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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Composite roles have long been known as an effective way to handle business role variations at scale. From SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01, increased support for composite roles gives you more flexible options for security role and authorizations design.

Composite role support is now available in the launchpad content and layout administration tools:

  • launchpad content manager
  • manage launchpad spaces
  • manage launchpad pages
  • launchpad content aggregator
  • launchpad content exposure (version 1 and version 2) to SAP Build Work Zone, standard edition


IMPORTANT: Similar updates to the tool Overview of Roles, Spaces and Pages are planned.

In this blog post you will learn:

  • Why you may need a composite role
  • Composite role design in earlier SAP S/4HANA releases
  • How composite role design is simplified from SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01
  • How launchpad content maintenance tools support composite roles from SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01
  • FAQ

IMPORTANT: Composite roles are not available in SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud Edition.


Why you may need a composite role

In a small organization, you may have only a few people performing a business role, and their needs are likely to be closely aligned. Your roles are likely to be distinct so a simple arrangement of launchpad content (apps and features) aligned to launchpad layout (spaces and pages) is sufficient. 

You could achieve this through single roles – and there are many examples in SAP Business Role templates, such as: General Ledger Accountant, Purchaser, Internal Sales Representative, Industrial Hygienist, Maintenance Technician, Strategic Buyer. Your single role design might look something like the following diagram, i.e. a single role with an assigned space and assigned business catalogs. 


If you have some overlap between roles, you can still easily share layouts. For example, the procurement roles Purchaser and Strategic Buyer, may share some tasks. With spaces and pages, apps that are relevant to Purchaser only or Strategic Buyer only are automatically visible or hidden based on your catalog assignments. This flexibility means you can reuse the same space for multiple roles.  Even better, when you maintain the page layouts in SAP Fiori app F4512 Mange Launchpad Pages you can use the feature Page Preview (select role context) to check which tiles are visible or hidden depending on the user's assigned roles. 

Your role design for single roles that share the same space might look something like this, with multiple roles all assigned to the same space.


However, the larger your organization, the more likely you are to need variations on business roles. For example, you may need some shared content for all General Ledger Accountants, and some distinct content for different geographical locations.  You may need different content for roles based on different customer focus; different product focus; different services focus.  You might have different content for employees versus manager/supervisors; for casual users versus expert, and so on.

An example might be: You want mostly similar catalogs and apps for all General Ledger Accountants, with some distinctive content for different countries that have different tax and financial reporting requirements.  The more complexity and the more variations you have, the more difficult it becomes to manage these variations within a single role.

Composite roles are a useful way to handle these role variations, while minimizing role maintenance effort.  Composite roles let you combine multiple single roles.  You can segregate shared catalogs/apps and delta catalogs/apps by assigning them to separate single roles.  You can use composite roles to create different combinations of single roles to assign to users. 

Your role design can shift from something like this below for the launchpad content. With a composite role that includes one or more single roles, with each single role assigned to one or more business catalogs.  This kind of role design works in most SAP S/4HANA releases. 



However, when you want to share layouts across composite roles, it gets a little more complicated. 

IMPORTANT:  You can only assign spaces and catalogs to single roles.


Composite role design in earlier SAP S/4HANA releases

Composite roles are a long-standing capability of the ABAP Platform that is the foundation for SAP S/4HANA.  It was technically possible to use composite roles as security roles in all SAP S/4HANA releases, and many customers do use composite roles. 

A consideration in roles design was that best practices for launchpad content and layout management have evolved and continue to evolve over the releases of SAP S/4HANA.  For example. the layering of cross-client technical catalogs with original entries and client-specific business catalogs for role assignment. Refer to:

A major shift in best practices that affect role design came with the introduction of Spaces and Pages in SAP S/4HANA 2020. 

Spaces and Pages have introduced a range of useful features

  • Business-meaningful spaces and pages hierarchy that could be reinforce customer-preferred process/task organization, and are easily aligned to Business Process Management flows
  • Tiles (i.e. launchpad app descriptor items – see hint below) are derived directly from roles – reducing content assignment effort and authorization errors
  • Page Previews (with selected role context) – so you could verify the impact when you reused spaces and pages across multiple roles
  • Multiple tile types (tile, flat tile, wide tile, flat wide tile, link)
  • Automatic merging of administrator changes with user personalizations
  • Delta-enabled personalization, which minimizes issues such as “cannot load tile”

Hint: Each app that you see on a launchpad page is technically represented by a launchpad app descriptor item (LADI) that contains a combination of:

  • Target mapping – how the app is launched when the tile link is selected by the user, such as which app is launched and which parameters are passed
  • Tile definition(s) – how the tile/link should appear, such as texts and icons

For customers on SAP S/4HANA 2020 to 2022 who wanted to use composite roles, to take advantage of the full features of spaces and pages with composite roles, you needed to:

  • Assign the shared space to every single role containing (one or more) business catalogs
  • You could then include any LADI (aka tile/target mapping) from any of the assigned business catalogs in the pages of the space
  • You could use the Page Preview (Select Role Context) feature in SAP Fiori app F4512 Mange Launchpad Pages to check your page against different combinations of single roles.  That is, to check which tiles would be visible or hidden depending on the combination of single roles assigned to the business user.


This also meant that:

  • If you wanted to split or merge your composite roles, you might possibly need to reassign the space in every single role
  • You could only view or test the impact of your composite roles on your spaces and pages by knowing exactly which combinations of single roles were included in your composite roles.  


How composite role design is simplified with SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01

With SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01, composite roles are now supported in launchpad content and layout tools.  This means you can now simplify your composite role design.

Most importantly, you can have a clean separation between content and layout at the single role level. For example, you can use a single role that only contains the space, and flexibly assign it across one or more composite roles.



From SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01 you also have some new Spaces and Pages features, such as:

  • Administrator-controlled merging of spaces
  • Administrator-controlled merging of pages
  • Favorite Pages in New My Home Page

These new features make it even easier to match the right spaces and pages to your business users, regardless of their needs.  

Even better, as an administrator, you now have visibility of composite roles in the best practice maintenance tools for launchpad content and layout.


How launchpad content maintenance tools support composite roles from SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01

You can now find composite role support in the launchpad content and layout maintenance tools:

  • Launchpad Content Manager
  • Manage Launchpad Spaces
  • Manage Launchpad Pages
  • Launchpad Content Aggregator

IMPORTANT: Similar updates to the tool Overview of Roles, Spaces and Pages (transaction /UI2/RSP_LIST) are planned.

As a Fiori Foundation Administrator, you can access most of these tools from the Administration - Fiori Launchpad page.


IMPORTANT: Composite roles were already supported for content exposure to SAP Build Work Zone, standard edition. Composite roles are supported for both content exposure Version 1 and Version 2.

For a description of the differences between version 1 and version 2 refer to: SAP Note 3345119 - Expose Launchpad Content to SAP BTP - Exposure Version 2


Composite roles in Launchpad Content Manager

The launchpad content manager is the main and most efficient tool for business role maintenance, i.e. the assignment of content to business catalogs, and the assignment of business catalogs and spaces to business roles.  You access the tool from the Fiori Foundation Administration launchpad, or from transaction /UI2/FLPCM_CUST (client-specific).

IMPORTANT: Business roles are usually assigned client-specific. If you have cross-client roles you can also access the cross-client Launchpad Content Manager via transaction /UI2/FLPCM_CONF. All screenshots in this section are from the client-specific Launchpad Content Manager. 

The launchpad content manager provides support for composite roles from SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01.

On the Roles tab:

  • Composite roles are listed and assigned catalogs can be viewed
  • Assigned groups and spaces can be viewed for Composite roles
  • For both composite and single roles, you can optionally launch to the role maintenance transaction PFCG to see more details

On the roles tab, the new column Role Type indicates whether a role is composite or single.  Assigned catalogs can be seen for composite roles, i.e. all catalogs assigned to single roles assigned to the composite role.


On the Roles tab, Spaces (and Groups) can be shown for composite roles.


On the Tiles/Target Mappings tab, Tiles/Target mappings can be viewed for both composite roles and single roles.


On the Tiles/Target Mappings tab, Show Usage in Roles lists both composite and single roles to which the app or UI is assigned


On the Catalogs tab, Show Usage in Roles feature shows both composite and single roles in which the catalog is used.


Composite roles in Manage Launchpad Spaces

SAP Fiori app F4834 Manage Launchpad Spaces is the primary tool for organizing the layouts assigned to business roles. With this app as an administrator you control the assignment of pages to spaces, the visibility of pages, and the merging of spaces at runtime.

Each space is presented to a business user on their launchpad as:

  • a tab - if only one page is assigned to the space, or
  • a menu tab - if multiple pages are assigned to the space.

From SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01, SAP Fiori app Manage Launchpad spaces lists both composite and single roles to which the page is assigned.


Composite role support in Manage Launchpad Pages

SAP Fiori app F4512 Mange Launchpad Pages is the primary tool for organizing which sections, tiles, and links appear on a launchpad page. Content is derived from the role(s) assigned to the related space.

From SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01, you can:

  • Derive tiles from single roles that are derived from composite roles assigned to the space
  • When using Page Preview (Select Role Context) you can select composite roles and/or single roles to check which tiles are visible/hidden depending on the user's assigned roles. 


Composite roles in Launchpad Content Aggregator

Launchpad content aggregator is the primary tool for a read-only view of what launchpad content is assigned to your business roles.  You access this tool using transaction /UI2/FLPCA. 

Refer to: SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – 3 simple use cases for Launchpad Content Aggregator

The launchpad content aggregator tool is particularly useful for:

  • Providing a read-only view of assigned content for business stakeholders
  • Providing a read-only view of assigned content for auditors and other interested parties
  • Providing a read-only view of assigned content for upgrade planning.
    • For example, to derive lists of which SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs are currently assigned to your business roles.
    • Such lists can be further assessed for upgrade planning via tools such as the Fiori Upgrade Impact Analysis. 

Refer to:

From SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01:

  • Select composite or single roles
  • View aggregated content for both composite and single roles

When selecting Roles to aggregate, you can select composite or single roles.


You can view the apps assigned to the composite role by the single roles.



Do I need to change any of my existing custom business roles? 

No. Your existing business roles will continue to work. The new composite role features give you the option of simplifying on-going maintenance.

Why can’t I see composite roles in the Launchpad Designer?

Launchpad Designer does NOT give you this visibility because Launchpad Designer is deprecated. If you are still using Launchpad Designer, you should move to the new tools, i.e.

  • Migrate from Groups to Spaces and Pages
  • Migrate custom technical catalogs to launchpad app manager

Refer to:

What do the naming convention in the diagrams mean?

In the diagrams of this blog post a simple naming convention has been used to reinforce the role objects involved and reflect many of the naming conventions in the SAP Fiori launchpad Administration Guide.

  • ..._BR_... for a business role
  • ..._BC_... for a business catalog
  • ..._SP_... for a space
  • ..._PG_...for a page

For clarity of the purpose of single roles in a composite role context you will also see:

  • ..._BCR... for a single business role for assigning business catalogs only
  • ..._SPR... for a single business role for assigning spaces only

Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru

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

Other helpful links:

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