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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
I recently received an email from a long-time SAP Screen Personas customer who is looking toward the future. He works for a platinum partner, so he knows our product portfolio very well and has expertise in implementing SAP S/4HANA and advising clients on best practices for obtaining the most value from their investment in SAP. His main question is when to use SAP Screen Personas and how it fits into our broader UX portfolio for cloud and on-prem customers. Here’s his original and unedited email in bold and my responses in plain text.

Customer email: My company has doubts about the future of the SAP Screen Personas add-on and I want to reach out to you about how SAP is positioning SAP Screen Personas at new SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementations and migrations. And how you would see this evolve in the future.

I saw your blog about the roadmap update and the extended support commitment to 2040. However, as more and more classic screens will be replaced with Fiori applications, the need for SAP Screen Personas will decline. So how could I convince my company to invest more time and people to learn about SAP screen Personas.

Answer: As I mentioned in another response to a customer inquiry about the future of SAP Screen Personas, classic apps in SAP S/4HANA will remain for the foreseeable future. I would expect most customers to use SAP Fiori apps when they are available. However, some business scenarios still rely heavily on classic apps. There are currently around 3000 SAPUI5-based Fiori apps in SAP S/4HANA and even more classic apps. You need to determine which apps you need to run your core business processes.

As long as classic apps exist, we recommend using SAP Screen Personas to:

  • Make classic apps look and behave like SAP Fiori apps to improve UX consistency across the portfolio.

  • Simplify classic apps to use on mobile devices.

  • Improve user productivity with more intuitive screens.

  • Decrease training time, especially for new users or people without SAP experience.

  • Improve data quality by simplifying data entry and reducing the number of opportunities to make keying errors.

  • Enhance user satisfaction, potentially resulting in better employee retention.

  • Focus development efforts on new apps rather than replicating functionality that already exists in a classic app.

SAP Screen Personas is a simple way to drive UX transformation and provide a consistent SAP Fiori user experience to classic applications in SAP S/4HANA.


Another argument is that during implementation of an ERP system, we try to avoid customer requests for cosmetic changes because of budget limits.

I fully agree with you on this point. Back when we launched SAP Screen Personas in 2012, we positioned it as a tool to improve the appearance of screens. Very quickly, we learned that customers were not willing to pay purely cosmetic changes.

Now, we realize that the underlying issue is not whether screens look nice, but poor usability. You can quantify this for your clients to calculate the value that you can bring them with SAP Screen Personas.

  • How much time are your employees spending on repetitive processes in your SAP ERP system?

  • How much time and money are you spending training users how to use SAP ERP transaction screens?

  • What resources are you planning to allocate for building SAP Fiori apps or mobile apps that replicate capabilities that already exist in SAP transactions?

  • How much do you spend on rework to fix data entry issues resulting from confusing screens?

Making screens more intuitive by removing unused controls, organizing the content in a more logical way, and automating some data entry or information lookups can greatly enhance employee productivity. This is where we see the 4000+ SAP Screen Personas customers using the product today.

I also noticed during implementation that customers expectations are immediately too high when you do a demo. They expect the same low-cost adjustments of Fiori apps.

SAPUI5 flexibility is a fast and low-cost way to adapt SAP Fiori apps. You can adjust them to fit your specific business scenario and provide a tailored experience for end users. In the latest release of SAP Screen Personas, we share the Adapt UI item in the user action menu with SAPUI5 flexibility so users can adapt the screen without having to know or care about the underlying technology.

Customers can adapt the UI of SAP Fiori apps or classic apps using the Adapt UI option on the user action menu.

They neglect the complexity of some screens and how information on other pages can be shown and updated during creation of objects (like a sales order for example).

They neglect the complexity of dealing with all possible scenarios during creation of objects and they forget to list them all (example: during sales order creation, update some header fields from the overview or in transaction BP it depends on how you enter BP to which screen is shown)

The sales order apps are among the most complex in the ERP system (along with some procurement (ME2xN) and master data (MMxx) apps). We have some customers using highly simplified versions of the classic sales order apps (VA01, VA02, VA03, etc.). The new SAP Fiori sales order apps in SAP S/4HANA provide a much more intuitive user experience out of the box.

Also how does SAP advise in using SAP Screen Personas in comparison to other tools like SAP Build, BTP, In-app extensibility. Is there maybe a bigger overview of when to use which solution?

This is a common source of confusion. We receive similar questions at most ASUG UX Task Force calls. Here’s a quick overview:

  • SAP Screen Personas is used to adapt classic apps (GUI screens) to meet specific business needs.

  • SAP Build is low-code solution that helps accelerate development and automation. It comprises: SAP Build Apps (formerly AppGyver), SAP Build Process Automation, and SAP Build Work Zone.

  • SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is a cloud-based platform that provides a variety of services such as application development, automation, artificial intelligence, data integration, and analytics to create and run apps.

  • In-app extensibility is one way to extend SAP S/4HANA apps. This typically is done by either key users or developers. The other approach to extend apps is side-by-side extensibility, which occurs on BTP.

  • SAP Fiori elements is the tool we use internally to build around 80% of the new apps for SAP S/4HANA. The balance are created with SAPUI5 custom coding.


Thanks for writing and we welcome other questions from partners and customers.

On behalf of the SAP Screen Personas product team, peter.spielvogel.