Fiori 3.0: What Spaces, Pages and Sections are all about

Fiori is no longer a new technology. But the latest version has brought a whole series of changes that are also relevant for authorized users. We take a look at what the new Fiori objects Spaces, Pages and Sections are all about – and how they affect authorizations.

Originally, you authorized Fiori tiles by adding one or more business catalogs and one or more groups to the respective role. The OData services required to execute the tiles were also pulled into the role with the catalog.

However, the SAP recommendation at that time was still to run the backend and frontend on separate systems. This meant that you always needed two roles for an application: The frontend role contained everything needed to display the Fiori launchpad and start the tiles, i.e. the catalog, groups and IWSG services. The authorizations for the functionalities behind the tiles came from the backend role. This meant that at least the IWSV services and the necessary authorization objects had to be installed here. The authorization objects were (and are) automatically brought into the role by the services and only need to be defined.

If your company is still working with groups and separate front-end and back-end systems, you may find our article on Fiori in the old scenario interesting.

Current recommendation: Embedded scenarios

SAP has since changed its recommendation and now identifies embedded systems as a best practice solution. This means that the frontend and backend are operated on a shared system. This makes your work as an authorizer a little easier. You still need both IWSG (frontend) and IWSV services. But you can install both in a shared role. This happens automatically as soon as you drag the business catalog into the role menu (PFCG – Role menu – Small triangle on the “Transaction” button – SAP Fiori Launchpad – Launchpad catalog).

This will add the apps themselves, their launch authorizations and the backend authorization objects to the role. Just as you are used to. But when it comes to the interface, i.e. the visual design of the Fiori Launchpad, the similarities to previous Fiori versions end.

New objects for the Fiori Launchpad

With the current version, SAP has introduced new objects for designing the launchpad. Whereas previously you were essentially limited to the groups to determine how the apps are displayed to the user in the launchpad, you can now differentiate the structure of the launchpad to a much greater extent.

The following objects are available for this purpose:

  • Spaces
  • Pages
  • Sections

As an authorizer, you can ignore everything except Spaces in most cases, because only these are built into the roles (instead of groups). But since all three objects are related, it is also important as an authorizer to understand how they work. Even if you may never create them yourself.

You can think of Fiori authorizations like a matryoshka in this respect. The Russian dolls that still have a smaller doll in their belly, but you can’t see it from the outside.

Spaces in Fiori roles

The largest doll that is immediately visible is your authorization role. If you open it, you will find the Spaces in the belly (and the catalog, which we are excluding here because it has no influence on the appearance of the Launchpad, except that it provides the apps that we arrange).

The Spaces replace the old groups and also have the same effect on the Launchpad. The Spaces are displayed as tabs. They are therefore the first, coarsest level of the structure and act like a navigation.

To create Spaces, you can use the Fiori app “Manage Launchpad Spaces” (Fiori ID: F4834). Important: Spaces do not contain any apps themselves. They only form the shell for the other, more detailed structural elements.

When you create a Space, the system asks for an ID, title, description and a transport request. However, it also asks whether you want to create a page for the space directly. Check this box, because you need the page to map apps in the Space (i.e. the respective Launchpad tab).

And with that, we have discovered the next doll in the belly of our Fiori matryoshka.

Pages: Invisible helpers

Pages are displayed in the Fiori Launchpad as a drop-down menu in the Space to which they are assigned. However, this only appears if the Space contains two or more Pages. If you only assign one page to the Space, it remains invisible in the Launchpad.

If you create a Space to which you automatically assign a Page, the system automatically jumps from the “Manage Launchpad Spaces” app to the “Manage Launchpad Pages” app (Fiori ID: F4512). This is nice, but not terribly useful. In order to conveniently fill the page with the right apps, you must first assign the associated space to an authorization role that also contains your business catalog (PFCG – Role menu – Small triangle on the “Transaction” button – SAP Fiori Launchpad – Launchpad space (or areas, if the menu is set to German)).

Good to know: You can see whether the Space is assigned to a role in the “Manage Spaces” app.

Once this is done, you can jump back to the app that you use to set up the Pages. And here we open the Matryoshka once again. You do not insert the apps directly into the Pages, but into so-called Sections.

Sections: smalest unit of Launchpad navigation

Sections are created with one click within the page. You can now insert your apps into these sections very easily. To the right of the sections you have just created, you will find a search field and two filter options: “Derived from roles” and “Manually selected”.

Stick with the “Derived from roles” option. This refers to the role to which you have just assigned the space containing the page in which we are currently building the section (remember the Matryoshka principle?). This role also already contains your business catalog and you have only added the apps that the user needs to this catalog. Exactly these apps are displayed here. If you cannot find an app – perhaps because you have too many in the catalog and this makes it difficult to get an overview – simply enter the app title in the search field at the top. Click “Add” and select the section in which you want to display the app from the menu that pops up.

If the user now opens their Fiori Launchpad and clicks on a tab (Space) at the top, they will automatically land on the first (or only) page assigned to the Space. Here they will then see all the apps on the page – but not in a wild heap. Instead, the section titles act like subheadings and make orientation easier.

Good to know: Sections are hidden in the Launchpad if they do not contain any apps. So if an app is removed, you do not have to delete the section. This is practical, because if it is needed again later, you can simply refill it and it will automatically reappear.

And with that, we have also discovered the smallest of the Matryoshka dolls. As I said, as an authorized user, you are only interested in the two largest dolls – roles and spaces. Usually, the developer (or customizer) will tell you the name of the Space that you should add to the role with the respective catalog. In the vast majority of companies, you will not be responsible for creating and designing spaces, pages and sections.

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