In my May post, I mentioned that a large number of SAP customers are struggling to implement a consumer grade user experience for their SAP systems, whether it be through SAP’s Personas and Fiori platforms or through completely custom development in Java or .NET.

Today I want to discuss a specific example – SAP Accounts Receivable with Order-to-Cash integration.  This is perhaps the most common business process across all organizations running SAP, and also the most cumbersome in terms of user experience.  Everyone needs a 360 degree view of a customer, with the ability to see all master data and transaction detail in a simple and easy-to-use format.

But how can you achieve this goal?  A 360 degree view of a customer can span over 50 traditional SAP transaction codes.  Building a custom Java or .NET application to streamline these screens would take years to research and integrate all of the APIs required.  Building in Personas is also an option, but SAP has directly stated that Personas is transitional and will be going away with S/4 HANA, which is interesting considering the large number of current SAP customers engaged in Personas initiatives.  Building in Fiori requires the same research and API integration as custom Java and .NET applications, but additionally requires the creation of custom function modules and oData services to create meaningful functionality.

For example, say you would like a button that would allow you to add a sales order to the customer you are currently viewing, and a check box on the sales order to automatically create an invoice based on successful creation of that sales order.  With Java and .NET, this is pretty straightforward as you can have your custom web page call the APIs BAPI_SALESORDER_CREATEFROMDAT2, BAPI_BILLINGDOC_CREATEMULTIPLE, and BAPI_TRANSACTION_COMMIT.  With a little bit of custom code, you can also make this work in Personas, only to throw away your work when you upgrade to S/4 HANA.  And with Fiori, you would need to create a custom function module to wrap these 3 APIs, then a custom oData service to be consumed by your custom Fiori page.

If you just saw the word custom a lot in the last sentence, that’s because building Fiori applications is a massive exercise in custom development.  Take this example and then multiply by the many processes involved in maintaining a customer, including, but not limited to, creating a customer for the first time, adding the customer to a sales area, paying an invoice, reversing an invoice, adding an attachment….suddenly you have a lot of custom code that you have to maintain.

There has to be a better way, right?  What if all of these processes were already built and integrated into an elegant user interface, with a true 360 degree view of a customer?  This view already exists in ClearUI®, our HTML5 application that simplifies all common SAP business processes:

So what’s the catch? There isn’t one.  We’ve spent almost a decade building ClearUI to be highly configurable and pre-packaged.  You can start running it immediately on any version of SAP.