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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Latest update March 2021: Changed the title to SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA to fit with other SAP S/4HANA RIG blogs.

Latest Update 27.02.2020: Included notifications for Situation Handling from SAP S/4HANA 1909. All reference links updated to SAP S/4HANA 1909. Notifications examples updated for SAP Fiori 3 / SAP S/4HANA 1909

Latest Update: Links updated for SAP S/4HANA 1809. Also please note that notifications can also be provided by SAP CoPilot as of SAP S/4HANA 1709 FPS01, and subscribed SAP Smart Business threshold violation alerts as of SAP S/4HANA 1809.

The newest and for some people the most long-awaited features of S/4HANA and Fiori 2.0 is the Notification Center.  The ability to immediately notify someone of an action requiring their attention goes to the heart of typical Digital Transformation Goals for User Experience, such as Insight to Action and Processing by Exception.

This blog explains how to turn on the Notification Center, explains some general principles, and shows how to configure Workflow Notifications to appear in the Notification Center - SAP Business Workflow being the first Notification Provider released with S/4HANA 1610 and above. Finally we introduce how end users can work with and personalize the Notification Center.

Every time I’ve talked to customers and partners about Fiori 2.0, people always ask me about notifications.  It’s been consistently one of the top long-awaited features of Fiori 2.0. So when you are on S/4HANA 1610 - and therefore Fiori 2.0 - of course you want to turn it on and try it out.

Image Source: SAP

What we will cover in Part 1 – Activation:

  • Notification Concepts

  • Prerequisites for Fiori Notification Center

  • Enabling Notifications in the Fiori Launchpad

  • Enabling the Notification Hub

What we will cover in Part 2 – Providing Notifications:

  • Enabling the Notification Provider – using SAP Business Workflow as our example

  • Making the most of Notifications – what your end users need to know

Note: Notifications can also be provided from:

Our assumptions:

  • We will assume that we are running S/4HANA 1610 or above with Fiori Frontend Server in Hub mode or SAP S/4HANA 1709 or above with Fiori Frontend Server in embedded mode.

    • Note that the recommendations for embedded vs hub mode were changed as of December 2017.  You can find more information on the latest Fiori Deployment Recommendations and Options.

    • In practice, the configuration is much the same - the only difference is the target of your RFC destination behind your System Alias.

      • Note: Personally I find it useful to use a well defined logical system alias name so that the direction of information flow is always clear. 

  • Because we are using SAP Business Workflow as an example, we will assume that Fiori My Inbox is already activated including any Task-Specific extensions. Note: We need this because when we click on a notification we want it to take us to the matching task in Fiori My Inbox.

Tip: If you haven't yet set up Fiori My Inbox you might like to try these blogs:

Leading S/4HANA UX - Fiori My Inbox - Part 1 - Activation

Leading S/4HANA UX - Fiori My Inbox - Part 2 - Task-Specific Options

And out of scope items:

  • Creating a Notification Provider - for that try the SAP Gateway Foundation documentation re Develop Notification Provider for your SAP S/4HANA version.

We will use SAP Business Workflow examples in this blog as that is the more common scenario for customers transitioning to S/4HANA from predecessor SAP platforms, and is the default workflow environment provided in the S/4HANA core server from 1610 and above.

NOTE: The screenshots in this blog are based on a S/4HANA 1610, Fully Activated Appliance trial system in the Cloud Appliance Library.  You can create your own trial system if you want to try activating the Notification Center for yourself.  Find the latest available S/4HANA trial systems on the S/4HANA Trial landing page.

Let’s begin.

Notification Concepts

There are only a few concepts to understand when activating notifications. These are:

  • Notification Center – the area in the Fiori Launchpad where notifications are displayed

  • Notification Hub – Collects notifications to be shown in the Notification Center

  • Notification Provider – Provides notification content to the Notification Hub

While you only need one Notification Center and one Notification Hub, there can be many providers. SAP Business Workflow can provide notifications. You can expect that providing notifications is in the roadmap of several Cloud and On-Premise SAP solutions.

To enable notifications you need to:

  • Enable the Notification Center in the Fiori Launchpad

  • Activate the Notification Hub, i.e. the SAP Gateway Notification Channel

  • Activate notifications from a Notification Provider – we’ll use SAP Business Workflow as an example

Lastly you want to make sure your users know how to make the most of the Notification Center so we’ll point to the user guides that will explain general notification behaviour and personalization options.

Prerequisites for Notification Center

The Notification Center is part of the Fiori Launchpad in Fiori 2.0.

This means you must have Fiori Launchpad that supports Fiori 2.0,  such as Fiori Frontend Server 3.0 or above. Always check the SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA Release Information Note for your SAP S/4HANA version to check which Fiori Frontend Server is available.

Note: Fiori Frontend Server 5.0 must be used by SAP S/4HANA 1809 and can be used by SAP S/4HANA 1709 SPS03.

Note: Fiori Frontend Server 3.0 is required for S/4HANA 1610 and not available for S/4HANA 1511.

NOTE: Fiori 2.0 is also available from S/4HANA Cloud 1608.

If you are using an on-premise SAP Gateway you must be on SAP NetWeaver version 7.51 or above. If you are using SAP S/4HANA, please make sure you always refer to the documenation for your SAP S/4HANA version.  If you are NOT using SAP S/4HANA please make sure you refer to the correct documentation for your ABAP Platform or NetWeaver version.

The SAP Gateway provides:

  • Fiori Launchpad

  • Notification Hub

You also need a Notification Provider. For example, from S/4HANA 1610, the S/4HANA system acts as a Notification Provider, e.g. for SAP Business Workflow Notifications.

Enabling the Notification Center in the Fiori Launchpad

The Notification Center needs to be enabled in the Fiori Launchpad in your Fiori Frontend Server.  When you install S/4HANA 1610 or above, the Fiori Launchpad is configured to show the Notification Center by default.

If for any reason you want to defer turning on Notifications until a later time, you will need to know how to find this configuration and change it.  The configuration sits in the FioriLaunchpad.html file which is part of the BSP Application /UI2/USHELL that controls the Fiori Launchpad. You can find the BSP application using transaction SE80.

The snippet that contains the parameters for Notifications looks like this.
"Notifications": {
   "config": {
       "enabled": true,
       "serviceUrl": "/sap/opu/odata4/iwngw/notification/default/iwngw/notification_srv/0001",
       "webSocketUrl": "/sap/bc/apc/iwngw/notification_push_apc",
       "pollingIntervalInSeconds": 30

Usually the only parameter you will ever need to change is:

Parameter Value
enabled true (Notification Center is shown) or false (hide the Notification Center)

Tip: The FioriLaunchpad.html file is delivered by SAP. You should avoid changing this file directly, your changes might be overwritten when you upgrade or update your system to a new release or support package. During the upgrade or update, you will need to adjust it again. Instead consult the Fiori Launchpad Administration Guide for your SAP S/4HANA version for recommended options on how to Configure Launchpad Settings.

You can find more information on the other notification parameters in the official SAP documentation for the Fiori Launchpad - Enabling Notifications in the Launchpad.

Enabling the Notification Hub

The Notification Hub for S/4HANA 1610 or above is the SAP Gateway Notification Channel sited in the Fiori Frontend Server. Activating the SAP Gateway Notification Channel includes:

  • Activate the Notification OData Service

  • Configure the Web Socket channel

Tip: Even though the Notification Center is turned on by default in S/4HANA 1610, nothing terrible happens if you haven’t yet activated the Notification Channel.  However you might notice some rather repetitive error messages in the Console of their Web Browser Developer Tools complaining that the notification OData service is not available.

The SAP Help documentation for setting up the Notification Channel is found in the SAP Gateway Foundation documentation in the section Notification Channel. Always make sure you refer to the correct version of the help for your SAP S/4HANA version.

You find all the steps you need in the IMG (transaction SPRO) under SAP NetWeaver > Notification Channel Hub.

Activate the Notification OData Service

This is one of the first OData version 4 services to be released. You activate this service in the new OData version 4 transaction /IWFND/V4_ADMIN - and not the predecessor transaction /IWFND/MAINT_SERVICE that you use to activate OData version 2 services.

You can also activate the service in the IMG (transaction SPRO) section Publish the Notification OData Service in the Configuration section for the Notification Channel Hub.

Publish the service group /IWNGW/NOTIFICATION in System Alias LOCAL – i.e. the service will run in the SAP Gateway. You should then see the OData version 4 service /IWNGW/NOTIFICATION_SRV is active in the Available Services section.

Your activated service should look like this:

Activate the ABAP Push Channel

Notifications use an ABAP Push Channel to push notifications to the Fiori Launchpad.  The recommended approach is to use a Web Socket connection for this purpose.

You can also activate the Web Socket in the IMG (transaction SPRO) section Manage Web Socket Endpoint in the Configuration section for the Notification Channel Hub, or just go directly to transaction SICF.

The service name is /default_host/sap/bc/apc/iwngw/notification_push_apc

Add the SAP_WEBSOCKET channel to the list of Push Channels supported by in the IMG section Activate and Maintain Push Channels.

As always after changing configuration settings, make sure you clear the cache using IMG section Clean Up MetaData and Data Cache or transaction /IWNGW/H_CLEAR_CACHE.

Tip:  To regularly clear the notification data cache, check the notification clean-up utility job /IWFND/NOTIFICATION_CLEANUP is active in transaction SJOBREPO.

Testing the Notification Hub

Your notification users and administrators need certain permissions. The Notification Channel User Roles and Authorizations are listed in the SAP Gateway Foundation documentation. Always check you are using the correct version of the help for your SAP S/4HANA version.

To check your notification hub is working you can use the Demo Content provided for this purposes.  Follow the instructions and then run transaction /IWNGW/BEP_DEMO to send a demonstration notification.

This will let you create some simple example notifications like these:

Image source: SAP Fiori launchpad > User Guide for SAP S/4HANA 1909 

NOTE: For comparison with Fiori 2.0, here are examples of notifications in SAP S/4HANA 1809 and lower releases.

Image source: SAP Fiori launchpad > User Guide for SAP S/4HANA 1809

If you haven't used ABAP Channels before, you can find more information on ABAP Channels in the blog Introduction to ABAP Channels.

And so to Part 2 - Providing Notifications

In Part 2 - Providing Notifications we'll look at how to turn on notifications for SAP Business Workflow and give a brief summary what your users will need to know to make the most out of Notifications.

Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru

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

Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG