpful as well.
Once my app launched, I could view workflow items in my inbox but I couldn’t open the task. Whenever I clicked on “Open Task” I was presented an error “Could not Open Task. Contact your system administrator.” This was resolved by applying note 2227426 and its prerequisites. My implementation was on UIX01CA1 SP5. These notes are included in SP6 so you can avoid this step once that is released.
I mentioned earlier that “My Inbox” can be implemented with little to no customizations. It does work and is a great app to start your Fiori projects with. However, if a user wants to open the task, the app calls HTML GUI so a lot of the benefits of Fiori are lost. To finish the app I would enlist a developer to ensure users can stay in Fiori screens to gain the maximum benefits.
Now all I need to do is create a PO and send a link so my management team can approve a Fiori project using their new Fiori My Inbox App!