Is SAPUI5 the only tool to implement SAP Fiori apps?
SAPUI5 framework is indeed a great and powerful tool when it goes to creating SAP Fiori applications. Its beginnings trace back to 2009 when the first draft of this Web framework was created. Since that time, SAPUI5 evolved and matured, so as web standards.
Nowadays, web development looks completely different from what we were used to 10 years back. Progressive web applications, service workers, observables, and many other new concepts changed our way of thinking about the development process. Also, new frameworks gained popularity. If there are multiple new technologies on the market, why shouldn’t we use them to work on Fiori apps as well?
Fiori Developers are not dependent on a single technology
One of the main factors of the SAPUI5 library is the easiness of sticking to Fiori Design Guidelines. We apply defined styles in a defined manner without big effort to write own CSS or behavior. All components are available out-of-box, ready to use, and styled the same way as many SAP Fiori applications available. It makes the development process more manageable and coherent with the rest of the existing part of the Fiori ecosystem. The use of technology other than SAPUI5 to build Fiori applications meant a lot of additional work just to stick to the design guidelines. Is it still so?
For some time, we have new possibilities in this field. If you want to use Angular, React, or Vue to build a Fiori-like app, nothing stands in your way. Thanks to open libraries, Fundamental Library, and UI5 Web Components, the use of those frameworks is an easy way to develop a great Fiori app and stick to design guidelines simultaneously.
Building applications using the preferred UI framework
Should we then abandon SAPUI5 in favor of Angular, React, or Vue with those addons? There are no clear answers to that question. There are some factors that we should consider.
- Both Fundamental Library and UI5 Web Components are lighter than SAPUI5. The final size of the application can shrink up to 60% comparing to SAPUI5, which results in a significant performance boost.
- Fundamental Library and UI5 Web Components are open source projects, which means community and freedom to implement own components.
- SAPUI5 is more stable and mature comparing to younger "brothers". At the time of publishing this article, both UI5 Web Components and Fundamental Library are in a stage of RC (Release Candidate).
- SAPUI5 is out-of-box compatible with Fiori Launchpad. Embedding applications created with other frameworks may take additional effort.
- SAPUI5's library of controls is much bigger (650+) compared to Fundamental Library (100+) and UI5 Web Components (80+).
Having mentioned all facts above, what should you do? Is it worth rewriting all your apps to new technology? Should you abandon SAPUI5 in favor of React or Vue? Definitely not. Keep in mind that fresh products need some time to become mature and reliable. An unstable productive environment is always avoided at any cost. But it should not stop you from trying new things! Maybe you should give it a try with Proof of Concept or new development and check whether any of those technologies suits your needs.
- On 10/12/2020