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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert


In preparation of switching to Spaces and Pages from 2402 Release of SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud Edition, I have been working with many customers. In this series of blogs, I will share our common experience with you to make this transition smoother.

In this blog, let me discuss a common scenario: How to Assign SAP Predefined Spaces and Pages to Your Own Business Roles.


Relationship among Spaces and Pages, Business Catalogs and Business Roles

While discussing spaces and pages with my customers, I feel sometimes they are confused by the relationship among Spaces and Pages, Business Catalogs and Business Roles. These three have dependency, but not necessary one decides the other. Let me discuss them in detail.

A business role is composed of one or more business catalogs. This is the backbone of the security concept in SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud Edition. After a user is authenticated through the IAS (Identity Authentication Service), which Fiori apps a user can access is determined by the Business Catalog. It is the authorization process.  To avoid dealing with so many Business Catalogs individually, we group them into relevant Business Roles and assign them to the users based on their business needs. Please refer to my two relevant blogs on this topic (User Management and Restrictions).

From Release 2005, SAP introduced Spaces and Pages concept. In my previous blog How to Use Spaces and Pages in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition, I wrote: “Spaces and Pages are used to organize tiles in an SAP Fiori Launchpad in an efficient way, with more flexibility and options.  It doesn't change the functionalities of the solutions but make them more user friendly.”  In other words, it is a layout of Fiori apps based on a business role. What Fiori apps are included into these spaces and pages are decided by the UI designer from their best understanding of the business needs. 

We can take a house as an analogy to the Spaces and Pages concept. The entire house is the Space. Under the roof, we have two floors, they are equivalent to two Pages. At each page, there might be sections, for example, Bathroom on the 2nd Floor and Bedroom on the 2nd Floor. The 1st floor doesn’t have sections, just an open great room (Am I an enterprise architect running a home remodeling business 😊?). Within each page, with or without sections, there are furniture objects like shower, bed, TV, etc. They are Fiori apps in the Spaces and Pages concept.

Simple Illustration of Spaces and Pages Concept.png

 Simple Illustration of Spaces and Pages Concept

Several years ago, SAP introduced the Persona concept. We create a Business Role based on a persona, for example, a Cash Manager in India. This business role decides what Business Catalogs should be included. This is from security perspective, or authorization perspective.

From our UI (user interface) designer perspective, they create Spaces and Pages following this Persona concept as well. They try their best to match the spaces and pages with the business roles. But it is not always 1:1 relationship between business role and spaces and pages.  That’s why sometimes you can see multiple spaces are assigned to one business role. On the other hand, it provides the flexibility for us to stack several spaces on to one business  role, or vice versa.

Let’s explore how these three entities work together in the following two virtual scenarios.

Scenario 1 – Space 1 Is Assigned to the Business Role 1

In this scenario, we have two Business Catalogs A and B.  There are three Fiori Apps 1, 2, and 5. Whether a user can access these Fiori Apps depend on these two business catalogs as shown in the below figure.  Interesting enough, either Business Catalog A or B grant access to Fiori App 1.  These assignments are designed and implemented by the security developers at SAP.

In the meantime, our UI Designers developed Space 1 and its corresponding Pages 1.a and 1.b, based on user persona. They group the Fiori Apps the best way they think working for business users. So, Fiori Apps 1 and 2 are in Page 1.a and 3 and 1 are in 1.b, respectively.


 Scenario 1 – Space 1 Assigned to Business Role 1

Now we will put them together.

Within Business Role 1, Fiori Apps 1 and 2 will show up, because Business Catalogs 1 and 2 grant the access to them.  At the same time, Fiori App 3 won’t show up in the Fiori Launch Pad (I have a strikethrough over it), because Business Catalogs A and B have no authorizations to it.

Should we panic? No. In the following scenario, we will add Business Catalog C into the picture to solve this problem.

On the other hand, it worth pointing out that this could be a common case when you create your own business role and assign SAP’s standard Spaces and Pages to it. Some Fiori apps might not show up due to lack of necessary business catalogs. If these not-shown-up Fiori apps are not needed, just do nothing. If you need them, just add necessary business catalogs to this business role. In Scenario 3, I will demonstrate a real world example of this concept.

Scenario 2 – Spaces 1, 2 and 3 Are Assigned to the Business Role 2

The Business Role 2 has three Business Catalogs assigned, A, B and C. Each Business Catalog governs relevant Fiori apps as shown in the figure.


 Scenario 2 – Spaces 1, 2 and 3 Assigned to the Business Role 2

When this Business Role 2 was delivered, there are three spaces assigned, Spaces 1 to 3.

Due to the presence of Business Catalog C, the Fiori App 3 becomes visible in Page 1.b. It is a change from previous Scenario 1.

Let’s look at Spaces 2 and 3.  Since no business catalogs within Business Role 2 supports Fiori Apps 6 and 7 (we don’t know which business catalog support them!), they are invisible (strikethrough). That means Space 3 and Page 3.a as a skeleton are still there, but empty.

Scenario 3 – A Real World Example

In my Customizing Tenant E7Z/100, I created a new page by copying from SAP’s template. Due to lack of the necessary business catalogs assigned, some Fiori apps are marked with “Out of role context”. That means no business catalogs are there to support them.  They won’t show up in the Spaces menu.

Scenario 3 – Overview Page in the Page Design View.png

 Scenario 3 – Overview Page in the Page Design View

In the following figure, you can see available Fiori apps in the Overview Page of the Space ZYU_FIN_PGT_GL_OVR_PC. There are only four Fiori apps under Quick Access section, including one iconized app Manage Global Hierarchies.

Scenario 3 – Overview Page in the Fiori Launchpad View.png

 Scenario 3 – Overview Page in the Fiori Launchpad View


Assign SAP Standard Spaces and Pages to Your Own Business Roles

After we prepare ourselves well with the relationship among Spaces and Pages, Business Catalogs and Business Roles, we can answer our question: how to Assign SAP Standard Spaces and Pages to Your Own Business Roles.

As a best practice, we advise our customers to use SAP’s standard business roles and their assigned spaces and pages. Sometimes, we heard the opposite. Customers developed their own business roles to fit into their business. I am not going to debate if this practice should be abolished or not, but an immediate question is: what am I going to do with these business roles without spaces and pages assigned?

Here are my 7 step recommendations:

  1. Go through all your custom business roles and delete some of them if not being used.
  2. Among those used roles, separate them by function areas, such as administrator, accounts payable, planner, etc.
  3. Go to SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library, go to All Apps for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, go to by Roles. Find those roles by job functions which are close to what your custom business roles intend to use.
  4. Create new custom business roles by copying from SAP standard business roles with spaces and pages attached.
  5. You can delete/add business catalogs to meet your business needs, but use the same SAP standard spaces and pages. In worst case, some Fiori apps might not visible after you removed some business catalogs. That’s fine as long as that is your intension. The advantage is that these spaces and pages are maintained by SAP and will be updated at each upgrade if there is a change.
  6. Now you might still have a handful of business roles made in house without any spaces and pages attached.  Still using the SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library, search the closest business roles to yours and identify the spaces and pages associated with them. Assign these standard spaces and pages to your custom business roles (refer to my colleagues' blog How to Efficiently Switch from Groups to Spaces and Pages: Best Practice with Predefined Spaces and ..., Step 3.  Now these roles have SAP standard spaces and pages assigned.
  7. If SAP standard Spaces and Pages miss a few Fiori Apps you need, take the advantage of Favorites section in My Home to add individual apps there. You can save tons of ongoing effort from creating perfect spaces and pages to meet 100% of your needs.

Search Standard Business User Roles in the SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library.png

 Search Standard Business Roles in the SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library

Note: After reading my blog, if somebody still insists on creating a custom spaces and pages to work with custom business roles, I suggest rethinking about the term “cloud mindset”. To save the implementation and maintenance cost of a cloud solution, we need to adopt standard functions as much as we can. That is the cloud mindset!



From Release 2402 of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, Spaces and Pages will become default setting for users to access Fiori Apps. To those custom business roles, it is wise to assign SAP standard spaces and pages to them to meet the requirements and reduce the ongoing maintenance cost.

My Blogs on Spaces and Pages


My Colleagues’ Blogs on Spaces and Pages

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