FAQ on SAPUI5

This page summarizes frequently asked questions around the topic of SAPUI5.

General

What is SAPUI5?

SAPUI5 is a JavaScript framework for building cross-platform, enterprise-grade user interfaces for web applications. The origin of SAPUI5 goes back on the Phoenix project launched in November 2008 arising from the request to create a UI framework that is modern, flexible, extensible, and above all independent from any backend technology. 

SAPUI5 was officially released to customers in August 2012. In November 2013 the core components and major libraries of SAPUI5 were open sourced as OpenUI5.

SAPUI5 includes:

  • A component-based framework for building scalable web applications
  • A collection of well-integrated libraries that cover a wide variety of features, including routing, message handling, data binding, client-server communication, and more
  • A set of optional libraries with a great variety of UI controls that express the SAP Fiori design language
  • A suite of developer tools to develop, build, test, and deploy your code

Is SAPUI5 free of charge?

SAPUI5 is not free of charge, but it also can't be purchased standalone. To use SAPUI5 productively, you need to have a valid license agreement about an SAP product that includes SAPUI5. To check whether SAPUI5 is part of your SAP license agreement, check the documentation of the SAP products covered by the agreement.

Under the SAP Software Use Rights, customers may only use SAPUI5 to program modifications or to create add-ons to the SAP software in accordance with the agreement. SAPUI5 may not be transferred, either in whole or in part, into modified or created software

What is OpenUI5 and how does OpenUI5 differ from SAPUI5?

OpenUI5 is the open source subset of SAPUI5, released by SAP in November 2013 under the Apache 2.0 license. It's freely available and open for contribution and feedback.

Both, OpenUI5 and SAPUI5, follow the same technical principles, hare the same core libraries and many of the control libraries. Each code change or contribution to OpenUI5 automatically becomes part of SAPUI5 as well, so you could even say, that SAPUI5 is built on top of OpenUI5.

Apart from the form of availability, the main difference between the two is the number of libraries, as some libraries are only published as part of SAPUI5. There are different reasons for this: Fore one thing, libraries are not only build and maintained centrally by the UI development but also by other departments at SAP, that have opted out of open source. Other libraries strongly depend on the SAP ecosystem, contain intellectual property or third-party licenses, which makes it impossible to open source them.

Learn more about the history of OpenUI5 (and SAPUI5).

What is UI5 and how does it differ from SAPUI5/OpenUI5?

UI5 is not a product or software, it's just the unofficial (short) name that we use in situations that are applicable to both, SAPUI5 and OpenUI5. This is almost always the case, as SAPUI5 and OpenUI5 share the same principles and concepts. So if we say UI5, we don't distinguish between SAPUI5 and OpenUI5.

In the meantime, various additional projects have been established that have UI5 in their names to show that they belong to both, SAPUI5 and OpenUI5 (such as UI5 Inspector, UI5 Tooling, UI5 TypeScript, Karma UI5, Easy-UI5, or the UI5 Community project).

Also in UI5 Web Components the UI5 stands for the fact, that this library is a development of the UI5 rendering and its controls.

What is SAP Fiori and how is it related to UI5?

SAP Fiori is a design system that provides a consistent user experience for SAP Software across platforms and devices. SAP Fiori is not restricted to a UI technology but can be implemented on various UI technologies and platforms.

The UI controls of SAPUI5 are implemented according to the SAP Fiori design specifications and act as the reference implementation of the SAP Fiori design system for web-based applications. However, as a generic web UI technology, UI5 can go beyond the SAP Fiori design system.

Setup

Where can I get SAPUI5 or rather OpenUI5?

When it comes down to getting SAPUI5 for productive usage in software, check the answer to the question "How can SAPUI5 be licensed?" or rather "Is SAPUI5 free of charge?".

If you want to use SAPUI5 to develop applications in accordance with the SAP license agreement, there are several options to obtain SAPUI5:

The general recommendation is to use SAP Business Application Studio for any development with SAPUI5. There, you have access to all available SAPUI5 versions without unnecessary installations or upgrades.

If you want to use an IDE of your choice, you can download the developer edition of SAPUI5 from the SAP Development Tools page or get the corresponding SAPUI5 libraries on npm. Note that that the developer editions of SAPUI5 are provided under the terms of the SAP DEVELOPER LICENSE AGREEMENT.

The OpenUI5 libraries are also available as npm packages. Alternatively, you can download the individual OpenUI5 versions from GitHub as well. OpenUI5 is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

How can SAPUI5 be licensed?

As SAPUI5 is not a separate product but an integral part of several SAP products, you can't license SAPUI5 standalone. Instead, you need to own a valid license agreement for an SAP product that includes SAPUI5 and permits you to use SAPUI5 productively.

SAPUI5 may only be used productively within the license agreement of the respective SAP product.

Under the SAP Software Use Rights, customers may only use SAPUI5 to program modifications or to create add-ons to the SAP software in accordance with the agreement. SAPUI5 may not be transferred, either in whole or in part, into modified or created software.

What development environment should I use for UI5?

The general recommendation for SAPUI5 projects is to use SAP Business Application Studio with the SAP Fiori dev space. There, you have access to all available SAPUI5 versions without unnecessary installations or upgrades.

For local development and for OpenUI5 we recommend to use Visual Studio Code together with the SAP Fiori tools extension package. In this blog post you get a nice step by step instruction how to configure Visual Studio Code for UI5 development.

What languages are the basis of UI5?

UI5 is a JavaScript framework, so it's based on JavaScript as the primary language and you should be familiar with this language to work with UI5. 

To build your UI component (the view or your application) it is recommended to use XML syntax. The XML syntax would still be converted to its JavaScript equivalent, but it is much easier to write, ensures that the logic for your controller and your view is kept separate and enables your SAPUI5 project for SAPUI5 Flexibility.

UI5 uses CSS for customizing the look and feel, so you need to know a little CSS if you want to change colors or fonts.

What is the UI5 versioning strategy?

UI5 uses a fixed-released schedule with monthly minor releases. A long-term support (LTS) version is released every year. LTS versions are supported for at least 3 years.

LTS versions are recommended for most developers. Non-LTS releases are intended for developers who want to take advantage of latest features. All fixes introduced in non-LTS versions are back-ported to the current LTS version in any event.

You can find an overview about all current supported and available SAPUI5 versions and OpenUI5 versions.

How do I know about new features introduced with a specific UI5 version?

For each new version, you can find a corresponding What's New chapter in the SAPUI5 documentation or rather OpenUI5 documentation highlighting new innovations and improvements.

In addition, all features as well as all fixes introduced with a version are listed per library in the change log of SAPUI5/OpenUI5.

What is the road map for SAPUI5?

For road map information on SAPUI5, visit the SAP Road Map Explorer.

Characteristics

Why should I use UI5?

UI5 is the strategic UI technology for web-based applications at SAP. With UI5, you're taking advantage of a framework that is tailored to develop business-critical web applications and optimally fulfills business requirements. It comes along with long-term compatibility and maintenance, mass data handling, security concepts, multi-language support and country-specific particularities, robustness, accessibility, tools for support and efficient development, as well as bucketloads of further features und UI widgets (called "controls").

When the framework is updated, all parts are verified to work together to ensure a smooth upgrade path. Versions with long-term support receive at least three years of maintenance support.

UI5 also serves as the reference implementation of the SAP Fiori design system and therefore provides all specified SAP Fiori UI concepts for web-based applications completely as UI controls.

What browsers does UI5 work with?

UI5 is tested against the following browsers: the latest version of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (Chromium), Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Safari for iOS, and Google Chrome for Android. Support for Internet Explorer ended with UI5 version 1.87,

If a browser or device is untested, it doesn't mean it won't work. You can also expect browsers to work that share a large part of their code base with a browser we test, such as Opera 15 or newer (which uses the Blink engine), or the various Firefox derivatives.

Are UI5 applications accessible with screen readers and other assistive technologies?

All SAPUI5 controls follow accessibility best practices and standards. However, the application developer still needs to ensure the accessibility of the applications, because it is not enough for only the UI controls to be accessible. 

You can read more about UI5 accessibility here. We also have a guide that covers the most important accessibility aspects while you're building your UI5 application here.

Resources

Where can I find tutorials for UI5?

In the official documentation of UI5 you can find several tutorials. These tutorials are continually updated to the meet latest best practices. If you are new to UI5 we recommend to start with the Walkthrough tutorial introducing you to all major development paradigms of UI5. There is also a video from the community available, guiding you through all steps of this tutorial.

In addition, you can find more comprehensive tutorials on SAPUI5 on SAP Tutorials for Developers.

Where can I find classroom courses for UI5?

SAP Training offers the following classroom courses for SAPUI5 :

  • Developing UIs with SAPUI5 [UX 400]
  • Advanced SAPUI5 Development [UX 402]
  • Developing SAP Fiori UIs [UX 410]

Check also this SAP Learning Journey for a full learning plan to develop the technical skills to successfully design and develop SAP Fiori applications.

Where can I find online courses for UI5?

The openSAP learning platform offers a number of free UI5 online courses, namely:

In addition, there is the UI5 NewsCast podcast channel with best practices, trends, innovations, and hot topics from the world of UI5 and beyond.

What recommendations exist for books and further literature?

Where can I find more information on UI5?

Here are the most important links where you can find further information on SAPUI5:

In addition have a look at these links about OpenUI5 as well:

Miscellaneous

How can I get some UI5 swag?

We often bring a few stickers and other swag to events where we're presenting. In addition, you can find some pre-designed clothes and other stuff with the UI5 logo at Spreadshirt in Europe and the US.

Or just download our logo artwork from the OpenUI5 home page and create your own stuff!

Can I download and use the UI5 artwork?

Yes! You can find design files on the OpenUI5 home page, unter "guidelines". The logo design is licensed under a "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License".